Until I met my current boyfriend I have always been alone. Off course there have always been guys in my life, I do have needs, but I never let anyone close. I never opened up, I have never had a relationship until this amazing guy entered my life and slowly conquered his place, slowly made me feel comfortable enough to open up to him, to allow him in my life, in my thoughts and in my heart. It is hard for me to admit because I prefer being strong, I prefer doing things on my own, but the truth is, he makes things easier, he helps me a lot every day, often without even doing anything.
I always call my boyfriend my exception. Where other people seem to make me tired and start annoying me after some time, he does not. He is the only person I’ve met in over 27 years that doesn’t seem to irritate me, the one person that does not push my hypersensitive buttons, the only person I can stand to be around for hours, days or even weeks. I don’t know why or how, but he is an exception, and in all these years he is the only person I have trusted enough to allow him a glimpse of the real me. And when I allowed him this small part he wanted more, and I wanted to show him more and now he has become a very pleasant supporter in my daily fight with the ADHD devil.
I have always been someone that keeps to herself. I wear masks that I will never take off, especially not when there are people around. I don’t show my emotions, I don’t talk about my feelings and I don’t share my thoughts. But this changed after I met my boyfriend. When we decided to turn our casual affair into a real relationship, we decided to be honest to each other, about everything. We share our deepest and darkest thoughts with each other, we share our struggles, our insecurities and our expectations. We can talk about everything without judging each other. With him I found a person that will not like me less because of whatever mess is going on inside of my head. He knows that the ADHD devil can take over sometimes and by sharing this process with him, it becomes more clear to myself. He is my mirror, a mirror in which I can see my true self, a part I don’t see or show much. He often asks me what I want, what I think or what I feel, and by answering these questions honestly I start opening up to myself. I not longer hide my ADHD and I no longer hide my true emotions, I am now open about both the good and the bad things, to my boyfriend but most importantly to myself. I no longer put things away until they become too much and explode and whenever I experience emotions that are exaggerated by my ADHD he will show me the facts needed to put them back to normal proportions, so they become managable.
My boyfriend made me see all the positive effects of sharing, he showed me how the people around me are not just there as attributes, as decoration, but that I can actually use them, that they can make me feel better and that they can teach me things about myself. Whenever someone will ask me now how I am, I no longer just stay everything is good, no matter what is actually going on. I tell them the truth, on both the bad days and the good ones, and every time I do this I’m surprised by the effect this has on me. I feel lighter, every time I acknowledge and express my true feelings they become a bit more bearable. It turns out that there are actually people around me willing to support me in the bad times. I don’t have to do everything by myself, I am not alone.
Off course my boyfriend knows I’m a messy slob, he knows I would be able to live in a dumpster for two weeks without even being bothered, he knows I would make the worst housewife in history and although he is the cleanest person I have ever met, he is ok with me being like this. He understands how it is sometimes impossible for me to recognize a mess and he understands that I often can’t see any starting buttons when it comes to cleaning. But ever since we started dating he has created some of these buttons for me. Even though he accepts me in all my messiness, I want to show him the best version of me. Often I don’t know when he will come to my house so I’ll try to keep the house as clean as possible all the time. Whenever I did not succeed and it starts to turn into a mess again, I will ask him to come over in 2 hours, the time I need to be able to clean the main things. His presence, or even the idea of his possible presence motivates me a lot, and creates the buttons I need to start cleaning.
But there are also bad times, times in which I am really not capable of pretending to be a housewife, and luckily my boyfriend found a way to deal with these days. He will come over to my place and starts putting the dishes in the sink, or some other small thing. He has learned that whenever he makes a small first step, buttons start popping up in my head and soon I’ll be able to do what needs to be done.
His motivation is not just limited to my household duties, he also has a way to make me do a lot of other things. When I don’t want to go to the gym he reminds me of how I’ll feel afterwards, when I’m at this place eating some delicious food he will be saving for me. When I don’t want to do groceries or cook he reminds me of how much he love the food I cook and how much he was looking forward to it, and this is enough for me to start cooking. He supports me in everything I do and often tells me how great I am in what I do. Besides, he celebrates the little victories with me, he understands how small things can seem extremely big and out of reach for me, and whenever I do manage to complete these he will be genuinely proud.
Sometimes I feel a bit like a little child in our relationship, a kid that he needs to take care of, a kid that is not yet able to do the grown up stuff in life. But I know that this is not the way he sees me and much of the help I get from him is unintended. It is not that he spends his whole day trying to help and support me, it is just the way he is, the way he responds to the things and the way he lives his life, that seem to bring out the best in me, that trigger my motivation. His presence in my life triggers me to do the best I can, it makes things a bit easier, without him actually having to change or do something.
I never allowed myself a lot of joy, I never did things just because they could be fun, I never really laughed, like how I never really cried or accepted my other feelings. My boyfriend is the complete opposite when it comes to this, in his friends and family are the most important. Off course he values his career, but he sees this as a means, not an end. He is serious about his work, but just because this will give him money, money he can invest in spending time with the people that are important to him, money he can use to enjoy, to have fun and make new memories. For him life is really about enjoyments, about always doing the things that bring the most joy, and to be honest, the more time I spend with him, the more I start believing in the importance of joy.
Since I met my boyfriend I found myself crying many times. Not because of sadness, not because of problems. The reason for most of my tears was happiness, a feeling I did not experience, I did not allow myself to experience since I turned 20 and decided it was time for me to get my shit together. I can cry whenever we go out for lunch and eat some really nice food. I can cry when he kisses me goodnight on my forehead. I can cry when he grabs my hand or touched my shoulder when we’re out with friends. I can cry when we laugh together. I can cry when I see him enjoying a game with his friends. Now imagine how hard I cried after a week in the snow with him, a week of complete happiness.
He makes me enjoy life, he shows me happiness and fun, he shows me how life is not just about being the best or being in control. Again he does not do this on purpose, he is not helping me, he is not trying to change me. He just lives his life the way he used to, but now with me by his side, allowing me a glimpse of his life. I can not believe how much I have been taking from myself. I can not believe how I thought it would be a good idea to cut out all the joy. I feel like I have not been living for years, not for real. I always thought that if I would die, the people around me would talk about my achievements and my strength on my funeral, but I no longer want people to remember me like this. I want them to think about the nice moments we had together, the laughter, the joy, the fun, the experiences, the good as well as the bad. I no longer want to be remembered by what I did, but by who I was, the real me. And more importantly, if I die and I will be able to look back on my life, I want to feel like I have lived. I want to remember joy and love, because this is what we are in this world for, to just enjoy the time we have, and have fun.