What is love?

4-17-10                 9:30pm

I had an incredible day today. Only slept about an hour. Woke up in so much pain I was in tears. My neck and arm hurt. I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow and struggled to use my arm.

On the way to the NAMI Walk I cried. Mom didn’t notice. Or maybe she did and ignored me. There is so much in my head and I haven’t been able to write. My arm and my body and mind simply have refused to let me. Sometimes there’s so much there that it’s just impossible to slow down long enough to write. I need a way to download streaming thoughts wirelessly…

“Fearless” by Taylor Swift runs through my head. I saw Janice today. I ran up and hugged her. I am so grateful for her and I miss her. (slow breath) I close my eyes and remember the happiness she brings… My thoughts are quiet. She means a lot to me.

I talked to S—, or attempted to. My words were not working so well and I was fighting pain. He wasn’t feeling well either. It was a weird interaction.

I had a walk team but no one to walk with. I wanted to walk with Impact but it didn’t feel right. So I set out to walk alone. It’s what I usually end up doing. I talked to several people along the way. I saw Jamie. It’s so good to see him. He’s fun to talk to.

I walked a lot with John. And we talked about S—. I talked to a few people about love today. Defining love and waiting for people.  John kept saying to keep looking for different people. I heard his words but it’s like Teflon mind. They slid right off because they just don’t fit.

As I started to tell you before, I think I have a different definition of love than most people, or most people my age. We don’t want the same things. (wave of agitation/anxiety)

What is love? How do I define love? I don’t understand romantic love. I’m not looking for dinner and dates and sex and babies and happily ever after and riding off into the sunset. I don’t get that and I can’t give it back.

(Tears. “Only Hope” by Mandy Moore.)

I know a loneliness I’ve never quite found in a person. Love for me is giving everything. Looking through the glass for years, even though he never looks back. It’s sitting in the emergency room at 3am with someone who’s unconscious just to be near them. It’s writing hundreds of letters to someone who never writes back. Traveling thousands of miles to spend maybe 2 minutes with someone, if I’m lucky. Showing up, being there, just to be near them. It’s saving the life of someone I hate. Rescuing a bug. Taking in my psychotic ex-hospital roommate when I’m having a crisis of my own. It’s buying gifts just because. Love is choosing to accept and love the brokenness even when it scares me. It’s a quiet hug. It needs no words.

Jim called it unrequited love. Maybe. But I don’t know anything else. I’ve never had a successful relationship or one where the other person didn’t treat me like shit. I don’t have reference points. I don’t even know what that looks like. What I do know is the loneliness.

I know this “unrequited love” thing because it’s the closest to what works for me. There are people I really want to be close to but I can’t, or they’re not available. So I watch through the glass and observe and build a fantasy. It’s painful and frustrating but it’s given me an intense compassion for others I can’t quell. I have intense anger and hate but not as strong. When everything in me is gone and there’s nothing left, there’s still someone on the other side of the glass – inaccessible but there.

I’ve learned that although with some things you have to ask for what you want or you’ll never get it, with people it’s the opposite. Because I’m asking for things people are scared to or don’t know how to give. Trust, time, love. It scares people that I actually want to know what they think and that I’m usually not fazed by their drama. They don’t like that I’m honest.

But I’m not going anywhere. It doesn’t change. This need for love from people who don’t have it to give. If I look at him while he’s looking at her and she’s taken, what does that do? I don’t know. But it makes for good writing. There is a reason for my connection to S—. I reveal it a thought at a time but I’m getting there.

So do I love him? Yes, I do. I’d take a bullet for that man. But more than anything I just want to be his friend. To talk. To just be. I need someone to share the brokenness.

I feel my heartbeat in my ears. (deep breath)

I’m grateful for Carol today and music.

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