Since you’ve been gone, my world has come to a halt. Food has lost its taste. I hear no rhythm in music. I see no beauty in nature. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. My heart feels like it’s being weighed down with a thousand stones. I am numb.
At night, I wish for a peaceful sleep. I pray that you don’t haunt my dreams. I hope that the night slips by uninterrupted because each time I wake I relive this horrible reality. At times I forget that you’re gone. I feel your phantom body next to mine holding me close, whispering that you’ll never leave me. Life feels like a nightmare since you’ve been gone.
I walk. I walk because that’s all I can do. I walk and I think, probably more than I should. I try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. I think about you coming back. I think about things I know deep down won’t happen, but I can’t help myself. I miss you. I miss laughing with you. I miss laying in bed at all hours of the night talking and listening to your steady heartbeat in your strong, comforting embrace. We fit so perfectly together.
I miss our adventures. They weren’t too grand, but being with you made everything feel like the world’s greatest adventure. I miss waking up in the middle of the night to your kisses; to the love that was once so powerful I couldn’t believe it to be real.I miss all of this, but more importantly, I fear that I will never find another you.
I glance at my phone every few minutes waiting for your name to pop up on my black screen. Sometimes it does, usually it doesn’t. I live for the meager conversations we have, but I sense they will be some of our last. I feel weak, pained, and lonely. I feel unsafe. I miss how strong I felt with you by my side. I am helpless without you, since you’ve been gone.
I dyed my hair. I lost weight that I didn’t need to lose. I run 4 miles every day. I got new piercings and I am seriously considering a tattoo. I want to become a new person -someone you won’t recognize. Someone who doesn’t remind me of you. I keep myself busy with classes. I got an internship and I volunteer. I have four jobs.
I try telling myself I do all of this because I am strong, because I am better without you, but I really just need something to help make the time go by. People tell me you’re an idiot and you lost the best thing you’ll ever have. They tell me you’ll regret it one day and that it won’t be long until I’m over you. They tell me I’m one of the strongest people they know, like it’s supposed to make me feel better.
They don’t realize that it takes every ounce of effort to get through a day in one piece, and that I smile every chance I get to keep myself from breaking apart. They don’t see the endless trail of tears that drain my body and soul each night and paint my sheets when my head hits the pillow. They don’t know that I keep myself busy so that I don’t have time to think of you and feel the pain of my aching heart.
Since you’ve been gone, I’ve become more independent. I go to the movies solo. I take hikes alone without fear of getting lost. I go to restaurants by myself and no longer worry that people will think I am lonely. I know loneliness all too well now, and I embrace it. I’ve even grown to appreciate the beauty of it. I have more time to focus on myself. I paint, I read, I take dance classes, I pursued photography. I express my creativity any and every way that I can.
I finally watched all the movies on our bucket list, except I don’t think of it as ‘our’ list anymore. I go out for drinks. I am starting to socialize again. I spend time with my friends, and I didn’t realize how much I missed out on when I was too busy with you. I used to take care of you, my love, now I take care of myself.
I am becoming a traveler. Since you’ve been gone I’ve traversed seven states, felt the waves crash against my feet in three oceans, and fervently roamed the streets of four countries. I am becoming a daredevil. I take chances, I surprise myself, and I do things each day that scare me. I am growing. I am stronger. I have this new thirst for life. I am living. I’ve started to see the beauty in our world again. I am slowly but surely nursing my heart back to health, and I’m doing it all without you.
I have dated since you’ve been gone. I’ve gotten attention from all types of men. Some not worth my time, and others who were. They’ve all taught me lessons –they’ve given me hope. Since you’ve been gone, I’ve realized there are men in the world just like you -no, better than you. I learned that I deserve much more than I thought. Every single friend and acquaintance have told me this since you’ve been gone, but I am just now starting to believe it myself. I am healing.
It’s been almost a year since you’ve been gone. I used to see you 24 hours in a day, and now I’ve seen you 24 hours in the past year. The few times we’ve gotten together have been bittersweet. We catch up, both in silent acknowledgement that we once were each other’s world, and time has made us strangers. Seeing you makes me miss you.
Sometimes I get a pang in my chest like when you first left me. I still miss you like crazy. I still miss parts of us. The love I have for you is so incredibly strong that I know a part of me will always be in love with you, and will never stop missing you. But it took me losing you to realize I am so much better off without you. With you, I was small, quiet, impressionable, weak.
Since you’ve been gone, I’ve grown taller than the trees. I have a voice. I am independent, beautiful, accomplished, and brave. I treat myself with the love and respect you stopped giving me. All the things I couldn’t dream of doing without you, I did, and I’m only getting started. Since you’ve been gone, I’ve lost so much, but I’ve gained even more.