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A Cycle of Toxic Domestication

You’re both young, and in love. You agree to move in together. All your belongings are jointly threaded by your souls, from the furniture sets in the living areas to every sappy photo on the fridge. You cook, introduce each other to new dishes; go out, try new restaurants. You drink, a lot. But not because you’re depressed, your partner helps mitigate these episodes, ever since you met them. You’re thankful, drinking out of bliss and a sense of stable partnership. Drinking until you’re both incredibly horny and yearning to make love until you pass out into each other’s arms. Drinking with friends, the cohesion of amicable relationships among couples igniting a notion of collective security. If they’re okay, then so are we. You tell yourself this often.

You begin to gain weight, and so does your partner. You try to rationalize that the copious amounts of sex will burn your excessive caloric intake. It gives you an excuse to have more sex, make move love. You conjure baseless scenarios of future living scenarios. You talk about babies, how you both don’t want any. Yet. You fetishize trying to have one—knowing you can’t raise a baby—the thought of making one intensifying the sex to a grander magnitude. You begin to do this frequently, playing with fire. You don’t care. In the back of your mind, you’re comfortable with this perilous behavior, as long as the potential consequences are dealt with together.

One day you begin to grow tired of each other. The impulsive cohabitation comes with many pitfalls, a revelation rarely grasped by young lovers. You ponder how the slightest deliberation may have deterred you from settling on such a life-changing event. You still love each other, but you need space. You argue over petty affairs, sometimes incite disputes to indulge in the make-up sex, the sex you aren’t getting much of anymore, the sex and the post-ephemeral merriment reflecting the happiest both of you are during weeks of resentment.

You break up. Your depression returns—harder than ever before—as a boomerang, one you threw years ago for it to merely clash back with the ferocity of a meteorite. You drink. Gain more weight. Eat excessively. Completely cut off friends. Decide to drown in solitude and substances, in darkness, at a loss for why life devours quickest when you’re suffering, like the summoning of a sudden ravenous black hole, beginning in the crater of your stomach. You question the spontaneity of misfortune. You ask if you’re deserving of life. You don’t know the answer. No, you’re afraid to answer. But, before you do, you realize one thing: You want them back.

You emerge out of your rut. You claim it’s a miracle, informing your family and remaining friends. Your therapist obtains quick word of your suicide ideation. They thank God you’re okay. You don’t believe in God. But you do have faith in love. You wish to receive their attention again. You exercise and lose weight, get back into shape; you show an interest in your passions, produce marvelous works. You want them to come back so badly that you nearly lose sight of yourself. You attribute your success to their existence. You find fulfillment in their perception of you, and not your perception of yourself.

When they come back, you inevitably show signs of doubt, worry. To take them back is to relish the past, and you consider that even the bad memories are worth revisiting. You paint a picture of the process: The happiness; growing together; making countless love; breaking up; falling into depravity; and how difficult it is to climb back out of this trench. You contemplate taking the risk, and then you despise having to refer to them as a risk. But, love is precarious.

And if you do choose to take them back, then please remember: You are not alone.


This story was originally published in Maudlin House.

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