i feel like i can take on anything with you right by my side

On our last night together, we got ready for bed and held eachother close. My body rested on top of yours, while you held me very tight and I pressed my face into your skin, breathing in your smell.

What’re you thinking about?

You replied

Just about this. And trying to remember how good this feels.

You squeezed me tight. My eyes welled up. I was speechless.

The heavy hearted sobbing that I had stifled back the night before welled up again, threatening to break the dams and spill over onto my cheeks.

How did i get so lucky with a boy like you?

I brushed my teeth and crawled back into bed with you, relishing for the last time what it felt like to slip into the soft cocoon of your bed. We held each other tenderly, and I whispered to you.

Are you scared? 

You replied

Yes, but I think some of the best things in life are scary. It means we’re doing the right thing.

I asked

What are you most scared of?

 You replied

Growing apart from you and losing this. But we’ll both try our best to not let that happen.

 I sobbed.

I’ve never been great at controlling my emotions, and the next couple of months was going to be a huge test on my emotional stability.

I’ve never spoken this softly.

I just need a little help with judging how much is too much. I’ve never been great at finding the right balance of emotions.

You replied

I’ll be gentle, I promise.

 A couple days ago we were talking about our greatest weakness. I confessed that I didn’t really like how emotional of a person I was.

But don’t you think that’s your greatest strength as well? I love how emotional you are. You feel things very deeply.

 Shit. I don’t know how I got so lucky to deserve this.

maybe all it takes is just letting go

one day you’re struggling so hard that even taking a breath is hard to manage, and it feels like you’re begin smothered by the constant weight of just having to be.

but you manage.

you persevere.

you put one foot in front of the other, and you take time to be thankful for the little things in your life, and then all of a sudden days and weeks and months have passed by and suddenly it’s not so hard anymore. you’re not sure what happened or what changed, but you’re not questioning it anymore.

you tilt your head up to the fluorescent bulbs, swipe on some mascara, smile at yourself in the dirty mirror and you see the spark in your eyes that you haven’t seen in years.

i can’t believe it. i feel … happy …

every day since you could remember, it was a constant struggle trying to get yourself out of bed, to the next day’s activity, to wash and feed yourself. you didn’t think there was any way on earth you would ever be able to manage all of this on your own. you felt weak because if everyone else could handle it, why couldn’t you?

but then something happened.

you stopped fixating. you stopped worrying so much about everything. you changed your scenery, you started doing things that you liked, you took a little time every day to do something that you wanted to do. you learned how to love yourself with as much compassion, affection and tenderness as you did for your friends and family.

sometimes it’ll feel like the world is too heavy for you to carry on your own. and then sometimes you learn how to manage because maybe all it takes is just letting go.

 

 

strum your heartstrings

sad (adj.): affected by unhappiness or grief; sorrowful or mournful:
to feel sad because your heart hurts so bad you don’t know what to do with yourself.

—–

ever since the last person i was romantically involved with decided to pack his bags and leave four months ago, there hasn’t been a lot of anything in my life.

while it’s nice to spend time alone and get to know myself better, it is a lonely existence. the nights are cold in my bed, the days are filled with flaunting examples of what i want and can’t have. when i try to bring it up with my friends, i get told that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be, and that i need to not put value on being somebody’s something.

pfft. that’s easy for you to say, you HAVE someone to adore.

part of me is so tired of this cycle and this constant sad cloud following me and my throat constricting and my heavy chest heaving with every wild fit of rage that inevitably happens when things get really bad. another part of me isn’t quite sure that i’ll ever be able to feel differently. and then the last part of me is scared shitless about having to deal with this for the rest of my life.

hey, woah listen. it’s not all that bad, at least you’re not curled up in bed shaking from anxiety and insecurity about the person you’re seeing. don’t you remember what that was like? how awful that was? how bad it felt to feel like you were being lied to your face? at least you’re not in that place anymore. you made a pact to yourself that you wouldn’t do that to yourself anymore because you know you deserve better.

well yeah, but picking between one pile of steaming shit and another pile of steaming shit isn’t exactly easy. i’d rather feel nothing at all than have to deal with feeling the intensity of a thousand fiery suns while simultaneously drowning in a roaring tsunami. whoever thought it was funny to give me twice the normal amount of human emotions can cut that shit out now. it’s getting really fucking old.

