I Am Not Over It Yet, And That’s Okay
Maybe it’s been too long. Maybe I have crossed the border between “giving honor to what we had” into “being pathetically stuck in the past.” And I’m sorry if the amount of time I’ve devoted to thinking about what we had together has become, in your mind, egregious. I’m sorry if you think that I should be doing other things, enjoying my youth, counting my blessings, and seeing other people. I don’t need to hear your motivational poster quotes about all of the wonderful things I still have to look forward to in life, or that we ended for a reason. I don’t need to hear about fate. I don’t need to hear anything.
Yes, I am going to “dwell” in my sadness, because sometimes things end and it’s horrible and there is nothing that can be said which makes it suddenly less painful. Even if you’re young. Even if there are plenty of other fish in this proverbial sea I’ve heard oh so fucking much about. I am living in my sadness not because I am some 14-year-old emo kid who wants a reason to feel like the world has wronged them; I am simply unable to view the world through a spectrum other than “I love him, and at a certain point he stopped loving me.” It’s as though the car abruptly stopped and I was not wearing my seatbelt — I am still flying through the air, waiting for the full impact.
And I know that you think this makes me weak. I know that for every moment where I linger on someone who is not interested in me and only further repulsed by my lingering attachment, you lose a little more respect for me. But you are mistaken if you think that my sadness is in any way an attempt to win him back. I know that he is gone, gone in a way water is when it has slipped through the cracks between your cupped fingers. There is no obfuscated attempt here to convince him that he made some terrible mistake, and that my inability to live without him is some kind of sign that we were meant to be in a more profound way. I know that he has moved on, and the part of my brain which registers things logically has fully accepted that.
Yes, I’ve heard that he is seeing other people. Yes, that cut through me slowly like a dull knife. I know that in this situation, the maturity of being able to say “All good things come to an end, and if he has met someone new, it is because they are a better fit for what he needs at this time in his life” is what I should be aiming for. I truly apologize if my ability to muster anything other than heaving sobs is unbecoming or childish. If I could, I would be clinking glasses with them at a bar where we’re all out celebrating their newfound happiness, unconcerned with what their love is like or if it already eclipses what we had after only a few short weeks.
The truth is that I’m not over it. I am currently walking through a tunnel whose end I cannot see, whose walls feel as cold as they are strangely comforting. At least in my sadness, I know what can be expected. I do not wake up with absurdly inflated hopes of finding the love of my life or achieving great things. Simply making it through a full day without collapsing in a bathroom in a pile of my own self-pity is an accomplishment I am happy to live with for now. And I truly apologize if you think that I should be doing better, but I am not going to pretend that everything is wonderful just for the benefit of everyone who thinks I should be over it by now. I am sad, I am broken, and I don’t need your inspirational speech.
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It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.