Man's DIY 'Pills' for His Girlfriend With Anxiety Is the Ultimate Gift of Support

Denisha Bracey

Denisha Bracey and her boyfriend
Denisha Bracey

If you've ever suffered from anxiety, then you know it can wash over you at a moment's notice. For some of us, it's an intense wave of fear and panic; for others, it's a sudden sense of foreboding and unease. Denisha Bracey knows just what that's like. The 20-year-old college student from Halifax, Nova Scotia, has dealt with anxiety since her mid-teens, but a recent bout of panic attacks hit her particularly hard. So hard, in fact, that her boyfriend of two years, Riley Rankin, started thinking of more ways he could help.

  • Bracey tells CafeMom that Rankin has always been understanding about her anxiety, which can sometimes affect her everyday life.

    "I’ve learned to deal with it and become more confident with who I am," says Bracey. Still, "the fear of something triggering a panic attack is always there," she notes.

    Knowing what his girlfriend has been going through, Rankin tried to think of something heartfelt to give her for their anniversary over the summer. And let's just say, he knocked it out of the park.

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  • On July 26, Bracey shared the touching gift Rankin had made for her on Facebook. "Love Pills," he called them. And they were just what she needed.

    "Every pill capsule is filled with a little note that says something loving or sweet, something that will make me happy, or a good quality about me," Bracey explained. "He bought empty capsules and filled every single one and put them in an empty pill container."

    The sweet gesture brought the 20-year-old to tears, and showed her just how much her boyfriend truly cared. (Not that she really needed reminding.)

  • It's also struck a major chord with people online since Bracey first shared the sweet story over the summer. 

    Denisha Bracey and her boyfriend
    Denisha Bracey

    It's been shared more than 131K times and received over 17K comments, as thousands flocked to declare the couple #RelationshipGoals.

    At first, Bracey thought that sharing the "Love Pills" would merely give others a sweet idea they may not see on Pinterest.

    "I hope this inspires some people; make something nice for someone you appreciate," she wrote in her Facebook caption. "Gifts don’t have to cost $100 to be meaningful, a couple bucks and some creativity (or Pinterest surfing) and you’ve got the best gift ever!"

    But after watching the comments keep rolling in, it's clear Rankin's Love Pills have done much more than offer others a creative gift idea.

  • Some found it to be gentle reminder of just how rare -- and incredible -- unconditional love can be in this world.

    Denisha Bracey and Riley Rankin
    Denisha Bracey

    "Kind and fabulous idea," wrote one person. "You are a very lucky person don't let him escape."

    "I told you he is the one for you," wrote another person. "Just can't beat his love for you."

    "Men should [all] be this kind of caring compassionate loving," added one woman.

    Dozens of others urged Bracey to "marry him!" or, at the very least, hang on to him -- because that kind of emotional sensitivity and support is hard to come by.

  • Others pointed out just how important a reminder this is to support your partner through any mental health struggles.

    Denisha Bracey and her boyfriend at the Coliseum
    Denisha Bracey

    For those who may not know what that looks like, Bracey tells CafeMom that it all boils down to open and honest communication.

    "I think communication is the biggest part of supporting someone who struggles with mental health," she says. "Let them know you’re there, you care and you’re willing to support them by trying to understanding their struggle. Empathy is a big one too. It’s not always easy but being honest and learning from the mistakes made in the journey of support of mental health is vital."

  • Considering 40 million adults live with anxiety each year, the underlying message of Bracey's post definitely wasn't missed.

    It's okay to not be okay. And needing a loved one to support you through it all is part of the human condition.

    To others who may have their own mental health struggles, Bracey has this to say: "Don’t give up just because it gets hard. It’s obviously a bigger commitment and mistakes will be made. If someone is trying to help you and it’s not working out for you, tell them it isn’t. That’s the only way you can figure out what the right thing to do is and what the wrong things are." 

    Above all, she says, "If you don’t love yourself and aren’t taking care of your own mental health, you’re not capable of taking care of someone else’s."