When I was young, I became another victim on the long list of young kids bullied at school. This bullying eventually caused an intense deterioration of my mental health and my self-confidence. I progressively developed social anxiety with some depressive tendencies. This, for me meant my mind would begin to wire itself up on the comments I had heard in the past causing me to feel depressed, then the anxiety would come in and make me think the way that one person thought, was really what everyone thought. This caused me to have an anxiety attack during my senior prom, during a college visit, and several other moments that are supposed to be such happy experiences, but was miserable moments due to my constant thoughts. This mental mindset and panic stuck around for about 3 years until I met my current boyfriend.
He is a super sweet boy, both with a lot of spunk and a lot of strength. He’s a self-motivated individual who is only worried about himself and what he can do, not what others think of him. When we met, I opened up to him almost immediately; I have learned with my anxiety, it’s easier to be straight forward with people so if I began to have an attack or even just feel overwhelmingly anxious, they know what’s going on instead of being left in the dark. I told him about my low self-esteem, my body issues, and my overall mental health. He not only told me the sweet things you hear from most significant others, but he told me things that began to heal me as a person.
He told me about all the quirky things I once hated about my body and how they’re some of his favorite things about me. He loves my thighs, my stomach and the way I seem to laugh a little harder than anyone else at pointless jokes. He told me how strong I am even when I think I am not, that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and how much he loves how passionate I am about everything I’m involved in. He taught me how the only person whose opinion should ever matter is my own, and if someone doesn’t like me that they’re missing out on someone so special to him. He taught me how to give myself credit for the things I do and accomplish instead of giving all the credit to others; things cannot get done if I don’t feel the motivation or hope in myself to do it too. He has taught me to externalize my feelings instead of keeping them inside because although I believe no one cares what I’m feeling, he does and always will. He wants to help me in any way he can and wants to assure me how important my feelings are.
He’s done so many other things that I cannot help but thank him for. The biggest thank you I have is for helping me find myself and love myself. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I have become.
And to my boyfriend: I love you, thank you for everything, and happy 1 year.