I’m Afraid That I’ll Never Learn How To Heal Properly

I’m trying to be kind to myself, but this grieving process is so frustrating sometimes.  I want to heal faster.  I want to be someone different from who I am, someone who can handle emotion rationally, someone who sees what’s not working and lets it go.  I am not that person and I never have been.  I went through so much emotional trauma and chaos at a young age that I’ve not had any chance to learn to process pain constructively.   

I attempt to distance myself and let it all go, but I end up in a free fall of terror and dread.  I don’t see a future.  I don’t see a point to anything.  I spiral quickly and silently.  Usually no one around me truly sees the depth of my pain, the nearness to oblivion, how many times I have to drag myself back from the edge with every tiny iota of strength I have left.  Perhaps they would be shocked if they knew how close I’ve come to nothingness and how often.  

I don’t want to be told I’m strong anymore.  It’s not a compliment.  It’s yet another way for people to deflect, to minimize the desperation I feel.  My brand of strength is nothing more than a coping mechanism, a way to survive.  I rise above the sadness by smothering it with shame, but it’s always there, growing with every disappointment and heartbreak.  The truth is that I feel like a terrified, lonely, unloved child who has nothing and no one in the world.  I see no inherent value or worth in myself, only another body taking up space in a society where no one cares that much about anything other than themselves.

If that sounds cynical, it’s because I feel cynical.  About everything. 

I’m treading water, doing my best just to stay afloat here.  I’m becoming tired.  There is so much weariness in this fight of mine, this battle I’ve been waging for what feels like forever now.  

Lest I be misunderstood – as seems to happen frequently when I’m honest and open – I’m not looking for pity, or sympathy, or even for anyone to reach out and express to me that I am, in fact, cared for and appreciated.  My loneliness comes from within myself.  I understand that no one else can heal what’s happened to me and within me over the years, what’s built up and accumulated, layers of scar tissue so thick that I despair of getting underneath.  

All I’m trying to express is that while I am doing my best to finally allow my emotions the space they need to flower, I’m also realizing that I’m lost when it comes to taking care of my own soul the way I’ve always tended to those of others.  I’m incredibly reliable when someone else goes through an emotional crisis – I’ve had to be a support for other people my entire life.  It’s a role that I slip into easily, but if I must do the same for myself, I have no idea how to begin. If I am not needed by an external element, when I am faced with only my own needs, my purpose feels muddled or even nonexistent.  

How do I express the shame of not knowing how to hold space for myself in the world?  I don’t.  I stagger on and hope that one of my sloppy attempts to achieve self-love actually holds true for once. 

Honestly, I’m terrified that after all these years, with so many layers of grief and sadness kept locked in to my core, I am incapable of unlearning these entrenched habits and defense mechanisms.  This fear keeps me apart from others, prevents me from letting myself admit my insecurities.  I don’t believe that I can handle further rejections.  Knowing that I only continue to make the same mistakes, it seems my only recourse at the moment is to block off my heart entirely.  

Unless I can develop another manner of being, I’m unwilling to continue to jeopardize my soul, my health, and my happiness. 

(Originally published on Medium.com)

How Long Am I Going To Still Miss You?

If I knew when it would end, perhaps I could bear the pain I feel every waking moment of the day.

I had no idea that missing you would get worse as time goes on, not easier.  I feel my overarching sadness more keenly with each day that passes, enduring the sting of being twenty-four hours further removed from the happiness and love we shared.  It was you and me against the world, and that gave me a reason to care.  Now I don’t have that.  All I have is the gaping hole in my heart that you left behind.  

I stay in bed as long as I can in the morning, willing my eyes shut, numbing the memories for a few minutes longer.  I know that as soon as I begin to go about my day, my emotions will simmer just below the surface, threatening to erupt at any moment.  It’s exhausting, this gamut that I run through over and over again.  I’m so tired of missing you, but I can’t shut my brain off.  I cannot wish you away, so instead I live like a raw nerve, exposed and vulnerable at all times.

