A few weeks ago, in my blog titled Hanging up the Cape, I shared my personal experience of hitting an all-time low and sought out professional help. Each session helped me to understand that my happiness and emotional fulfillment were within my control.
I took control of my life one piece at a time. I started with Jason.
In spring of 2018 I kept the score book for The Realini’s, a Havelock Little League baseball team, despite the fact that my son didn’t play baseball anymore. I love baseball and since the coach and his wife are great friends (more like family) to me I dedicated my time to keeping the book. I got to know the players and some of the parents. There was this one parent in particular. Jason. Every now and then we’d exchange playful banter with occasional shit talking. I mean, who doesn’t?
By the end of the season, I had figured out he was a single dad with full custody of his kids. I knew both kids from the baseball field. We ended up becoming obligatory Facebook friends. We would run into each other on base from time to time. We’d say hello, exchange small talk and then go on with our business. At some point we exchanged numbers (there’s a good chance I gave him my number first. But honestly, I can’t remember). Every couple of weeks (maybe even months) he’d send a text and I would reply back. He helped me pick up a chicken coop in September with his truck. He checked on me throughout Hurricane Florence. One day he took off work to take me to my lumbar injection appointment. Eventually, we went out to dinner and stopped by Shortway’s (a local brewery) owned by a reservist Marine, Matt and his wife, Lindsay. That Christmas Jason bought a car for his daughter and kept it in my driveway until I drove it over around midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day so he could surprise her. He even drove me around to see Christmas lights (my favorite holiday tradition). But then, just like Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on eastern North Carolina, my feelings, issues, insecurities, problems, anxiety, and everything in between came to the surface and ruined everything. I put up a wall. Kept to myself. And dealt with life alone.
My counseling sessions had me thinking about Jason a lot. While I was in the waiting room for one of my sessions one afternoon, I texted Jason with a “hey you.” Knowing he would answer back (because that is the type of person Jason is) I asked him if I could take him out that weekend. Normally, I would have been too afraid to ask because I have crippling anxiety with the thought of being rejected. So, it’s always been easier to avoid any situation where I might be rejected. But I wanted to take control of my life. And that meant I needed to get over my fear of rejection. Jason said yes to the weekend date.
A few days later, when he picked me up, the moment I saw him walking towards me I knew. I threw my arms around him and kissed him. There was no denying it; I was in love.
I have so many thoughts and emotions, but I struggle to put them into words. All I know is that if I wouldn’t have reached out for help, I wouldn’t have dealt with my inner demons and struggles. And I wouldn’t be where I am with Jason. Life is good.