Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Envying Your Happiness (And an Apology)

Yes, you read that correctly. I am envious of the happiness of others.

I didn't realize it for a while. I have been sad, angry, depressed, et cetera since the break up (of course) and in moments of relief, numb.

So I was listening to this audiobook "Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)" by Jenny Lawson. I was just getting home as she was describing the chapter in which she gets engaged in the most hilarious way possible only to break down in hysterics as I tried to park my car. I was trying to laugh at her outrageous narrative while simultaneously crying--mourning my own loss of my love, my life as I knew it, and a good chunk of my happiness (see also: my security, stability, home).

It then occurred to me how often I have been glossing over my friends' posts about recent engagements, weddings, vacations, honeymoons, home improvements, and so forth. I give them cursory glances and quickly scroll past. For everyone (sorry guys). I had to file away recent wedding invites, thank you cards, and photos, not really realizing why I felt the sudden need to "put them away."

It's because looking at your happiness makes me sad. It makes me miss what I had, (what I thought I had?) and what I thought my life was heading towards.

We were engaged. Vaguely making wedding plans. It was going to be beautiful, unconventional, and fun. We had so many projects going to finish our home to make it really ours. Plans for the future where we would live in a house, or at least a town home or condo where no one would be living above us to wake us up at odd hours of the night. Or maybe our slightly sacrilegious imaginings of purchasing a beautiful ex-church and converting it into a unique home (in which we would rent portions out for gay weddings--this was pre-the recent Supreme Court ruling).

Instead I find my life suddenly and harshly devoid of all of these things. My life had become so entangled with his and our lives so centered around our relationship that I ended up feeling exceedingly lost (and maybe a little broken). I had poured so much of myself into our relationship, especially after our last rough patch (because we were going to make it work! And I had no doubt so I jumped right in with both feet) that I am having trouble finding myself again.

So the happiness (especially in relationships) of my friends serves as a near constant reminder of everything that I have lost. Which right now, seems like an overwhelming amount.

I apologize to my friends. I am happy for you, and I would never wish for any one of you to be unhappy or to give up your happiness. But I envy you right now. I know at the very least, this makes me mean, selfish, and uncaring. I am very sorry for that and I hope no one has felt that I don't care about you or that I am not happy for you. But right now, I can't look at the pictures of the beautiful weddings and smiling faces on the beach. I can't look at the wedding-planning posts and pictures of house renovations and romantic dates nights. I promise that I will be better in the future and I offer the warmest of congratulations. But right now, I have to pass over them. Later on I will go back and look and rejoice for you. But right now I have to keep my rejoicing quiet and brief. I won't mourn forever.

I hope you will bear with me and forgive me. Realizing this made me feel like a horrible person. At the same time, I just need time to mourn. Just know that I love you all and I am happy for you, even if I can't express it in so many words.


  1. Man I wrote a long comment but it looks like it's gone. Let me try again:

    This is the best, most articulate description of grief and mourning of a relationship I've ever read. You spent years building something together and you planned for future years. That deserves a period of mourning and if you have to shield yourself from more pain (even if it means scrolling past the news of other people's lives), that okay. We'll be here for you-- to reflect on the difficulties of life, but we'll also be here for you to share and celebrate life, whenever you're ready. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. My comment disappeared too! Weird
    Anyway, I understand, and you shouldn't feel like you're a horrible person. Jealousy is a thing that happens and it's totally justifiable. You are allowed to feel your feelings!
    It'll get better. Hang in there.