Staying Gone

Leaving isn't the hard part. It's staying gone. No one warns you about the aftermath. Once you've cut off all ties from your toxic relationship, phone numbers deleted, social media accounts unfollowed, venomous words spat — that's only the beginning. Leaving can provide a temporary high. But after the first few days have gone by, and you suddenly tangibly feel the loneliness enclosing around you, the hate begins to fade. Your throat doesn't burn with rage and your hands unravel from tightly clenched fists. Your heart feels a prisoner, trapped in its cage of ribs. Your eyes burn from late nights staring at the ominous black ceiling, cursed by the thought of him. But you did it, you left, you're gone.

So stay gone. Simply leaving is not enough. Don't go back expecting to find your happiness, because that is exactly where you lost it. You don't answer the 3 a.m. phone call, and you delete the voicemail before listening to it. You don't let him visit and you erase from your memory the path to his house. You let yourself be vulnerable.

But now, you have forgotten how to live your life without constant chaos and abrupt feelings. When he was still around, you felt like you were being slapped in the face and kissed so lightly; your skin would burn with rage, and your heart would melt, all in a matter of seconds. So now, hating him is the only way to feed your withdrawal from a world of unpredictability. That was the only normal you have ever known. All you want to do is jump out of your own skin, to escape from your own mind, but you can't. Because that is the only place you still have him.

How could he do that to you? You wanted to succeed with him more than you wanted to breathe. He polluted your mind with lies of love and forever. You convince yourself you're doing better, you're getting over him. You tell yourself that you're living the life that's good for you. But you'll always have that voice in the back of your mind reminding you that you're not as good of a liar as he always was. Nostalgia is a bitch that is notorious for creeping up on you when you thought you were doing just fine. Even worse, it makes things seem way more perfect that they ever were. You're trying to take it day by day, trying to stay gone, but you're struggling.

You long to be your beautiful self again. But how could you when there was nothing beautiful about what he did to you? You start to find yourself crying a lot. But then, you're crying a lot less. And then one day, you don't cry. And then the next day, you don't even want to cry. But that next day never comes if you don't stay gone.

For once, be selfish and listen to yourself. You know what is best for you. You know the best way for you to heal. And you will heal. This won't always consume your life. Make peace with your past. Not because you’re weak, but because that’s what you need to grow. Your modern love was broken, don’t break yourself in the process of trying to save what was already gone. You had to courage to leave, find the strength to stay gone.

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