Love is a beautiful thing. Finding someone special who completes you and makes you fall in love with him or her each day is magical. Love comes in many forms. There is the love between a couple, the love of a friend, parental love, family love, and even the love of a pet. Each type is special and deserves to be celebrated and cherished. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate all kinds of love.
I never dated in school. The boys picked on me, and they made me feel hideous. I felt lonely and sad on Valentine’s Day. When other girls were getting gifts and roses from their boyfriends, I was dying inside. I day dreamed of Mr. Wonderful showing up and sweeping me off my feet. Unfortunately I could only dream. I spent a lot of time day dreaming of my perfect Valentine.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that guys started paying attention to me and I began to date. I had several boyfriends who bought me gifts for Valentine’s Day, but those relationships ended badly. The men I dated crushed my dreams of Mr. Wonderful. None of them knew how to handle my mental illness nor did they try to learn to help me. Instead they hurt me. After my one ex, I gave up all hopes of finding the right guy. I figured I would live with my parents until they passed, and then move to where my younger sister lives. I thought I would be alone for the rest of my life.
I had and still have very supportive parents, loving siblings, and good friends. I was willing to accept that would be enough to keep me going. For several years it was. Their love sustained me and encouraged me to fight towards recovery. Their love also helped me put an end to self-injury. Not everyone with mental health problems has these kinds of love. I felt blessed, yet I still dreamed of Mr. Wonderful.
It wasn’t until my thirties that I met Mr. Wonderful on a blind date. I agreed to one date with him, but he won my heart over. He swept me off my feet. He promised to treat me like a woman, to respect me, to spoil me with love, and to always be at my side. I thought when I told him about my mental illness he would walk away, but he didn’t. He agreed to do couple therapy with me so he could learn how to help me.
I was scared to say, “I love you” to him and when he said it to me, I told him it was too soon. Without me knowing he began to say, “I love you” with sign language. I thought he was giving me the peace sign or something. I had no idea what it meant until I asked a customer. Once I found out, I began to say it back to him. Our hearts were united, and I let go of my fears.
Next month we will be together fourteen years, and in April we’ll be married 13 years. There is not a special occasion or holiday that he forgets. There is not a day that he doesn’t shower me with love. He’s the love of my life, my Mr. Wonderful.
I was told once you get married Valentine’s Day just becomes another day, but not to us. Yes, we show each other love every day, but on Valentine’s Day we celebrate the magic of love. We celebrate the love of a friend that brought us together, the love of family that supported our relationship, the love of a man that filled my lonely soul with happiness and gave me hope, and the love of two people that created a magical bond. Despite struggling from mental illness, I found a special love. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of all the love I share with not just my husband, but with my friends and family.
Love is a magical thing that builds us up and encompasses us. If you’re feeling alone and unloved, look around you; you may find you are surrounded by love. If you think no man or woman could ever love you because of your illness, you’re wrong. The first step to finding love is to learn to love yourself, and to begin that fight towards recovery. Be patient: Mr. or Miss. Wonderful maybe waiting for you. Don’t give up on love, and never think you are not loved. If you spent this past Valentine’s Day feeling alone and unloved, then decide now that next year you will cherish all the different forms of love you have in your life. Maybe this is the year you’ll find your soulmate.
This Valentine’s Day, my husband spoiled me with gifts and dinner, but the best present he gave me is his undying love. His love and the love from friends and family allow the light to shine down on me.