I do, what I consider to be, my best writing when I’m about a half a bottle of wine deep. Sometimes it’s a journal entry, sometimes it’s a blog post, other times, it’s a text to an ex, a current love interest or a male friend who may be just a little bit more than that. It’s not always eloquent and it’s not necessarily well written but I consider it good writing because it’s real.
I miss you.
I’m thinking about you.
I want you.
I wish things were different.
I want to try again.
I want to see you.
I hate that you’re with her.
And that is what will make me cringe when I re-read it the next morning … the realness. Because I know that, while I may or may not have outright said what I really wanted to say, the message was probably received: you matter(ed) to me.
Letting others know that they have impacted us is so excruciating that it makes us cringe, it makes us regret and it makes us shut down. That’s why we drunk dial. We need to lower our inhibitions and disable our impulse control enough to be able to tell others that they matter to us, that we hurt because of the way things happened, that we desire them or that we miss their presence in our lives.
When you really stop to think about this – it’s heartbreaking. We’re struggling so desperately with vulnerability in our relationships that we have to binge drink to try and form connections.
It’s probably been about a year and a half since I soberly told someone that they mattered to me.
The sad thing is that this year and a half of my life has not gone by without relationships that did matter to me or men who did deeply impact me. I was just too afraid to tell them. Instead I distracted myself from my phone at work and tried not to text them, check in with them or let them know that I really just wanted to hang out with them. I pretended I was ok with casual set-ups that actually broke my heart and hurt my self-esteem a little more everyday.
Then the weekend would roll around and I would go out with my girlfriends, drink a bottle of wine, text them late at night and then try and take it back the next day when I felt like I had lost the upper hand. I would pretend like I didn’t care whether they stayed the night or not. I would fight with them in bars where defence mechanisms, darkness and loud music kept us from hearing each other properly.
It’s a game of extremes and, honestly, no one’s winning. I don’t want to hurt again the way I hurt a year and a half ago. But, of course, by acting like I don’t care about someone, I would imagine that it’s entirely possible that person might get the impression that I, well … don’t care about them. I would also imagine that a drunken torrent of emotion is equally confusing and off-putting.
Somewhere between these two places there’s a space that allows for an honest exchange of emotions. A place where you can tell someone that they matter to you and you’d like them to be there, to come back or to choose you but, also, that, with a little time and healing, you’ll be just fine if they decide not to.
I’ve visited that space … probably twice. It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. These men impacted me deeply and to this day I struggle to regain the balance I had when I steadily told them what I felt. I’m not as bright eyed and bushy tailed as I was then. Today, I expect disappointment so much so that I sometimes even create it for myself.
But I don’t want to miss out on opportunities anymore; opportunities for connection, for honesty, for vulnerability and for a real or, who knows, maybe even a forever kind of love.
So if I make your hotline bling, I’m really sorry for the confusion …
… I probably just like you, but I’m working on finding a better way to tell you ...