on top of that, i didn’t realize that the normal chatter inside my head about being someone’s somebody would get turned off when i became single, and instead replaced with absolutely nothing. that’s a lot of emptiness and room for internal speculation, and it’s starting to drive me insane.

there’s only four months left of college and i don’t think i’m going to meet anyone new. i spend every social gathering trying earnestly to connect with people and it just doesn’t happen. when you come back from a year in a different country, it’s really difficult to find a point in trying to interact with people who you won’t be seeing regularly in four short months.

and that’s the sad part. i don’t have any energy left in me to try and make connections with people, but the longer i wait to do it the more sorrow starts to pool and puddle in my heart.

i think the real dilemma that i’m struggling with fighting off is the thought that there is a slight possibility that this is what my reality will look like for the rest of my life — i’ll spend the rest of my life cycling between different shades of sadness.

today i sat in my chair at work and my body was numb. i tried in vain to do work, but my eyes glazed over and the words on my screen didn’t look like words. everyone kept trying to talk to me about how my weekend was, and i felt so ungrateful that i wasn’t happier. but to tell you the truth, every time i opened my mouth i felt like running to the bathroom and slamming the door behind me and sitting on the cold tiles while sobbing with my head between my knees.

i keep searching in vain for ways to feel better. for ways to make this body stop hurting and to fill the gaping shredded hole in my chest. when people tell me that i shouldn’t want to be someone’s somebody, it feels like i’m being told to just deal with the jagged edges of the hole in my chest. it feels like i’m trying desperately to feel better while my friends keep pulling my hands away from the bandages, telling me that i shouldn’t feel like i need to fix anything. that i am worthy and whole on my own.

how do i find the words to tell you that this hurts too bad and i’m growing weary of having to deal with this by myself, alone, in my bed, every single night? how do i find the words to tell you that i’m sick of people leaving my life, but even more scared of the fact that maybe one day i won’t have anyone in my life to leave me?

it sucks. and when you couple this with the fact that i recently met someone who i’m genuinely interested in and he’s perfect in every sense of the word and i spend hours every day funneling all of my romantic hopes and dreams into this distant perhaps, there’s no point in sugarcoating the truth. he lives too far away and no amount of googling the distance between me and him will make him appear at my doorstep.

life is (sometimes) a sick joke and i wish i was better equipped to handle it. i don’t know how i’m going to learn to carry this.

okay okay okay

dear you (me? us? we?)

it’s currently 2:35 a.m. and you’re snuggled up in bed in your gorgeous red velvet blanket. you had a fantastic night out and you’re ready to take on tomorrow. i’m proud of you.

actually, there’s something i’ve been meaning to talk to you about. something that you don’t nearly acknowledge enough with yourself. you are such a goddamn strong person, even though it doesn’t feel like it. i know, you’re rolling your eyes to yourself right now, thinking, how the heck would drunk me understand sober me?

but just listen. i know how hard it’s been, because i’ve been there since day 1. it’s goddamn hard. but, it feels like with every year that passes, we gain some more clarity on the whole ~*~situation~*~. somedays it feels impossible to get out of bed, and that you’re the first and only person who will ever experience This Feeling. and then there are other days where you’re so busy you forget what emotions are, and you drown your feelings in the sheer amount of stress and anxiety that is just enough to keep you busy, but not enough to break you. it numbs you.

but then, wait, wait, get this. then there are days, where you can completely just let go.

I KNOW! i know right? that’s not even the best part. wait, just listen.

there are days where you’re experiencing everything to your full potential. days where you smile and hold your friends close just for the sake of holding them close. days where you feel like smiling for no reason at all. i know!! just wait, it gets better. there are days where you feel happy.

take a breath. i know, isn’t it insane?

days where you draw for the pure sake of just drawing. days where you lace up your running shoes and go on a long run. days where you can bask in the sun and take a pause. days where you can eat a bowl of your mom’s trademark beef noodle soup, and slurp every last bit down. days where you can hold your cat for just five more minutes, while he’s purring up a storm in your lap. days where you take that first bite into an apple and it feels incredible. doesn’t that sound amazing?

there’s something else i’ve been meaning to show you. follow me into this room, i have to show you something. through the door, close it behind you and rest in the chair.

it’s been so long since you’ve been in this room. does it look familiar?

take a minute. you’ve been here before.

