When I Can’t Sleep For Missing You

It’s happened again.

I’ve tried everything.  Herbal supplements, meditation, nature sounds, breath work.  My mind won’t let me rest, though every last portion of me pleads with sullen groans for relief.  I thought that today, in spite of the tears, in spite of the sudden waves of sorrow, I was handling it all a bit better.  Clarity seemed within reach.  Now, I toss and turn, suddenly overheated in a room where I usually shiver without multiple blankets.  My eyelids hang heavy and yet my overactive brain summons up one memory of you after another.  One sweet gesture after another.  How am I helpless against my own mental torture? 

Take me back to the nights where I fell solidly asleep in your arms, the nights before we started having difficulties, before your every slightest move woke me with concern for your comfort.  Take me back to that juvenile twin bed that forced us to cling to each other with the bravado of new, impetuous love.  I felt happier there with you than I ever have since.  Now I struggle to find any method of peaceful rest in a bed so large, so deliciously plush, so empty of your presence.

I know that our lovely romance is severed for good, and yet I have no will to let go.

If only I could push the thoughts down long enough to fall into the oblivion of night and release myself temporarily, until the morning nags and prods with unwanted realities. 

It seems obscene that the human body is capable of producing so much grief without shriveling up completely to grant some sort of ending release.

I loved you with my whole heart when you never gave me more than a portion of your own.  And yet, despite my past, despite all my previous experiences, I still somehow believed that I could will you into letting yourself go.  I was determined to adore you so completely that you had no choice but to fall in love with the abundance of my affection for you.  Think of what I could accomplish if I had the wherewithal to bring some of that dogged stubbornness to the other aspects of my existence, but no – I live to love those who cannot give me the same in return.

I live to break my own heart, over and over and over again.

What I would give to lay my head down once more in that concave nook of your collarbone, where it fit like an unexpected return to home.  I felt safe there in a way that I rarely ever do.  You saw me, and you accepted me, and you loved me.  In spite of every new obstacle, every curve thrown into our path, you did your damndest to keep me, long after we both knew you’d given up in the marrow of your bones.  

I don’t know if I’m ever going to stop loving you, not really.  You were my dream come true, notwithstanding your inevitable humanity.  You were the one who exposed my true self and left me shivering there, afraid, but trusting.  And then you were the one who walked away.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

My Heart Won’t Let You Go

It’s so difficult to stay away from you when you’re just around the corner.  I run, drive, or bike past your house nearly every day.  I know when you are home without even making the effort to find out, and I hate that.  I already miss you so desperately that the temptation to simply walk up and knock on your door is something that I fight constantly.

Maybe I could put you out of my head more easily if you were already gone.  Somewhere I don’t know, can’t picture, moving on with your life in a way that is foreign to me.  If I didn’t have to dread running into you accidentally at practically any moment, putting on a brave face and pretending that seeing you doesn’t break my heart.  I don’t know whether I want to hold you or punch you right now, and I shouldn’t do either, so I set my jaw stubbornly and stay away.

It’s ridiculously difficult to stay out of my head, to dismiss memories of our happy past when everywhere I go has some vestige of you attached.  Maybe I need to leave too, get out of this small town that I’ve only ever really known as part of the pair that once included you.  Maybe I need to reimagine it for myself, on my own, but that feels almost impossible at the moment.  This is the first heartbreak I’ve experienced without the support of a network of friends to lift me up.  Sometimes it’s as if I’m sinking into a chasm of loneliness that I’ve dug on my own, like all I’ve done in my life is fall into one misstep after another.  

The problem is that I can’t run away from myself, no matter how hard I try.  I’ve been in this headspace before and pushing it aside didn’t fix anything.  I’ve worked on healing myself from the inside out before, but I didn’t dig deep enough.  I’m beginning to understand that my pain is something that will never go away on its own, or find a cure in the love of another.  It has to be dealt with every single day in real time, with care and tenderness towards all the wounded parts of me.  It is the reason that I keep choosing partners who cannot give me the love that I crave.  To be fair, no one can because I have to fill that void for myself, somehow, some way.  

Some stupid part of me, deep inside, hopes you come back even though I know you won’t.  I am well aware that our relationship had issues brought on by the baggage that both of us have not addressed.  I don’t know that you will ever care enough to face and transform yours, and that’s not my problem any longer.  As much as I wish you would, it doesn’t matter.  You’re not mine anymore and I don’t know if I would even pick you again if I was a healthy, emotionally whole individual.  

All that I want from the universe right now is to laugh in your arms again, but I understand that’s the one thing that’ll keep ruining me, so I fight my own deeply ingrained, dysfunctional instincts and I stay away.  And yet, still, in spite of myself, I wish that you would come get me and make it all okay. 

(Originally published by Thought Catalog)

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)

 

Remember This When You’re Wishing You Never Met Them

Sometimes it feels like it would be easier if you never met them at all.

