I know you think you need him. You think you need to hear his heartbeat every night in order to fall asleep. You think you need to see his smile every day in order to feel like this life is worth living for. You think you need his arms around you, in order to feel safe and appreciated.
But the truth is, all you need is you.
I know you’re rolling your eyes now. I can see it, because I would have done the exact same thing. I know you’re about to stop reading this. You’re about to scoff at these words, with your hands on your hips, laughing at my daftness. But I have been there. Trust me.
I have been so deeply in love it felt like a lifeline. An addiction. Like this world wasn’t a world without him in mine. He was my breathing tube. My oxygen. My nutrients. My muscles. He was my days and nights, my darkness and my light.
He ruled my world. But that’s where I went wrong. It was my world. It was my life. It was my universe. Not his.
He was the daydream that turned into my reality. He was the thing from fairytales and story books that I used to giggle at, dumbfounded that a girl needed a man to save her. I was never going to be like, I told myself. I was strong enough, to not need anyone.
But then he came into my world and turned it into a sun. And he came into my universe and turned it into a galaxy. I was just like you. Hopelessly in love. So addicted to the feeling of him against my body. So overwhelmed with the safety I felt when his hand was wrapped in mine. I was so intoxicated by the bliss, that I forget how to be on my own. I forgot how to be me, by myself. I forgot how to be my own human being.
And that was my downfall.
Before he walked into my heart, I was me. I was Lauren. I didn’t need anyone but my friends and my family. I slept soundly at night by myself in my twin sized bed. I had everything that I had always known. But when I felt myself falling for him, I had no idea who I was anymore. I was just his girl. And I would have died happy being that.
When it ended, I had lost my sense of identity. He was always smarter than me, a better talker, a better musician, a better human being. I didn’t have what he had. I didn’t have that kind of charisma.
I thought I had nothing without him. And I honestly thought I was nothing.
But little by little, I reunited with friends I had ignored since my ex had been in my life. I learned to laugh, without him laughing beside me. I learned how to smile, without glancing over to make sure he was smiling too. I learned how to be me, without him.
It wasn’t easy. This kind of ordeal is never easy. But it’s not impossible.
If you would have told me that I would ever be happy without him five years ago, I would have laughed in your face. I would have told you that you were crazy. That he was all I needed. That we would be together forever.
But, here I am. Years later. Happier. By myself. Owning myself. Knowing and learning more about myself. Laughing. And smiling.
I smile without him now. You can too.