Letting Go, Stopping the Endless Loop of Loss

I’ve been struggling in the space between holding on and letting go. Not wanting to let go of what I used to have and also knowing I have to, that if I continue to hang on to this heavy grief it will pull me into the depths.  It’s surprising how hard it is to let go of something I no longer have, but it’s more than that, it’s also letting go of a future that felt so certain for so long.  A future created in the heat of our kisses and in the sweet romantic dreams we wove together from moonlight and passionate sweat.

It makes me sad to recognize that as time spins out, our love affair will be a thing of the past, when it still feels so much a part of my present, rendered in technicolor with a gorgeous soundtrack. As the years go by, our time together will be trapped in amber and silicone, as each of us tally the years with others.

I am thankful for pictures and blog posts and emails and voice mail and twitter.  Our love is fully documented.  And as much as our time together is still as familiar and as easily retrieved as the memory of how her mouth tastes,  I’m surprised at times at what I no longer have in easy recall and what can be rediscovered by looking at those older blog posts and pictures.  Being forgotten is something I fear, we know about my abandonment issues and as my memory begins to shift its priorities, I fear that shift in her.  I don’t want to lose any of the hotpassionatesexydangerouslove we shared.  We did something brave and crazy and amazing together and I don’t think I will ever be OK about having to let go.  That’s the struggle and the weight of it threatens to take me down, down to where I can’t recover again.  Somehow I must accept what is, and allow what was to be a cherished treasure and not a current torment.

What I realized this weekend is that I keep reliving the months and moments before and after our break up, reliving the emotions of it over and over.  I guess that’s what grief is, experiencing the loss over and over.  It throws me into a panic, my mind racing to come up with solutions and escape routes that will allow me to not lose her, not lose what we made together.  But I can’t stop it from happening, it has already happened, it’s done.  I have to give myself permission to let go, to step out of that cycle of recurring loss. There has to be a way to hold the memories precious and allow my heart to heal at the same time.

She will always occupy her own place in my heart. It’s hers forever. I don’t want to brick it over, the telltale heart won’t be silent. I’ll know she’s there. So I have to find a way to visit that room without the threat of drowning.  I’m not sure how to do it yet, I’m still working through this.

And it’s not just the loss of my passionate affair with Roxy that’s getting to me.  The situation with my wife and best friend has triggered another recurring round of fear-of-loss/panic reactions.  And, again, it’s already happened, but I keep going through an emotional revolving door and ending up at the beginning again, at those first moments of fear and panic.  I’ve been working on accepting that the change I feared has already taken place, they have became deeply involved, I do feel a gap between myself and my friend, and I can’t make that go away.  If they asked me, “what can we do now?”,  I’d say, “at this point, nothing”.  You can’t unwind that change, there is no undo button.  And so in both cases, I’m having to deal with the fact that I am only one part of the equation, that all the other people involved are empowered to make their own decisions.   And once decisions are made by others, I have my own set of choices.  I am empowered to decide how I will react, what I will do in the face of change.

I can stay where I am and flail and rail at the injustice of it all, at the lack of power I had in the decision making, or I can stand where I am and face reality.  Facing reality means accepting the changes that have taken place, and the changes that will come in the future. And I know this may all seem obvious to you, but I had some weird idea that I could bend the future toward what I want.  There is apparently a significant part of me who thinks I have super powers like that.

But I don’t. And there is no undo button for life.  Or rewind, or pause or any of the other handy things we take for granted on our computers.  So what do I do?  I make the choices I can make, that will benefit me in this situation.  I do a lot of internal listening.  I check in a lot, and not just when I’m feeling the panic well up in me.  I’ve expanded the circle of “people I talk to about hard things” and that has been a really good choice.  I’ve chosen to give myself space at times from the people and situations that are most triggering.  That’s hard, but also a relief.  I get to choose when and where and if I am going to reveal the difficult feelings I’m having to the people they pertain to.

I’m also choosing to do the internal work necessary to break the endless loop, to break the habit of falling into a grief well or starting an anger storm.  I’m also acknowledging that there is an attraction to those emotional storms, the panic causes an adrenaline surge that energizes and gets me worked up.  Life sure isn’t bland when I’m storming.  I need to recognize that attraction as a part of shutting down that response loop.  I’m hoping like crazy that I’m not just disconnecting the way I always have, avoiding the hard emotions and shoving them down.  None of this is particularly easy.  And all of it is impossible without the love and support of my friends, and especially, the support of Roxy, Mrs. Kyle and Nick.  Because yeah, it’s been hard going through these changes with them, but I still love them and need their support.  I’m lucky to have it.

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