I confess...I get corny a decent amount on here. And this may veer into that territory, but I hope it contains some essential truth about love generally. I believe that celebrating love means including not only romantic partners but also friends, family, and four-legged friends (or two if you have a pet penguin...and if you do, can I come over????).
As I recently wrote, I had Dar-inspired revelation about love during my recent 3 hour trek for a doctor's appointment. Her lyric, "I don't know what you saw, I want somebody who sees me" is a wonderful summary of what I've learned in the past fourteen months. I spent eight years in a relationship with someone who saw what he wanted me to be, not what I was/am. And I did a bit of the same, assuming I should be in love with someone so perfect on paper. In the show Wonderfalls (shared by perhaps my oldest, in time known, friend when I was recovering....I need to finish it sometime!), there's a character who is asked if her spouse is the man of her dreams and she says "He's the man of my list." That felt familiar to me. And I've realized that I was never fully happy because I never felt like I was "enough" for my partner. He wanted someone who liked football, would debate a small point for hours, enjoyed cocktail parties with intellectual folks. I was never that. I never pretended I was, but maybe he pretended I might be.
And then I met MM. I remember telling him all my "warts"...the endo, the back, the eating disorder, the bad marriage, the haunting of bullies from childhood who still live in my head...and telling him he needed to be honest and tell me if it was all too much. After each addition, he simply said "Not scared yet." I didn't know if he really meant it, if he even KNEW what it all meant, but he's proven he did. He's sat by a recovery bed for hours so I wouldn't be alone, he's listened when I felt racked by guilt after a binge (without ever saying "just don't do it"....fyi, NOT helpful to say!), and he's sat through a lot of tears in recent weeks. He sees me and, for reasons I can't always understand, loves me. Despite/Because of all of it. He'd support anything I did but doesn't ask me to be anyone else.
And yet. He makes me want to be better. I feel like he DESERVES the best possible me, precisely because he'd never ask for it. I've cooked more in the year we've lived together than in all my life prior. I'll never be in love with cooking, but I WANT to (at least once a month or so!) prepare him a nice meal when he comes home from a long day at work.
And I want to take care of me. I've not been right lately. I have zero energy. I'm not sleeping well. I am overeating and putting on some unwelcome pounds. I can't get through my famous 6-7 mile walks....which tells a lot to people who know me since I stubbornly charge through them even when I feel ill. I've been weepy too but I don't know if the blues are leading or following....if I feel crappy b/c of mental struggles or if I feel blue b/c I feel like crap. I want to hide (and eat). But, MM deserves better. So I'm off to the doctor to be very very honest and get his thoughts. After the Lexapro mess, I'm a bit scared to try medicine again, but maybe that's what I need. I do believe depression can be like diabetes...you need the "insulin" to be normal. I'm hoping there's another answer but I'm prepared if that's what I hear. And I'll do it...I'll ask about withdrawal issues first, but I'll do it. Because I need to take care of MM's girl. Most of us struggle with taking care of ourselves but maybe re-framing can help -- I'll take care of myself b/c MM deserves the best possible me.
Beyond that all, it may be a total greeting-card-industry creation (at least in its size and manifestation), but it doesn't hurt to remind people to express love. Happy Heart Day to my friends, family, and readers. I don't really know how many people truly visit me here but I appreciate you "hearing" me and sharing in my journeys.