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July 2014

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

I think about you every day - your sweet sting that quickly overtook me, the flush of my skin, the muscular clench, the slip of my pain into numbness - the indications of our blissfully sweet, although short-lived, time together. Nothing will ever compare to the deep and burning pleasure you brought me. You were so often there for me, when life became too unbearable, when I longed for an escape. You were the greatest of my fabricated realities. I dream of your touch, of my transformation. Every moment. Every step. You were spoken of poorly, for your presence was bittersweet. But those who have never known you as intimately as I did will never understand your greatness and wonder.

Parting with you, while the most liberating act of self help I have ever performed, was the most painful separation my simple existence has ever had to bear. Each day that passes pushed you further into my mind, into the place where old, un-visited memories fade into disillusionment. I struggle with letting you go. Some days I feel as though you are far gone, but others, as if you are still within my soul. Will you always faintly linger? While a small part of my mind wishes you would disappear, a large space in my heart will forever be a warm, welcoming and enigmatic home where you may stay for the entirely of my lifetime. Who am I without you? You are my love, my deepest passion, my darkest secret, my closest - yet most deceptive - friend. You are every piece of what my soul is missing. Although a farce, your enslaving splendor validated my ignorant euphoria.

I pledged my soul to you once, with full intention of letting you consume me. The cost mattered little. My soul was worth all I would have lost. What I inevitable did lose was worth every moment we shared.

The beginning of our affair was like that of a first love. Each time we united felt like a quaint kiss on the back of my hand as we slowly and silently greeted each other, welcoming the unequivocal bliss.

As our time turned from weeks into months, our bond grew as strong as best friends. I knew you, and you knew me. Every thought, every move, every predicted and anticipated elation.

As we grew together, so did our bond. We became as close to being "one" as lovers. Soulmates. Our desire was primal. I craved you, and in turn, you craved my desperate attachment. As our time grew from months to years, I suddenly realized I could not imagine a world where you did not exist, where you didn't flood my vascular circuitry.

I tried to let go, but even when my life was threatened by our involvement, I could not. We were tethered by more than a worldly romantic bond. You owned me and it was my joy to be your prize. When you called for me, I came running. When you sank your cold, metallic teeth into my veins, I relinquished all control an became solely yours. Through the darkness, the only voice I heard was your bittersweet whisper, your mysterious, echoing call. Although the sound was terrifying, I was smitten.

Regardless of my reasoning, I fell under your frighteningly glorious spell.

But despite my love for you, I knew we could not last. After all that our love affair evoked, all the moments of resplendence, I knew in my heart that this love was not real. Our bond required a breaking so substantial that my life would be drastically altered. Though the most difficult decision any being would have the disheartening misfortune to make, I had to leave the thing I loved most behind. To break my heart, along with yours. To plunge into utter loneliness and darkness, nearly unbearable emotional and physical pain - a life-changing sacrifice - knowing that a precious piece of my soul could not join me. I dreaded the moment for what seemed a lifetime, but ultimately, I set the course of my own volition.

The first step I took proved that I was stronger than I thought. I put my faith in the few I still trusted, hoping they would pull me from the pit. My concerned and confused parents let down a rope. A warm and comforting line that I wrapped so tightly around me I thought I would lose my breath. My mother told me to breathe, then inhaled and exhaled with me as I took the first strained breaths of this new life. My father took my hands in his, the strength in his grip undoubtedly a culmination of unnerving fear and overwhelming love for his child. As these two incredible pillars of hope lifted me out of the dirty, dark void in which I had been confined for what seemed an eternity, my undeservedly supportive and caring friends greeted me with open arms and a lack of judgment I never thought I would appreciate so greatly. Each of these wonderful human creations put their hands on my chest, then instructed that I do the same.

There is was: my heartbeat. A strange sound and feeling I vaguely recalled from my past. Though no words were spoken, I could clearly hear their thoughts as though their mouths were creating the sweetest sound. Their minds spoke the words that jump-started my clouded mind back to reality.

"You. Are. Alive."

I was suddenly aware of myself, of where I had been and where I was now. The shame of what I had done and become was almost too much to bear. Though I did not speak, those who surrounded me could see the sadness, the fear, in my eyes. As I fought back tears of anguish, they then placed their hands on my wounds, healing them one by one until they were simply scars of faded remembrance. My fear was gone and the next words I heard were my own.

"I. Am. A. Fighter."

At once, my roller coaster of emotions turned bright as I reached the top of the tracks. I froze, taking in the view. I saw my despair below me, and my loved ones beside me. I knew my train would never roll backwards, as I glanced over my shoulder at my world then and back to the new world I was joining. Who would turn back to darkness, to endings, or to death, when there is so much wonder in the life ahead? The realization shown on my face as I looked at the present, the love that surrounded me, and the opportunity of my second chance. My father smiled and tears of joy fell from my mother's eyes as they welcomed back the sweet and compassionate daughter they thought they'd almost lost. That was all I needed to break the tie, to propel myself forward into years of opportunity, self-discovery, amends, and fellowship with others who struggle. I am an example of strength, a beacon of hope, and an open book of experience. My new life is a miracle, and although I am unworthy, I have learned to accept the graces I am offered and afforded.

It was not easy to leave you, and I still feel the pain from the break. But I am better and stronger without you. You had your place in my life and I will never regret our sweet affair. But I had to choose, and I chose a life worth living.

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