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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

First loves are irreparable wounds. When they leave, the pain seems never to relinquish its grip. It took 11 months for the cut of you to heal. After three years of constant trauma, the weeping wound became an irreversible scar.

11 months later, I still think of you now and then. When memories flood my phone or when I see your friends at parties, I can’t help but think of you again. But it took me nearly a year not to fall apart when I thought of you.

I thought of you every second of every day in the early months. I replayed every moment, hoping it would bring you back to me. My playlist of songs you saved, only because I told you they made me think of you, became the soundtrack of my life. I couldn’t let go of our three years so quickly. Until I met you, I thought I was incapable of truly loving anyone. Now I don’t think I have ever loved anyone as much as I loved you.

When the words left your lips, “I’m not in love with you anymore,” my world shattered. Yes, I lost you but more importantly, I lost all the love I had for myself. For so long, I found my worth in you. Unfair to both parties but inevitable. Every time you disrespected me, I lost a little more of myself trying to hold onto you. My self-respect stood no chance against my fear of being abandoned by you. Realizing this changed the pain inhabiting my wound.

About five months after you, my sorrow transformed into anger. The images of us in my head no longer depicted happy moments. Instead, I was reminded of the fighting, the screaming and the cheating. Hate for myself and resentment towards you was all the wound allowed me to feel. I never wanted to be the person I became. I spent years excusing behaviors that should have made me run. I remember the day I found a flower-filled accessory on your floor. When I asked you whose it was, your sly smirk gave away your lie. We both knew the truth, but I chose ignorance. Loneliness constantly crept behind me, thwarting any possibility of me leaving.

The anger from month five stayed till September, 10 months post you. The wound became numb- still ugly and persistent- but numb. I wanted it so badly to be over that I forced myself to become indifferent. I was drained. I felt lifeless from this heartbreak. I couldn’t endure any more emotions. This allowed me to forgive both of us. I chose to believe everything you inflicted on me was unintentional. Adolescent mistakes I could now forgive us both for. Loneliness no longer stalked me. It instead became the very thing that brought me back to myself.

November marked 11 months with my gash. Time was beginning to heal me, but my wound stayed open. This whole time, I was waiting for something to close it and trigger the flesh repair. Not too long ago, I saw you for the first time since the day your love for me left. Even from across the room, I saw it. You had your own wound. In a twisted way, that was everything I needed to close my own. For so long, I felt those three years only lived in my head. Your wound was confirmation. Everything I felt, you felt too. I wasn’t alone in grieving what was you and I.

My wound is now becoming a scar. It will be permanent, no doubt, but no longer is it a painful reminder. Now I can look back on what was and find peace. How lucky I was to feel so deeply for another. And how fortunate I am to learn rather than allow history to repeat itself with someone else. We were loud and ferocious. A ticking time bomb from the start, but without you, I wouldn’t know what I crave: a love that is quiet and safe. Despite all the pain, I still hope for the best for you. I spent 11 months without you, and now I’m ready for us to be a memory. 

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Senior at Florida State University. Editing, writing, and media major with a minor in communications.