Trying To Hide The Pain.

“I been watchin’ you, workin’ day and night, slavin’ so hard you barely have time to catch your breath. People do that for three reasons. Either they crazy, or stupid, or tryin’ to forget. And with you, I knew you was tryin’ to forget. I just didn’t know what.” -Nicholas Sparks 

1. You stay super busy.

Whether it’s with work or a new hobby, you become obsessed with anything that distracts you from your own pain.

2. You take on everyone’s problems before your own.

If you’re helping someone else, you aren’t thinking about your own problems.

3. You never say no when someone asks you to do something.

Everything is yes. Simply because you need to be doing something or you’ll go crazy.

4. You turn to music.

You find those songs you suddenly relate to, that just explain every horrible thing you are feeling. In reality, you can’t even find those words yourself or the courage to say them out loud.

5. There are certain people you avoid eye contact with.

Those people who really know you, the ones who can see through your bluff, you don’t look at. You don’t want them to know you’re hurting.

6. You never really are honest when people ask how you’re doing.

Everything is fine. Even though it’s so far from it. It’s easy to lie. You are hurt enough you don’t want to make people uncomfortable with feelings that overwhelm you with guilt, because you aren’t over it yet.

7. You make an effort to be too positive.

It’s kind of like you’re putting up this front, maybe if you keep trying to get people to believe it, you will too.

8. But you get inside your head over thinking things.

You know you shouldn’t dwell in the past, but it haunts the shit out of you because all you keep thinking was how happy you used to be. You want that back but at the same time, you don’t know how you’re going to get through this.

9. So you go out just to distract yourself to numb the pain.

Physically, you might be out throwing back drinks and smiling but emotionally, you are so checked out. But you do what they tell you to do because if you weren’t there and out, you’d be home upset and alone. But what you realize is even in a crowded room, you feel alone.

10. And you break down in private.

No one will ever see you cry. But you cry a lot more than you’d ever admit. It’s just all these feelings built up in you can’t make sense of, and you’re just trying to process it and get through it.

11. Then you try to make light of the situation laughing it off.

Because if you’re making people laugh or making a joke out of this, maybe it’ll decrease the blow. Sometimes the people who are hurt the most, shed light and positivity to others because they know what it’s like to feel the opposite.

And everyone tells you, you’ll get over it in due time. But for some reason, it feels like time has frozen and this heartbreak is the place in which you’re trapped. You know it’ll fade. You know you’ll wake up and not think of them one day. But that one day seems so far off.

So muddle through all of it just trying to be okay, until you can look back at this with a smile that’s real.



1. You question him, but you don’t need to. 

It’s not so much him you’re questioning, but everyone from your past that has made you feel a sense of insecurity when it comes to relationships.

2. And expect the worst, but he surprises you.

As much as you want to go into it with an open mind, you don’t want to get your hopes up.

3. He keeps his word, even when you have doubts.

Something as simple as him following through makes you uncomfortably happy.

4. He doesn’t play dating games.

Every text is answered. Every plan happens. Everything you are used to, suddenly doesn’t apply here.

5. He shows you how fucked up your past is, but doesn’t repeat it.

You think back to people and realize how horrible the relationship might have been, and you question why you tolerated anything less than what you’re getting now.

6. He’s patient because you’re guarded. 

But even with this new treatment, there are moments you find yourself pulling away.

7. He forgives you because you have no reason to apologize.

You’ve been led to believe it’s always something you’ve done wrong. So you’re cautious, but this guy teaches you that you don’t need to be.

8. He shows you he won’t hurt you.

It makes you scared letting someone in but more than that, what scares you is the fact you’re falling for this guy.

9. That first fight you think will end it, but it doesn’t. 

Everyone fights but in the past, every fight you’ve had with someone has led to someone leaving and unkind words exchanged.

10. Instead, he fights for you.

But he’s meeting you halfway in every sense of the word. Because he wants you as much as you want him.

11. He’s nice all the time.

Someone being nice all the time shouldn’t be weird. But when you aren’t used to it, it’s tough to simply accept. But then you realize this is how relationships are supposed to be.

