Death haunts all our lives. It is the pervasive truth that stalks us through life: One day, we will die. There was a period where I wished that time to come sooner rather than later. As soon as the age of 14. In a period lasting close to five years, I decided to be cremated, my funeral music and as one point, turning my school tie into a noose.
I survived that dark period and spent the following decade, battling with both a harshness of life and the whispering traitors within my mind. I studied through a BA in Creative Writing in Liverpool and a Master of Arts in International Journalism back in Preston. And I followed that with three years working in Digital Marketing, sat in front of a computer, typing away on articles I cared very little about.
Never just one battle at a time
Before and in parallel to that battle was the fight out of the closet. I made it with friends who are my chosen family and a family who loves me. These battles forged my identity, gave me strength and a purpose. But there was an essential aspect of life that was missing: Love. My heart did not know the meaning of true love. I’d loved before, but that particular relationship was unhealthy and close to emotionally abusive. When it finally ended after four years, I was broken, disillusioned with love, romance and sex.
I fooled myself into believing that sex was devoid of emotion. It was entirely physical, and that humanity complicated the affair with love and relationships. It was merely a pleasurable act that should be easily shared without restrictions or emotions. I used men for my pleasure and amusement without giving any thought to their feelings. For over five years, I fucked my way through Preston.
And then I met him. It wasn’t easy. I fucked up on so many occasions, and if I were one of his other friends, I’d have told him to toss me to the wayside a long time ago. And yet he remained with me and never gave up on me. He said the reason was that he could see that beneath the bullshit and the idiotic mistakes, that there was a right person inside me that has been hidden behind depression, anxiety, selfishness and idiocy. He was determined to make me better by bringing out that better person.
Through him and his love, he has made me a healthier, stronger human being. I rose in love with him, and that deep connection could only result in one thing.
On Sunday, 22nd July 2018, I drove to his house two and a half years after I’d first arrived there. I knocked on his door, and he answered to a bucket of deep red roses, and his typical response was to ask: ‘What have you done?’ – Not an unreasonable question.
I walked into the house and gave me a letter, professing how I felt as I slipped upstairs to his bedroom, leaving his downstairs reading the letter. Once he had finished, he called up to me, but I refused to respond. He asked what I was doing, and I still didn’t reply. A moment later, He ran upstairs.
He found me down on one knee, offering him a diamond ring in a box about to ask him the question when I froze. I reached for the words “Will you…” and stopped.
He filled the gap by claiming it was a surprise and that it had come out of the blue – it shouldn’t have… I’d been hinting at it for nearly two months. I asked him what his decision was after a little backwards and forwards and he looked me dead in the eye and said that I hadn’t asked the question.
Well, damn! My nerves had won that round.
‘Will you marry me?’ I asked.
‘Yes,’ he said.
A decade ago, I considered suicide on two separate occasions, and now I am on my way to marrying the love of my life. There are times where this may not sound true, but I can say that it does get better.
Are you coming out of the closet and fearing rejection and pain? It will get better. Are you suffering from mental health issues, anxiety and depression or have or are considering suicide, it will get better. Never give up on life because while it may seem hard, harsh and fucking impossible right now, it will get better.