a love letter to heartbreak
I thought I had first met you at the tender age of 14 upon losing my first ever-bf after 1 month. Turns out that that I had just met your kinder friend, Sadness. (We can now acknowledge that year 8 relationships didn’t mean shit).
Instead, you waited until later on to introduce yourself to me.
I first properly met you when I checked my relationship status on facebook during freshers week. After 2 and a half loved-up years, the word ‘single’ drummed so loudly against the silence of my room that your deafening footsteps tore through the walls as you shook my clamored hands. No-one warned me about your arrival. But there you were, uninvited, unexpected and unwanted. In that moment, I knew I hated you. You had morphed the world around me, making me spit words of venom to the boy who sent you my way, until I was no longer recognisable under a veil of my own bitterness.
In fact, I despised you so much that I did anything I could to avoid you.
I tried to burn any trace of your existence, blistering the insides of my throat with streams of vodka. But then you would show up again, hiding at the bottom of each bottle, waiting to creep up on me when I was at my most hazy and lost. You crept up on me with such a vengeance that one night I thought the only way to be ridden of you was to get rid of myself.
You were forceful, reckless and powerful. To push you away was as futile as fighting the tides, and I was drowning.
Until one day, the boy who had sent you to me, decided that it was time for you to leave. The tides had suddenly softened, and you were becoming merely a shallow crash against the shore.
We tip-toed around you, speaking only words of forgiveness and kindness in a bid to encourage you to drift away into the background. And into the background you went. Trying our best to not provoke you, we spent the next 2 years keeping out of your way, as neither of us wanted to be reminded of the wreckage you caused.
Caught up in the midst of tangled sheets, breathless laughter and morning kisses, I smiled smugly to myself in the knowledge that I was safe from you now. Every time he grasped my hand, I squeezed a little harder each time, making the spaces between our fingers tight enough to keep you out.
I was free.
Or at least, I thought I was. I should have known that you enter in the moments when people want you the least.
I’ll always remember that afternoon in May – you discreetly wove your way between the spaces of our fingers and tore love away from me. The more forcefully I clenched, the more violently you retaliated. You reintroduced yourself by manifesting in breathless tremors, holding me hostage as restless nights spent were spent trying purge myself of your presence in the form of choking cries.
Following the turbulent backlash, I admitted silent defeat. I knew this time you were here to stay. After getting to know you more, your all-consuming moments of writhing agony grew less frequent, only triggered by periods of recollection and drunken late-night phone calls. Replacing the fleeting intensive cries was a more permanent state of numbness. I ran out of words to talk about you. Perhaps because you were no longer seething in my veins, instead you became a constant dull ache residing behind glazed eyes. Perhaps because it is a lot more difficult to verbalise the feeling of nothingness.
Maybe by now you are wondering how this could be a Love Letter, since the destruction of love is the very thing that you stand for – is this not an oxymoron?
Let me explain. Sure, I hated how you made me feel, and I am already dreading the next time we meet, since I now know that a reunion with you is an inevitable part of life. But over time, I began to make peace with you. I allowed you to teach me things that Love alone could never have showed me.
Without you, I would have never known that I am strong enough to lift the crushing weight of my own body out of the grave that love had dug me. Without you, I would not have been able to explore the many branches of untouched hopes and dreams, which had buried themselves beneath the wishes of another. Without you, I would have never been able to meet Myself.
I always held the notion that I knew who I was. But it was you that showed me how naive I was, for I did not know myself at all. The self that exists in love is a comfortable self. The self that perseveres alone is the true self. You gave me the space to explore what I truly desire from life, the chance to meet and connect with new souls, and offered me an untouched freedom, defined and bound by myself only.
So, I owe that to you, Heartbreak. By taking away one source of love, you allowed me to focus my love elsewhere. And so began the journey of loving myself. And this is a relationship that you cannot destroy. This is the one space where I’m safe from meeting you again for a while.
Until next time.