If you hadn’t met them, you wouldn’t know what it’s like to lose them.  What it’s like to know the way they feel, smell, and move, and then force yourself to try and forget it.  You wouldn’t be hurting so deeply just because you have to fill the empty space in your life that they left behind.

It’s valid to feel this way.  You’re in pain and you wish more than anything not to be.  It can be incredibly excruciating to lose someone not because you’ve stopped loving them, but because it’s just not working. You’re allowed to experience every single emotion that’s coursing through your body, no matter how quickly, no matter how much they might contradict each other.  It’s all real and it matters.  

Remember this.  Remember that no matter how painful everything feels in this moment, it will get better.  It always gets better.  Think back to your past experiences and remind yourself of how you thought that old hurt, too, would never end.  Focus on how wonderful it felt to heal, to find happiness again, to realize that you finally no longer cared.  That you could remember the person who once broke your heart and feel no regret over what transpired between you.  Remember how good it feels to get over it and wish them nothing but happiness for their future … even though that future isn’t with you.

It doesn’t make the pain any easier in the moment, but you have to keep going with the knowledge that it absolutely will get better someday.  

Take all the love and effort you poured into your relationship and pour it back into yourself.  Nurture your health and give yourself time to heal, to find your way back to who you are.  It will not be easy, but you owe this to yourself. 

The truth is, maybe it would technically be easier if you had never met them.  You could live in ignorant bliss of the joy and then eventual heartbreak they’d give you.  The lows wouldn’t exist if you’d never felt the highs … but you can’t go through your entire life that way.  What’s the point of living if you aren’t growing and changing?  

So breathe – just breathe, let your emotions run their course, and be kind to yourself.  You deserve the love that you’ve been giving everyone else.  Keep it for yourself for a change.  Your beautiful heart deserves nourishment.  

(Originally published by Thought Catalog)

 

 

 

 

Insomnia

It’s three a.m. and all I want to do is sleep.  I told myself, tonight will be different.  Tonight I will not lie awake until the wee hours of the morning distracting myself until I finally, eventually, exhaust my mind and spirit enough to drift into a weary slumber, tears paving painful trails down my cheeks.  Tonight I will be okay.

I was wrong, of course.  I can’t shake thoughts of you, no matter how desperately I will myself to do so.  It doesn’t matter how many times I remind myself that you’re sleeping peacefully wherever you are, undisturbed by any worries or sadness about losing me.  You’re fine, and I’m not, and I cannot force myself to feel differently.  Wanting to be okay does not make it so.

I hate myself for hurting, hate myself for caring.  Missing you fills the background of every moment, despite my best attempts to shut you out.  When I end my day and close my eyes, my defenses collapse and thoughts of you flood into my psyche.  It’s too much to bear, so I exhaust all the options.  I do everything I can think of to get to sleep, and nothing works.  Sometimes hours pass before I toss my blankets aside with utter frustration and search for some new method of numbing the pain.

Now it’s four a.m. and I’m contemplating simply staying up the entire night.  Why not, at this point? Once I do fall asleep I won’t want to wake again.  After all, a dead slumber is my only respite from missing you horribly, and sometimes even then images of you creep into my dreams.  The worst of all is waking up from a lovely reverie in which we are exquisitely happy, only to realize that it’s an illusion.  I lie there like a dead weight, wishing the world would let me wither away. 

This is why I’ve decided I’m done with love, for good this time.  It’s too much, this weight that I bear, every new heartbreak that I carry along with me crushing my spirit a bit more.  It isn’t worth it.  I’d rather live a thousand lifetimes with my walls securely guarding me than go through even one more exhausting disappointment.

I’m done.  Once I finally let go of you, the one who I thought was a true match for me, the one who I thought would stay … I won’t do this again.  I’ve accepted that finding true love is not in the cards for me, no matter how desperately I yearn for it.  Neither of my parents ever captured it and it seems that neither will I, and maybe I won’t be able to stand that.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll finally exit this earth that’s never felt like home to me in the first place.  The last little bit of hope I had is unequivocally smashed into oblivion.

The idea of sleeping, never to wake, never to feel another moment of despair, comforts me.

Let me rest. 

Every Time I Have A Chance At Happiness, Life Drags Me Down

I’m so tired of feeling angry.

It’s not that I want to be this way.  I’m in a constant state of development geared towards letting go of my helpless rage.  I am infinitely aware that it solves nothing … but is it too much to ask life to cut me some slack for once?  It’s as if I’m constantly being tested and quite honestly, I find it incredibly exhausting.

I don’t know what I’ve done so wrong.  I’m continuously attempting to be kind and loving and mindful.  Most of the time, I succeed fairly well, even in my own harshly particular opinion.  Over the past several years I’ve completed so much work on myself.  My life is full of therapy, yoga, journaling, and meditative time spent outdoors.  It seems like no matter what I do, how deeply I search my soul, it’s never quite enough.

