July 19, 2013

EmmaI first met Craig 5 years ago, but lost contact and saw him again in January 2012.

Craig didn't know that I had experience of mental health problems, as at the time he was a stranger to me. We started texting each other and soon started meeting up but only after I had had a drink. We became close and I thought it was time to open up to him about why I drank every time I saw him. I started to explain my problems over texts and why I drank. I felt so stupid, embarrassed and ashamed.

I was very relieved that instead of running away, he asked me more questions, so he could understand. After opening up to him, we arranged to meet up without any alcohol. We agreed to meet in his car outside my house, so I could leave whenever I needed to. This went on for a while and we would write letters to each other, expressing our feelings and worries.

I started to feel more comfortable about Craig and he would often come to my house. I did panic often but I tried to put it to one side or I would ask him to leave. We didn't often go out as it was sometimes a struggle for me but he understood and was happy to stay in and spend time together.

After 6 months things become serious and Craig moved in. It was a huge step for me but being so open and close to him helped me through it. He also had experience of mental health problems. He was very open and honest about how he felt and I would listen as I had been through it myself. I would try and help him through whatever he needed help with. Hehelped me go to places and would understand if I wanted to leave or didn't feel ready for it. We now base our relationship around my problems and it works well.

We are now engaged, buying a house together and expecting our first baby.

As I have extremely bad anxiety about travelling, having to go to the hospital for scans of the baby was extremely stressful for me. So we planned that me and Craig would travel to the hospital a few times before the scan so I could get used to travelling that far and get to know my surroundings so it didn't put so much stress on the baby. It did become easier to get to the hospital but I would still panic and he would notice if I started to panic and would try and help me get through it.

I couldn't do any of this if i didn't have the support and understanding from Craig. I think having someone to talk to and who will be there for you is the best medication. He is my rock and always will be.

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