It works like this
there’s sadness then anger then sadness then irrational thinking. Fantasy scenarios you make up in your head. There’s denial. Texting your best friend to talk you down from making bad decisions. Texting her to ask if it’s ok to irrationally hate someone. She says yes because she understands, but reminds you who you should really direct your anger toward. You know you won’t, but you listen anyway. Because you know she’s right. She tells you like it is, what you don’t want to hear, and how you don’t want to feel. You hate her and love her for it. You trust her unconditionally, but are pretty sure you won’t heed any of her advice. Still, her voice echoes through your brain and keeps you from making (worse) decisions.
You drive one way then another. You scold yourself for going home the long way. Stupid pathetic excuse for a backbone. You’re too hard on yourself. It’s a legitimate way, you rationalize. You won’t do it again, you promise yourself. (You do it the next day and the day after that.)
It’s texting the wrong friend and getting an earful about how you aren’t doing enough, quickly enough, well enough, good enough. It reminds you why things are the way they are. You love your friend, so you give him space and hope that he will still be there in some capacity.
You cry sometimes. Maybe when you hear a certain song or when you’re in a particularly beautiful spot in the woods. You talk to yourself in those moments. A version of “buck up” but more harsh. You scream and yell and say “fuck you” to the imaginary person that’s not there. They’ll never be there again, and you yell at them for that too. And then that reality hits you like a fucking 18-wheeler and you cry and wipe your nose of your shirt and finish your run because that’s what they would have wanted. And that’s what you want too.
Sometimes it seems too easy. You go hours (not quite days) without thinking about it. You’ll be too busy with family, friends, work, writing. You get lost in moments, find simple things pleasurable – the glimmer of he moon, the forest stream, your kid’s stories, your husband folding laundry or doing dishes. You’ll play outdoors with your husband and your kid and you’ll be happy. You’ll forget the pain and the loss and the heartache that you feel. You hold on to those moments as long as you can because you know they are temporary, but the forgetting feels so good.
You think you see them while at work, a quick double take but you know it’s just not possible. Still, you hope for it. You enjoy work despite how it used to be. Because work occupies you with a focus, a task, and friendship, and company that you desire. Breaks are hard because there isn’t enough time to be productive so you scour social media. Fucking social media. You hate it and yet you’d just feel devastated if it vanished. A last tiny connection. Not a real connection, but a way to know. But you beat yourself up for looking, reading… it’s all painful. You want to be happy for them but it’s hard when there’s so much missing.
And so it goes. The good days and the bad days. The forgetting and the remembering. The moments of joy and the moments of sad. You wait for a break, an ending, or a new beginning. You aren’t sure what you want or what you don’t want. So you continue. To love. To keep going. Because there’s too much joy and hope to give up. And that’s the most important truth of all: that you will overcome and persevere. Because it’s what you do. You are strong enough. You are beautiful. And all your scars are lovely.