You Don’t Deserve The Pain You’re Clinging To

God & Man

I wear my scars like souvenirs that I shouldn’t be holding onto as I have.

I’ve loved people with everything I’ve had in me, only to give it my all and leave myself with nothing.

I hold onto the past like it’s a catchy tune on repeat but I keep pushing replay.

And I think about old loves who have moved on. I look at myself still hung up over it.

Like it’s my fault for the love they couldn’t give me.

Like it’s my best that was never good enough.

I never pin heartbreak on those who deserve its blame.

I never say it was them who was flawed or unworthy of all I had to give.

Instead, I look at my reflection analyzing a list of shortcomings.

The blame gets placed on things I can’t change about myself.

I keep trying to be what they want and need only to realize every time I change I lose myself more in the process.

I lose myself trying to keep people who aren’t mine.

I lose myself clinging to the past.

I look at the people they love and the happy relationships they find themselves in and I wonder what she has that I didn’t.

Because as they go to bed together I’m laying in a bed too big for one clinging to a sweatshirt I should have thrown out by now.

The words what if play in my mind and I know I shouldn’t be saying those things.

The pictures on my phone feel like yesterday. And I know I should delete them but I can’t seem to. I refuse to look at the calendar and accept how much time has passed.

I’ve gotten love once right and I don’t know how I did it?

I don’t know to mimic such a thing.

Sometimes I wonder if pain is all I’ll ever know.

Sometimes I wonder if I like it.

I like knowing when everyone leaves at least pain I can rely on.

Of the many inconsistent things in my life pain isn’t one of them.

And people ask about sadness and how I just know.

They thank me for feeling things so deeply.

But it’s happiness that is that state so unfamiliar.

I float through the motions painfully content.

Knowing there’s more out there.

Knowing there’s something I’m missing. Or rather someone.

I keep thinking I met him and he’s already gone.

But what if I haven’t?

What if I’m one strange encounter away from someone teaching me this pain I’ve held onto for so long isn’t mine to harbor?

I look forward to the day I release it from my grip and stop holding on so tightly to everything I should let go of.

I look forward to the day someone looks at me with confidence in their eyes like they’ve spent their whole life trying to find me too. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

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