I have a friend here in Austin who has found herself almost exactly in the same place as I was 4 years ago. She loves someone with an addiction that took over his life, and in doing so, it threw her life off track as well.
Is there anything worse than knowing, deep down, that there’s nothing you are going to be able to say or do that’s going to make this easier for her? She didn’t deserve this. She is loving and supportive and hopeful for him, like I was about Chef not that long ago. Being loving and supportive a hopeful, though, also leaves you vulnerable. And that vulnerability really left me defenseless at the worst possible times.
The whole situation really made me take a moment to take inventory of where I am now. In a ton of ways, I’m much better. I am a functioning brokenhearted woman. I have a job that I work hard at. I have DJ, my son, living with me, and my dogs and cat, whom I love with my whole heart. And, of course, I have my friend Exodus, who I can’t imagine life without. But the wounds, while healing, are still there.
I see myself much differently than I once had. I know I tend to isolate and push people away when in pain, and I’ve done this to an extreme this time too. I worry that I don’t remember why I loved my husband so much anymore, and the thought of someone trying to love me makes me literally panic. I wrote once that I don’t know what to hope for anymore, and I guess, I’m still there. I’m lonely, but afraid to do what it takes to fix that.
I will always be there for my friend who just had her heart shattered and handed to her. I just wish my life gave a better reason for her to hope for a perfect healing.
But maybe, we don’t get over these kinds of hurts perfectly. Maybe they really do change us forever. But even now, when the healing is incomplete and I can still feel the wounds buried in shallow graves in my heart, I see glimpses from time to time of a happier life. I see a possibility from time to time that make me think, maybe. Maybe one day, I’ll be whole again. Maybe one day, I won’t run away from someone who wants to get to know me. Maybe.
I wish I could promise you everything, C. I wish I could take your pain away and just add it to the already enormous mountain of my own, so you wouldn’t have to face it, like I did. But I can’t.
I can just promise you, you have someone here who understands exactly what a horrible experience this is. You have someone who understands how hard it is to get through each minute of each hour of each day. You have someone here who will mourn the death of who you used to be with you, and who’ll welcome who you are becoming now, because she knows what a tremendous force love is and having it crushed changes us. You have a sister in this.
I wish I could give you more.