Trust Me, I’ve Got You.

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Earlier this week, my wife, Bonnie, sent me a text saying “Look up the song ‘I’d Be Lying’ by Greg Laswell.  It made me think of you.  I love you so much.”

So I did… I cried ugly tears while listening to it for 30 straight minutes.  Here’s the song (partial lyrics below):

Won’t you let me give you a hand

I have an extra I’m not using
Won’t you let me lighten your load
I mean after all your legs are shaking

And I can understand
All I need is your hand
Oh won’t you take the fall
It is me after all

Won’t you let me match your stride
I can slow down if you want to
We can handle it side by side
What do you say girl don’t you want to

And I can understand
All I need is your hand
Oh won’t you take the fall
It is me after all

I’d be lying
If I ran away
I’d be lying
If I ran another way

And so I’ll stay

But won’t you let me be your man
I’m strong enough you know that I can
Be the one to ease your mind
Ease your mind

And I can understand
All I need is your hand
Oh won’t you take the fall
It is is me after all

I’d be lying
If I ran another way
I’d be lying
If I ran another way

And so I’ll stay

It’s beautiful, simple and real.  It’s about trust.  Won’t you give me your hand and take the fall with me?  Won’t you put your faith in me and know I’ll be here, supporting your shaking legs, until they shake no more.  Always.  I won’t run away.  I won’t disappoint.  I will be your rock, when needed.  Won’t you do the same for me?

These words are so applicable in the moment Bonnie and I are in right now.  I don’t normally write about our struggles when we are going through them, because it’s too painful and triggering.  I wait until we’ve conquered that mountain.  Well, not today.  I need to write something to remind me and everyone else, that life is hard and yet we fight…. together.

It’s past midnight and Bonnie is upstairs, hopefully asleep.  Her medications have stopped being as effective and she’s having a tough time dealing with the feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and despair; even though everything in our life is going really well.  Those feelings don’t match our current scenario but that’s what it means to have a mental illness; unexplained or irrational feelings that torment your mind to the point of physical pain, at times.

It’s excruciating for me to see her this way.  I want to take her pain, even if for a moment.  But I can’t.  All I can do is tell her I love her.  Be here.  Take care of the kids.  Give her the space and time she needs, until her doctor figures out the right adjustment to her medications and I get to see that beautiful smile that won my heart 14 years ago.  This smile:

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You know, I just looked through our photos to find a good one to post and it lifted my spirits.  I love my wife.  We’ve had some incredible memories and great times.  So rather than writing about how Bonnie and I are committed to each other, especially during the hard times, let’s just look at some of the great times we’ve had and focus on the memories tomorrow will bring.

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We are at a Kem concert, where we met him afterwards at the hotel we were staying at, Hotel Derek.  We love Hotel Derek.  It will always be a memorable place for us because that’s where we had the best sex of our lives.  In Aug 2012, we spent an evening in the hotel bar, drinking alcoholic beverages as a couple for the first time ever.  Once we were feeling really good, we went upstairs and had passionate amazingly loud sex for literally hours.  Our neighbors were banging on the walls and our door, telling us to be quiet.  We barely noticed them.  It was all about us.  That was the night we realized drinking alcohol has several benefits.

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This next picture was when we went to Wimberley, TX with some friends and did the zipline tour.  I’m afraid of heights, so I was extremely nervous and a huge wuss.  Bonnie, on the other hand, loves roller coasters, heights and pretty much anything that could give her a slight adrenaline rush.  She wouldn’t be bothered by my whimpering.  I have to admit, although it took me 4 beers to find the courage to do the ziplines (Yes, they have a rule about not drinking before you go but drastic times calls for drastic measures), we had a fantastic time.  That night we went to a friend’s house and formed a friendship with two couples that’ll last us a lifetime.  We are even discussing doing IMG_0842this shit again, despite my protests….

Speaking of ziplines.  This is Bonnie is Sedona, AZ.  She took a vacation by herself and spent the week going through some intense therapy, which was incredibly successful, went on a fun zipline course over a wildlife preserve and a jeep tour of the mountains.  She met some new people and had a blast.  She even got hit on by two guys…. Yes, she’s still got it.

