I feel as though my life fell apart since going through a break up with my partner. There were stumbling blocks and difficulties throughout our relationship, as is human, but we loved each other greatly and lived with each other for nearly four years. My grandparents faced far worse together and stayed together for the rest of their lives, my mom stayed in love with my father long after any reasonable person would have given up. But after a few months of worsening depression (which neither of us recognized) was enough to entirely kill off our relationship and future prospects thereof. If only we had talked about it when things first started to change for her. If only we knew how to have a healthy relationship. If only we knew more about mental illness and how to overcome the challenges it presents. If only we knew how to have a relationship that functioned well (because no one ever tells anyone that even the best relationships are still hard work).
Forgive me for dwelling on this topic folks, but it seems to me that when you are convinced you want to spend your life with someone (as she was for me and I was for her) things do not so easily end. When you spend almost four years with someone, and live with them the majority of the time, and do everything together, one cannot easily move on. When you love every little tiny fabric of someone’s being, when you love every thought in their head and beat in their heart, I cannot start being interested in someone else so easily.
We truly loved each other. She used to say she wanted my body to be absorbed into hers so we could just be one person. I used to want us to be able to shrink and be carried around in the other’s pocket. We did everything together. We cooked, cleaned, shopped, grocery shopped, played crosswords and video games and listened to records and went to the library… We shared everything, our subs and sandwhiches, our drinks our snacks. It wasn’t uncommon for us to pile our dinner on one plate and eat from it together. If we were at a party we would share a beer instead of having our own, same with glasses of water. We were two peas in a pod, and although there were some problems we were always so attached to the other that we never forgot what it was all about. But when things got worse, when we stopped doing most of the things that we had always done, when my personality changed for the worse, that very deep connection we had with each other was lost or crowded out or hidden by the fog. There are many studies that show even the most successful long term relationships are a rollercoaster of feelings ranging from pure bliss to depressing and everything in between. Add onto that a mental illness no one recognizes, and which inflicts great damage, and you don’t have a recipe for a functioning relationship.
I love that girl with everything I have. I love the way her upper lip looks, I love the way her nose wiggles when she talks, I love hearing her voice and her stories and her ideas, I love her hands and her fingers and her fingernails. I love every cell that comprises her, and every second that has washed over her. I love all of her stories both told and untold, I love her beliefs and worldview and life philosophy, I love her interests and experiences. I love everything that is her.
Although I’m enjoying the life I have right now, although I still have an idea of where I want to go and what I want to do, I still feel completely lost for not having her around all the time. And this isn’t a matter of loneliness, because I enjoy being alone and doing whatever I want to do without worrying about anyone else, it’s that life was happier, more fun with her in it. And I certainly know that we were stronger for the whole than the sum of our parts. I’m appreciating this time as a chance to learn to be self-sufficient and independent of anyone else, but I cannot shake the feeling like she and I are meant for one another.