TW: Mentions of Depression, Self Harm, and Suicidal Ideation
*This article is written in fragments that describe my life following my very first heartbreak. Interspersed throughout the story are lyrics to Hard to Love, a song by Rosé from Blackpink.
How am I supposed to heal from something that will be a part of me forever?
Cause I'm hard to love, find it hard to trust // When it feels
too good, I just fuck it up
Heartbreak. I didn’t fully understand what this meant until it was over. How do you move on from something, or rather someone, that you have known for so long?
What really got to me was the silence. I used to spend all my hours waiting for my phone to buzz, for the familiar sound of my ringtone to fill my room. I would look forward to hearing your voice, your laugh. The late night talks, the walks to sit at the bridge and look up at the stars. I would look forward to you coming back from work; look forward to you holding me in my bed, feeling completely safe for the first time in my life. I wasn’t ready for all of the things that made us, well, us, to disappear in an instant.
It took all of one day to realize I hated the silence.
It took less than a week for me to relapse in a way I hadn’t since I became yours. It was all too familiar, the blade digging into my skin, washing my arms under the sink before anyone could see what I had done. At the time, I didn’t know how to be alone. So, I refused to be; the blade I hid under my mattress was always there. It was a terrible habit, but I didn’t know how to stop– especially now that I lost you. I didn’t see a point in trying anymore– I wasn’t good enough, so was there even a reason to keep going?
I never wanted you to feel like it was your fault, so I never told you how bad it had gotten. I tried to dance around the subject, refusing to acknowledge I needed help. I should’ve been honest, then maybe we wouldn’t have hurt each other like we did.
You want all of me, I can't give that much // So don't
fall too hard 'cause I'm hard to love
You left and I knew I had no one to blame but myself.
I thought it would get better with time. But I hated the silence more than anything. But for the first time in two years, I was completely alone again and the silence wasn’t going anywhere. The suicidal thoughts that plagued my mind in the past only became louder, more intense. This time though, I had no one left to run to.
Baby, all I'm tryna do is save you the pain
I’ve written many iterations of what would’ve been my own suicide note. Morbid, I know. But for some strange reason, it was the only way to calm down. Write down all the things I was too scared to say to the people I loved. The thought of leaving didn’t necessarily scare me, but the thought of hurting someone else did. I always tore up the note I had written and decided to be better the next day. The night I lost you, I wrote six. One to each of my sisters, one to my parents, one to my best friend, and one to you. Yours was the longest, and ended with the one thing I’ve always wanted you to know.
I’m so sorry and I love you more than anything.
My older sister always made sure I was safe before I could do something I would regret later. After all, I would never want to make someone else feel the way I did.
I'll make it feel like Heaven, but I swear I'm not a saint // And you won't
see the truth 'causе I'll be kissing it away
I didn’t know where to turn. All of my friends were yours, and I knew in the end they wouldn’t stay. How was I supposed to just start over again?
As it turned out, June was an important month for me. The annual pride parades were something I never dreamed about being able to attend myself; and honestly, I always thought I would eventually go with you. So for me, pride wasn’t really a cause for big celebration. I really didn’t think I would find any form of acceptance or a space for me there– and yet, an old friend still invited me to my very first pride.
They didn’t forget about me, and they were even excited to hear from me again. I thought I had lost everything– but maybe, just maybe, I could salvage a part of me that I thought I couldn’t rely on. So, even though it filled me with an indescribable fear, I took myself to pride.
I met the coolest girl there, someone who made sure I didn’t feel left out of the group. She talked with me the entire time, made sure I got back to my car safely. Before we headed our separate ways, she said she would want to talk to me again, and looked forward to having the same class together in the fall. Having someone actually look forward to being with me was something that felt so unfamiliar yet so incredibly comforting.
And for the first time in a while, I felt okay.
Up 'til I'm down, I'm all in 'til I'm out // Got a lot to work out 'til it's all behind me
After going to Pride, I started to think that maybe I could do this. I could start over, however painful.
For my birthday, I decided to get myself a present. While this wasn’t a typical birthday gift, I knew it was the one I truly needed at the time. Making the decision to start medication for my depression wasn’t necessarily a grand gesture, but I thought it was a start. And deep down, I thought eventually it would bring you back. Looking back, I should’ve started medication much sooner. For me, not for anyone else. But, you live and you learn, you know?
It wasn’t easy, getting over you. I don’t remember exactly how it happened or if I truly did at all. I just know picking up my first bottle of Prozac was the first step in my new journey towards healing. It was terrifying, finally admitting I needed help. But part of me was relieved.
Never meant to cause you a problem // Here I am,
yet once again with the same old story
So, how’s your boyfriend?
I responded that you’re doing great at summer camp before I realized I actually don’t know how you are. Or that you weren’t mine anymore.
On my way home, I see a sky full of stars. I reach for my phone to text you before I remember I’m not supposed to do that anymore. It was an instinct, as easy as reciting my name. I try to ignore my phone these days, but I still find myself waiting for a text that will never come. Wishing on those stars that eventually I’ll get that text and I’ll hear your voice again.
