Have you ever been so, so far deep into something, that you don’t even really realize how bad it was–how bad you were, until you finally start to come out on the other side?
Unrequited Love is defined as simply loving someone who doesn’t love you back. It’s a horrible feeling, and one that I feel like most people have felt at one point or another throughout their lives. There are books, songs, poems, and speeches about experiences with unrequited love. It’s everywhere. It’s been apart of life since the beginning of time.
Unrequited love is brutal. It’s toxic and it can eat you alive. The pain of loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way is almost unbearable; it feels devastating. The past sixteen months for me have been awful. I’ve cried myself to sleep more nights than I care to admit; I’ve lost so, so much sleep and I still feel like I’m playing catch up; I’ve been shamefully glued to my phone, silently hoping and pleading for a text, for a message, for a call.
Just over a year ago, my heart broke into a million pieces, and I’m still trying to pick them all up and put them back together. For most of last year, I was in a really, really bad place. I was really, really sad and angry the majority of the time. I tried to distract myself through traveling and teaching and training for a half marathon and even going out on my first Tinder date, but I was not ready. And in all honesty, after all this time, I’m still not where I need to be. Some days, it really does feel like I take one step forward and five steps back.
It was a kind of mutual unspoken love. A kind of thing that happens at the wrong time under the wrong circumstances. But, then suddenly, I didn’t count. I didn’t exist. I didn’t happen. I’m not important. I don’t matter.
For many months I tried to suppress my feelings and my anger; I desperately tried not to be *that girl*. I tried to be the feminist and the friend I always am to my friends– who tells them they’re worth more, that guys will come and go, that their beauty and their worth come from within. But the truth is that it really, really hurts. And I never want to feel like this again. Because above all else I’m grieving a friendship; I’m grieving a friend– and more importantly the person I believed- and hoped- they were. I’m grieving what was, and I’m grieving the fact hat they don’t seem to care, as long as they get to have their cake and eat it too.
But through this process, I’ve learned that feeling is so much better than not feeling. I’m only human, after all. I’ve learned that when it comes to unrequited love, it’s basically a form of grieving, and you need to acknowledge it in order to move on. It’s important to go easy on yourself, let yourself feel sad and angry and resentful, but to not stop living your life (I think I did a pretty good job at that!) The worst advice about unrequited love has been telling me I need to find someone else and move on, as if it was that easy.
I’m trying to remember that just because I am not loved by one does not mean I am not loved by others. There is so much love in my life. I’m trying to remember that I do deserve someone who can love me back, and that I am still capable of finding someone who will love me, fully and truthfully. I have to remind myself that I deserve that– that everyone deserves that.
I’m not where I need to be, yet. But I’ve begun to remove the blindfold. I’m trying to feel pity instead of jealousy. Im trying to feel gratefulness instead of pine. I’m hoping, sixteen months later, that I’ll be able to get there.