12. And honest.

When you are used to someone lying, brutal honesty and someone this real is different.

13. And respects you. 

He respects who you are as a person, the things you are interested in, and constantly is there to show you he cares.

14. You realize how one person can change your life.

You find yourself talking about him more, smiling more. Just really happier than you’ve ever been, and he’s to blame for it.

15. And not everyone will hurt you. 

You realize sometimes it takes getting hurt a lot to find someone who teaches you that you didn’t deserve that.

16. Then he sees you at your worst and stays.

Maybe you breakdown. Maybe every wall comes crumbling down. Maybe you’re crying and you don’t even know why. But here he is seeing this side, to you that is raw and honest. But he comforts you appreciating that fact you let him in that close. And it’s there he starts to heal you.

17. And loves you for it. 

Next thing you know, you’re in love with this guy but for the first time, someone is reciprocating everything you feel.

Then he talks about a future healing you of the past.

Don’t Commit Until…

It’s more than opening doors, pulling out chairs, paying if he chooses to. 

It’s more than walking you out and making sure you got home safely. 

It’s more than the respect he shows to your father and family. 

And it’s even more than when he likes you enough to introduce you to his friends and family.

Don’t commit to him until he really proves he wants you in his life, and wants to make you a priority. 

Don’t commit to him until you see him make sacrifices. The one who will do whatever you need him to when you need him to do it. The one who will change his schedule, if it makes your life easier.

Because as much as it’s the little acts like waking up and leaving you coffee before he leaves as you’re still sleeping or cooks for you and brings it to bed, there’s more to it than that.

Don’t commit to him until he really shows you who he is and isn’t afraid of it. 

The one who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. Isn’t afraid to tell you about his past. Isn’t afraid to talk about the things you need to if you want any hope of a relationship.

The one who listens to what you say and remembers it. 

The one who pays attention to little details and notices things. 

Don’t commit to him until you’ve seen every side of him and know that you still love him. A good mood or bad mood. Drunk. Angry. Sad. Frustrated when his team loses. In every physical form someone can be. When he has morning breath or is dressed to a T. And make sure you can show him every side of you. 

Even those parts you’re scared of. The side of you, you’ve hidden from the world. The side you might hate. 

Don’t commit to him until he’s seen that and teaches you how to accept every part of yourself. 

Don’t commit to him until you realize he wouldn’t change a thing about you, even when everyone else has made it seem like it’s you that is flawed. 

Let him be the one to tell you they are wrong until you believe it. 

Don’t commit to him until you know he’s got your back supporting you, encouraging you, making you better, and making you want to achieve more. The one who isn’t afraid to tell you when you’re settling in life or not standing up for yourself or not doing what you need to do. But then goes and holds your hand as you do it.

Don’t commit until you have someone who is not just your number one fan, but on your team helping you get to whatever you want to be. The one who knows when to lift you when you’ve fallen, but also knows when to stand back and just watch in awe. 

Don’t commit to him until you know his word is golden, and flaking out on you or changing plans is the last thing he’d ever do. 

The one who looks forward to seeing you, talking to you, just being around you.

The one who truly misses you when you leave. 

Don’t commit to him until you see him apologize when he’s wrong, and does everything to make it right.

The one who actually wants to know how your day is. The one who picks up the phone and calls. The one you lose track of time talking to because you’re lost in each other.

Don’t commit until you know he loves you and isn’t afraid to say it, even if it’s first. 

The one who makes you feel like the most beautiful girl in the world because he constantly is telling you that. 

Don’t commit until he enters your life upping the previous standard you might have had. 

The one who looks at challenges in relationships as something you can overcome together.

Don’t commit until you know he wants you in your future and when you look in his eyes, you both forget and forgive yourself for the past.

Letting Go.

It’s the texts that go unanswered and the silence that feels like hours waiting for your response. 

And the thoughts that float in my mind is, are you over it? Are you over me? Am I making this up in my head? But something about us just doesn’t feel right these days.

I used to be confident in you and how you felt, now I’m not.

