Thursday, February 21, 2002I was going through my inbox this morning when I came across this personal essay my friend wrote a week (i think) after her breakup. She's doing a lot better now.
A GRIEVING HYPOTHALAMUS
For some of you, the contents of this essay will seem like the typical ramblings of a “wizened” hopeless romantic. That may be true…though the last thing I ever want is to be pegged as typical. But anyway, I digress.
Aahhh…being in love with someone who is just as in love with you as you are with him. There is no feeling in the world quite like it!
Being in love is like drinking hot cocoa on a rainy day: warm, intoxicating, soothing, and somehow, it feels just right. Its like having God’s hand on your shoulder. It’s as though the world was created to be a paradise for just the two of you to enjoy. When you’re in love, you wake up excited about the day ahead. It seems that nothing and no one can ruin your mood. No, not your annoying little brother, not the cab driver who wants 30 pesos more on top of the already exorbitant fare, not even a tomato sauce stain on your favorite white shirt. You go about doing your daily tasks with a grin on your face that you cannot seem to wipe off even if you had wanted to. The anticipation of seeing him at the end of the day is almost unbearable but the certainty that he will be there makes all the waiting worth it.
There is a certain freedom you get from loving someone who loves you. Buy him his favorite cologne, cook his favorite meal, call him every night, say “I love you!” as often as you like!… all it will make him is happier. No one can find fault in that. Your freedom to express your love is boundless, and there is nothing as exhilarating as seeing his smile grow bigger, his eyes grow warmer with your every effort. How can we not want to give all we can when we’re in love? It’s simply unthinkable. The mere knowledge that you will be making him happy is enough of a motivation, actually seeing his joy and gratitude is a bonus.
Still, I must admit that loving is not always roses and a life enveloped by a dreamy haze. Reality check. No matter how compatible you two are, no matter how similar in wavelength, how in love, you will have disagreements. It is but natural, as you two are two different people. Your views, interpretations, thought processes would clash or divert at some point. Sometimes these can just slide by, other times, they lead to fights. During these moments, it is as though a dark cloud appeared out of nowhere, threatening storm. Fighting with the one you love is like having a boulder hanging by a thread from the tip of your heart. Every minute it hangs there, the thread saws at your tender heart, leaving a small but nevertheless hurtful wound…very much like a paper cut.
It would take some maturity and less pride to sit down and talk it out. Keeping silent and running away will do no good. In fact, it could lead to your ruin. That is the most important lesson that I’ve learned from all my failed relationships, all the times I fell in love and fell flat on my face after the relationship crumbled. Communication is the key.
And so it goes…we love and we fight. We try to work it out and love some more. The moments of pain only making the love stronger and the relationship last longer. But not all the time. More often than not, and more often than we want, someone gives up…and then what? The hardest break ups to get over are those where you still love each other but just couldn’t seem to stop fighting, couldn’t stop hurting each other, couldn’t compromise. As the song goes, “sometimes, love just ain’t enough.” Sad but, oh, so true. All the hurts from past misunderstandings cannot even begin to compare with the hurt of giving up on a relationship you tried so hard to keep alive. Nothing could prepare you for letting go of the one you still love. On a simpler and shallower level, it’s like putting your wounded pet dog to sleep because with the constant pain it suffers, even simply existing has become an ordeal.
Putting a relationship to sleep, not because of tradition, not because of infidelity, not because of distance, not because of any other factor, outside of the two of you…who could get used to it? The love is very much alive, and the reservoir of hope is still full to the brim. How do we even begin to move on? Gone are days where you wake to the bliss of knowing that you will be him that night, cuddling or even just talking on the phone. No longer does the world seem like a paradise created for you & him to explore and enjoy. Your little brother is once again intolerable, the cab driver too demanding for your taste, your favorite white shirt no longer good for anything but as a rag. All your daily tasks are now nothing more than chores that you have to complete. “Who needs to smile while working?” you rationalize, when people notice the frown on your face. You begin to wonder if God has decided to put his hand on someone else’s shoulder instead.
In spite of all this—or maybe because of it—you find yourself somehow unwilling to let go. It’s like being terrified of heights and still you bungee jumped…but after, instead of letting go and disentangling yourself from the rope, you hold on to it tightly, making yourself dangle in mid-air longer than was necessary. Your friends begin to think that you’re some crazy masochist who just won’t stop trying to get herself hurt some more. But it seems that hope still springs eternal in the hearts of even the most pessimistic people.
Is it right to hope some more? What can be done to make you willing to still go on living, to go on wanting to breathe in & out? And after that, how do you go back to living a normal life? When will you stop crying into your pillow at night? How long will you go on waking up with a hollowness that reverberates so much that your heartache becomes a physical pain, almost choking you? How do you get over him, the one you love so much that you’d walk through fire for him? How do you move on and leave in the past a relationship that brought you so much happiness and a kind of joy & comfort such as you’ve never known before, despite the pain that marred and ended it? How do you even begin?
I wish I knew the answer to even just one of these questions, but I don’t. If I did, I’d have a good night’s sleep. If I did, I’d no longer lie awake in the middle of the night reminiscing and wishing I could turn back the clock. If I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now, tapping away at the keyboard hoping for a divine revelation…or his phone call. If only I did…but I don’t. I guess, I’m not as wizened as I thought I was.
Loves the beach, wishes she had more time and money to travel, recently got hooked to climbing mountains, reads anything she can get her hands on, frustrated writer, adores her 3-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tashi, constantly needs caffeine,
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