Love hurts.

I think about what has happened to me, and I question what brought me to this place. I question how one human could hurt me and affect me so profoundly.

I would pride myself on being a strong and independent person, so how could I let someone have this lasting impression?

But that same pain reminds me that what we shared was real. Because isn’t that what love is? Giving yourself to someone. Giving them the power to hurt you and trusting they don’t.

Sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way.

Sometimes, people do hurt you. It makes you question your judgement and sanity. It makes you question your worth. It even makes you question if the pain is worth it–if you would allow them to do it again.

Perhaps, that is why I’m still in this cycle… why I’m still fighting for the recovery of someone else. Because for me, love doesn’t just end. It draws me back in and reminds me that with love comes sacrifice and compromise.

I’m still learning what it means to love from afar. I’m still learning to understand that at times, love means allowing someone else to struggle and grow.

But, I always remember the potential hurt that will come from love. Because if it’s happened once, it can happen again.

The question is, when will it be too much? At what point will I begin to protect myself?