There’s a special layer of hell reserved for mourning the end of a relationship. And in that layer, this song plays at the very moment when you’ve finally distracted yourself from feeling the feelings. And it invariably reminds you of the most recent two failures because they -JUST- happened.
And there is that weird thing where you go back and forth between feeling sad and anxious; angry and introspective. And you aren’t quite sure who you are more upset about: the long-term, but unhealthy relationship that ended a little less than a year ago, or the more recent one where the circumstances were entirely out of your control, but it ultimately was probably just a distraction from processing what happened to the previous one.
And then it reminds you of the time where you purchased Missy Higgins tickets for your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day—a month before the holiday. A month before the holiday was two days before an anniversary. And the day before the anniversary, she breaks up with you.
And then six years later, you wonder whether you bought those tickets because Missy Higgins was the first singer you bonded over (and over and over) or whether it was a subconscious-ish last-ditch effort because things didn’t feel just right.
And that feeling? It’s no different than any of the other last-ditch efforts. The ones where you feel like you’re playing tug-o-war while standing on a balance beam and you can’t quite get your footing.
I step outside my mind’s eyes for a minute.
And I look over me like a doctor looking for disease
Or something that could ease the pain.
But nothing cures the hurt, you, you bring on by yourself,
Just remembering, just remembering how we were…
When we would only need each other, we’d bleed together,
Our hands would not be taught to hold another’s,
We were the special two.
And we could only see each other, we’d bleed together,
These arms would not be taught to need another’s,
'Cause we're the special two.
Spoiler alert: you always fall off unless you let go of the rope.
I think it’s impossible to be prepared for the last time. I’m currently reading “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper and this quote struck a chord with me today:
“You never know when it will be the last time you’ll see your father, or kiss your wife, or play with your little brother, but there’s always a last time. If you could remember every last time, you’d never stop grieving.”
I don’t remember every last time when the last time was my idea. But when it wasn’t? God, do I ever. The last kiss? The last conversation? The last time things were amicable? Yeah, I remember all of those things. They are constantly replaying in my head. Whether they happened a month ago, a year ago, or 8 years ago. I remember them all. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind couldn’t be more coveted at those moments.
Don’t fake yourself into ever, ever thinking about yesterday.
That was then, this is now. Don’t call it undone.
Don’t take what you’ve been dealt.
You can exit out the back and make your getaway
before anyone can see the damage you have done.
And of course, I somehow forget the last fight, the last mean text, the last passive-aggressive whatever. Becuase that’s what we do. We romanticize the good and forget the bad when we’re remembering things. Why would we do it any other way? We think of how thinks could have been or could be or should be or would have been had-I-just-done-this-one-thing. Unrealistic as that may be, we can’t help it, can we?
The tricky part is stopping all of it and only looking forward. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy. See also: the last several months of my life.
'cause the only thing that matters
is that you get away from the pain
and the thought of losing your mind.
Don’t blame yourself.
It was everyone around you who made you act this way.
There’s the stage and your chance to watch it go down.