I wake up every day where I always said I wanted to be and still I wonder if he’ll ever love me like I think I need him to or if I’ll ever again feel as proud as I did telling people I was moving to New York.
He cooks and cleans and walks our dogs in the morning so that I can get that extra 15 minutes of sleep I swear I need to be happy and I spend my time talking myself out of doing what I love most for the fear of finding out that I could get everything I’ve ever wanted out of life and still not be happy; terrified to find out with certainty what I’ve always known to be true: I don’t know how to be happy.
So I am starting my 28th year of life trying to be positive, reminding myself daily how lucky I am just to be breathing, no matter how shallow the breath. I am starting my 28th year by climbing out of a big, dark, freezing, pool of depression and I’m sitting here, clothes still drenched in sadness, and I am trying. I’m walking on sunny sides of streets, I’m drinking more water, I’m brushing my hair at least half of the week and I’m crying during the second to last song at Soulcycle because it’s the only healthy release I know.
I am trying – to kick, push, or even doggy-paddle my way to the other side of this.
I like to take steaming showers. I fill all of the cracks in the bathroom door and I close the window to seal the room shut. I turn the left knob of the faucet as far as I can without it leaving marks on my skin as it falls from the shower head. I sit with my back to the spout, pull my knees in, wrap my arms around my shins, and rest my chin on my knee caps. I sit like that until the steam is so dense there isn’t an inch of the room that isn’t covered in it. The room is all filled up. I’m all filled up. I start to feel light headed, all the energy sucked from my body. I know I’m ready. My body always feel sluggish as I use the sides of the tub to pull myself to my feet. When I turn the left knob back to the right it makes a screeching noise similar to the way I feel when I think about him loving someone else. I wrap myself in a towel and race to my bed to get under the blankets before the warmth fades, competing with the memories of all the ways in which loving him left me freezing.
That’s how I fight the loneliness…with heat. The kind of warmth my body ached for each and every time he betrayed me.