….

yeah, i know. it’s been a while. this is where your childhood is kept. where all of your nights in grade school were spent. where you kept all of your crushes. where your first love is still heavily guarded. where your earliest memories are kept. where your deepest fears and anxieties are carefully logged.

i know… i don’t really like being here either.

but i think it’s important that we’re here, you know?

together.

it’s important to come back here occasionally to double check on ourselves and take some time you know? it seems like this is where you like to go when you’re afraid, but since it’s so unfamiliar, it’s uncomfortable and makes your bad moments even worse. we don’t have a good understanding of whats going on inside, which makes it hard to navigate.

so here’s what i propose.

once a day, we’re going to spend five minutes in this room, going through memories and remembering what it was like to be us previously.

maybe we’ll linger on a particularly painful experience, or we’ll relish in one particular memory. no matter what, we’re going to spend a little bit of time every day here, visiting with ourselves.

it’s important.

it’s so that we can become more familiar with this room, so that the Bad Times won’t be quite so bad. so that we don’t feel quite so strange when we need to retreat here when something bad happens.

because of recent events, i know you’ve felt particularly fed up. and i know what you would’ve done in the past. you would’ve continued the cycle and refused to take a break, convincing yourself that the best way to feel better is to distract yourself with something else.

but for the first time in your life, you haven’t jumped. you’ve stepped back. you’ve hit paused, and said

i can’t keep doing this, it’s not healthy. i need to take care of myself

it’s okay. it’s not a set back that you’re taking some time for yourself, and really understanding what’s going on. it’s actually pretty smart.

you wake up in the mornings and stretch your legs in the spacious double bed of your bedroom. the sun filters in through the blinds, and you can hear murmurs of your roommates voices upstairs. you smile, push your face into the soft blankets on the bed next to you and inhale the fresh scent of your sheets.

sometimes days are bad, but then there are days that are okay.

this is one of them.

how to be gentle and patient

the way your parents brought you up has a huge impact on the adult you grow up to be. sure, there are ways your parents influence your life that will better you forever. but then there are ways in which your parents will break and shatter your life so that you spend the rest of it trying to mend the cracks.

to this day, every time i do something wrong, i mentally scold myself because i was taught to self-discipline every time i made a mistake.
you didn’t do so great on a test?
you didn’t study enough and you should feel dumb for the simple mistakes you made.
you’re sick?
you didn’t sleep enough and you shouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place.
you’re feeling sad and blue?
stop wasting time and make up for falling behind.

every tuesday i sink into the plush vinyl of my therapist’s office and try to undo the knots. it’s a process that i’m definitely still trying to navigate, especially when it feels like i’m taking a step back for every two steps forward.

my therapist goes down my laundry list of bad mental habits, which makes me immediately feel guilty and take fault for not knowing how to treat myself kindly. she fails to mention ways for me to nice to myself. she doesn’t talk about how important it is to foster a good relationship with yourself. she forgets to tell me that learning how to be gentle and patient with myself is so so so important.

and so, i stand up from the plush vinyl armchair, and feel somehow worse. because when you remove something from your body, but you don’t know what to replace it with, your body collapses inward on itself and you succumb to bad habits.

you find familiarity in the manic crying spells that plagued your high school years, the tugging of your heart strings that you thought were already broken, the way your eyelids feel the morning after you’ve cried yourself to sleep.

you forget that healing isn’t linear and sometimes it’s okay to take a step back when you thought you were doing so well.

you hate that your normal doesn’t match up with every one’s normal.

today, i watched someone i felt tender feelings for give flowers to someone else. how could i have misjudged a situation this badly? i swore to god there was something there. there’s no way i could have fucked up that badly.

but then the image of my therapist in her plush vinyl armchair came to mind, chiding me for how mean i was being to myself. it isn’t healthy taking fault and placing blame on myself for something that has nothing to do with me.

but when you take away the blame, i somehow manage to feel even shittier, and it’s because i associate coping and healing with lashing out and placing the blame on myself.

god, how fucked up is that.

there’s only so much weight that i can carry before my body starts giving out, which explains the aches, the mental fogginess and the sad cloud that has made a home in my heart.

