By Jessica Niziolek
Before I met Chris, we were two puzzle pieces looking for one another to complete each other.
Our stories started out the same way, and that is something not a lot of people can say. If he were someone ordinary, I doubt he would have noticed me. But because we shared the same disability, that was the beginning of our connection.
He fell hard and fast for me, a girl who always thought her heart was her Achilles heel.
Just like how he came into my life in the most unexpected way almost three years ago, he also became the one who restored my heart to its old self in the most unexpected way.
Having a disability has its challenges, but when it comes to dating with a disability, that’s an entirely a different curveball. But I soon found out that when you are dating someone who has the same disability as you, you share a commonality and there is an unbiased, non-judgmental acceptance that you share.
That is without a doubt, one of the many things I love most about us.
He sees me past the surface and I do the same in return. Is that scary as hell? Absolutely.
But what is love if you’re not being stripped of your surface skin and baring the bones of what you considered to be an imperfect soul and sharing it with someone without hesitation?
The best part is that I didn’t even know I was doing that until it was happening. I know now that what I’ve experienced is falling in love. It’s giving of yourself without hesitation or consciously thinking about it. You just do it.
But, then again, the heart doesn’t have a conscience, does it? That’s why all those clever posters and quotes tell us to follow our hearts but to take our brains with us, right?
With Chris though, there was no warning and there was no time to prepare my mind or my heart for what was going to happen with him. And here we are, about to celebrate 3 years of what I can only sum up as an unexpected, high-charged, and extremely emotional long-distance relationship.
Chris and I are not amateurs when it comes to making adjustments and adapting to whatever this relationship dishes out. Believe it or not, none of the adapting and adjusting we have had to do has nothing to do with the miles between us.
In fact, the biggest challenges we’re facing have more to do with everyday life and the unexpected surprises that pop up. For instance, the moment my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Chris literally had to talk me down from the atheist ledge.
If I am being totally honest, he still needs to remind me on occasion just how big God is and just how strong I am. His support and love for me in one of the most difficult moments in my life is something that does not only leave me in awe but also leaves my heart totally indebted to him.
He never holds any criticism or judgment toward anything I say or do. He truly is the epitome of unconditional love.
I consider Chris to be one of those rare souls who sees the world with such a clear and innate, almost childlike innocence. Even I envy his ability to “just know” with such certainty.
He is a dreamer who is determined to make his life the best it can be despite how society views people with disabilities. He is still by far the most ambitious, funny, and down to earth person I know and I am proud to say love with my whole heart.
To say that I am beyond happy that we found one another would be the understatement of the century. Chris is the literal answer to a prayer I have had since I was a little girl.
I cannot wait to look all those who doubt us in the face and say, “We made it.”
Jessica Niziolek is a writer, poet, and founder of the Abler Blog. She’s a contributor to Thought Catalog, The Mighty, Medium, Unwritten, and more.
This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.