In life, we all face struggles and adversity. It’s not about the pain of the troubles we face, but how we overcome them that really defines who we are.
I’ve dealt with the hardships of growing up in a divorced home, experiencing close relatives with debilitating illnesses, and even losing my father at a very young age-without the chance to say goodbye. It would be an understatement to say my childhood wasn’t the easiest and I had to overcome a lot of obstacles and adversity as I grew older.
After everything I’ve gone through, I’ve always been a fighter. I’ve never laid a hand on another human being, but I’ve gone fist-forward to all of the hardships. I walked through the world with a chip on my shoulder, always anticipating that something was going to go wrong and something new would arise. It spiraled out into a severe anxiety disorder that I still struggle with everyday.
It wasn’t until I began dating my boyfriend that my world changed.
I’ve been with him for almost four years now. He has been the wake-up call I didn’t know I needed in this world. As depressing as it may sound, I never thought it would be possible that I could find someone who would truly love me, despite all of my baggage and flaws. He has made me a better person in so many ways, as I’m sure yours has too, and here are just a few ways:
1. He supports you through all of your problems:
Dating someone with an anxiety disorder isn’t easy, and I know that every day with me can be a struggle and a process. Some days I feel great, other days I don’t. There are times where I take longer to get out of bed, get ready, and get moving with my day. Other times, I’m up at 7AM ready to tackle the world. I’m a hit or a miss, but he has never doubted my strength.
Some people don’t understand what it’s like to have severe anxiety. It’s not the type of anxiety that surfaces right before a big test or an interview. It’s the type of anxiety that lives within you all day, everyday. It can be a rough road sometimes, but with support, it seems a little easier.
2. He encourages and pushes you to be better:
When you have someone who truly believes in you and all that you’re capable of, it gives you this newfound hope. When someone loves you unconditionally, with no strings attached and no apologies, you become a better version of yourself.
When I’m with him, I want to be better and do better. I always feel like I want to be a better person for him and for myself. I feel comfort and security knowing that I have such a great person cheering me on, wanting to see me win at this battle through life.
3. He challenges you as much as he supports you:
My favorite attribute about my boyfriend is that he’s honest with me, always. If I’m doing something stupid or making the wrong decision, he’ll be the first person to be brutally upfront about it. I know I can trust him and depend on him for not what I want to hear, but what I need to hear.
It’s the right amount of tough love that I need to clear my vision.
4. He believes in you and your dreams – all of them:
After college, I ventured out into a career field that turned out to be the wrong fit for me. I decided to change paths. Even though I quit my job and was in limbo for a while, my boyfriend supported and believed in my decision.
To date, I change my mind about what I want to do and where I want to be frequently – I’m 22 and still trying to figure out my place in this big world. Even though I’m not sure where I’m going, I know he’ll be there, right by my side.
5. He opens your eyes to everything:
When I’m feeling really sh*tty and unhappy, he brings me to the bright side of things. I find peace in knowing that when I have bad anxiety attacks, he’ll be the one to hold me or help me. When I’m feeling depressed and unhappy, he’ll remind me all that we have to be grateful for – especially each other.
When you have someone who reinstills your value and self-worth into you, it’s a special, special gift. They love you and see past all of the exterior, they see past the faults and the bruises. It’s like finding a piece of your soul you never knew was missing.