I cannot breathe. I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I cannot think straight. I’m sick. Feverish without fever; infected without bacteria.
My brain forces me to replay and relive her smile, her laugh, her words until I am exhausted from sadness, false hope, and delusion.
I second-guess every aspect of our crushed love. If I had only said more, said less, done more, done less.
Why couldn’t I have loved her with the same intensity I promised? Why did I fail her? Why can’t I have a second chance? Or a third?
It’s not that I want to die, I love living deeply, it’s just that I don’t feel alive.
Oh God, the battle. Oh God, the torture. My brain and heart won’t rest.
I’m riddled with love cancer.
How many hours, days, weeks, and months will I be at the utter mercy of this manic, mental insanity? Why can’t I amputate this misery? When will I be able to return to being me?
From the moment I open my eyes in the morning until the moment I try to sleep at night, I am drenched in an endless loop of illusions, fantasies, delusions, and re-creations of history, so real, they might as well be hallucinations.
Make it stop!
Then, like a prizefighter on the ropes, my consciousness, beaten down, a disillusioned voice in my head, my savior, slowly begins to emerge from its near knockout.
And so begins the battle of the psyche. My warrior self:
“She is not right for you,” my inner voice declares.
“You’re the best man she’s ever had,” the love cancer counters.
“She doesn’t love you anymore,” the inner voice gets louder.
“Yes, she does. You know it. You can feel it.”
“Go away. Leave me alone. Just stop.”
“Don’t you dare give up. You'll never find another girl who loves you the way she does,” the love cancer shrieks.
“She told you she just wants to be friends.”
“She’s dating other people for crying out loud!”
“None of those other people are as good as you. She’ll come running back.”
“You’re fooling yourself.”
“No, I’m not.”
“She’s gone, buddy. Just let her go.”
People can be as addicted as heroin.
Telling someone suffering from a love cancer that “Time will heal all wounds,” adds insult to injury. When you're suffering from love obsession, time stands still.
Healing does occur. The fever does break. There is a new dawn. But it creeps its way in when you’re not looking. Slowly, the fog lifts. Imperceivably, delusions disappear. Glimpses of your new self emerge.
At first, joy, untethered from the what-ifs. A vision of a new world sneaks up on you. Your brain heals. Your mind expands to fill the space the love cancer once occupied.
You begin to get high on your own supply. Sunsets, squirrels, and rainbows begin to seep in.
You sense, not yet believe, but feel, like you may be able to love again. To trust anew.
To love again.
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