I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on the state of my universe this week. It’s almost comedic how life throws challenge after challenge at you, even when you’ve declared yourself out.

I’m grateful for everything I have. I have a home, I have security, I have a way to earn money to support myself. I have my health. I have wonderful people in my life who love me and support me, despite whatever rough seas we’ve travelled together. I have had forgiveness from those I have hurt, I have a beautiful family who I’ve stitched together out of the broken pieces of other bloodlines, and they’ve welcomed me.

You know, I thought my world was ending when my wife and I separated.

The internal (and external) dialogue on a daily basis was exhausting. Constant voices echoed around my fleshy vessel – you’re not good enough, you didn’t try hard enough, you have been selfish, you have taken this for granted, you don’t deserve love.

On many levels, those things are true.

I was selfish at times and I did take her for granted.

I made mountains out of molehills; I reacted at times when I should have just acknowledged.

I laid too much on her and I ignored the signs that she wasn’t coping.

But in all of those moments, I thought I was doing the best I could. Hindsight, growth, lessons learnt – exactly what you’re supposed to gain out of these life experiences, right?

Then came the HSV2 positive diagnosis. Overnight, I was crippled for a week with the worst physical pain I have ever experienced. The fevers, the muscle aches, the itching, the pure pain – all of this served as a reminder that the universe really has a way of kicking you into gear when you need it.

She was there for me. She was supportive, she was understanding, she was caring and she was kind. It made me realise what a beautiful soul she is, and that I hadn’t really given everything I could have.

She deserves happiness. She deserves to be with someone who can truly value her and celebrate her for who she is.

I’ve always had walls up. My trust issues run deep, and even when I can write them away, my insecurities and my anxieties take over.

It seems as though there’s a production line of issues waiting to take over when the one at the front has done its time. I’ve been defensive and angry for most of my adult life.

I numbed and medicated myself with drugs and alcohol for 20 years. What I now know to be a really elaborate form of running. Running away from me mostly.

20 whole fucking years of wasting time pushing people away because I was scared. Really, when you look at it like that, it’s a weak response.

Thunderbolts. The one man who I opened my world up to in ways I had never done before, not at that speed and not so consciously. He held all of me within him and he opened up everything he had to me.

For a week a month ago, we were inside a tent, living like a proper couple. In the middle of the week, I noticed something nagging at me. The way he breathed was annoying. The way he cooked was annoying. The way he slept on his back and then rolled over to his side at almost the same time every night – annoying.

I’d started the process of telling myself he wasn’t right for me. I’d started breaking him down in my head, something I’ve done a million times before. This was the pattern repeating itself.

I noticed my walls coming back up. It was the most bizarre feeling – it was almost like being out of body. I knew I was putting my walls up but I didn’t know why and I didn’t know how to stop.

Lying in bed on day 3 of my when will this end first ever outbreak, and I’d been staring at the ceiling like it had the answers to the mysteries of the universe. It dawned on me.

I’m scared.

I’m pushing him away because I’m scared. I’ve told myself I’m not worthy of someone just loving me; I’ve told myself no one is capable of just loving me. They all leave in the end anyway, so at least if I leave first (or push you out), then I’m in control. I can stop the inevitable. I can cut the pain in its path and come out victorious.

It’s totally fucking illogical. And I’m not alone. Some of the strongest women I know are exactly the same. Push anyone away once they get too close (even though it feels so good to let someone in), because after all, our experiences create our perceptions. Been hurt once? Well, it’s going to happen again sweetheart, so steel your shit up and start shutting down.

I don’t want this again.

I’m taking the wall down.

Thunderbolts thinks he is about to get an outbreak, and I don’t want him to have to go through it alone. After all, this could be of my doing. I put together a little gift basket of survival items for him today, and when he is back from work abroad, I’ll give it to him. He deserves it.

He’s a beautiful, loving, complex man who deserves someone who will value him for who he truly is, not someone who’s going to throw up barriers because of her own fears.

Every day I will choose to let all that shit go. To just be. To let the walls down. To let him in.

Hindsight has served me well.

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