You know the feeling of hearing a song a thousand times, and never really listening to it? And then one day it hits your ears seemingly for the first time? Yeah. I just experienced that.

“If I had a highway, I would run for the hills
If you could find a dry way, I’d forever be still
But you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons”

Where do I go from here? There was one day when everything changed; and where I used to know which path I was taking— which path we were taking— today, I no longer have the same sense of direction. I thought we were going along the same road together, and that one day, decades from now, we would be old confidants, reflecting on a lifetime of shared memories. Things changed. Then I thought this situation couldn’t drag you any lower, drag us any lower. Now, I sit alone, facing the seemingly inevitable ending in which you and I are not side-by-side.

People will tell me I can’t do that. People will tell me that my decision will hurt them. People will tell me that my decision will hurt you. From what I’ve seen, my extended hand hurt you, my silence hurt you, my presence hurt you, and now my absence will hurt you. This journey didn’t start with my personal decision, this is a reaction stemming from the countless times that you hurt me and everyone around you. I cannot and will not subject my child to the same pain that I have witnessed.

“I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay”

One of the hardest parts of this to reconcile with this whole thing is the speech that I had given on your wedding day. I was challenged to condense a speech to one sentence, then one word. Obviously I said more than one word, because when the hell have I only said one word? The word that I had chosen to be the base, the foundation of what I wanted to share with you and your guests was “rock.” You were the one who held it together, in my mind. In the face of family death, the female social scene, disease, and other obstacles, you seemed so strong and resilient. Maybe it was only for the fact that I am nine years your junior, but you were a rock in my eyes. For a long time, I wanted to believe that you could still be that rock, just suffering from a little erosion. Now, I feel as though the structure in which I believed to be so incredibly indestructible has blown away in little more than a breeze and I don’t recognize that which stands in its place. The ghost of the woman I used to know tells me regularly that I was never supportive and that I should mind my own business. The only thing that weighs heavier on me than the events to which I was a witness, is that part of me still believes it could all be better if you were to just come to me with naked, vulnerable honesty, and a genuine desire to get better.

“Head stuck in a cycle, I look off and I stare
It’s like that I’ve stopped breathing, but completely aware
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons”

Three-hundred and sixty-two days before my son was born, a part of me broke. My whole life I was made to believe that this part of me had to break because it made me too sensitive, too open to abuse and manipulation, too weak. Being the incredibly stubborn woman that I am, I didn’t think I needed to break, nor did I want to. Yes, I made a fool of myself in love. Yes, I was used and abused. But I always picked myself up, and walked away a little more resilient, a little more aware of what I wanted and needed in love and life. And perhaps most importantly, I was determined to continue loving as though I had never been hurt.

I just never expected that it would have been you who was going to break it. I want to thank you and scream at you for helping me grow in a way that maybe I was never going to be ready. While I struggle with this desire, I wonder where you are and what you’re doing, and if I will ever get the chance to confront you about this now-broken part of me. I also can’t help but dive into the darkness of my heart and wonder if you had or have any idea that you broke the one person who would have done anything for you.

Still, deeper, I confront the truth that you don’t have any idea. I, like your family, your friends, even your responsibilities have been warped into some alternate form to suit your thoughts and detached sense of reality. The cracks in me will forever go unnoticed.

“And if you say something that you might even mean
It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons”

Through the grapevine, I’ve heard that you’ve thought about me. I’ve heard that the words of support that I had given you along the way had meant something to you. I’ve heard that you worry about our relationship and whether it can be fixed. I’ve heard you regret not being involved in my son’s life.

I’ve seen you. I’ve spoken to you. Why haven’t I heard any of this? Maybe you mean it. Maybe you believe that your words will trickle down to my text message inbox and I’ll reach out so you don’t have to. Maybe you said it because it makes you look like you’re trying. The truth is that no one knows the answer to these questions and whether or not there is any honesty tucked neatly away in any of these options. I don’t know you anymore, and therefore, how can I possibly know what you mean and which parts I should believe? I’m exhausted even thinking about what’s real and what’s an act.

“Baby I’m bleedin’, bleedin’
Can’t you give me what I’m needin’, needin’
Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
But baby, I just need one good one
Good one, good one, good one, good one, good one”

Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith. I was alone in the car, driving through your village when these nine words ripped through my chest like nine-hundred shards of glass.

Heartbreak. A lie. A secret. An ignored call. A confrontation. A bottle. A swig. A sip.

Faith. To trust. To Believe. To rely. To have confidence.

I was so fearful to go near you, to speak to you during the days of your sobriety because I was scared that you wouldn’t stay. Over the years, there have been periods of cloudless skies with you, during which everyone wanted to bask in the sunshine of dry days, but I couldn’t. Talking to you has become damn near impossible because I am terrified to my core of getting close, of believing in you again and losing you and the dry sunshine, again.

I can’t do this again.

While addiction and substance dependency cannot be fixed by ignoring it and walking away from it, there are individuals who are left feeling like they have no choice. And right now, that is the point in my coping process where I find myself. I have an infant to worry about and major steps that my new family are taking, all of which require mama’s undivided attention.

This essay is not to justify my thoughts and feelings of wanting to jump ship, it is simply to work through the myriad emotions and mental obstacles that I have been facing. I hope that those reading this do not judge me for my position, because it is ever evolving. With each passing day, layers of my mental and emotional state are being explored, skin is growing thicker, wounds are healing, and strength and knowledge are building.

Watch the video for Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons on Youtube