You Need to Love Yourself
It’s been three weeks and I sometimes think I’m fine. I’ve joined clubs, learned how to make sourdough bread, and started exercising again. If anyone asks, I’m doing great. But it’s the simplest things that bring me back. I want to call you and bitch about my job and say how I understand why you always needed a drink after work. I hear a song and I get pumped up about the music festivals that we were going to go to this summer. It was going to be such an amazing summer, full of music and sunshine and love. Love. How can I tell you that I still love you, but things are just not working right now? How can I do that and make you understand how I feel, so that you can move on, but not be hurt? I wish this didn’t have to hurt.
I keep coming back to when we first met. It was the most unlikely of circumstances, we were both at a show, me with my boyfriend, and you, alone. I never talk to people at shows, but I talked to you because of your kind eyes. We bonded over music and trees and vegetarianism. Even though my boyfriend was there, I asked for your number. I couldn’t risk never talking to you again and leaving it up to the universe, I just had to see you again. On the walk home, my boyfriend was upset with me, but my mind was full of possibilities and hope. Over the next year, we met often over coffee and talked for hours. I didn’t want to admit that I was falling for you, so I kept on telling myself that we were ‘just friends’.
We had a happy first year, for the most part. Things were stressful and chaotic, but we were in love and we could support each other. But when my fourth year of school rolled around, I changed. My expectations started to cripple me; I felt that I was never enough. You always made me feel like I was enough, but your need for me was too much. I lost contact with friends because of our necessity to see each other. I tried to convince myself that it was just temporary. While I was crying in the practice rooms every morning, you were sleeping late, avoiding the world and yourself. I told you to work harder and just deal with the inconveniences of life, but you never changed. I begged you to see a psychologist, but you said that it wouldn’t help. When I asked you if you were suicidal, I knew a line had been crossed. This was too much, you had a plan and I was so scared. When you started seeing a psychologist it didn’t seem to help. I know it’s a process, but how was I supposed to wait? I loved you, but you also made me desperately unhappy. Good times were farther and farther apart and when you were upset about my lack of sex drive, I didn’t know how to say that I felt like I had become your mother, your caretaker. I knew something had to give, but I was afraid to break up with you. I waited for things to improve, but it was becoming harder to hide my ever-distancing feelings. With all the energy I put into school and you, there was nothing left for me. I wanted my life back again, but I didn’t want to risk losing a life in the process.
When I told you it was over, you begged for me to reconsider. You said that you couldn’t stand to lose me right now. I wanted to give you another chance, but I already knew that I had given you too many. I was finally making a decision for myself. Three weeks later I have not questioned my decision, but I worry about you. I love you and you’re still my best friend and I still can’t imagine losing you forever. Chad, I love you, but you need to learn to love yourself too, and so do I.