I used to have nightmares that I would wake up one day and my life would never be the same. When I was seven I woke up drenched in sweat because I was dreaming about my friend and I committing mass murder, and how I’d never be able to make my mom proud. A few years later I dreamt that there was a man in my room who was going to kill me when I woke up. To avoid this inevitability, I simply stayed asleep forever. When I was in my late teens I went through a stage where I had dreams that I was a contagious disease. No one could touch or talk to me, or else they too would become a social pariah. These dreams, as impactful as they were, never came to fruition.
Unfortunately, for the first time in my life, I am now living a nightmare. My first legitimate girlfriend and I have broken up, and my disposition could not be more affected. To oversimplify, the culmination of our relationship has been the consequence of both of us not doing enough for the sake of our relationship.
Since our ending, my life has not been the same. For a week the only things I could consume were water and bananas. There were many mornings I could barely roll out of bed to go pour myself a bowl of cereal. “Please come back. Please come back,” I’d say rhetorically and in desperation as I cried myself to sleep many nights.
Even then, I was afraid to fall asleep because I always had dreams about her and some other guy. Because of this, I tried so hard to not fall asleep, and this would have negative ramifications on my health. I never checked my phone because I was too technologically inept to figure out how to change the background, which was a photo of her and I.
I compromised with myself (something I failed to do so often in our relationship) that if I did this or that, then she would return. I gave myself so much false hope I began to live in that reality. So many times I would go back in time and reenact particular events or conversations. I’d fix them, but when I came back to where I was, my reality hadn’t changed.
Today, it is still a battle. There are days I want to do nothing but cry. There are times when I think of what I’ve just lost, a future with someone I envisioned spending the rest of my life with. I think to myself, “I’m never going to find someone who loves me the way she did.” It’s a clichéd form of bemoaning one’s problems, but sadness has a way of dominating your mind.
Some nights I hop in my car and drive to various points we have been, just to try to relive that past. All of these attempts to mask the pain are ridiculous and unhealthy, but I do them anyway because to actually be honest with myself and take responsibility rips away at my heart.
The worst part came when I bought a bottle of alcohol and just stared at it. “I can go one of two ways,” I thought. I could bury my problems in this bottle and only delay the pain. I could take pity on myself and wish for a different reality. Or, I could not dive into libation and instead let all the pain, anger, frustration, regret, and heartache run its course.
So I did. I let all of those feelings consume me, rip me apart, and I cried like a young boy who just lost his favorite toy. I had to deal with the truth. I had to let go of the guilt and agony I was feeling by accepting it. I had to learn that I lost someone so dear to me because I put myself in that position. Sure, I could blame her or someone else, but that wouldn’t change what I had done. Once that happened, I began to feel a tiny bit better.
I’ll admit: I’m not over her, and I don’t know when I will be. What I can say is that I’m getting better. I’m moving forward and trying to live a better life.
There are moments where a semblance of hope seeps through the cracks of misery. Whether it is a great song or a fantastic scene in a movie, these moments remind me that life isn’t going to stop and wait for me. Life also isn’t going to take sympathy and give me a second chance with her. For as many times as times as we get second chances, there are just as many instances where we don’t and are forced to find an alternative path.
I acknowledge that this post is going to seem like a plea for sympathy, but that is not the intent. My desire is merely to inspire others who have experienced loss in other ways. We all have our problems, and we all deal with it in different manners. I know I will continue to get better, but the reality is it is going to get a lot worse before that day comes. To myself and everyone else who needs a pick me up: hang in there; you’re only human.