Throughout this past month, I kept updating my opinion on what was the “hardest part”. First it was when you were in the coma, then it was when I found those text messages, then it was all the medical complications, then it was the week you woke up and struggled with sedation, then it was the day I had to tell you I knew the truth and our relationship was over, then it was the days afterward when I did not hear from you or see you. But now that it is “over”, I know without a doubt the past 24 hours were the hardest part.
I knew when you were discharged from the hospital you would be coming to the house, both to see the dog and to get your belongings I packed for you. I was so anxious…I had no idea what was going to happen. You could have literally picked everything up and left in ten minutes. The minute you walked in the door, all my anxiety melted away. You looked so feeble and weak, moving so slowly. You hugged me and my face pressed against your neck, just like it did the other day, except this time it was your skin and not your central line I felt. All I wanted was to be with you and take care of you. I know those feelings were supposed to be “wrong”, but throughout this whole nightmare, I have followed my heart with no regrets. I knew you needed me more than I needed to be angry with you. I can say it is the first time in my life that I know I had to be and was completely selfless. Nothing mattered more than you surviving and getting better.
You staying overnight just felt natural. I thought it would be awkward, but it wasn’t. Even though it was maybe not the smartest move in the world for us, it just felt right. I think we held each other more in 24 hours than we did in the entire previous year. We have both always wanted our space in bed when sleeping, but I don’t think there was a time the entire night that we didn’t touch each other. It was not sexual at all, it was just so comforting. I woke up before you and just stared at your face. I wanted to memorize every single thing, to burn the image into my brain. I have always loved your nose and the shape of your lips. My favorite part of your face is under you eyes by the bridge of your nose.
My heart sank when your parents arrived an hour early- I felt robbed of 60 more minutes of being with you, of us being together. That last hour was so rushed. I made sure to take some time to take the dog into the other room alone so I could say goodbye to her. Every time I walk into the house now, it feels so weird to not have her there by the door. I kept thinking today I needed to run home to let her out and then would remember with a sinking heart that she was no longer there. I don’t know how I managed to say goodbye to you without collapsing. I had to lie on the bed after I came back inside the house. Your car was still in front of the house. My tears were silent so I could hear the exact moment you drove away. It reminded me of when we were dating long distance and you would leave at the end of the weekend and I would feel my heart sink knowing I would not see you for a full week. This was that times one million.
I am aware of the fact that I am mourning our relationship and focusing only on the things I will miss. I will miss you so much. I start to feel normal, forget for one split second, and then it is like a wave washes over me and I remember you are gone. Really, really gone. I realize right now that I am only thinking about the good parts of our relationship and the fact that you are a truly a good person with a very bad problem. I know that I am going to have to go through all the different emotions at some point. I deserve to feel the anger about your betrayal. There’s a part of me that is relieved that my life will not be affected every day by your drinking. I wish I had a crystal ball to see into the future- to see if you are going to be sober, to find out if you will be a part of my life again. However, I know with complete certainty that I love you, and yet I also know with equal confidence that I had to let you go. For you and for me.
I haven’t even begun to process the trauma, the hurt, the heartbreak, the loss from this past month. I tried to stay busy all day so I didn’t think about how every minute, you were another mile farther away. We talked on the phone and at the end of the conversation you said “I love you” and I said “I love you, too”. It did not feel like simply habit, although we always said that when we hung up the phone. I know the love we have for each other is genuine and I am not going to deny my feelings for you because of the negative things that have happened. I just know that love is not enough and some things are just not meant to be. I am letting you go because this is a journey you have to take yourself and I need to carve a new path for myself, too. I spend too much time wishing that none of this ever happened and torturing myself about what I could have done differently. But deep down, I knew that my love would never be enough and that you have to learn to love yourself first. And I have to start putting myself first and that begins with letting you go.