We are really grateful the Midnight Without a Moon author, Linda Jackson, has decided to share a touching personal story of her own struggle with anxiety and how meeting her husband changed all that.
Don’t cringe. This isn’t one of those damsel in distress stories. Well, now that I think about it, it actually is. Like Norah in Louise Gornall’s Under Rose-Tainted Skies, I was a damsel. And I was in distress.
I remember one summer, at age twelve, when I wouldn’t leave the house. I was so afraid of people seeing me. I literally felt like Weird Al Yankovic: That somebody was always watching me. By age thirteen, I asked my mom if she could get me some “nerve” pills. I don’t remember taking them long, but they did calm my nerves for a while.
Even after becoming a cheerleader, I remained shy, anxious, paranoid, jittery, and worried about any and every possible catastrophe imaginable. Okay, so where does the guy come in?
At age 21, I met a guy. And for the first time in my life (even though I’d managed to have boyfriends in the past) I felt completely at ease with this fellow my roommate referred to by his whole name: Jeff Jackson. (I’m getting goosebumps now just thinking about the day I met him.)
A group of my co-workers and I would meet after work to play volleyball. Well, volleyball happened to be one of those sports that caused me anxiety. (I was terrible at it.) So Jeff agreed to play basketball with me. (I was slightly less terrible at that one.) But besides basketball, we would talk and talk, literally for hours. No one, male or female, had ever made me feel so comfortable.
At age 22, nearly one year to the date we met, we married. We’ve been married for 28 years, and I don’t hesitate to tell folks that my husband changed my life by bringing out the best in me. He did this by accepting me just as I was—no strings attached. And if you ask him, he’ll tell you just the opposite—he’ll tell you that it was I who changed his awkward life.
So, can a guy save a girl? Yes. But the girl also saves the guy.