Withdrawal

12_12_11.jpgTime is healing me, I suppose, but it's also taking me further and further away from Dave. Each day that passes is more time without the love, comfort and stability he so freely gave me. As the days pile up, I'm going more and more crazy for the comfort a loving spouse can bring. It's been so long since he's told me he loves me, wrapped his arms around me, made love to me, cuddled me. It's withdrawal and it seems to get worse as time goes on.

Of course it does. People aren't meant to go so long without those things. We're biologically programmed to need physical touch. And I don't mean the physical touch I can get from the massage therapist. I mean touch with mutual love involved. Most of us aren't meant to be alone. It's not a state we seek. We seek out another. We seek love and companionship.

It's been so long since I had that and so far the need for it has just grown. It's so frustrating that this desperate need corresponds to a time when I am without that kind of love. It has been taken from me. 

I keep thinking of a scene from the movie Things We Lost in the Fire. Halle Berry's character's husband has just died and her husband's best friend comforts her. She asks him to get in bed with her and hold her exactly the way her husband held her just so she can fall asleep.

All my married girlfriends can rest assured that I'm not going to ask their husbands for that kind of a favor, but I can so relate to her need for that brand of comfort. It's not logical or conscious. It's brain stem stuff. There is no out-thinking it. It just is. And it seems to intensify as time stretches on.

I'm jealous of Halle's character in that scene, but I also imagine that in real life, it would still feel hollow and empty to have a simulation snuggle. There's no love, just need. Desperate need for comfort and being held. Maybe it's a short term fix, but in the long run, the loved one is still gone and maybe afterward it would feel even worse. The minute that person's no longer holding you, you have to face reality again. Face day to day life without a partner. Face the fact that they held you close, not out of romantic, mutual love, but out of a desire to ease your pain for a moment. It's a fake.

And the truth is, as great as it sounds and looks on screen, I know me and I know that I don't feel fully comfortable with touch unless there's a level of trust that's built over time. I also know, with deep conviction, that I would rather be alone than be with someone who doesn't enrich my life. But guess what alone means? That biological need not being met.

This is just how it is. There isn't a way around it, only through it. But knowing that doesn't make this easier.


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  • commented 2015-10-18 15:31:24 -0700
    Thank you for your honesty in the post. It is something I haven’t been able to share with my friends or family (all married). I have been thinking the same thing. I want to be held. I want him to hold me, but it isn’t possible. No one can take his place.

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