Morning After, Alyssa Monks, oil on linen, 2004 (top), 2014 (bottom) from r/Art
“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Usually people promise to stay, don’t they?
But I’m not promising. If there is one thing that I promise to do—it is to leave you.
It wasn’t my plan to leave though. My plan was to stay by your side for as long as it takes. My plan was to grow old with you and take my last breath with you.
But then I looked at myself and my life and quite frankly, I didn’t like what I saw.
I glanced in the mirror and I saw a feeble and wan woman. I saw a lunatic who couldn’t find the right words to delineate what she’s feeling.
I know I have left so many times before, but I always found my way back to you. I came back to you so I could love you.
The sad thing is that I loved you to the extent of forgetting about myself.
The beautiful thing about our relationship is that I became intimately familiar with how far a human being will go for another human being. It’s almost unbelievable how much we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of love.
But sometimes we focus so much on the person in front of us that we forget the person we are.
And me, I forgot who I am.
I know you think I’m leaving you because I was hurt by you and no longer want you. While this stands true, it is not the main reason why I am turning my back to you.
There will come a day when I will forgive you and forget about all the pain you have caused me. But if I stay with you today, I will never be able to forgive myself tomorrow. And baby, forgiving myself is way more important, than forgiving you.
And so, I’m leaving you.
I’m leaving you to start a long-term relationship with myself. I’m leaving you to pamper and love me.
I crave to know the me that is not a slave to your love. I am keen to know what she is capable of and how far she can go. I’m exhilarated to discover her likes, dislikes, strength and weaknesses.
I want to look in the mirror and see a strong and independent woman who doesn’t fear adventure and uncertainty.
I want to walk the streets of the world with the wind blowing in my hair while thinking to myself, “I love myself and I love my life”.
But if I stayed with you I’d only walk with my head facing the floor. I will hate myself for giving you more chances that I know you don’t deserve.
It’s time to give myself a chance.
I want to give myself the chance to explore the “me” I have forgotten. I want to do the things I did with you and ascertain to myself that I don’t need you with me to help me.
I will open the jars that I gave you to open. I will lift the boxes that I asked you to lift. I will do all the difficult things that I asked you to do for me.
I will write as if you’re not reading and I’ll read as if you’re not watching.
I will undress myself and embrace the Goddess I am.
I will look at the mirror and compliment the curves that you have only touched for your own pleasure.
And most beautifully, I will pamper myself even better than you have ever pampered me.
I want to see the whole sum that I am without you. I don’t need you to complete me or to make me whole. I am whole and complete without you.
No one ever died from a broken heart. My heart is broken, yes. But I will live.
I can breathe and I can enjoy my morning and evenings without the need of your sweet and manipulative words. I will sing lullabies to myself and speak all the magical words that I longed to hear from you.
I will do everything to prove to myself that I won’t need you. I will leave you and never look back because ahead of me stands someone who is way more lovable, interesting, and important than you: me.
With both of your hands reached towards me, I have always chosen to grab yours. Lay your hand down baby, because this time I’m not holding it. Your hand has always driven me down the painful roads. It took me years to realize which hand I should grab but it’s never too late.
I’m not sorry for leaving you. I’m only sorry for staying.
I love you but I love myself more and I’m off to finding it now.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Alyssa Monks via Reddit
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