Dear Girl-I-Used-to-Be

Dear Girl-I-used-to-be

I woke up empty today. I opened my eyes and nothing rushed at me. No thoughts crashed like waves at the shore of my consciousness. I just lay there and did not care what time it was, what day it was, what clothes I wanted to wear today-and you know what the most heartbreaking thing was- I did not care what was for breakfast.

You have taken my appetite and I think I hate you for that most of all. I hate you for taking away my enthusiasm of beating my alarm. I hate you for making sleep seem like a chore and not the most wondrous thing in the world. I hate you for making me this disenchanted, disconnected, disgusted, game-less, careless, casual asshole because you, you loved all these things and now you’re gone and I cannot listen to Jazz anymore because it no longer makes me sway.

I can no longer find warm contentment in my worn copy of Pride and Prejudice because you left comments in the margins. I cannot look at myself in the mirror anymore because these eyes are mine and they are yours. This face is mine, but it used to be yours. This grimace is mine but it reminds me of your toothy grin. My pitiful attempts at a smile lack me-ness. My desires no longer are mine. My body feels heavy, and it hurts everywhere. I cannot recognise my face, with eyes sunk in surrounded by dark splotchy skin, messy hair and a face that wears a constant grimace.

My heart hurts from the lack of love: I can actually feel it grow smaller every day. My gut turns over and over and over on itself and is by now so knotted that food doesn’t stay down at all. My head hurts because my eyes keep bleeding tears. And yet I cant help but yearn for you.

I have not yearned for anything except you. Your disappearance taught me a new feeling: an unappeased homesickness for a moment in time where you were me, and I was more.

I do not quite know what to make of you. You’re that piece of me that was ripped away with such force that the jagged pieces of me that remain no longer work. My heart’s rusting and my mind is unravelling. I keep hallucinating you at the most uncomfortable moments. I can for a little time recall what it was to be whole, and those moments of emotional lucidity are all that push me from one ebb to another. Just one more lucid moment so I can grab on and hold tight for dear life…

You’re a phantom I chase, you’re in my past and my present and you haunt my future. Unless I can find a way to hold you again, I am afraid I will simply be rooted to a fixed point in space and time, doomed to be unbearably still and burdened by the knowledge of the forever waiting being that cannot be.

I. Am. Afraid.

I. Am. Angry.

And I am lonesome without you. Short of turning back time, there’s nothing I can do to bring you back to me. You’re gone, and I am standing here holding on to a wisp of a memory, a ghost, a shadow and its exhausting. It’s annoying to pretend to be okay so people around me aren’t scared of me, of the hellhound that’s my pet and of the demon that I am. I pretend because I faintly recall what it felt like to love these people. It’s so Kafkaesque-I have metamorphosed into something hideous and my hold on humanity is tenuous at best and it’s taking all my tenacity to not claw at them and run away screaming.

I want you to stop running. I am still the girl you loved once. I feel all wrong, I know. But you have to but touch me to know it still tickles at the same old places. You have to but dream with me to know I dream of dragons in bowler hats. You have to but lay down with me, hold my hand through the darkness through which I cannot see but you can, and protect me from the weeping angels that surround me to know that I am that same girl you were ripped out of so bloodlessly. Come back to me. Help me learn myself again, let me feel the pain. Let this deadness pass now. It’s time: Let me be me again.

Love me again.

Hoping for ataraxia,

  • Gagan Ahluwalia

Gagan is your fun girl-boy-woman-wise-old-woman next door. She knows about everything from books, to jazz, to fast cars. She’s a stellar psychologist, and the only hugger you need.

Send me your work at with a short bio and portrait to have it featured on this site. Namaskara!

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