I once had a really good friend and, if friendships are really broken down into tiers of closeness (which they are), I might even say that we were the best of friends. But, a few months ago, there was a huge falling out. And this, I think, is where this really begins. You see, J – we’ll just call this person J- and I are no longer friends. This has had a profoundly larger impact on my being than even I thought possible. And I think, in many ways, I have allowed this. I wanted to not feel anything at the end. We are always so tempted by the ease a lack of emotion or pain offers. The lies with which we are fed that unfeeling is strength or peace. There is no strength in hiding from your pain. There is no courage in locking up our emotions. They go nowhere; they fester and putrefy. John Greene said pain demands to be felt-

So.Much.Truth.

But, my point is my pain went nowhere. It did not fizzle out with time because I had not experienced it. And if I had not experienced it, I couldn’t let it go. I woke up yesterday morning and I had a dream with a feature from J. You know you’re bottling something up when it no longer torments your consciousness, but goes even deeper. I had not let myself acknowledge my feelings in my waking, so they tormented my dreams. Yesterday I caught myself, though. Finally. I guess what I’ve been trying to say, what I’m still trying to say (and doing a poor job saying) is that I’ve been afraid- afraid of experiencing unpleasantness. Fear is a powerful compeller but I find that for me I fail too often to acknowledge that it is the root cause of many of my problems.

J and I stopped being friends and I did not cry. I did not look back. I did not let go of hope even in such a hopeless situation. I pretended that my pain and loss did not exist, then I sugarcoated my denial and called it “moving on”. I told myself that if I looked back, I was lost. But as it turns out, I am still lost now. I do not pine for what was once, but I acknowledge now that I do have to grieve for its loss. My life is no longer exactly as it was and I’ll be damned if I don’t stop and realise it. So, if I feel like going through a bag of lindor truffles to grieve, I won’t stop myself. I am the only one that can make ‘being alone’ feel ‘lonely’, and I am the only one who can reclaim my solitude.

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