Magazine True Life & Opinions I’m still in love with him – how getting over your ex is a journey By Michael Lee | submitted via email Getting over someone is hard. Trying to forgot about his mannerisms, the way he called you ‘babe’ or the way he spoke your name is easier said than done. How can you just forget about his existence and go about your day when you look at your phone and realise his name will never pop up and give you butterflies. The road to getting over him is a long and well-trodden path. It is a journey, a journey that will test your willpower and mental strength. Is there ever such a thing as loving someone too much? Loving someone so much they utterly consume your entire existence, from the moment you wake from restless slumber, beneath sweat-soaked sheets, riddled with paranoia, heart racing with anxiety, to the very second those weary, sleepy eyes reluctantly close and drift back into fretful sleep. He was my very obsession and my everything, and I’m still in love with him. It’s that moment stuck in between consciousness and being barely able to function that is most intriguing yet frightening, that quietened part where my over analysing brain cannot stop functioning under the flickering of stars etched in the darkened skies above my rooftop window. As the light of the full moon beams through the stained window and lights up the banished corners of my bedroom. It’s this moment when the thoughts return, the thoughts that are hushed when I am busy, when the night falls quiet, when the war in my mind begins. I fall asleep and sink into a never ending reimagining of the relationship that truly never was, the boyfriend who I never got, and the chiselled heart I utterly miss. We argued, we bickered but ultimately we loved, even though we lived under circumstances that made it unsustainable. Sometimes just having love is not good enough. I wished I was the centre of his world, his everything, but I just couldn’t be, and now I retreat back to my own world, the world that exists inside my head. The hardest part of losing someone is not necessarily having to say goodbye, but rather having to learn to live without them, and this is what pains me the most, that I’ll never be able to see his cheeky and adorable smile ever again. I miss his voice; I miss our late night conversions that would go into the early hours. I miss hearing his opinions on politics and social commentary and how he was very stubborn and set in his ways. I miss his awkwardness and unwillingness to conform to his surroundings but most of all, I just miss him being him, because that’s what made me fall for him in the first place. Now I find myself trying to fill the sudden void that his absence has left. It hurts, it hurts really badly. The pain is palpable. He mattered to me, and now he has abandoned me. We abandoned each other when having one another became too much to bear. It was true love, I know it, that’s why it’s so hard for me to just forget about him and walk away. You talk to someone every day and can’t imagine your life without them, then suddenly you don’t see them any more and all you have left is your memories of yesterday. He’s still on my whatsapp through we haven’t spoken for months. It’s such a far cry from when he was my boyfriend, when his name would constantly pop up on my screen and the butterflies in my stomach would flutter around. Now those once beautifully coloured butterflies are dead and decayed, laying lifeless in the pit of my stomach. My mind is cluttered with memories of him and everywhere I go he is still there, but one thing is for certain, no matter how much I desperately try to move on, I know that I’m still in love with him. Maybe one day I’ll forget about him and move on, maybe I won’t, all I know is nothing is for certain, except the love I still have for him right here, right now, even though he is no longer by my side. The journey is a long and hard concrete road; I’ll just try to not let my heart turn to stone along the way. IT GETS BETTER Anyone who has gone through a break up will tell you that being dumped is hard to deal with. When someone that you have very strong feeling for tells you they don’t want you, it can be difficult to hear. But... as the famous campaign says... It gets better! It’s generally accepted that there are several stages of a break up. 1) Looking for answers, 2) Denial 3) Bargaining 4) Relapse 5) Anger 6) Acceptance and 7) Hope. The stages of grief that follow any trauma, breakups included, can happen over the course of minutes or even seconds, across days, months, or years, and then switch around without warning, leaving you feeling without foundation, especially in the beginning. You feel alien to yourself or cut off from the world. However, like any emotional situation, continuing on in life means learning to live without that part of yourself, and finding ways to compensate for its loss. Try to recognise that there is a method, and a structure of sorts to a grieving process. Knowing that you are not alone can help you ride it out. Your grieving is normal —without it, we would not be wired the way we are to handle the many pains and losses that occur in our lives. As the grieving process progresses you will begin to see your way through to a point at which you can let go in a more proactive and self-protective way—a way that you may eventually come to understand as a new beginning. If you would like to talk to someone about your relationship struggles, call LGBT Switchboard on 0300 330 0630.