Anhedonia is a word you’re all too familiar with when you’ve lived your life with the companion that comes and goes in phases – depression. It’s another word to add to your vocabulary to identify your symptom of lacking the ability to feel pleasure. Another word to place the blame on your desire to close the blinds and stay in bed, screen phone calls and avoid your friends. Another word to describe your lack of interest in going out. Another word for your indifference towards all the wonders that usually make you feel exhilarated. And then there are doctors, people, textbooks and research that want to use this word as blame for the reason you’ve fallen out love. This isn’t always the case, and as someone who has been there, and as someone with depression, I call bullshit on this.
Though you know your heart, though you’re self-aware, this theory can cause you to have self-doubt and to start to question yourself. Is it the dark thing? Could this just be a symptom of depression? Is the dark thing coming back again? Does my ‘depressed self’ not love this person, or is it my real self? You know the difference. Your whole logic, your whole emotions, your whole intuition aren’t things ruled by a mental illness.
When you know, you know. When your whole body is screaming at your bones that this relationship isn’t somewhere you want to be or somewhere you want to call home, to pack up and to leave, there isn’t any word in any textbook or in any language to blame as to why you feel like this. You are falling out of love and you know there’s a small void inside of you that this relationship used to fill.
You were disaster before you met them. You can go back to being hurricane with or without them. What little they did to calm the waters is something you know is no longer there. You can call and set off flares, but there is no longer a thing they can do about making a difference.
This person used to be your light during the phases you had none. And right now they’re still there, you can reach out and touch and swallow the whole sun, but when you do there’s absolutely no glow that comes to you.
Even when you stood outside barefoot in winter, having them by your side made everything warmer, but right now it’s always winter. Right now they’re the clouds that brought on the snow. Right now you feel even lonelier than on your own.
Right now you’re wondering if you’re still there to have something else to kiss to see if you can feel anything, Right now they’re only a dent on the couch cushion. Right now they’re only a dent on the bed lying next to you. Right now you’re hoping they won’t try touching you because you don’t have it in you to pretend anymore. Right now you’re exhausted of the act. Right now all you’re doing is smiling and pretending like what there is between you is anything but history. Right now you know you’re falling out of love because you’re hungry and you don’t even want to use them to fill the cavity.
They lay a finger on you and you shudder. They call you “babe” and it used to make you feel warm, but now all you can think about is how you don’t want to hear that come out their mouth anymore. You’re feeling something in your stomach, and it’s humming, but it isn’t love. You’re trying to look for the fire, but there isn’t anything as far as you can see and all you can do is smell smoke and feel the ashes beneath your feet.
When you couldn’t sing there used to be a melody you could hear when you had your fingers intertwined with theirs. But now they hold your hand and you feel like there’s a robin in your throat that can’t make it out, like their hands are really around you and choking your throat. They used to make it easier for you to breathe, and right now they’re stealing your air.
The arms around you that used to feel safe are only something you hope will have space between you and your body. You tried. You loved them once. But then all you did was take their shape because it was easy. But you’re realizing it’s better to be alone and bruised than it is to be malleable. That it’s better to be on your own, than in something that no longer makes you happy.
Right now they’re still in the room but they feel like a ghost. Right now you’re ignoring a coffin in the corner where your story rests, knowing damn well it’s time to prepare the funeral.
Everyone wants love. We all need love. You want love. You want this but you don’t want this.
You walk away. You do so knowing that when depression comes you will be one body short to feel the emptiness. But you know this is the right thing because this is the end of them as a piece of your heart and because you have fallen out of love.
You’re gone and you don’t have them anymore and it only hurts because it doesn’t.