i’m trying my hardest to learn how to be gentle and patient with this body of mine, but its hard to do that when you were never taught how. it’s like when you’re trying to unlock your front door while fumbling with the keys in the dark. you know you’ll figure it out eventually, but it’d be way easier if the porch light was on.

it would have helped to make today a bit easier if i could stop the infinite loop in my mind from playing back every scenario of the boy and girl together over and over and over again, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes and you have to go home and wrap yourself in a fuzzy blanket and drink wine with your roommates. sometimes that happens and you just have to tell your mind

we have to stop. please let me rest, just for tonight.

even though i want to spend tomorrow wishing that i didn’t exist and that i could just skip from participating in february 14, i know that fumbling for a little bit longer in the dark won’t be quite as bad as i think it is.

 

 

 

hello, are you there?

has your heart ever felt so heavy that you wondered how on earth it was doing its job of keeping you alive?

maybe you’ve cried so much that you don’t have any tears left and your aching body is tired from all the sobbing.

or maybe you’ve pushed up the sleeves of your sweatshirt and dragged your sharp nails down your wrists for the first time in years, leaving the all too familiar red stripes down your arm.

and then you feel fine for a couple days (maybe even weeks), and you think to yourself that maybe this is the turning point for you. this is the point where you’ll finally feel normal for the first time in your life.

i feel great, this is great, life is great.

but then it slams into you like a goddamn train. you drive past Sunset Drive-In, where a boy once took you for a movie, and you grip the steering wheel until your knuckles turn white. you hold your breath until the movie theater is out of your sight, but the thought of this boy is still on your mind. you two haven’t talked because he’s not alive anymore.

you don’t understand how or why you still think about him, but he creeps into your mind at least once a week. it’s infuriating and depressing to say the least.

and when it gets really bad, to the point where you’re starting to think

this is the worst i have ever felt in my life, i will never recover from this,

your mind wanders back to the thought of that boy, wondering how on earth you are going to avoid the same fate as him, even though you two are carved from the same stone. you two were so different, and yet so similar.

you wish you could see him one more time, just to talk. you wonder how lonely he must have felt toward the end.

your heart hurts for him.

you look at the clock, it’s suddenly 1:30 a.m. and you close your eyes.

you wake up the next morning, forgetting the battle from last night for a split second.

oh wait. that happened.

you feel awful again.

lather.

rinse.

repeat.

 

 

 

a shot in the dark

dearest friends,

this is an apology, for every time that i’ve ended up a crumpled heap and you’ve been the ones who’ve had to pick up the pieces and smooth out the wrinkles.

you keep telling me

you need to love yourself before you can love someone else

and i reply

i wish i knew how

because if it was as easy as waking up in the morning and breaking in a new pair of shoes, i would have done that years ago and saved us all from this heartbreak.

every time someone, that i swear to god i felt a connection with, tells me

i wasn’t sure what i was doing, i’m sorry.

i just want to be friends.

you’re too emotional for me.

it shatters my heart to a million trillion pieces. every time i am told something along those lines, it makes me want to lock my heart up in a box and throw the key away. why would i keep risking getting hurt if i know how this will end up?

and yet, the way that i wholeheartedly love with my entire being is one of my favorite parts about myself. maybe i’m too honest about my feelings, or maybe i expect too much from others, but i just can’t fathom living with the fact that you and me might become a missed connection.

and that’s where the conflict comes.

i don’t know what i’m doing wrong, but no matter what approach i take or how long i wait to say something, the story always ends with me alone in bed, clutching my chest and sobbing into my sheets with an awful awful heaviness in my chest, tears streaming down my face, embarrassment that burns my cheeks and a feeling that i’ve depressingly become all too familiar with.

it’s so goddamn unfair, when you know that you deserve the love and affection that everyone else around you is experiencing, you’re spending time trying to get to know someone, you’re not jumping into things too fast, and you’re not being disrespectful with your feelings, and yet you still end up alone in bed, feeling absolutely awful about yourself and cursing the fact that you said anything in the first place.

i know it’s got nothing to do with me, but when i want affection from someone and i don’t get it, i can’t help but wonder deep down what the hell is wrong with me?

to my friends, i’m sorry you have to keep watching me make these mistakes over and over again. i promise i’m trying my best.