21 hours ago
When I first got together with Retta, everyone thought we were doomed. From the outside we looked very different: Me, a sarcastic and pessimistic grump, and her, an excitable but painfully shy artist. And that was the stuff people could see. Retta was dealing with severe depression and an undiagnosed chronic pain condition, while I was struggling with regular panic attacks and trying to keep all my gender dysphoria a secret.
And yet, today it’s been 7 years since we got together and we’re still just as in love. Meanwhile, I’ve transitioned and become a happy optimist, both of us have discovered our queer sexualities, Retta has a diagnosis and is much more in control of her illness, and I haven’t had a panic attack in years. Oh and we also live on the south coast together, 250+ miles from where we started.
Lots of people will tell you that if you’re mentally ill or you’re still working out your identity then you’re unlovable, and that you can’t build a relationship without being in full control. But that’s not true. You are always capable of love, and of being loved. Regardless.
Of course, I think it’s always worthwhile trying to grow and heal as a person. But you don’t have to feel like a perfect and polished version of yourself before you get into a relationship. Ultimately you’ll know if you feel ready.
But don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not worthy or that your new relationship isn’t worth investing in. If I’d listened to fearmongering warnings like that, I don’t know where I’d be right now but I bet I wouldn’t be engaged.
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