I keep trying to fix this, but I don’t know if it’s something I can fix. And it’s hurting me to do so.

Sometimes more damage is caused trying to put broken pieces back together when in reality, sometimes you have to simply leave it.

But I’ve never been someone who gives up that easy. But it’s like I’m trying to put these pieces back together, and I’m cutting my own fingers in the process.

I’m over here overcompensating just to give you a reason to stay, but it shouldn’t be like that.

You keep telling me we’re fine. But nothing about this feels fine, it’s like neither of us wants to say what’s so obvious.

I look at you and it’s like I’m looking at a familiar stranger.

Maybe we don’t want to accept the fact it’s really over. Or maybe that’s just me, so I avoid it. And instead of addressing the issue, we’re doing some dance of being awkwardly polite.

And we’re talking, but no one is actually saying anything.

I don’t want to give up on you or us, but sometimes fate has other plans. This forever I used to say with confidence, I avoid thinking about because if the word rolls off my tongue now, it stings a little and I know I’m lying.

The pictures we post are of us smiling and that happy couple that looks the same, but I lay next to you and it feels like we are miles apart.

And I wish we could go back to a time where we were crazy about each other. But you can’t go back, and I fear going forward, because I know we’re bound to be going in different directions. 

So we are standing still holding hands afraid to let go, but I don’t know how much more I can hold on and lie to myself about this.

I think part of me will always love you. But I can’t keep wondering how you feel about me. I can’t keep waking up wondering will this be the day you say goodbye.

I can’t keep trying to save something that only I seem to care about these days.

And I keep looking at my reflection questioning if it’s me that’s done something wrong here.

Running over details in the past wondering. Looking at other girls and thinking they can give you something I can’t seem to. And it hurts.

It kills me to let go. But it’s hurting me to hold on to something that’s not here anymore. 

It hurts me thinking about where we used to be.

Things have changed. We both have changed.

Your smile is still one that makes my heart skip a beat. I still look at you as my best friend. My favorite company. And I don’t know if I can do better than someone who has been the absolute best to me.

But these days, I haven’t been sleeping. I miss you and you’re sitting right in front of me. But I miss more who we used to be.

I think my greatest fear isn’t letting go. My greatest fear is discovering that you already did a long time ago.

The One.

1. You ignore everyone else once you meet her.

Those texts you used to answer from girls who you kind of liked or might have hooked up with, suddenly you have no interest in. You don’t even flirt with the idea of seeing them again.

2. You take her on a date you actually put thought into.

You want to impress her. More than that, you want to knock her off her feet. And you find yourself a little nervous before the date.

3. You commit when you swear you wanted to be single.

When you meet the right girl, you don’t want anyone else to be with her. It has to be you and you’ll do anything to make that happen.

4. You actually want to get to know her.

In the past, you might have just been about the hookup or something casual. But you find yourself wanting to learn all about this girl and take things slow.

5. You find yourself interested in her hobbies.

You used to make fun of your guy friends for being whipped and ditching you for their girlfriend. Now you get it. As much as you like your boys, you like this girl too.

6. You want her to be around your friends and family.

You bring her to family functions and invite her out with your friends. You hope they like her as much as you do.

7. You find yourself thinking about her a lot.

Your mind is wandering and she’s the one your head goes to. When you wake up and she’s not next to you, she’s the first one you want to talk to. When you wake up at night and she’s right there, there’s a comfort in her just being there next to you.

8. You find yourself becoming better because of her.

She’s constantly challenging you. To do more. Be better. Be more positive. Generally, you’d handle situations a lot differently if you were single, but you think of her and you want to make every best choice.

9. You find yourself just happier.

You were happy before you met her, but she just makes you smile a little more than you’re used to.

10. You make sacrifices when you need to.

There might have been a time where it was all about you, but now someone new is in the picture and she becomes one of your priorities.

11. You see your walls come crumbling down.

You might have a tough exterior (so people think), but if people saw you with her and how you act and how different you are behind closed doors, they’d see how much this girl is really impacting you.

And as much as you don’t want to see through her love and affection, you change a bit.

