I’ll Be There For You When You Need Me

This weekend, I had a bit of a breakdown. Okay, a major breakdown. It was snotty and messy and disgusting. Things had been piling up, and I was really stressed out. To add to it all, we had to fly to Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital city, for work this weekend, and I hate flying. My friends from Winnipeg were there, and it reminded me how much I miss home. To add to it all, one of the guys I work with was being a dick to me. He had spent the previous weekend with James at another work weekend far away, and thought this was a good thing to tell me things I don’t want to know.

When James and I started dating the summer before last, he was a smoker. I hate smokers, but oddly enough I like the smell of it. I ended up telling James how much it bothers me that he smokes, and he decided to quit. I might have pushed him towards it, but he did it because he wanted to, and I could appreciate that. Well, this weekend one guy I work with decided to tell me that James is still smoking. Only sometimes, but he made it sound like an all-the-time thing. I felt like James had been lying to me, and was angry at this guy for embarrassing me in front of our friends because I clearly looked surprised when he told me.

I ended up talking to James about it. That conversation was interesting. It started with me telling him that I know he still smokes, and then proceeded to burst into tears, thinking about my uncle (who I was very close with) who died a few months ago of lung cancer after smoking all his life. I know it wasn’t realistic, but I couldn’t help but think that smoking is going to kill James just like it killed my uncle.  I ended up spilling my guts about absolutely everything that was bothering me. James had read my last post about my anxiety… He didn’t know it was that bad. I felt absolutely broken. I was sick of feeling terrible, sick of being afraid. I confessed to him that I’m worried about this summer, even though I’ve done that same summer twice before with few problems. I told him how much I miss home, and cried even harder.

James responded by telling me things he had never told me before. He told me he smokes when he’s away from me because that’s when he craves it the most. He told me he has no idea what he’s doing with his life, is terrified of what’s going to happen, and doesn’t feel like his parents support him in what he wants to do. He told me some days he wishes his car would get hit on his way into work because he is so worried that he will get in trouble for not having his work done on time. He told me he thinks he drinks too much, which I already thought but didn’t want to be a nag about it. I think his drinking bothers me more than I let on, but I also don’t know the full extent of it. I feel like he spends too much time intoxicated, and it isn’t healthy. In fact, I worry a lot about him, and I know that I really don’t need to.

I feel like this conversation brought us a lot closer together. I thought he was such a rock. He always seemed to me to be strong, together, never letting stress get the better of him. He has always been someone I could rely on, and a shoulder to cry on when I need it. He is always there for me when I need him. It was nice to be able to be there for him, and know that he trusts me enough to tell me about what’s really going on.

We are going to work together to get through this summer. He is going to comfort me when I’m feeling anxious. In return I’m going to prevent him from going out a lot at night and wasting money on drinking. And I’m going to drag him to the gym with me and we will work out together. We’re going to make the best of it, and be by each others’ side through the good and the bad.

I just hope he knows how much it means to me that I can be there for him when he needs it, not just the other way around.


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

3 responses to “I’ll Be There For You When You Need Me”

  1. browntroutfisherman says :

    Janine – your posts are like riding a roller coaster on steroids…

    I’m never sure whether i’ll be up or down when I open your posts.

    I am fortunate, or unfortunate, depending on your point of view to have experienced a variety of depressive episodes throughout my life, not mine I have to say but my partners and I recognise many of the manifestations you describe in your ‘down’ posts.

    I know that a lot of ‘outsiders’ would say for goodness sake, just pull yourself together but it’s never that easy of course.

    My partner has been well now for several years after finally plucking up the immense courage to see a doctor who prescribed medication that has transformed her life and mine.

    I hope you find the path soon, wherever that might take you….

  2. thefilmosopher says :

    How is it you two don’t know all of this about each other already? Typically when I’m dating someone we’re completely open about everything. I think being totally honest with one another about what you are thinking and experiencing is the only way relationships to work, like the way you are with best friends. Also, if both of you think he’s drinking too much, he’s probably drinking too much. Hope you guys work things out soon!

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