So I wanted to take a moment to thank my husband for being the best person I’ve ever met. I literally hated myself when I met him the summer after my 16 birthday, when I had just started writing about my struggles with mental illness and leaned heavily on my then boyfriend who was emotionally abusing me. I equated my value with what he (the now ex-boyfriend) thought of me. Which wasn’t very highly.
That summer, the two weekends I spent getting to really know Dusty, I realized what I had done. I realized that I was relying on a person who liked to hold me down, to pick me up. I left the guy not long afterward.
Fast forward to 2016. I was in need. I was broken inside and out. And the first person I thought of was you, Dusty. You were the first person I wanted to come and lift me up. And not in the sense that I had needed or wanted to be lifted up in the past. I didn’t want to rely on someone else to like myself. I didn’t want to equate my value with what someone else thought of me the way I always have. I just needed a friend who would listen and try to understand.
At no point did I realize that I would fall in love with you. Though I believe deep down I had always loved you. Everyone else seemed to see it already. But I didn’t. I wanted to believe my infatuation with you was because I wanted to be like you.
I don’t hate myself anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle sometimes. When I’m sick, I wonder why you put up with a chronically ill 20-year-old. The mirror still lies to me sometimes.
But I have the best hype man behind me, always telling me how amazing I look. Even when my hair is a mess and I haven’t showered in days. Even when I feel like my makeup turned out fucked up. When my makeup actually looks good, reminding me I don’t actually need the makeup but that it does look good, and not shaming me for wanting to wear it.
You’re always hyping me up. And you never hold me down. You’ve simply become that voice in the back of my head fighting away all those bad thoughts I have about myself. Even when you aren’t around I have that voice fighting for me.
And on my worst days, I realize that if someone as pure as you can see something in me worth loving in me, I can’t be as bad as the voices try to make me believe.
You’ve given me something I could never thank you enough for; confidence.
For years I tried to get it on my own. And I was making progress, I really was. But as I’ve said a million and one times in a million ways; support can make all the difference.
And more than anything, you let me be who I am, even when I don’t always know who I am. You always seem to know who I am, even when I feel lost and don’t seem to recognize myself.
Thank you, Dusty, for being my hype man. And loving me even when I don’t seem to love myself.