To My Husband,
Thank you for not running away when I called you while having my first panic attack. We were only 16. You could have hung up on me, or been weirded out, or made me feel like I was going crazy, but instead you stayed on the phone and helped calm me down just by talking to me. Thank you for being there for so many panic attacks since then.
Thank you for quietly listening when I was telling you about all of the irrational things that made me anxious. We were only 19. Thank you for not trying to fix those things. For not trying to fix me. Thank you for listening, and for hugging me, and for asking how you can help. Thank you for sitting with me when I told you to just sit with me. Thank you for telling me you didn’t mind my mascara on your shirt. Thank you for marrying me the next year. Thank you for quietly listening ever since.
Thank you for sacrificing so much to shield me from anything that might trigger anxiety. Thank you for lying to the employee at the hotel, telling him that you needed a room on the first floor because you felt claustrophobic in elevators, when really I was panicking because something in that 3rd floor room just felt “off”. Thank you for canceling the overnight hunting trip with your friends, saying that you didn’t feel well, when in reality I was freaking out over being left home alone overnight. Thank you for leaving work, telling your boss that there was a family emergency, when really I was having a panic attack and thought I was going to die. You could have told them all your wife was acting crazy, but you didn’t. You took the rap for me. You sacrifice your happiness for my wellbeing often, and I don’t tell you thank you enough. Probably because I can’t thank you enough. Thank you for protecting me.
Thank you for sharing this burden with me. Thank you for not eating when I had to take my glucose test during my pregnancy. I was so anxious about that test, so you fasted with me in solidarity. Thank you for approaching my mental health as something we go through together, and never anything that I have to go through alone. Thank you for never making me feel guilty or lonely or ashamed or at fault for my mental health disorder. I see how your face softens when I tell you that I’m anxious, and how eager you are to ease that anxiety in any way you can. Thank you for helping me carry this weight. Without you, I would have been crushed by it long ago.
Thank you for having so much faith in me. Thank you for trusting me to carry our child, at the risk of passing this anxiety onto him. At the risk of me going off the deep end. Thank you for encouraging me and pushing me throughout the labor and delivery, and for taking so much responsibility after he was born. Thank you for staying close to me throughout my postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Thank you for never getting tired of telling me you love me and that this won’t last forever. Thank you for not getting annoyed or fed up with my tears. Thank you for being so, so patient and tender with me. Thank you for being such an amazing father to Law.
You deserve all of the honor and recognition – so much more than I’m possibly able to give. You make me want to fight, to be brave, to be better.
You save my life every day. I love you.
To the Moon and Back,