*If you would like to accompany this piece with music, press play on the Soundcloud player.
Loving you sucks. You don’t try to get better, because you love being sick. It gives you an alibi, a reason, an excuse. Your imagined diagnosis gives you comfort. You warm yourself with it at night and curl up by it on cold days. It’s not your fault. It’s never your fault. You’re broken and anything you do will automatically be forgiven.
But I don’t accept it. You could get help and try harder, but you don’t. You allow yourself to hurt everyone around you, because you think they can take it. I can’t take it anymore.
You used to have hope. You were going to be a pilot, or a zookeeper, or a bank teller. You wanted a little townhouse with a rooftop patio, a green pickup truck, and a stainless steel barbecue. You liked cooking stir fried chicken and wearing your John Deere baseball cap even though it was old and faded. You loved talking about the Arizona Cardinals defense and the ending of American Beauty. And you loved me. We had dreams and options, and that was all that mattered.
Then you lost your scholarship and it all unravelled. I told you we’d figure out a new plan. You seemed to give up. Your first attempt didn’t work and to you that meant you would never be enough. I hate that school for what they did to you. But the rest of it you did to yourself. You started sleeping all day and drinking more than you could handle. I tried to be positive and come up with something that would excite you again. I tried so hard. It wasn’t enough.
When you went to the therapist I finally felt like you were on your way. You knew something was wrong and you were going to face it. They never gave you a diagnosis. You decided you were too sick to make it better. Instead of moving forward you stayed stuck. You hid and you stopped loving anything or anyone except the idea of your illness. It was there for you. It allowed you to sleep and drink and hide yourself away.
Loving you sucks. I know you’ll never be who you could have been. I blamed myself for so long, thinking I wasn’t doing everything I could. There’s only so long I could try to help you and build you up when you didn’t want help. I had to leave. I had to think about my own well being too. I’ve moved on as much as I can now. But I still love you, and worry about you often. I hope someday you realize you can be brave again. I hope you realize you’re greater than you think you are. I know that already. I’ve always known, but you’re still figuring it out. Until you do, I’ll be missing you and loving you on my own.