When Your World Seems Too Dark, I Promise To Be There With A Flashlight

Jenny Woods
Jenny Woods

There’s a lot I can’t promise to you.

I can’t promise that I won’t overreact to things that turn out to not be a huge deal. My anxiety takes over and convinces me things won’t be okay. Even when you hold me and tell me they will be. I can’t promise I’ll always settle. I will occasionally be a shaking mess.

But my love for you will never be in question. That’s the one thing my anxiety can’t touch.

I can’t promise the house will always be spotless. In fact, I could probably promise you it won’t be spotless. I’m disorganized and even when I try to put systems into place, things have a way of getting sloppy again. I’m not the cookie cutter wife you can flip to in a J. Crew catalog. And I can’t promise to be.

I can’t promise I’ll start liking football. Yes, I will make jokes about how this time would be better off spent reading, but I’ll still sit down next to you while you watch. I’ll buy you that ridiculous jersey that you’ve been eyeing on Amazon. I will support your interests. But that doesn’t mean I’ll automatically share them.

And maybe most honestly, I can’t promise you things will be easy.

We are going to have moments when everything is piling up and it feels like too much. We’re going to have to work and work, and when we’re so exhausted from all that work, we’re going to have to work more. I never expected life to be a cake walk. I’ll put in the time and effort, with you. I’ll ready myself for the rain to pour if you’re next to me with an umbrella.

So, sure, there’s a lot I can’t promise you. This probably sounds like a laundry list of things I can’t give to you – the most unromantic set of vows ever.

But I can promise you this: I will never abandon you when things get dark.

When things get uncertain and frightening, I will be there holding your hand. I’ll probably be scared too. And I can’t promise calm guidance or an instant fix. But I’ll be there. I will be there.

For all the times you’ve been the strong one for me, I will do the same. You can lean on me when things are tough and you’re questioning your own strength. Even if we both fall to the ground, I’ll be there helping you brush the dirt from your knees.

Life isn’t something we can ever promise. It’s always changing and evolving, even you and I are going to be different people 10, 20 years down the road.

But the promise I can make and, more importantly, the one I can keep is that I’ll keep fighting for you. When the darkness comes, I’ll find a flashlight.

I’ll be the light when you’re afraid it’ll never come. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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