I'm tearing up as I write this, because goddamn. Relationships aren't easy, especially not as they transform from one season into another. For the last couple of years, relationships and their transitions have been a highlight for me, but I'm a fighter for people that I love, and I don't typically take change lightly. I hold on with dear life, praying to whoever's listening that they'll hold me back as tightly as I do them.

But this month, in particular, has been definitional in regard to the lovers I've tried to keep close to my heart for longer than we probably should have. You see, the truth is, we all deserve to be happy with people who wake up every day and choose us. It just so happened, that we all stopped choosing each other this month, and the effects of that are deeply felt - try as I might to keep those feelings at bay.

There is much that has happened over these last two years that I've yet to fully process, and the healing journey is one that has its highs and lows. Sometimes I forget that there's any healing left to do, until something triggers an emotional response that is volcanic. All of a sudden, I'm sobbing on the floor of the shower, letting the water wash over me, trying to pull myself together. In that moment, I know I'm not yet over the losses.

I can know that the relationship won't work and still be allowed to mourn the loss of it for months or even years afterwards. I can be happy for my ex-partners and their new partners and still feel the realities of an aching heart. The pain is not personal, and it's not often the result of wrong-doing, so much as it is the immense amount of love that is forced to find alternate ways to express itself - sometimes, from a distance.

I am on good terms with all of my previous lovers and partners, and the love I have for them continues long after they've gone. I still feel lovers from years ago stored in the deep well of my heart. When I dated my first girlfriend a decade back, it took me years to overcome the grief I felt, and I don't apologize for a single second spent nursing myself back to life. The point is that healing is hard, for all people involved, in something as difficult as a break up. Healing isn't linear, and there might be a few renditions of the love. There might be a few chapters. One or both of you might need space - not because there is a lack of love but because there is much. & as much as we'd like to think that an abundance of love translates into being in a relationship, sometimes, it is not enough to make it last: a heartbreaking truth I've learned a few times. I always leave my claw marks etched in their sides.

If you're healing, I know the feeling. All I can tell you is my own journey, which includes long walks by myself, spending time with good friends, acknowledging the love that rests between myself and the other, and that the decisions to part ways are never made because there is not love there. Healing to me is not putting a time limit on working through the sorrow. Healing, for me, is not rushing into dating someone new. Healing is giving myself plenty of love. Healing is being honest about what I need, so that I can actually move forward. Healing is blocking. Healing is not looking. Healing is making it a top priority to not hurt my own feelings through decisions that I know, by past experience, could only hurt me further. Healing is putting myself first.

Healing will look different for everyone, but it is universal to mourn losses - no matter how sudden or for how long we saw them coming. You have a big heart, just like me. Let yourself feel what you've lost. It sounds cheesy, but these transitions are making room for what's coming - whether that be a different form of the relationship, new relationships, more time getting closer with yourself, etc.

One step at a time. It's all layer by layer. Moment by moment. Sometimes it's minute by minute. You're not alone, and neither am I. You are loved, and so am I. xx