This must be what dying feels like.
No, love. This is being born.

I wrote that in my journal last night. After the start of something so painful. But also the ending of something so painful. There is nothing but pain right now, honestly. Except those small, glimmering moments of deep, deep calm, where the waves stop crashing and the water is still, lapping at the torn edges. They flicker in and out on my periphery but I still see them. I feel them. And so, I know that this is happening for the right reason. This pain that I feel and that I’ve inflicted is for a reason. And that reason is me. It’s not happening to me. It’s happening for me. It’s happening for him. It’s happening for life because it hasn’t started until this moment. 

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like high-tailing it to higher ground. To return to base camp where it’s safe. But the thing is—it was never safe for me there. It felt safe only until I looked around at all the broken glass I was avoiding. All the shattered pieces of my heart littering the floors, the walls, the street. I was never safe, I was contained. And I did the containing to myself, because I knew that in order for me to pick up those shards of my heart I would have to wipe it all clean. I knew that in order for me to live, this would have to die. 

I had to choose myself, for maybe the first time ever. Definitely the first time in the last seven years. And the most painful part about choosing yourself is that you have to actively not choose someone else. You have to pull yourself away from it all while you kick and scream and sob and beg to go back because the hurt is too great. Because the hurt of hurting someone is too much. Because you would rather lay down and feel all the same pain than feel these new ones. Than feel theirs. I don’t want to look into the face of someone I love and see their heart breaking, to know I’m responsible for that damage. But that’s what I’ve done every time I’ve looked in the mirror. That’s why I’ve avoided my eyes. I’ve avoided my heart. I only allowed myself to see one step in front of me because if I looked to where all the steps were leading me, I couldn’t ignore it. I’d have to look inside. And inside knew things I wasn’t ready to know.

I don’t know how to explain these things. Especially to someone whose pain has only just begun. I don’t know how to explain that I’ve been slowly dying every day to make sure that they could live with me. Or that I could live with them. That if I was to put all the pieces back together, I wouldn’t fit this story anymore. That I had to do it anyways. That their pain keeps me up at night but mine hasn’t allowed me to wake. But that’s just it, isn’t it? There are no words for this sort of thing. There are no words of comfort I can give. There is only a direction. I can only point to their path, separate from mine, and say, “Trust me. Please.” And I can only start walking the opposite path and say, “Follow it. Please”. 

We will both arrive. More whole than we’ve ever been.