Everything that I do reminds me of you in some way or another.  I cannot even touch myself anymore without crumbling at the knowledge that I’ll never feel the tender electricity of your embrace again.  

This place stifles me with constant reminders of everything we shared and everything we planned to do but never accomplished.  Our town is too oppressively small to contain the amount of sorrow it brings me to stroll its streets without you by my side.   I kept our memories close back when I believed that I would get a lifetime of loving you, but now I’d do anything to completely erase them.  Erase the pain that you left behind when you turned your back and moved on, leaving me here with a broken heart and a shattered future.

Yes, I dared to let myself envision a future with you as my lifelong adventure partner, sharing my laughter, my curiosity, and my heart.  What a fool I am.

Now I spend each day just trying to make it to the next, one after the other, until I finally reach the point where everything hurts a little less.  I would give anything to stop missing you.  What can I do?  I loved you, and I did not want you to go, and I lost you despite the adoration I felt for you each and every day that we spent together.  If I’m completely honest, I suppose I’m still in denial that you’re no longer mine to love, to hold, and to grow alongside.  

I would have done anything for you, but it doesn’t matter.  

Please someone tell me when I’ll stop feeling this way so that I can stand it.  Because right now, I don’t know how much longer I can.

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

Sometimes The Only Thing You Can Do Is Let Them Go

There is nothing more painful than looking at the person you love beyond what you thought possible and knowing that you cannot make them stay.

You can hope that they do.  But you can’t force a damn thing, and you can’t make them continue to want you, or to love you.  The way of the world is a fickle one, and it rips happy hearts apart like afterthoughts on a cruel whim.  You can stand there, breath caught in your throat, raggedly exhaling your aching affection, and they could very well turn and leave you in your empty shock.  It is terrifying, and yet we come back to the brink over and over again. 

It’s a process that requires immense vulnerability, throwing yourself into love and hoping for the best, losing despite every desperate effort, only to go there with renewed optimism all over again.  The heart that continues fighting to find the correct love is a resolute, stubborn heart indeed.  

But maybe it’s time to try something different now.  Perhaps instead of fighting, you let it go.  You open up space in your heart for yourself and begin to give all that love to the person who needs it the most.  There is not much that you can control in this life, but you can make the conscious decision to put your energy and emotions into whatever you like.  Your soul and your worth are far too magnificent to keep cooped up in an oppressive prison of heartbreak and regrets.  Breathe away the keen sorrow of your attachment.  Do your best to think of your tender loss not as a finality, but a way to open yourself up to new possibility.

You cannot make them stay, but you can decide to let them go.  The stark reality is that you have absolutely no control over their feelings – if they choose to leave, there is nothing that you can do.  It is out of your grasp … and in a way, that’s incredibly freeing.  You have no responsibility to be anyone other than exactly who you are.  The difficulty of navigating this freedom is in accepting the situation as it is and truly letting go of ego and perceptions.  

Be ever so gentle with your sweet spirit.  It is aching, and you are allowed to sink into the tenderness.  Let the feelings come and go and course through you, even though at times it feels like you cannot bear another moment.  Breathe and know that it is only temporary.  Everything is fleeting, nothing ever remains constant, and you have such a short time to live your unique existence.  

Try your best not to use that time clinging on to people or situations that, despite your deepest genuine efforts, must develop in a different direction than you hoped.  Strive to find the peace that comes with releasing expectations.  When you need to process your pain, do not rush to numb it.  Let it come, let it go.  You are whole entirely on your own, with or without them.  Don’t forget that, and if you do not feel that you are, then turn your energies towards making yourself the joyous, loving, free and completely soul that you absolutely can be.  

Releasing them is not losing.  It’s not failing.  It’s simply a shift of life, which is constantly moving and changing.  Trust that it will all be okay even if it does not always feel that way.  Eventually you will find the home your heart seeks – in yourself.  

(Originally published on Thought Catalog)