When I lost you, I remember feeling my throat turn to sandpaper. The red veins that ran vibrant through my body suddenly turned cold. I lay still in my dorm room bed, hearing my heartbeat speed up as if I had just ran a marathon. It felt like the cells in my body suddenly froze, and my brain couldn’t catch up to my heart. When I lost you, I couldn’t even process it because you were all I knew. And my body didn’t know how to live in a place that wasn’t connected to you.
It felt like a dream of someone else I knew. Except I couldn’t press pause and I couldn’t wake up. Maybe my brain was trying to protect me from my reality, but I felt numb all over; like my whole body was flooded with anesthesia. The scariest part was when the numbness died. And I felt everything. It didn’t just come in waves, it came in one single tidal wave. And I was drowning for a long time. On some days, I didn’t even want to come up for air. I just wanted to sink deeper and deeper.
Time has always been thought of as the enemy, as something to try to push back. But I have found that time was my only friend during the loss of you. After a while, it made me want to swim instead of sink. It made me want to actually live my life again, instead of being a person walking around with ghosts in her head. People say that time heals all wounds, but I disagree. Time won’t ever heal a wound to make you forget that it’s there or to forget that it happened. Time leaves the scar to remind you of what you faced and how you fought through it. It will remind you of the excruciating pain, but also how you grimaced through it and then felt relief when the cast came off.
I am not a clean slate anymore. I am not a person without scars or bruises. But I am a person who has overcome loss and has dealt with pain without numbing cream and without a vice. I found myself after losing someone else because I survived that pain and I am still surviving it to this day. Living with scars on your body and your soul is not something to ever be ashamed of, or to be afraid of. It is a sign of your strength and your ability to grow and adapt to curveballs that life throws at you. If you are nursing a fresh wound right now, I hope you know that it’s going to get better with time. I hope you know you aren’t alone. And that scar you will receive from it will be a beautiful reminder of how resilient and strong you truly are.