A letter to my struggling self

Dear part of me that struggles,

Times are difficult again, huh? I understand. We have been here before. The place where everything feels better when we are numb. Sleep is elusive because it causes triggers that you can control while awake. But we need to sleep don’t we? So sleep a little today.

I can imagine the urge to stay in bed and wallow. I even know that deep down you wish tomorrow wouldn’t come. The body aches, the complete lack of focus, the constant triggered anxious state. I know how it feels. It is a painful process that you have to live through. Your wish for it to end will have to live its course. You will have to walk yourself through this pain. Hold your own hand. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the heartbreak.

What you are going through isn’t easy. You’re forced to give up something close to your heart. Something you hadn’t prepared yourself for. Let us be honest. You told yourself it would end. But you thought you would be prepared. But you didn’t think it would be easy? Don’t lie. You knew it would feel terrible. Just not this terrible. Just not for this long.

These days, the world feels like it has come to a stand still. It feels like good doesn’t exist. Like everything you do doesn’t feel happy enough. The flutters don’t last long. The pain and the urge to escape is just around the corner. Yes. But the only truth you have to know is, it is okay. It is okay to feel a contradiction of all these things. To want to sleep but be scared to fall asleep. To want to reach out but know it will blow up in your face. To talk but question what could possibly change with a conversation. It is okay.

I thought I would write to you cause I know you and me will be travelling together for a while. Perhaps you and me will travel together for eternity. I know with the kind of person I am, I take on pain and struggle. But this isn’t a romanticised view of me. This is just to say, we need to co-exist. And I need you to know, other parts of you are around the corner. You aren’t just this struggle.

Be patient with yourself. Don’t let the lack of movement eat into you. Eat chocolate if you need to. Stay in bed if you want to. Don’t respond to anyone if you cannot.

Love yourself in these moments as much as your highs. It is crucial.

I am around.

Now and always.
The other pieces of you  

To new beginnings..

From the broken halves of me,

To each and every one of you,

I don’t know where to start. It is a whole lot of nothing. Yet, in the crevices of memory and the curves of my body there lay a whole lot of everything. From being around each other and sharing intimate, wild, unhappy, vulnerable and mundane, to the sudden vacuum and silence. Everyone tells you about the wonderful, marvellous feelings of love. No one ever fully prepares you for what comes after.

The emptiness doesn’t even set in for a long time. You first have to deal with the contradictions that present themselves. The anger vs. the calm. The pain vs. the joy. The longing vs. the hatred. The urge to hold on vs. the craving to move on. All struggling to co-exist in a, now, large available space…

I didn’t realise how tough it would be. I packed away all the memories, the physical remains of a relationship. But the mind, the body, the heart wouldn’t allow me such easy respite. I found myself in a sticky situation; unaware if I wanted to even move on. The pain, the guilt, the memories all were real. Soon they would leave and all I would be left with was the void. I refused to fill this void with another person or many. I don’t recommend such a life to you, though. I have learnt that these voids can only be filled with inanimate objects; never again with people or emotions. It wasn’t logical. It was just that way.

But I digress.

It was hard to imagine that the day would ever come. Death loomed on us since we began but we never took it seriously. We shrugged it aside as a rueful inconvenience. Together.

But I was left to face it in a very real way. Alone.

We had built not a home but a world. A parallel universe. An imaginary happiness. When it came crashing down on me, as she faded into oblivion, I realised no body prepared me for this. We speak, read, write, hear, watch, see, understand and analyse love. Not enough about loss. About losing a friend, a lover, a confidante and a soul mate. We weren’t married but only because it was illegal. We were everything a couple was and more.

I would cease wanting her this way. I knew I would. I was scared of that eventuality; so I held onto everything I knew. Slowly, she transformed into the best version of herself. Present and absent. All at once.

Months together, people, friends, colleagues, family would enquire out of affection, “How do you feel?” I wanted to say all this but I held back and said instead, “Nothing, yet everything.”

But I needed to be loved again. To let go of the gnawing pain and move on. She would understand. She would have done the same in my place.

Wouldn’t you?

A version of this piece first appeared on The Body Narratives.