I loved you then. I really did. And for a very long time, I always thought of you as someone I had to have. You were the guy I always ran to. And you know how much I hate running.
You were the one that always saved me. You held me through my worst panic attacks, when all of my fears seeped into every bone in my body. You held me until the shaking subsided, until my chattering teeth finally stopped clacking together, and until my salty tears dried out on your blue cotton t-shirt.
You were the one that always guided me. Whenever it was dark, and I would find myself looking over my shoulder, in fear of the monsters that always haunted me, you were always the only light I ever saw.
You always were my star in the midnight sky. The only one I ever cared to look at. And the only one that brought me home.
When I was with you for those years, I saw only you as my light. I saw only you as my safety zone. My cabin in the woods. But, I didn’t think of myself as anything worth a title as magnificent as that. I was just a weed in an overgrown garden. Just a tiny goldfish in an ocean full of salty treasures. I know you thought of me as something bigger than that. Something better than that. But that wasn’t enough. And it’s never enough.
You see, through falling in love with you, and sharing my whole world with you, I lost myself at sea. And I didn’t just lose myself. I drowned in you, and drenched all of my cells into your heart. I fit my body tight inside your gold heart, and I sunk into your safety.
Or at least, I tried.
I gave so much of myself up to you, that when I eventually lost you, I didn’t know how to get back to myself. I didn’t know who I was without you. And my body didn’t know either. But, as seasons passed and as I began to open my eyes up to the leaves that fell on the shiny pavement, and as I began to watch the green pastures slowly turn into snow, I began to remember who I was before you.
I remembered that I was once a happy kid. The kind of person who would smile just at the though of the new possibilities that a new day could bring. I was the type of person who didn’t need anyone to clutch onto in the dark. The type of person who never needed to borrow a sweater to keep her warm.
I was the type of person who loved herself.
And so, that’s what I began to do. To work on myself. To get up in the morning, make myself get dressed, and head out the door. I decided to make plans. To do things I never did with you. To cleanse myself of all the things you showed me how to do. Because now, finally, I could do it all my myself.
I loved you. I truly thought you were the only love in my life and I never in a million years, thought I could replace you.
But the love of my life isn’t you anymore. It’s me.
I am my main priority now, my own cabin in the woods, my own star in the midnight sky. I don’t need your love that tried to crumble my existence when it left. I don’t need your hand to clutch onto when I get scared.
Because now, after all of this time I can finally say, I loved you, yes. But I love me more. Finally.