The loneliness and empty space you used to fill physically hurts. I got another job– I started to work at my dad’s restaurant to avoid spending my time thinking of all the things I could’ve said. I’m tired, so goddamn tired. But the second I stop, I remember how we used to be. It’s a new form of avoidance, but I no longer care about being tired. I clock back into work and forget about the past for a few more hours.
God, I hope this medication starts to work soon. A naive part of me thought starting medication would fix everything immediately. Yet, I knew deep down that’s not how this worked. I just have to keep going. . .
“You should try some new hobbies”
“You should try to meet some new friends! It’ll be fun, Jack”
Easier said than done, everyone reminds me of you.
“Things won’t always be like this, you know”
. . .
I moved into my new apartment. School is about to start and I’m terrified of being back here. The memories of us are everywhere and I don’t know how I am supposed to handle this. It was inevitable, what happened next. I knew I would see you again, I just didn’t know it would hurt this bad all over again.
Yeah, I'll be all you need until I'm driving you insanе // Baby, all
I'm tryna do is save you the pain
You came back. You held me as I cried about whatever was plaguing my mind that summer night. It was just for the night, but that night was so special I thought it could actually get better. I was wrong to let myself believe that it was going to last, that we would just kiss and make up. That everything would immediately go back to normal. When you left for the second time, I didn’t know how to feel.
A part of me was angry. A part of me felt betrayed, another felt sad. All of me just wanted to be yours, for everything to feel okay again. Even so, all of me recognized that it was truly over now. There would be no more us, not now and not ever again. And all of me was finally ready to heal for good this time.
Protect your heart, ain't no goin' back once you start
I texted the girl I met on my very first day of freshman year. We met for coffee, reminiscing about our old antics. For once, thinking of the past didn’t hurt so bad. It was actually kind of fun, thinking about how excited I was to be at university and meet new people. I missed this, feeling like I belonged somewhere, to someone. I missed her smile, her pretty eyes, the way she cared so deeply about everyone she talked to. The way it didn’t matter how much time had passed or how many times I had messed up. The only thing that mattered in that moment was her; being her friend again. For the first time in a while, I felt like myself. I truly don’t think I could have gotten here on my own; the medicine I began a few months before finally felt normal to me. It was a part of my routine now, and although the medicine didn’t fix everything, it gave me a small dose of peace in order to try to find myself one more time. For me, this was an important next step in healing. Using my newfound confidence to make amends with the people I loved. No more broken promises, no more empty words. It was just me, finally showing up for the people I care about. The people I loved more than anything.
I met someone new at work later this month. I really wasn’t expecting to make friends here, I was too scared to meet new people so soon. I wasn’t expecting for us to become close this fast either. Yet, the more we talked the more excited I became to see him again. Work was no longer a tactic to avoid thinking about my past; I looked forward to it solely because it meant I could talk to him one more time.
He calls me bestie. I can still hear the voice of the last person who used to consider me that. I feel a pang in my chest, a bittersweet feeling that I can’t quite explain to him yet. I want nothing more than to be loved in a way that best friends can love each other, yet I’m terrified. I don’t want to love so deeply just to end up alone again.
It’s different. There aren’t deep confessions of love or late night discussions of our deepest secrets or doubts. There aren’t love letters or star gazing after exams. There isn’t a group of friends that know the two of us, that assume we are always together.
It’s just the two of us, the only two that know what we mean to each other. We take the limited free time we have to just enjoy each other’s company. We watch nature documentaries until 3am and he holds me after work. He gives me flowers and becomes a constant in my life that I never knew I needed. He protects me from myself, cheers me on when I win the battle against depression each day.
When he calls, I show up. When I call, he stays. It’s different, but it’s fucking amazing.
As I shuffle my playlist during my walk to work, I hear the first verse of the song I used to play on repeat while in my depressive episode. As I listen to Rosé’s voice stream through my headphones and hear the familiar lyrics of Hard to Love I can’t help but smile. The song now carries an entirely different meaning for me, as I finally can recognize just how far I’ve come since I last heard it. Now, I’m not entirely convinced I am hard to love.
I’m not sure how I want to end this story. I don’t think there is an ending, if I’m honest. I’ll always hold my first love in my heart, close to me always. Yet, I know in order to truly heal I have to let him go. I think this fragmented story was my way of doing so; or maybe I just needed a space for me to process this past year. Regardless of the intention in writing this story, I know one thing for certain. . .
For the first time in years, I want to love myself. I want to be okay with silence, find comfort in being alone with my thoughts instead of fear. I want to get better again; completely better this time.
I don’t know how I’ll feel in the future, but I carry immense pride in how much progress I have made so far. I know eventually I’ll love myself again. And someone will love me too. And I am perfectly content with waiting until that day comes.
I'm hard to love
to the boy who taught me what love was
to the girl who didn’t give up on me
& to the man who is teaching me how to love myself
most importantly, to the younger version of me who thought she was too hard to love
I love you more than anything, morena