I have admitted that I have been lonely. I have delved into the depths of my mind to elucidate the minutiae of every lonely thought. And I have saved those details and sent them out to the abyss of the internet where they will live in infamy forever.
In less than 1000 words, I have left much out. While I could have gone on for days about the self-doubt and pity that tries to make up my daily existence, that’s not what is important. It doesn’t take more than 1000 words for you to get that. What’s important is that I’m not lonely. What’s important is that I have an amazing support network that has kept me afloat. Beyond afloat, they have pulled me on their shoulders out of the lake of my own tears and carried me completely dry to the shore. And while I look now at the vast lake we crossed and the distant shore I can never return to and feel that loss, I’m not in that lake. I am not drowning.
There are multitudes who shared the burden of my unfortunate mess of a life while I was unable to carry it myself, some for mere seconds or minutes, some for endless days and weeks, some I know intimately, some I don’t know at all. I owe to all of you a debt of gratitude. But to none do I owe more than to the “wonderful man I have to date.”
In the time before we dated, you were a distant star in the complete darkness that had enclosed me. You were the first little light that allowed me to realize there was still light left in my world; that I only had to reach out to turn them on. Your light gave me the hope I had lost. Your light gave me the power to find happiness where I’d begun to doubt it ever would be again.
As we began to date, your glow lit up my world and a path I would have taken much longer to find had you not been there for me. You made me smile and laugh as I forgotten how to smile or laugh. Perhaps more importantly, you let me cry and break in front of you and you were there to re-adhere the broken pieces, without judgment, without complaint. And you could have judged, you could have complained. You could have left me alone in my pooling tears. You owed me nothing, you knew me little. But you never left my side.
The more microbe-infested my growing lake of issues and drama became, the stronger you were for me, the more strength you gave to me. And you gave me the credit for that strength. Nothing made you turn your back on me and wade your way right back out, you just kept carrying me. And I think sometimes I forgot to realize that it was you trudging through my mess and me sitting blissfully on your shoulders. Sometimes I forgot to realize there was such a big mess at all. I needed to forget it, and you gave that chance to me the way no one else could.
And now I sit here safely on the edge of my lake of tears with you still standing by my side, holding me up, and I glance back at the distant shore where my former life lives, and whine to the world that I’m lonely, that my life is not perfect.
I can be lonely. Even with you next to me. My life is not perfect. It never will be. But I have you.
You made my imperfect life happy. You made my darkest days livable. You pulled me through it all. You are my Prince Charming. You are my White Knight.
Without you, I may not have drowned, I may not have drowned all my friends, I may even someday have made it as far as I have now. But it would have been excruciatingly painful. Without you, it would have been hell.
No matter where we go from here, no matter where our paths take us, I will owe you a debt I can never repay. I will always remember; I will always cherish what you have done for me. I will always cherish you.