The first time was a surprise, because you’ve never felt anything like it before. It cut you deep, touching your heart, scaring you that something could make you feel so close to death. It’s the first time someone made you feel whole, only to rip the other half from you and leave you with a scrap of what made you happy.
The first time was a surprise, but you still have the strength to beat on.
The second time was expected, but you were surprised by how much worse it felt than the first. Because the second time, you swore to yourself you would be more careful, that you would not fall as hard, you would not give as much, only to find that they held you with a sense of security. And you told yourself, “I can’t be close to love forever,” so you opened your heart up again. And you loved even harder than you did the first time. Because you trusted this person, and this trust had more meaning this time because they knew how much you’d been hurt before. Until they hurt you.
Suddenly, the world is a dark, the universe is not in your favor, and you are in a cold storm of betrayal. You were more careful this time, yet you were left anyway. You’re left thinking that maybe this is a pattern, that there must be something wrong with you.
So you go on the search for self-love, hoping that you’ll be able to fix whatever it is about yourself that people don’t seem to love enough.
You lock yourself away from love. Maybe you date, but only casually. Never anyone that you would take seriously or would take you seriously.
Until someone sneaks into your life.
So you let yourself feel cared about for once. It’s been a while, after all. Plus, you have been loving yourself. It should be better this time around.
You let yourself get comfortable, settle into a routine. Eventually, you focus on this one person because they are focused on you. Because they’ve treated you better than the people before, because you realize that you deserve this. You deserve to be cared for.
And slowly, your heart gets comfortable, too. It leaps at the sight of them, the thought of them. It bursts and screams when you kiss, it shrinks when they go, but grows when they’re present. You never felt that you could love this much—so fully, carefully, only to become carefree again. To feel again. And you even think it doesn’t matter if you get heartbroken again because at least you got to experience this feeling, this floating in the sky and breathing-underwater immortality.
It’s this heartbreak that devastates you. Because you thought you were prepared for the pain—you’d been through it before. You thought you would be okay because you love yourself and you know what to do now if you get your heart broken. You should be an expert.
But the pain of the past crashes into the pain of your present. It crushes you into the darkest pits of sadness. You can’t see, you can’t breathe, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep or you sleep too much. You want to live in your dreams because they’re better than waking up to this world where pain like this could exist. Your heart is suffocating. Something is choking it, squeezing tears from your eyes. You cry out because your chest collapses into your organs.
You want to heal, your body wants to heal, but the pain came too deeply and too fast for it to be ready for this. This incredible, massive, black hole swallowing your soul.
You don’t know if you can survive this time.
You don’t know if there can be any good after this.
But you can hope. And if you don’t have hope, what else do you have?
So you learn how to get out of bed again. Shower. Remember what it is you love about this world. Flowers? Friends? Family? Food?
You learn how to do this again because nothing is forever, not even this.