WYL: Tell us a bit about yourselves!
BB: Hi, my name is Ben Blanchard and I'm from Saint John, NB. I'm 17 years old and I'm currently attending Saint John High School. After I graduate, I hope to attend UNBSJ in the Bachelor Of Nursing program in the fall of 2017. My family has a past in medicine and I always have has a calling for helping people, so my hopes are to eventually be working in a hospital with patients. I will be graduating from school in June, and I cannot wait to start my future.
JV: Hi, my name is Josh Vaughan and I'm from Saint John, NB. I am 20 years old, I graduated from Simonds High School. After high school I went on to study at St. Thomas University and realized that it wasn't for me and I am now currently attending NBCC in Saint John and studying Investment Management. I always knew how to manage my money and knew how to save at a very early age, so I knew that the banking industry would be for me. This is my last year of the program and will be graduating in June and hoping to start my career in banking.
WYL: How did you two love birds meet?
BB&JV: We met online through mutual friends! Ever since the first time we hung out, we had a connection.
WYL: What is your fav thing(s) about your partner?
BB: My favourite thing about Josh would be his unconditional love and understanding for me. I could do anything and he'd still love me the same, we may fight sometimes or disagree, but in the end, I love him and that I hope will never change. I also love how confident he is. When I don't have the confidence to do something or when I feel less about myself, he is right there with a booster that makes me feel like a million bucks. He knows how to make me laugh the hardest and make me feel amazing. Our relationship has not been the easiest one, but I wouldn't change it in any way.
JV: My favourite thing about Ben would be his sense of humour, and how he can make me smile every day without even trying. I love how he tries to help me with my school (even when he has no clue what I'm doing). He still gives an effort towards whatever it is. I love how ambitious he is towards everything, because I know he can do anything he puts his mind to. I also love when he cooks and cleans for me, my favourite thing is his fajitas.
WYL: What is the hardest thing about being in a relationship with someone who lives with mental illness?
BB: I never have had to experience this, but Josh has certainly with me. But I would say that it is exhausting sometimes, the constant pressure to be okay and stress of it all. It takes a special kind of person to love someone with a mental illness and I have found mine.
JV: The hardest thing about being in a relationship with someone with a mental illness is the patience you need to have and the understanding of what is going on in their head. You need to realize when your partner is talking and when the mental illness is talking. It takes time to realize the difference between the two especially when you yourself does not have a mental illness.
WYL: How do you support each other when one of you is going through a rough time?
BB: I try to be very understanding towards what he's going through (even though sometimes it can be difficult) I try to make him feel like everything is going to be okay and that it will all turn out the way it's supposed to. Being there for someone when it feels like their world is ending means everything. Just a simple "I love you and we'll be okay" is enough to get you through.
JV: Sometimes you just need to tell them you are here for them and let them know that everything will work out in the end. I love you goes a long way and just shows them that someone is there for them and cares for them.
WYL: How did you tell your significant other that you live with mental illness?
BB: I never really had to tell him, he knew I always had a hard time with my thoughts and anxiety. But when I did eventually tell him about my past and what I had been through, he was totally accepting of me and he loved me when I ultimately couldn't love myself. When I met him, I thought I was okay to start again and move on. But I wasn't, I was damaged. He stayed and still is staying through all of the ups and downs of our relationship, and for that. I will always love him.
WYL: What is your advice for someone who is supporting their partner through a mental health struggle?
BB: I would say to just be there for them when they need it the most and let them feel like they have a shoulder to cry on, and a hug if and when they need it. A lot of the time your partner has no clue what you're going through or how to help. Letting them know and offering tips on what to do helps a lot. Having the feeling of security means the world when you feel like everything is out to get you. Another thing I would say is to just stick it out, ride the wave of emotions and let the relationship go where it's supposed to go. If you try to control it or predict what's going to happen, it will blow up in your face. I know that from experience.
JV: You need to understand the mental illness to fully understand your partner. If you don't know anything about the mental illness than you can't really support them if you don't know a part of them. You need to have patience and be understanding because it is not easy. But if you can look past the mental illness and see the person you fell in love with you will look past it.
WYL: How do you spend your Self-Care Sunday?
BB: I haven't really ever attempted to do a "Self-Care Sunday" but to relax I enjoy reading and spending time alone to recharge. I get exhausted very easily with things, so when I need alone time, I need alone time.
JV: I tend to just relax in my bed and either watch Netflix or play on my Xbox. Sundays are normally my homework day so I tend to study and do homework a lot on Sundays too.
WYL: Are you an extrovert or introvert?
WYL: What is the best thing that has happened to you in 2017?
BB: 2017 did just start but I guess it would have to be that I found out that passed all of my courses and finally being am happy with myself and my life.
JV: The best thing that has happen to me in 2017 is getting to cross off something off my bucket list! I travelled to Boston to go to a Boston Bruins game and got to experience the feeling of being at a professional sports game.
WYL: Cats or dogs?
WYL: Coffee or tea?
BB: It honestly depends on my mood, but usually Starbucks
JV: Hot Chocolate
WYL: Fav movie?
BB: Honestly, Julia and Julia. It's one of my ultimate favourite movies because of how cute it is and I love Meryl Streep.
JV: I don't know if I have a favourite movie but my favourite genre of movies is horror but the movie that comes to my mind is Freddy vs Jason.