It’s easy to look back now and say I was never really in love. Hindsight has a way of distorting the history of emotion’s past. At the time I thought I did love her. Obviously- I married her. I cared about her. Shared in her joys, empathized with her pain. Stood by her through all her tough times.
But if it was love, why was it so easy to not care? How did I go from being deeply in love with her one day and drinking wine with another girl until the wee hours of the night the next?
I can only draw two conclusions. First, I was never really in love with her. I tolerated her. Settled with a person I thought I could live with instead of the one I couldn’t live without. In reality that’s a fucked up standard. Look at all the people who have lost the ones they thought they couldn’t live without. Widows, divorcees, etc. while there’s emotional scars and pain, they’re making it. They’re living. They’re living without the “one”. Granted they may not want to, but their heart is still beating and their brain is still functioning.
Second, I was afraid of being alone. In 24 years I’d never lived by myself, never really taken care of myself. There was always someone there I could depend on for help when things got rocky. The thought of living alone, being alone, terrified me. Even now I sometimes think it’d be nice to have someone around, someone to want me around. But I don’t. And that’s fine with me.
Losing someone you love or thought you loved is always painful. Your world loses all hope, all meaning. But it doesn’t have to stay that way, doesn’t have to define you, doesn’t have to ruin you. It’ll still hurt, in some ways it always will. That scar will always be there. Losing a love is one of life’s ways of showing you you’re stronger than you think, deserve more than you thought you were worth, better than you hoped.
A Toast: To Love Lost