He’s been gone a long time. So long that you can’t even remember the span of time, the days and weeks that he has been gone. Maybe you don’t want to know because it’s more final to know that number.
It’s too hard to accept that there have been so many mornings where you have woken up and he hasn’t, so many storms you couldn’t text him about, so much news that he doesn’t get to hear, or so many texts he never got to send that would make you feel better about losing him.
So what good is there in accepting it? There can be some solace in pretending he’s out of town, or fishing, or having the time of his life somewhere you can’t reach him, but it’s only temporary. There’s a comfort in that. And then it hits you and the pain is worse. You can’t really lie to yourself and pretend it’s not real. There’s nothing more real than this.
It makes everything else seem so petty. The things we are bothered about, the silly misunderstandings and anger coming out of the things that bother you are not worth the time. Yet they break through your fragile shield and at once you are overwhelmed and shut off, all at the same time.
This is when you want to drink. Or get high. Or run away and shut out the world. Maybe you even want to destroy something – the pain goes so deep that it has to be amplified, exploding into the world so that it doesn’t destroy you.
It’s also when you want to fix the people around you and try to recapture what used to be. Maybe if someone near you can be like that person, they’ll make it all better. It will have all been worth something. And then when they can’t, your heart breaks all over again. You feel silly and ridiculous for hurting someone just to make yourself feel better.
And the guilt and self-loathing, the anger, the hurt, the frustration, it piles up and you realize that you can’t even hear him anymore. He used to be there. You used to know exactly what he would say. He was the only person who could say it to you like that, in a way where you’d truly listen.
And it’s gone.
Instead of the warmth of his memory, you have stress. You have details of things that don’t matter, and disappointment in yourself for being unable to be the same person you were.
Where did you go?
What are you without him?
Does it even matter?
But it does. It matters. You matter.
You can turn it all off.
Breathe in, and bring your focus back to yourself, like the bubble that once kept you safe has been stretched too far and you’re bringing it closer to you once again.
Breathe out, and notice how all that noise, that static, gets further and further away.
You are, at once, yourself. Just you. You are okay.
Let your stomach and shoulders relax, gently and respectfully. Don’t force it. Let everything else fade away, and let your mind go back to you, to that part of you and that place that no one else gets to see. The part of you that is only yours.
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? No one else is allowed there. It’s the place you felt safe when you were very little. It’s the gentle noises, smells, and sensations so familiar and calming that you can picture yourself there, safe and happy.
You can hear him.
“It’s gonna be okay.”
It’s gonna be okay.
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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