Pan back to 2001. I had been engaged once and that engagement did not come about. I had been celibate for about 7 years after the first engagement broke off and spent a lot of time exploring things that I was interested in including quantum mechanics and medical intuition. Largely I was exploring these things on my own at my own pace and one day woke up thinking I should meet someone.
So I went to my best friend and we talked about the possibilities of meeting someone online. This was way before online dating was “a thing.” I decided to submit an online profile but got cold feet at the time it was due. My best friend helped me out – I would answer a question then she would answer a question and so on. So in reality the profile I was submitting for myself was only half accurate…..
It ends up my husband-to-be was the first name that popped up when we did the search. He and I communicated by email for several weeks and then decided to meet in a public place. We met at a coffee shop and I brought my 100 pound Labrador/Newfoundland in the car. After the coffee talk we decided to go ahead with the date and walk some nearby trails. Of course I brought the dog for safety. I also continued dialogue with two or three other guys I met online, but there was no spark there.
From the first meeting at the coffee shop it was just a series of get togethers – a comedy show, a picnic in the park, out to dinner and so on. Soon we both felt we were a match – within several months together. My family was having a family reunion and my husband-to-be joined us. This got my family’s thumbs up and within a week or two we were engaged. My husband proposed on a walk in the woods near my house. It was lovely! After about 9 months of engagement we were married!
Something I forgot to add was that after we started dating we found out that each of our first cousins each with the same Christian name grew up as best friends in Nashville. It was and is truly a small world! While my husband and I met on the internet, our families had known each other for 30 years!
I can’t say married life is easy. There are a lot of ups and downs. But by and large we are able to manage through the chaos and come up on the other end with a largely solid relationship.
My best friend and I talked on the porch with masks and social distancing for the last almost three hours. She is the type of friend who you cannot see for 6 months and then pick up and connect just where you left off last.
It was wonderful to know more about how she’s been doing and helpful to feel that I might be of help just listening to some of the things that have been occupying her life — like caring for her teenage son who has had some mental concerns and being a teacher in this time of distance learning and covid-19. The teachers right now in the States are having a time of it.
Talking also helped me put my own problems into better perspective. The challenges of my life seem to largely revolve around my anxiety even when the actual problems themselves are not that dire. Talking to my friend helped me gain some insight into my own peculiar need to always have something to worry about when that is not necessarily helpful or needed.
My friend is also an avid exercise person. I gave her permission to get on my case for not exercising on a regular basis. I asked her to reach out to her son and to her ex-husband and let them know that she respects the work they are putting in daily to overcome anxiety and other related challenges.
Once again, I am reminded how thankful I am for the relationships in my life. It makes me want to invest more time in developing more meaningful relationships across the board. Even when the conversation moves to serious topics, it is good to know we are not alone and that we can do our best to put on each others’ shoes and walk a mile or two.
I am not yet in the habit of giving thanks every day for my blessings. So here goes a try…..
I have a beautiful (inside and out) daughter. She is healthy, funny, smart, caring and resilient. I have a loving husband and understanding in-laws. He is non-judgmental and generally puts up with my anxiety that surfaces almost every day on some level. My in-laws also are not judgmental. I have a very good relationship with my Mom who is 83 though this has not always been the case. Now, she and I can talk pretty openly about events of the day including things that are hard emotionally or difficult because of my diagnosis. I have a solid rapport with my older sister who lives up North but continues to be a support for me every time I ask which is fairly often. I have a therapist I can trust and a doctor/ psycho-pharmacologist who I can talk to about raising or lowering meds depending on what’s going on with me. I have seen my therapist and my meds doctor since 2008 — there is little they don’t know about me and that is a blessing. I take meds that are largely therapeutic for me. I recently had a scare (this summer) with breast cancer but thankfully the mammogram, ultrasound and MRI were all benign / negative. I have strong bonds with my best friend from 1985 forward. She and I can talk to each other about everything and anything pretty much.
In writing this, I am noting that most of the things I am thankful for are relationships and health. Does any one else see a pattern in what you are thankful for?