When you walked out last summer I thought I would never recover. You were the person I was sure I could spend the rest of my life with. It was a huge shock and you finished with me in a very cruel, heartless way – but you know that. I didn’t have a clue you were thinking of moving away and I was very sure about our relationship and future together. My mental health plummeted and I experienced the worst type of heartbreak. It was born of the confusion of a sudden disappearance, of having the rug ripped out from under my feet; it was like you had died on me. It was proper grief.
As autumn came along I still felt like I was wading through a heavy, hot, tarry sea, but glimmers of recovery showed on the surface. With determination, friends, a good social life, strength, I slowly started building my life up again. Christmas and new year passed, so did winter. I still heard nothing but radio silence and had no idea where in the world you were. Then by early spring I started being able to think of our relationship and your disappearance in the past tense, not the present.
As we all know, the world changed in March. Here in the UK it crept up on us, the realisation we weren’t going to escape the spread of coronavirus, and when lock down was announced (too late) panic and anxiety appeared, and dread settled in. The thought of doing this all alone with just my children for company scared me. You started appearing again – everywhere; my dreams every night, my thoughts in the day. I would wake up in the morning and for a few moments feel you sleeping next to me in bed, your presence a comfort to me, then I would realise it wasn’t true and I was facing all this difficulty alone.
I was angry that my mind was playing such cruel tricks on me and ploughed myself into looking after my children, helping people out on my street, working my ass off on new exciting things. But I started feeling bitter about the people I saw around me who were isolating with partners or housemates to prop them up. A deep, gnawing loneliness started creeping in. I started drinking more and more, I couldn’t believe how much the loneliness hurt; it is not something I have ever experienced before.
I am heartbroken again, when, with it being almost a year now since you went, I should be well on my way to getting over you. It isn’t so easy when there are no distractions any more. I sent you a message a few weeks ago, just checking in, I don’t imagine you ever read it. I searched online for some sign that you are okay, but you always hated social media, and there was nothing, as you probably know. If I am honest, I wanted to know if you were as lonely as me, if you were thinking about me at all.
Coronavirus has bent time and exposed me to grief again, and without being able to sit in a room with any of the people who rallied around when you went, without that essential actual real-life human contact and touch, I really struggle to tell anyone how I feel, and I struggle to recover. I sit in my room waving and smiling at my friends on Zoom, or from their garden paths, and I can’t get through to them how desperately sad and alone I feel at times.
I would love to have an adult around right now to shoulder the weight of this new, changed life with. Someone to laugh about the ridiculousness of our situation with, to tear apart the government with, someone over the age of 12 to share my home with. When I am feeling more logical I surmise that I am just grieving for my old life, our relationship as it was has turned into some kind of totem; and the fact that I am dealing with everything on my own now, when just a year ago I thought you would never hurt me on purpose, that we were a team. Maybe this isn’t about missing you really, but more about wishing for things to be different. And also I am not very young any more; I know that a 1000 new opportunities for a great relationship aren’t just around the corner, especially when life has suddenly shrunk down so small.
As the weeks go on I don’t dream about you every night, I am drinking less. I am beginning to realise that you coming back into my life will not make anything better now, will not make the loneliness go away. Things will never be the same again. But to know you are okay and know that you care would help I think. It may help me to be stronger, and softer – not bitter, and not so worried about the future. Because right now, I can’t help but feel my life is going to be jammed on rewind for quite some time to come, unable to move forward, and that doesn’t seem fair.
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