I wanna talk about my guy real fast. Only because he deserves recognition even though he’s going to feel awkward receiving it.
Eric is my best friend and my boyfriend. He’s one of those people that’s super easy to like and he has probably the biggest heart of anyone I know. Eric constantly puts other people before himself. He just wants to make sure you’re happy. If you’re happy, he’s happy. I knew he was a keeper when he took me to see Third Eye Blind (one of my favorite bands) for our first date.
So he’s a pretty simple guy- but in the best way possible. He loves the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cleveland Browns, his boat, his truck, God, his family, golf, engineering, his gym, and the hypo-alergenic blanket my parents have in their basement. He’s devoted, smart, hard-working, goofy, sweet, funny, kind, thoughtful, humble, patient, optimistic, generous, compassionate, easy-going, selfless, down to earth, empathetic, intentional…the list goes on.
Because he’s all these things, I was absolutely terrified for the day I was going to have to tell him, “I’m bipolar. Hope that’s chill.”
From the moment we met I dreaded that interaction. He’s going to reject me. He’s too nice, so he’s going to pretend like it’s all good but then he’s going to strategically back out on account of “you know work is getting really busy these days” or “the Browns off-season talk is really consuming me.”
I knew he liked being with me. We talked about everything else during those months. When the “you know you can tell me anything, right?” question was asked, I would nod my head yeah. But I didn’t want to scare him away.
I started to look up articles online. Titles like “How To Tell Someone You’re Bipolar” or “Being In A Relationship With Someone Who is Bipolar.” Basically what I found was testimonials that just confirmed my fear. That it takes a really special person to be understanding of the condition and you’re probs doomed.
I finally gathered the courage to tell him. I couldn’t stand it any longer hiding my medicine when he came over and my Brandon Marshall lego man (lol). Keep in mind we had already been dating for a few weeks. I tried to spit out what I had rehearsed in my head, and teary-eyed it came out shaky and nervous and jumbled.
I remember he just listened and put his hand on my back as I was talking. I’m pretty sure I ended with “and it’s okay if you don’t understand and you don’t want to be with me anymore. I know not everyone can or wants to handle it.” He gave me a puzzled look and laughed a little. He told me that nothing I could tell him would make him not want to be with me and gave me the biggest hug. He said he thought no differently of me and he wanted to learn more about the disorder so he could better take care of me.
I have never felt more relieved. It was the biggest weight off my chest and I was no longer hiding anything from him.
He is nothing but supportive of me. I couldn’t ask for anything else from him.
Loved ones of someone with a mental disorder: I can’t stress enough to you that your support, encouragement, and love means the world. That can manifest itself in many ways. Reading up and educating yourself on the illness. Being patient. Treating us like a person and not a project. Listening. Recognizing our potential. Simply being there.
This disorder that consumed so much of my thought and everyday life prior seems not as big anymore. I have other things to think about and positive distractions. I haven’t felt very normal in a pretty long time- But he makes me feel wanted, loved, special, beautiful and proud to be me.
I will always be grateful to him for that, and to God for sending him my way. I am the luckiest girl.
To my favorite person- I love you, Eric!