This is What Letting Go Means
Letting go means that when the pain becomes so unbearable and obsessive that you don’t remember what life was like without it, you finally understand that you gave him more of you than you have of yourself. Letting go means realizing that you’ve been standing in the fire for so long without seeing that you were being consumed by the flames.
Letting go means no longer telling yourself that love never truly ends. Letting go means understanding that he will never come back. It means no longer telling yourself, “maybe one day.” It means accepting that he is happy with someone else. It means wanting to hold yourself together even when you’d rather be falling apart.
Letting go means making the immovable, final decision that you have to let go, even when your feelings tell you not to. It means making that decision every morning when you wake up; it means repeating it to yourself hourly.
Letting go means getting used to that raw anxiety that’s taken up residence in your gut ever since the day you felt like the ground stopped holding you up. Letting go means envisioning the day when you’ll feel the floor beneath your feet again.
Letting go means first putting away the pictures that were on your wall, then deleting the pictures on your phone, then deleting the screenshotted text messages because they don’t make you smile anymore. I promise you, eventually you’ll be ready to erase those messages.
Letting go means sometimes holding on. For every few days you go without looking at his new life on Facebook, without spending hours scrolling through text messages that are six months old, without any tears escaping, and without looking at yourself in the mirror thinking “you weren’t good enough,” you will have a few days of doing those things all over again. It means learning not to be angry with yourself for doing so.
Letting go means asking friends if you can come over—sometimes just walking through their front doors. Letting go means time with those friends won’t be about distracting yourself from him, it’ll be about being exactly where you want to be.
Letting go means you no longer hold onto being his friend, even if that was what you two had agreed upon in your last words to one another.
Letting go means allowing yourself to be angry without any real reason. Letting go means allowing yourself to feel happy even when you know you’re still pretty sad. Letting go means allowing yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling without saying sorry.
Letting go means that he starts to feel less like a tidal wave and more like a long-ago dream—you can only remember the details when you concentrate on your memories. Letting go means you no longer have the energy to concentrate on them.
Letting go means finally belonging to yourself again. I promise you this—you are worth more than the pain of letting him go.
Windrose Magazine is your guide to navigating life in your twenties through a collection of essays, interviews, and advice that will inspire you to chart your own life course, free of comparison.
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