995425_10200361436427647_659713165_nBonnie is so understanding and patient with me and my need to take pictures of her, sometimes at the least opportune times, and post them on social media.  Like here 1525572_10201355222471677_148997617_nwhen she ordered a full rack of ribs at Houston’s Restaurant (Yes, she ate all of them)…  or when she was racing me home, on the kids 360 tricycle, and was telling me not to take a pictures of her, as I was absolutely taking a picture of her… 1048197_10200340947995449_893307525_o or when we were at a bar, before a movie, and shots are in order because we’re about to see a comedy.

478275_4132724565566_1227741015_oThen there was the time that I posted a picture of a dozen roses and put them on Bonnie’s Facebook wall, only to have some of my friends call me out for being cheap and lazy because I gave her virtual flowers instead of REAL flowers, thus causing me to buy her REAL flowers on the way home, take the picture and post that on Facebook to redeem myself.

893621_4752093849411_1548738116_oI love this next picture because it was the first time in our entire marriage when I went shopping alone for Bonnie, buying her a bunch of outfits AND she actually loved all of them.  Seriously, that was a landmark because every attempt prior to this at buying clothes or jewelry ended in Bonnie politely thanking me, while promptly returning them for something she actually liked.  For those thinking that I must have had plenty of help from the saleswomen at the store…. you would be correct but I still chose which store to go to all by my lonesome! 

Bonnie is always the happiest when she’s having fun with our kids, Jordan and Samantha.  Being a parent can be a huge challenge, at times, but the good times and the ultimate connection of love, outweighs any and all challenges for us.  Here are just a few of our memories.

892361_4823087864217_754831028_oWhen Jordan walked into our room wearing one of Bonnie’s sports bras.  I grabbed my phone to take a picture and he started to protest, knowing it would lead to future embarrassment.  Him and Bonnie proceeded to wrestle and it created this wonderful memory.  1462951_10201083461517823_1891800606_n

This next one is when Bonnie came home from her Sedona trip.  I was playing the single parent role that entire week, so the kids were incredibly happy and grateful to have Mom back!

IMG_1077Bonnie spends a lot of time working at Jordan and Samantha’s school.  They are always so excited to see her there, as are their friends.  We are fortunate to be able to allow Bonnie to IMG_1140volunteer her time and talents for the kid’s school.  What a bonding experience they get to enjoy, as her presence is so consistent in their lives.  I have to admit that I’m a little jealous. I was able to read once for Jordan’s class and it was a great experience.  That’s something I need to do more often.  Plus, IMG_1080Bonnie also participates in the mentor program at the school.  She is forming a relationship with  an 8 yr old girl.  Helping her cope with school and life has given Bonnie new purpose and realize what she wants to do, as she is looking for more opportunities to help the children in our community.

IMG_1098I am a lucky man, to have the wife, kids and life that I have.  Life can be hard, especially when dealing with mental illness, but it’s always better when you are surrounded by love.  Our house is FULL OF LOVE.  In fact, I have the ultimate proof of Bonnie’s undying love for me, with this picture on the right; when she helped me shave my mustache, dye it black and still kissed me.  If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

OK, this was extremely therapeutic for me.  I loved looking at all our pictures, deciding which experiences to share.  The best part…. all but one of these happened this past year.  This is a bit surprising because Bonnie and I look at the last 18 months of our life and say it was the hardest we’ve ever had in our marriage.  It’s a true statement.  It was incredibly tough and challenging, given the drastic changes we’ve gone through.  However, in the mist of those hard decisions and times, we’ve had a whole lot of fun, as evident by just these few pictures.  There were so many more too.  I could have done this all night.

I’ll leave you with one more picture and story.  When Bonnie and I were first dating, we went to a restaurant with her friends.  Outside was this green light pole.  I asked Bonnie to get on my back, while I climbed up on it.  She initially refused because at 6’4″ and 170 lbs., I wasn’t known for my strength.  After some talking, she did agree and climbed on my back.  I got up on the base of that light pole and then extended out, holding us both by one arm.  When you look at the picture below, you’ll see her laughing… that’s a nervous laugh, as our trust was quite new.  Yet, 14 years later, I’m asking her the same thing.  Take my hand, let me help you off your shaky legs and trust that I won’t drop you.  She’s done this for me, when my legs were weak.  It’s simply my turn to be strong.  Thank you for trusting me, Baby.  I Love You.

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