12. You think you’re the lucky one.

It just hits you one day, that you love her. And suddenly the future you had all mapped out suddenly includes someone else.

Living In Denial.

“I can’t sit here and watch you completely self-destruct. It hurts too much to simply stand here and watch other people hurt you and watch as you hurt yourself choosing them,” those were the words my best friend said to me as I held back tears. 

I don’t think we realize the affect anyone has on us, in the moment. Especially when we think it’s love. When we mistake a toxic relationship for love, what we’re really doing is associating love which is the kindest, best emotion, two people can share with something that is painful, ugly, and mean. It’s easy to love half of one person but when our judgment gets clouded and we dismiss who they are in bad moments, what we’re really doing is saying, “this treatment is okay as long as you treat me well sometimes.” But healthy relationships are only that. Healthy. ALL THE TIME. 

So when you find yourself in a toxic relationship, you find yourself running in these circles of mistreatment. And whether you see it or not, everyone notices how you change being in a toxic relationship. It’d be impossible not to.

You expect the worst.

You learn to appreciate the good moments and the times when the relationship isn’t toxic, but suddenly you begin to expect the worst of people. And you then question yourself wondering is it you that brings out the worst in people?

You suddenly question everyone.

You think everyone has a motive and is using you to gain something. Because when the person you claim to love is taking advantage of you and using you, you think everyone will. You enter relationships not trusting anyone. How can you trust anyone when you don’t even trust yourself to choose the right person?

You don’t feel like you’re good enough ever.

You question everything about who you are because in your head, you think it’s you not the person you chose. You think if you were good enough, the person would treat you the way you deserve all the time, not just some of the time. You think if you didn’t trigger something, he wouldn’t have lost his shit on you. You think it’s you that’s the problem. So you tip toe trying to make every right move but when you are involved with someone toxic, no matter what you do, it will never be what they want.

You keep overcompensating.

It’s like you are trying to prove you are worthy of love and affection. Toxic relationships teach you that you need to work to earn love when normal relationships give it to you freely. But toxic relationships give a little then take it away because it all comes down to power.

When someone is toxic, they try to control others because they lack control in parts of their own lives.

And your friends watch as you’re trying so hard for someone who doesn’t deserve your time and attention, and they struggle understanding why you can’t walk away.

You become paranoid as fuck.

You jump when your phone goes off wondering if it’s them. You know to answer right away or you’ll get yelled at. But then you watch as those rules don’t apply to them. They answer just to make sure you do, but then the conversation ends.

They say things to set you off and they know exactly how to.

Suddenly you’re comprising your own self-respect. Because you think this is love, so you do anything they ask of you. 

But love isn’t crying yourself to sleep at night wondering why your best isn’t enough to make them stay. You watch them come and go like you’re so easy to leave and you think it’s your fault.

You attract the same type over and over again.

Even if you end a toxic relationship, it takes such a long time to heal from the emotional abuse and the after-effect it has on you. You find yourself dating again or trying to, but you’re looking for everyone that reminds you of that person. Regardless of how destructive those qualities might be, oddly they defined this standard of love you had. Even if it’s a toxic relationship, the intense feelings that came with it no matter how hot and cold they were, became this is a standard of yours. Even when you don’t want to admit it, their impact influences the way you feel about everyone else in your future.

You lose yourself.

When you define self-worth by what someone else can give you and it isn’t a standard of being treated well, you completely lose yourself to this relationship or these series of relationships. Next thing you know, all you are trying to do is to cope and fill this void that you don’t even know made you so empty.

You want to numb this pain someone caused you, only you don’t even remember what it’s like to be without it.

Your friends are your rock.

They endured it with you. They were the one drying your tears every time you got hurt. They were the one watching painfully as you went back to him.

They hate him for you because your heart can’t seem to. And they know you loved him, but it was him who couldn’t reciprocate it or realize the value of something so rare.

And it’s your friends who are there picking up the pieces of the chaos he created in your life, and they remind you what you deserve.

You have to reteach yourself self-love.

