I Force Myself Not to Think About You

The Forest

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
– Steve Maraboli

I force myself not to think about you. It is far too difficult to imagine you here – to imagine what it used to be like between us. To understand the depth and meaning of your presence even when you are not physically here. But it’s funny, I always thought you would be here. You’d be the one that stayed through it all. Remember that song by The Fray, Look After You? I remember pointing out my favorite line in that song every time we heard it because I genuinely thought it applied to us.

There now, steady love, so few come and don’t go. Will you, won’t you, be the one I’ll always know?

I force myself not to miss you. Because missing you is unbearable. I can’t focus on you for more than five minutes of my day because then your absence becomes real. It’s tangible. And I can’t have that weight bearing down on my heart.

I force myself not to think about you, but I can’t force myself to forget about you. Yes, I still remember the 11th is our anniversary, and I won’t ever forget your birthday and the first time we celebrated it together; I will always recall the warmth of your bed with a great amount of fondness. No amount of time and no amount of effort could possibly wipe away the presence of you for those five minutes of my day. You seep into the edges of my brain and then once again, I find you becoming all too real to me. And so once my five minutes are up, I force myself to stop. I force myself not to place you at the forefront of my mind. I refuse to see you in everything I do and say.

We fail to realize that memories never go away – we just are extremely adept at blocking certain ones out. After all, that’s what nostalgia is all about. We hear a familiar tune, come across someone else wearing her perfume or his cologne, or even walk by some proverbial place you two had become so well acquainted with during the time you spent together. Our lives are made up of reminders that bring us back to some distant place and time. And so I force myself not to think about you, and I force myself to avoid encountering those reminders.

I force myself not to think about you because if I do, I will have to accept the realization that in some twisted way, a part of me is missing. The part of me that existed when I was with you. And while I can feign acceptance on the outside, I can’t think about you because I will miss that version of me far too much. The way you enchanted me – the magic you had scared away most of my demons, and you were more than willing to battle the ones that refused to leave.

I force myself not to think about the potential of our future. The what if’s, and what could be’s – maybe even the what should be’s. Thinking about those things is a sure fire way to lose the remainder of my sanity. And a sure fire way to lose myself in you. And while it is hard to admit, the sad truth of it all is whenever we lose someone we love, we lose who we used to be. We learn from the heartache, the heartbreak, the regret – and then we transform into an entirely new version of ourselves – one that can only face forward and pray that this new version will be more than enough for someone else to love. The course of love is as straightforward as a bottle of shampoo. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Only with the former situation it’s love, recover, repeat.

I force myself not to think about you because doing so would diminish my current happiness. If I don’t think about you, I am fairly happy for the most part. I find pleasure in meeting new people, pursuing my passions, and in the idea of what I will make of my life outside of the realm of men. Thinking about you would stop me from moving forward – I wouldn’t even be standing still; I’d be moving backwards to that distant place and time of how things used to be between us. And if life has taught me one thing, it’s that time does not stand still for anyone – there is no reality in living backwards; we must find hope in the forward motion of it all. And so I don’t imagine you here, I refuse to bask in the former beauty of your presence, and I force myself not to think about you.

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