Happy Sunday, here we are, part two of my three blog posts with my loved ones on mental health. This time it is with my boyfriend, Dan. I have spoken about Dan so many times on this blog and in real life, he is my main talking point.
I’ve spoken about being in love when having anxiety before here – it’s fucking hard. It is so hard, to put someone through something when they have the choice to leave, it’s hard to try and hold on to someone. But with Dan, I don’t feel like that although I will always say to him “you could have a much easier life with someone else” he has not once said he wants to run away, not once. He has been my safe place since day one, he’s amazing. I love him very much.
Here is Dans point of view…
“Hello to everyone who reads Shannons blog, either to find inspiration with their own struggles or finds comfort in something they can relate to.
Firstly I would like to give you a bit of background on how me and Shannon met, it probably is a rather typical way of meeting people these days as we met on Tinder. This was a way we didn’t really expect to meet anyone, it all started with me leaving my phone in my best friends car, I came up with a stupid message that I had to drive all the way to his just so I can message her. Stupid and cringe I know! Please forgive me…..
Either way from that moment me and Shannon have been non stop talking and I found a truly beautiful and wonderful person.
Although Shannon had always been open about her health anxiety and always been open about having an eating disorder, I had never truly experienced these things in person. I have to be honest, mental health was something I didn’t understand or take seriously. To anyone who hasn’t seen mental health or experienced it themselves first hand I totally understand why you would think ‘just let it pass’, ‘get a grip and get over it’…I have been there, but I have to say I was wrong and if anyone does think that, well it couldn’t be further from the truth.
The first two months I saw none of Shannons mental health struggles and I thought ahh here we go… It doesn’t exist… EVERYTHING was amazing, we fell in love (quickly) but sometimes when you know you know. This was totally the case with me and Shannon. I have never met anyone I can relate to more, never met anyone with so much depth and beauty! But this girl was and still is right there in front of me. I want you all to know that even though this all changed when her mental health started to grow and became a part of my life the way I feel about her has never changed. I still see the smiles the laughter and amazing person SHE is. Through the pain, the upset and the bad days, there are amazing days and memories we have made that I will cherish for the rest of our lives.
Shannon has told me to be totally honest, say if things make me mad, angry, sad and to tell you all if I ever have thought “you know what FUCK THIS I am out of here”. There are times that I get angry, of course there is. I have my own crap days, tough days at work/home. This means sometimes my patience before I see ‘RED’ is a little bit lower or I have little less I can handle. I know that Shannon totally understands this, she doesn’t want her mental health problems to hurt me, anger me, the words she says just come out. That, in my eyes isn’t her saying them, they are this completely different persona feeding her these things to say out loud.
I come home and JUST before I walk in I think “what Shannon am I getting today?” I pray everyday that I come in and she is smiling. I know that isn’t always going to be the case, but it doesn’t stop me begging for it. Although Shannon is ALWAYS happy to see me come through that door her reasons maybe different at times, this is the same with anyone. Sometimes its so she can unload the crap day she has had and the crap day I have had. Sometimes it is because she genuinely is happy to see me. But someone suffering with health anxiety also thinks “OH MY GOD DANS HOME he can tell me if I am okay”. I get questions like ‘do my eyes look okay?’ ‘My head hurts is it a brain tumour?’ Now I can tell you my job isn’t a doctor I work for Nationwide Building Society……. So answering these questions only comes down to me knowing the real issue. Shannon is suffering with an illness, but its not the illness that she thinks (brain tumours, cancer, more recently tetanus) it is her health anxiety. These are the reasons I can say tell her ‘no its not this’ or ‘yes that is normal…’
As I previously said when me and Shannon first got together I didn’t see any of this. The first month we had nothing but happiness in each others company. I think when you get that first stage of a relationship nothing will ruin it… After that I actually totally relied on her as the other most important lady in my life got struck down with her own mental health issues. Of course that person is my mum… I had to be at home A LOT and away from Shannon and be there for my mum and dad. This was a truly defining moment in mine and Shannons relationship. I told her that I couldn’t spend the time I wanted with her and we had been together a month. I had broken down and cried to her already.. I told her that if she wants out she can go now. I couldn’t give her the time that she deserves. Instead of running away from me, Shannon made her house my own. She set me up with a drawer in her chest of drawers with clothes and deodorant. She told me “if you ever need to get away for the night you can come here”. She made her home my safe haven to get away to. That to me was a truly remarkable and wonderful thing to do. Shannon was never scared of her own mental health problems and never scared of my mums having an effect on our relationship, she embraced it.
This brings me to the first time I saw her mental health problems. We went to London over night to escape everything from home. All was fine until we had to go home and we were sitting with her best friend Sanna in the restaurant Giraffe on South Bank. Shannon started saying she saw a little light in her eye floating…. Boom! Suddenly Shannon thinks she has a brain tumour. Although the floating light went, the thought of brain tumours stayed. Suddenly the mental health problems I thought that didn’t really exist were coming to life. Now I had the chance to go run away, get scared, mad, sad. I didn’t…I embraced it, Shannon had done that beautiful, amazing thing for me and I still believed and again still do believe I am the luckiest boy in the world to have her and I started to fight her corner from this day.
Am I scared of her mental health? Yes of course there are things I am scared of… I am scared how it will impact our future. BUT it is OUR future and I will not allow it to break us. What I am not scared of is her health anxiety persona. I know that this battle is our battle now and together we will defeat it. We will learn ways to make her stronger and in turn make that weaker. She has always told me not to think I can save her. I totally agree, Shannon has to tackle this herself but she can tackle it with the support of me and Ben who previously posted and her mum, dad, brother and friends. Some days I am sad about it, I see how it breaks her down and ruins her days and when you love someone and you see an illness break them down of course it breaks you but it doesn’t stop me getting back up and it doesn’t stop her. Anyone fighting mental health whether it’s my mum or Shannon or anyone, I am truly proud of the struggles you go through. I am merely an outsider I have never had these issues myself but just know that I understand.
If anyone was to ask how I feel, I would say I feel lucky to have her, I feel blessed that I get to spend everyday with her. Okay maybe we have problems like any relationship. Yes her mental health can completely take over our days sometimes. Yes she is always fighting the things in her head in the fear she mentions it I will get mad. But I still feel lucky and she needs to know that is enough for me, to have her and be able to make the memories we do is enough for me. Shannon does some really amazing things and sometimes she forgets what a beautiful person she is inside and out. Her pain can take over and make her think she is the worst person in the world when really…she is the most caring person I have ever met.”
I said this last time, that when you are deep within the grips of your mental health you kind of forget about the ones around you and how they feel but I am so aware of Dans feelings. I cannot wait to be able to get through a day without falling into my anxious trap and to get through it to be wit Dan at the end of it.
I found a little gem here, I want to keep him for a long time…