One thing I’ve wanted for the past several months — or, rather, a fantasy I’ve entertained — was that I’d be able to find what I had with Jack, again, with someone else. What didn’t occur to me until recently — and this probably sounds ridiculous — is that no one will ever be able to be Jack, except Jack. And he’s dead.
What I’ve had to teach myself is that companionship and affection and love can come in all forms, and the way Jack made me feel is just that: the way Jack made me feel. No one can (nor should be expected to) replicate that. But for some reason I’ve periodically held on to that expectation, as a means of self-protection. Because if I don’t get close to someone, then I can get hurt. Especially people in recovery — there is always a chance of relapse (and death, though that’s not unique to alcoholics). The thought of falling in love again and having my world turned upside down by addiction isn’t something I like to think about. But I also need not go there — yes, it’s a risk, but not one that needs to overwhelm me.
I’m trying to move on. It’s a scary and unknown thing, but it’s what I’m doing. It’s what I have to do. And it doesn’t take away from what I had with Jack, but it does place all those feelings and all of that love into a time capsule of sorts, marking a moment in my history of which only I can know the true import when it’s opened.
What’s important — no, essential — is that I do this. Otherwise, every other person in my future will feel the burden and pressure of Jack. And that isn’t fair, to anyone. I want a whole life again. I want to live and love and feel passion and express it with another human being, and in order to do that I have to make a conscious decision to move forward.
It’s a bittersweet maneuver, yet also a necessary one.