While I’ve never had a substance use withdrawal, I’ve had it described to me enough that I can imagine what it must feel like.
And I think I’m in a love withdrawal.
I understand why there are so many songs about drugs that sound just like love songs. My song is in reverse.
I’m sad and in pain. I’m numb. And for a little bit I’m free.
This plays on repeat several times a day.
Looking back, I only remember the good times.
The laugh shared over coffee and a board game in Ned. Our first 14er summit. Lying naked in bed.
I remember the times he made me feel beautiful.
I forget the bad.
The evening arguments. Crying down mountains. Sleeping on opposite sides of the mattress.
But my body is yearning for those few times of coziness and warmth, the two of us snuggled beside Pacer.
I crave the dopamine surge of a text of Facebook message saying “I love you.”
I resist my own urge to text “I miss you.”
I want the highs but not the lows.
Finally, my dread of the lows surpassed my want of the highs.
I didn’t like myself anymore when I was with him.
And so I quit.
So we could be ourselves. So we could be happy.
My stagnant refusal to relapse isn’t just for me.
It’s for him, because I still love.
The withdrawal pains slowly subside.
Each hour, each day, brings a little more relief.
But his taste, his essence, will never leave me.