In time, you do begin to learn from it. You learn it wasn’t you that wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. It was them who didn’t realize what they had when they had it. You learn to talk to yourself differently. Even though sometimes you catch yourself being negative. You learn to stop beating yourself up for flaws you used to hate.

And even though it’s a long road to recovering from a toxic relationship, once you begin to and once you learn to love yourself more, you don’t tolerate for a moment someone ever treating you like that again.

When I Look Back.

“Fin’lly got over that song of ours; stopped chasin’ little red sports cars,
To check the license plates an’ I quit drivin’ by your place.
I can walk right by your picture in a frame an’ not feel a thing.
But when I hear your name,
I feel rain fallin’ right out of the blue sky.
When the conversation turns to you,
I get caught in a “you were the only one for me”,
Kinda thought, an’ your face is all that I see.
I know I can’t go back when I still go back.” – Keith Anderson

When I think back to us, first I’m overcome with how horribly it ended. I guess when someone means that much to you, there’s no graceful way to exit. There’s no way something like that could ever end on good terms. And it didn’t. Horrible words were exchanged that clearly had been building up for a while and next thing I knew, it was over. And in a desperate attempt to try to fix something, I called too much and texted too often but the damage was already done. The stone was already thrown. 

Suddenly it felt like I was drowning. Drowning in my own thoughts wondering how we got here.

But the thoughts that consume me more as time has passed, are all the good memories we had. 

You were my best friend. My soulmate. So I thought. Of the many things I was uncertain of in my future, I looked at you with confidence that you’d always be there. You were my number one fan far before anyone else was. I think back to every vacation you were always welcome on. Because as much as I loved you, so did my parents. As much as I wanted you in my life, my parent’s looked at you like you were the best thing to happen to me. 

I think back to every fight I had with them and how you always came to pick me up, no questions asked. I think back to every gift you surprised me with and how over time it became comfortable, but I counted my blessings too. I thought back to the funeral where you were standing by my side, and didn’t once leave. And how every accomplishment was achieved with your unwavering support and encouragement. 

I think back to no matter how many fights we got in, we always found a way to resolve it. How regardless of the distance between us, it never felt that far. Because when you found someone who would drive 4 hours just to see you for 1, you knew how special it was. I look back at the pictures of us smiling and laughing. I never thought memories like that would later bring such pain.

Now here we are strangers. I know nothing about the life you lead, and you know nothing about mine. It’s like all we have in common is this past we want to forget. But I can’t seem to. How do you forget someone who brought so much joy and happiness to your life? Because even though it ended badly, I still look at all the good you brought my life. 

And here I am a completely different person. 

I find myself wondering would you like who I became? Would we get along? Would you agree with the decisions I’ve made and the life I chose? And more than that, would you be proud?

Along with not existing in my real life, all evidence of what we were and what we meant to each other too, might have been erased across social media but they are pictures I refuse to delete. Because part of me doesn’t want to forget you. 

I’m always wary of our run-ins, even though there’s been so much time between us.

The first time we crossed paths, I resorted to drugs dealing with it. Nothing good came of that from the things I do remember. 

The next time we saw each other, it was like we were doing a synchronized dance to avoid each other from across the room. You saw me. I saw you. But we avoided each other like the plague. 

Then recently I saw you walk in a spot that’s always been mine. A place where I’ve always felt comfortable. But the hairs on my neck rose as I watched. It hit me in that moment how we really were strangers. I didn’t know anyone you were with. And I don’t know if you saw me or not, but I watched out of the corner of my eye. I noticed how great you looked as I analyzed my own wardrobe. They say always dress like you’re going to run into an ex. 

Part of me wanted to go up to you and ask how you were. Try to at least be civil this way it wouldn’t hurt so much. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that. What I didn’t want to discover is, how this was still hurting me and how maybe it didn’t affect you at all. Any closure I was seeking was solely for myself, but I didn’t want to seem vulnerable or weak. Instead, I left. My friends didn’t need an explanation. 

So much time has passed. But there are days missing you sneaks up on me. There are days I just want to go home alone and cry myself to sleep mourning the past that shouldn’t affect me.

But sometimes the past is hard to get over when it’s with someone you thought would be in your future.