Loving a firefighter when you have an anxious mind is a blessing and a curse.

To this coin, the curse side is the more obvious one. An anxious mind overthinks things. I feel like many people give three seconds worth of action, at most, five seconds worth of thought. While, the same three seconds worth of action is analyzed over and over again by my brain for about ten minutes. Very little gets by me, and everything is felt, sometimes too much. 

The obviously dangerous job has caused more than one breakdown since the run letter came. I worried for hours, days, and weeks about the dangers that inherently come with the job. There are news stories of firefighters with smoke inhalation, burns, broken bones, and other injuries ranging from scrapes to life-threatening. It’s hard to face this reality every day, especially when the man next to whom I sleep every single night is of the same profession as all of those injured. As previously discussed in Paradigm Shift, I went from loving the sight of a firetruck whizzing down the street, to welling up as though the men on-board were heading to a war-zone.

Then there are the still obvious, but more personal curses that being with a firefighter lays at my feet.

Firefighters are sexy.

Plain and simple. And for me it’s great, for my girlfriends to gawk over nameless, strong faces is great. However, when people start talking about The Man being a sexy firefighter, who should be in the calendar, it bothers me. Call me old-fashioned, call me possessive, call me crazy, but I feel like he and all of that sexiness should be reserved for me!

But I want to talk more about the blessings of dating a firefighter when you have anxiety. One of the biggest markers of anxiety, that seems to separate it from a lot of other issues is that it just never goes away. You can’t stop it, but you can manage it. You can hush the noise, but you can’t silence it.

The Man helps me on a daily basis simply by doing the thing he has done every single day of his own accord: hold me. There, in his arms, is one of the safest places I know these days. There are days that I will snuggle up in his arms and tell him everything I’m feeling, and he listens. And then there are days that I lie there, silent. My needs in coping change day-to-day, minute-to-minute, but his arms are the honest place that keeps me safe.

The schedule helps as well. I mean, there are the times when dealing with him being gone at night is really difficult, but sometimes that period of time alone in my house is a great time to unload my mind into drawings or journal entries. For those times that he is working at night and I am struggling, he still is able to find the time to call me to at least say goodnight.

On the days that he is home, I feel spoiled. While I write or work, he does his own thing, but if I need someone to talk to, or just to hug, he’s there. He will suggest running, going to the shops, grabbing lunch, or any other thing to get my mind off of what is bogging me down.

Additionally, when I become anxious about the future, and my rather all-over-the-place search for a new job, The Man comforts me in every which way. From telling me that he believes in my abilities and talents, and helping me explore maybe unconventional, new paths, to letting me know that I won’t have to worry about getting stuck with a crappy insurance plan at a new place for long. During my struggles, he lets me know that he truly has my back.

Firefighting is a dangerous career and it has kept me up many nights. But it has quelled a lot of the stress that The Man used to carry before he was in the field. He never seemed happy in his 9-5 desk job, and this new career path has brought about a sense of peace within him. Today, that peace along with The Man’s strength and his natural softness  calms me in ways that I don’t think he could have done prior to beginning this new career path.

I never thought I’d say this, but it seems that being with The Man while he is a firefighter is helping my anxious mind more than I ever imagined it could.