It’s been 8 months and 26 days, and I think I’m finally happy without you. Granted, it hasn’t really been that long given the off-and-on-and-off-again rhythm we learned to exist in. But it’s been 8 months and 26 days, and I think I’m finally okay again.
Looking back on it all, I still don’t understand how I got here. It never felt easier; in fact, it seemed to get worse with each passing month, each week, each day. There were days I genuinely thought I couldn’t live without you, even though I knew I had and would continue to do so. My heart and body and skin ached to have you again. I fought the urge to text you, knowing that I would hate myself for doing so, knowing that it would make my life worse. And it did. But you were the only one who could quench my desire and put my heart and mind and soul at ease.
I don’t know when it even began to get better. I do know it got worse when I found out about her, though. And maybe it needs to get even worse before things can start to look up. Maybe it took being replaced to really realize things were done. Don’t get me wrong; I spent weeks hoping she was a fling. But then you told me directly and I couldn’t make things up or imagine that one day you’d call me saying she was just a friend. So I forced myself to block you out of my mind and consequently hated you. I don’t hate you now, though.
I remember the first person I kissed after you. It was wrong, because I knew I didn’t kiss him for myself. I kissed him because I was desperate to rebound and to override the memory of you in my mind. And he didn’t help. Neither did the next three guys that came after him. Because you were always there when I closed my eyes and my lips met their skin. You were there and I was kissing you and simultaneously kissing him out of spite. It was toxic and I poisoned my body and my heart. But eventually I kissed someone for who they were, not for you. I got butterflies from someone else, and dreamt about someone new. And it’s been 8 months and 26 days, and you’re finally gone.
After 8 months and 26 days, and I no longer think about you every day, or even every week. I’ve filled the hole you left, not with a single replacement, but with many incredible and different relationships. And you haven’t been erased or replaced, because I exist in a different state now than I ever did with you. I don’t need your love, because I’ve learned to love myself and the confidence I’ve gained in your absence has been the most important thing in my life. I don’t need your validation, because I’ve found happiness in myself. It’s been 8 months and 26 days, and I can confidently and proudly say I’ve moved on to a wonderful, happier place. 8 months and 26 days later, I finally feel free.