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It Is Okay to Have Feelings

Without emotions
Without feelings
Without love
Without hate
Breath is just a clock
Ticking

– Without Emotions, by Combichrist

I am very uncomfortable experiencing the wide range of emotions I’ve been feeling the past few months, and it’s made me really think about how I’ve managed my emotional state. Not just the shutting down bit, but guarding myself from pain. I’ve kept so many people at arm’s length in my life, good people that I should’ve been happy to let in. If I’m being honest with myself, I did it with my wife.

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I certainly let her in more than any other woman I’ve dated, as evidenced by the panic attacks and sheer amount of hurt I’ve been dealing with. Even so, a part of me thinks that if I had let her all the way in, I would have been vulnerable with her. I wouldn’t have been too proud to talk about my feelings, or too embarrassed to make a fool out of myself to try and fix our obviously broken relationship before it was too late. I also think if I had let her all the way and she left anyway, that I wouldn’t have promised her I’d live.

Since high school, part of me has always thought that there’s only one way I’m leaving this world and that is by my own hand. Part of me believes it still, but if that’s the way I go, it’s not happening anytime soon. In the moment she said she was leaving, I thought she was everything to me. But I survived, so obviously she wasn’t. She should have been, but she wasn’t.

Now, as I wander day to day in this shitstorm of emotions, I’m trying to open myself to all of them fully. To feel, for the first time in a very long time. It’s going to hurt more than anything… but I’m trying to believe that it won’t hurt forever, and that in the end the payout will be worth all of the suffering.

I’m sorry, Rachel. You deserved better than me, and I certainly didn’t deserve you. I hope you find someone who does deserve you, though, and that they make you smile and laugh in a way I never could.

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