So, yes, I’m angry.  I’m angry that I finally have a chance at a healthy, normal love and life just tries to fuck our relationship at every turn.  I get the concept that we need to be able to work through the tough times, but how do we get ahead if all of the difficulties are primarily out of our control?  It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs, beat on something until I’m so tired I collapse.  I know that life is not fair, but I do not understand why, after all these years of heartbreak and sadness, I am not finally allowed something good.

The weight in my chest has returned and this time I fear it’s to stay.

If I lose this one, the man who makes me laugh more than I ever thought possible, the best adventure partner I’ve ever had, the person I look at after all this time and still think is the most handsome guy I know – I don’t think I want to try anymore.

I mean it this time.  I’m sick of having my every fault thrown back in my face in glaring detail simply by virtue of trying to love again.  Romantic interactions only serve to remind me why I keep my distance.  It’s too difficult, and then, when I finally overcome my issues and feel I’m improving, the world responds by taking away what I’ve earned. 

I may not feel love when I’m alone, but at least I don’t cry.

The most difficult reality, the one hardest to accept, is that I can only control my side of the relationship.  I will understand if he wants to walk away, if the problems and hurdles that life keeps using to thwart our happiness are too much for him to handle.  I don’t blame him.  I blame … everything else.  I hate that around every corner lurks another unexpected barrier to our success.  

All my life, I’ve wanted love like this so badly, and now it might disappear despite all the progress I’ve made.  Everything I’ve done to improve my life and myself over these past several heartrending years feels for naught. 

I’m doing my best to keep myself happy and positive, but I could use a break here.  I don’t think I’m asking for much.  All I’ve ever wanted is to find inner peace, a committed equal partner, and the chance to do what I love.  I have no illusions that those are easy goals to achieve, but I keep putting in the work only to get thrown back on my ass over and over again.   It’s difficult to bother trying at this point.  

At least when I’m angry, I feel something.  More often lately, I’m simply weary.  Weariness is dangerous because it contains no energy, no forward motion … no hope.  I don’t want to lose the best love I’ve ever had for no damn good reason.  I’m tired of hurting. 

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

This Is Me Accepting That We’re Over

 

I clung on to my foolish hopes as long as I could. What can I say? I’m an eternal optimist, holding out for the best despite all evidence to the contrary. I did not want to accept the facts staring me right in my despondent face. I took every bit of contact to mean more than it did. Your guilt at my unhappiness and your feeble attempts to make amends looked like shadows of  possibility to my desperately clutching, aching soul.

 

I tried everything I could think of to maintain contact with you. If I had to go out of my way to create an excuse or a situation that necessitated communication, I would. I made up a million ways to get your attention, ignoring the fact that you’d already cut the cord.

 

It took a lot of frustration, confusion and tears to realize that we’d never go back to what we once were. I refused to admit that it was over, despite the fact that I knew deep down it was best for us both. Still in love with you, I was absolutely unwilling to let go of the fantasy that somehow we’d overcome our differences.

 

My doleful, endlessly hopeful sadness gave way to shame and anger when I realized that not only were you completely done with me, you had already moved on.

 

It was the only thing that would motivate me to give up on you and finally look forward to the rest of my life without you, so in the end it was necessary. I know that now. At the time, all I knew was that it hurt like hell.

 

All I’d been to you in those months after our breakup was a placeholder, a way to fill your loneliness until you found someone new. I willfully turned a blind eye to that which I knew to be the awful truth, hoping beyond all hope that you’d come around, that you’d see I’d changed. When you fell for her instead, my heart shattered anew. I’d spent months delaying the healing that I so desperately needed and had to start from the very beginning.

 

Everyone has a breaking point, and that was mine. I never contacted you again, but I kept track of your budding new romance. I tortured myself by spying on how happy you were until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I let the pain and hurt and betrayal fester in the depths of my gut, roiling, churning, perpetuating misery.

 

Enough was enough, and I knew it was finally time to make a change. I’d put myself through unnecessary suffering for far too long. The only person hurting me at that point was me – I couldn’t place blame elsewhere. I had to take responsibility for my own emotions and  begin the healing process. And I did. It wasn’t easy. Actually, it was the most difficult – and valuable – effort of my entire life thus far. It was long, and it was uncomfortable, and it was absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done.

 

So this is me, after an arduous and soul-aligning struggle, standing here in my power and saying that I finally accept the past. I know that our relationship happened for a reason and so did our separation. It all makes sense to me now, now that I’ve crawled through the worst of it and broken back out into the shattered, familiar light.

 

I accept that we’re over. I understand that we were not meant to be forever, and finally, that’s okay. I can look back on what we had and smile, knowing that it was a lovely and necessary growth period in my life. When things were good, they were great, and I’ll always appreciate the love and laughs you gave me. I honestly wish you nothing but the best for your future and am so very thrilled that you found the person you were meant to love for the rest of your life. And I’m finally, honestly okay with the fact that she isn’t me.

(also published on ThoughtCatalog.com)