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Dear Love (The Pain Is Real)

...Hurting Over Here

I can see it in your eyes.

That look in your despondent orbs and just a handful of words exchanged between us are enough to know:

The pain is real.

I recently heard that two signs of depression are lack of sleep and the other extreme—excessive sleep. I've struggled with both recently. And I know you've been lacking a lot of sleep, especially since the breakup.

There are studies that have shown that grief affects and weakens our lungs. So, I find it interesting that both of us have had respiratory issues since the breakup. Of course, it's flu season now, but I don't think this is any coincidence... I think our bodies are revolting—because we are feeling deeply. Too much.

Part of me wants to be glad to know that you're feeling something. And relieved that you are perhaps getting more comfortable showing how you feel about our breakup, rather than just the cold, hard facts.

But mostly, my heart hurts knowing yours is hurting.

I suppose it proves you care about me in some way.

Maybe you didn't really want to end things with me? Who knows...

Maybe you do love me and therefore want the best for me. And for whatever reason, you don't think you're the best for me and so you felt the urgency to let me go...

...I don't know. I'm torn between wanting to know and being relieved that I don't know.

I think if I knew you loved me (romantically), it'd make things harder—the loss so much greater.

Still, I feel like I've lost the most precious possession in the universe.

The pain is real.

I can physically feel the pain in my chest—like some giant fist of unshed tears, slowly choking me. Like some great gulf of sorrow, slowly drowning me.

When people talk about their heart aching, they aren't exaggerating. Heartbreak/sorrow causes real, intense physical pain. I'm experiencing it as I write this.

My grief has gone through phases.

At first, I felt everything all at once. My mind was a tangle of sadness, confusion, and despair.

Sadness, because I lost my best friend and my love.

Confusion, because I thought we were 'going somewhere' in our relationship—and I thought you saw that too—and also because we never had any arguments or fights that led up to the breakup.

Despair, because I knew I'd let something—no, SOMEONE—very precious slip away from me—and it appeared impossible to regain.

And questions. So many questions I wanted to ask. Things I longed to say. But feeling torn between that and the need to keep myself from running ahead of the plan.

Then I morphed through other stages:

Regrets, not only from what I did wrong, but what I wish I'd done. Wishing for a do-over. That'd I fought harder for you when we were still together.

Frustration that I couldn't reach out to you when I knew you were hurting. And that guys (who so aren't you) have been trying to work their way into my heart. (Believe me, love, I have not encouraged their behavior! I still only have eyes for you!!)

Wishing I could hate you or at least be angry at you so I could just 'get over' you already.

Feeling envious of others who can interact freely with you when things have become so strained between us. And the possibility that you have replaced my cherished position as your best friend with someone else.

Trying to be brave—putting on a facade to appear—not so much to you, but more to others—as though things are okay for me. I didn't want to burden others or worry them. And I tried to help others who were in pain.

The thing about facades is that they eventually crack.

And mine sure cracked into a million pieces.

I felt pain all over again. But in different ways.

I think the pain right now is mostly stemming from the fact that my heart is lost—adrift in the ocean of your heart. Or rather, anchored there.

When one gives their heart to someone else—for them to cherish and love and protect—and then they break it, one doesn't just pick up all the pieces. Some fragments stay tethered to the other person for the rest of their lives.

That's what love does. It binds us to others.

While that may sound scary and intimidating and maybe even encumbering, I think it is actually a very tragically beautiful picture. Really an imperfect partial depiction of the design for hearts.

Often that intertwining of human hearts will lead to heartache. Heartbreak.

Somehow this tidbit of turmoil is showing me that I too haven't been truly accepting love. And that I have been unsuccessfully attempting to fulfill/complete you.

There are still days I find it hard to live on. I frequently ask,

“How am I supposed to be ‘okay’ with the separation? How do I move on from the one I love? How can I leave parts of my heart behind?”

And lately, it's been the “withdrawals” from the physical. You are literally the only man with whom I ever shared affection—hugs and hand holding. I don't give that type of affection to just anyone. You are very special, and so I shared that with you. That was an outward sign of an inward devotion to you. And it's hard now being we're practically strangers—knowing I gave you something so precious. I don't regret it. And it isn't as though I did anything wrong… but it still hurts.

So yes, the pain is real. In this life. In the physical sense. I'm not belittling that.

However, I'm thankful that I can at least learn something through this pain that is so real.

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