FINDING LOVE WHILE REACHING RECOVERY

   This week my husband and I are spending time with family so I’m posting one of my old, but favorite post. Enjoy!

  After several failed relationships, I gave up on true love. The last one was the hardest. He handled my mental illness badly and was abusive. When I had an emotional episode he physically held me down. He caused my illness to worsen. My other ex-boyfriends were not abusive, but also couldn’t understand or deal with my illness. I gave up on love. I figured no man could ever cope with my illness or understand it. I believed I would spend my life alone.

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   When I broke up with my abusive ex, I gave up on men for three years. I lost faith in ever finding the right man. A friend from work began pressuring me to meet a man named Lou who was renting a room from her. I was still struggling with bouts of depression and finding peace with the abusive relationship I was last in, so I resisted.

   My therapist was excited about the idea of me dating again. “Go on one date and if it doesn’t work, then you’ll never have to see him again,” she said. A friend also encouraged me to give him a try. So I told my friend at work I would meet Lou. My friend gave me his phone number and told me she would make us a dinner for our first date.

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   I talked to Lou on the phone for hours and he showed up to my work the day before our date. He had a long beard and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I promised myself one date and that would be it. I went on that date and he had shaved the beard off. He was handsome. During our first date he promised me he would take care of me, treat me like a woman, and he would never turn his back on me. I was skeptical, but I agreed to a second date.

   Before I knew it, we were seeing each other regularly. When we started to get serious, I decided to tell him about my mental illness. I was prepared for him to turn his back on me, but he didn’t. He told me he would do what he needed to help me continue to reach recovery. So we started couple therapy. He dedicated himself to help me through whatever I had to face.

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   As we continued to become more serious, the bouts of depression began to disappear. One day I left work crying and I went to Lou’s place. Lou held me for hours until I calmed down. It was then I knew Lou could handle my illness and I would never be alone again. Within six months Lou proposed and a year and half afterwards we were married. With Lou’s help I reached recovery.

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   Almost 13 years later and 10 years of marriage, Lou continues to be at my side, pulling me out of rough times, reminding me to be positive and supporting me no matter what. Lou taught me I could be loved and understood despite my illness. Lou continues to keep his promises he made to me on our first date and he continues to help me dance within the light.

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