In celebration of this event, I have decided to share with you readers the story of us. I have mentioned my boyfriend in posts many times before. I have written about our outings and some of the things we do. But I have never actually told you our story.
Our love story isn't a passionate and romantic one. It wasn't exciting and completely heart throbbing. It was different; to me at least and to what I had seen in movies. It was different to all the expectations I had built up throughout my childhood and teenage years.
I wish I could say that the past two and half years have been amazing and great every moment. But that would be a lie. I have put him through hell.
And I am not proud of how I have handled things or for the things that I have done. I was not an easy person to love, and at times I am still not. And he is not proud of his attitude for a lot of the time, or the effort he has always put in. We have both made mistakes. But the least we can say is that we have learnt and we try harder.
Now, I will start from the beginning of our love story that took place in the year 2014 when we were both 17 years old.
We met at a gathering, and by met, I mean, we stared at each other for majority of the night, both too shy to make a move.
It sounds like any other love story, right?
But the truth is I didn't want to be at this gathering. I wanted to be nowhere. I wanted to crawl into a ball in my bedroom and sleep my life away. I was scared. I could barely utter a word to anyone. I tried to socialize and act like every thing was okay. For my friend. For myself. But I was not okay. I was very far from it.
And then I saw this boy, quiet, standing several meters away and not speaking whilst he stood with a group of boys.
Would it be lame if I said that when I saw him he almost looked familiar, but not quite? I had never seen him before. But I couldn't stop staring at him.
It was a connection to say the least. And my boyfriend, who is not sappy or rarely ever romantic later said the same thing.
Apart from a few mutters during a game of pool, we never said anything to each other for the entire evening. It wasn't until several months later that we saw each other again at a party. He left the girl he was talking to in the corner and came to me. I felt slightly more confident and tipsy enough that I was able to say more than a few words and the paralyzing shyness I used to feel, particularly during our first encounter, was starting to become a bit better to handle.
We proceeded to spend the whole night together.
Our first date wasn't the usual dinner and a movie, or as it is most days, just a movie. He took me four-wheel driving in some dunes along the beach. It was his hobby, if not passion. And despite that I mostly just sat in the car, I was so happy that he had shared something about him on our first date, without actually directly telling me.
We parked the car on top of a hill and from there we had a clear view of the ocean and the top of a ship wreck which we then proceeded to tell me the history about it and its reputation for crashing on every trip.
A little secret about this first date however, is that I was so scared, contemplated bailing last minute and was so nervous that I downed a 'Cruizer' before stepping out the door in the hopes that it would give me the confidence I had several nights ago.
After several more dates, we began to share how we felt. I told him I was suffering from depression without ever using the term. He shared with me his deep anxiety, without ever uttering the word.
We would stay up until the early hours of the morning, just talking. We told each other things we were not able to share with anyone else.
I let out a lot of the suppressed thoughts and feelings I had bottled up as I could not tell everyone how I felt for they would be disappointed. Everyone was counting on me to get better. So was I. But how do you make someone understand that the darkness that brings you down, takes your hope and fills you with unbearable fears of the present and future was not actually you? But instead felt to be something else in you and it wouldn't leave?
I didn't have to make my boyfriend understand. I could tell him everything and he listened and understood anyway.
He told me of the strange thoughts that didn't feel like his own. Of how he has contemplated ending it all. Of the medication that sat hidden away in his top drawer.
My boyfriend soon got better. He didn't need the medication anymore and he gives me a lot of contribution for this and that makes me happy.
However, I did not. I thought I was. I hoped I was. But I wasn't. And it would become clearer when I would break down. When I would lose it when I was drunk. When I would spend every weekend taking substances in order to hush it which only seemed to make it worse.
I never quite let him in. Perhaps I envied him for getting better whilst I still often felt extremely low and hopeless; like a waste of space that would only bring down everyone and everything in its path. And perhaps that's where it went wrong; because I didn't let him in. Instead I ignored it until it got worse. And when I finally did get better, there was still this gap between us and I could not bring myself to get closer; to fill it.
They say the second time around at relationships is just setting you up for a loss and will fill you with more disappointment than the first time around. I beg to differ that this is the inevitable outcome. Breaking up and being apart can lead to two things; you either realize that they were no good for you, or you realize that they really did make you better.
And he made me better. It took me a while to realize but I realized in the end. I realized where I went wrong. I realized that I pushed him away and numbed the feelings I had for him in fear that he would leave or hurt me. When in fact it was me hurting him all along as he never gave up hope that things would get better. That I would get better.
Perhaps what doomed us was the fact that I never quite let go of those first few months where we were in our own bubble of understanding and connected-ness because we were both broken. When he got better I felt betrayed and as if he no longer understood.
But the time apart reminded me that there was is much more to him than this brief terrible period in his life, because I often defined myself by my sickness and rarely ever saw myself as anything more.
I appreciate him for the person who he is now, which is so much. I have learnt to love his soul. And I have finally allowed him to love my own.
I'm proud of these past couple years and I am happy where we are today.
It's not a typical love story and at times it was very hard, but I wouldn't trade mine for the world. And my only advice to you readers, is to let them in. I was lucky to get a second chance. But many of us are not given this luxury.
P.S just noticed he is literally wearing sunglasses in all but one picture.