When I was little, I broke a mug. I remember being afraid I was going to get into trouble so I took all the pieces to my bedroom and, using Elmer’s Glue, tried to put it back together. My 6-year-old hands were clumsy and the glue was gloppy and I ended up making a bigger mess. The mug was back together, sure, but it didn’t really look like a mug. The glue had caused the whole thing to swell so it was actually bigger than it was supposed to be, with chipped pieces here and there. I ended up throwing it away, wrapped in paper towels and buried deep in the trash.

When you break up with someone you love, people like to say one thing, over and over again:

“I know it’s hard now, but you’ll eventually get over him.”

Here’s the thing though. I don’t want to “get over” anything. The whole idea of getting over Slim makes it seem like there was something wrong or bad about Slim or our relationship. And there wasn’t. I spent a year and a half in a wonderful relationship, with someone more special than words can describe. I’m not ready to shelve that as though it were a mistake. It’s never a mistake, loving. It hurts like hell, sure. It ended because it had to. But I wouldn’t go back and change anything about Slim, so why should I “get over” him?

It’s been four months now, and I love where I am, how far I’ve come. With the help of my friends, my family, and my own strength, my heart has been put back together. Everyone in my life had a small part in adding some glue, offering me the best of themselves to help make me whole again. The recovery process hasn’t been pretty; it was gloppy and messy and a little ugly. But my new heart? To me, it is beautiful. It is bigger than it was before. It is capable of great love. It is resilient. And I will not throw it away, wrapped in paper towels. I will not hide it away.

I won’t ever get over Slim. He’s too much. He’s too big. The “us” we created was too special. But I hope someday, because I refused to put him in a box and forget about him, we’ll be able to smile at each other when we see each other. I hope we’ll build a friendship. I hope we’ll be in each other’s lives for a long time.

But no matter what happens next, loving is never a mistake. And I won’t “get over it.”