A handwritten note on top of my pillow was one the first thing that greeted my arrival to my own bed. It read “Sad news – [my dietitian’s name] is leaving.” My heart plunged as I realized the reason she had not responded to my emailed questions for the past few weeks.
That is it. She is gone without a goodbye or explanation. This feels like deja vu. Just last summer, my previous dietitian (who was an Olympic athlete that I greatly admired and enjoyed) left. Thankfully she gave me a bit of warning. However, my doctor left last minute too last May. All of this loss adds to my misery over leaving Oxford and my friends there as well as being estranged (but maybe willing to return to) my therapist and still suffering from heartbreak. Why do people have to keep leaving after being so close to me?
People come in and out of our lives. That is a normal part of human existence. Yet, knowing that does not make goodbyes – especially those that are never said – any easier. For someone with aspergers who hates change, these losses sting even more.
Now, I wonder if I can quit this whole thing. Seeing another dietitian (especially the two options that they offered me) would only add to my stress. Why should I trust that they will stick with me? But without one, how will I know what amount of food to eat? What if I gain weight or start restricting again? Having someone to guide me is important, but the pain of choosing someone new is so overwhelming right now.
What can we do about the pain of losing people? Well, one option is to shut down and not allow anyone into our hearts. That way, losing them will not be as hurtful. Yet, another type of agony grows as we become lonely and life feels meaningless.
The other option is to open up and continue to be hurt and loved. I am trying to choose this approach. However, it is so hard. As I write this, tears keep creeping out of my eyes. When will this pain end? Probably never. Hopefully the deep relationships that I invest in (and sometimes lose) will be worth it in the end.