A yellow sunflower that is wet and bedraggled with some petals crushed and missing

Falling out of love

How are you supposed to dislike someone you have loved for years? Is it ever that easy to flip the switch from unconditional love to hate and spite?

The last thing I said to my ex-girlfriend was that she was a diabolical lie. It was the first time I was using this word. It is the harshest thing I have ever said to her. Before I sent the message, I googled the meaning of diabolical – ‘extremely wicked or cruel.’

I might have hesitated for a second, but I knew I had to send that message. Somehow, I needed to utter something out of character, something so unlike me with the hope of causing her a pain that could never compare to that which she had caused me. I hit send and switched off my phone in quick succession. Knowing myself, I could have probably followed up that message with a kinder text to ‘dilute’ my toxicity, or was it just how I actually felt?

How are you supposed to dislike someone you have loved for years? Is it ever that easy to flip the switch from unconditional love to hate and spite? As I lay motionless on my small bed at the crack of dawn, I hated the bitter taste at the back of my throat. I hated the heavy, almost air depriving pain in my chest. I hated the darkness and its maker. When the sun rose, I hated the birds that cheered for its arrival.

‘I need a strong drink. Maybe vodka. Or whiskey. I don’t care, give the most lethal intoxicant you have! I don’t want to feel anymore!!’

How I wish drowning my pain was that easy.

You see, as I lay motionless on my bed that morning, it wasn’t because I chose to. It was because a freak accident left me paralyzed and my life was never the same ever since. I had met my ex when I was at my best. I had fully accepted my disability, I had overcome a deadly depression and for the first time, my mind was clear. In it existed no noise, just peace and stillness.

That being said, I consciously resisted a romantic relationship because I knew that just because I had accepted myself, didn’t mean that everyone else was going to. Her being her, the most beautiful and kind woman I had seen, I lowered my walls. I loved her right, like any man should love their woman.

When we were good, we were great. This woman was my muse. I furthered my career and achieved goals I had never in my wildest dreams even considered. She was my rock, the one I was going to make mine for life. She said she was mine, body and soul, to love and to hold.

‘I cheated on you. We slept together a couple of times, and I love him.’

I felt my mind compress inside my skull. A sudden, instant headache hit the right side of my head. A headache I still suffer from to date. A relentless, defiant pain that wouldn’t go away, despite me pumping painkillers and antidepressants into my system. She broke me there and then. I was a man defeated and humiliated.

I will always tell myself that she cheated because I am a disabled man. Whatever her reason was, this is the only version that makes any sense to me. Today and the days to come, I will try to rationalize her betrayal. I will tell myself that I was never really enough for her. That what she needed was a ‘real man’. When I am done saying all these things, I will beat myself up some more. ‘It was always going to happen,’ I will tell myself.

When I finally rolled my wheelchair to the liquor store, I was a man on a mission: I wanted to turn myself into a small fish and swim into an ocean of vodka. And it was working, for about fifteen minutes. Then the images started to form, images of a man I knew and a woman I loved. Images of them naked and sweaty, killing me softly.

My creative mind became my biggest curse.

Now I sit here, pouring my heart out for all to see and feel, hoping that this expression might in the simplest of ways ease my suffering. I also do it for those who have been there and those who will be here. So that they know that this isn’t a cloud that only rains on them. I have felt the rain too. I cry, too. I have loved – and now, I have lost.


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