There's an especially sobering feeling knowing that you hurt the person you loved most in this world on numerous occasions. Having to live with the pain I caused them will forever haunt me.
The depressing part about self-destruction is that it's almost always never contained. Any instance of someone hitting rock bottom and losing everything will inevitably be felt by the people surrounding them. Friends, family, partners, acquaintances, colleagues, you name it. No man is an island, after all. We cannot truly destroy ourselves without in turn causing residual damage.
Even more perplexing to me yet is my desire to destroy myself. Not necessarily through means like alcohol and drugs, but through escapism and isolation as my mental issues and disorders progressively get worse. It is truly a defect of hundreds of millions of years of evolution (or maybe the result of some sort of higher power) that I can't fathom putting in the concentrated effort to attempt to become a paragon of humanity or at the very least, somewhat redeemable. The thoughts that gnaw at the back of my mind on a continuous basis, casting doubt on everything I do and consequently setting me up for the great failure that is never trying at all.
I don't consider love a defect of evolution. I also don't consider it a magnificent power that transcends space and time (looking at you, Christopher Nolan). This may be an oversimplification, but love ultimately is what it is, an emotion like any other.
The human experience is a fundamentally emotional one. There has been a lot of emphasis throughout history of negating emotions and thinking logically. Zeno of Citium's creation of stoicism millennia ago is a good example. Online rationalist communities are more modern and postmodern instances. As someone formerly a part of these communities, I've come to believe that to sacrifice and suppress your emotions is to lose a core part of your humanity, and what separates us from our creations of machine. A solely logical existence should not ever be considered a virtue of a person, or something that sets them on a higher pedestal than those people that allow themselves to feel emotions and express them.
Being less emotional may have let me keep my relationship with my partner. Getting treatment for my borderline personality disorder would have granted me the potential to still be with them today. I functioned solely on emotions for the duration of our entire relationship. With that being said, if it wasn't for being able to feel these emotions ranging from complete despair to perpetual bliss and act on them, I would have never dated them or anyone else since I knew my desires for this ephemeral thing we call love could lead to my ruin, as it had before. I still pursued it, and I don't regret my choice to love, despite the inevitable outcome.
Dialectical behavioral therapy has taught me to balance both my emotional side (which is currently in control of most of my actions) and my logical side (which has been decimated over the years due to not getting this disorder under control). I've been in a gradual process of ego death for 20 months during my gender transition as I remove all vestigial remains of the person I was before and start at tabula rasa, and I need to continue being reborn into someone who can merge reason and emotion into perfect harmony.
Shortly after the collapse of my relationship, I read a book called Last Words from Montmartre, by Taiwanese author Qiu Miaojin. I had to wonder if her destined fate of dying by suicide at age 26 after her path of self-destruction brought on by her own relationship ending was going to be mine as well. Clearly, it wasn't, since I'm writing this now, but there were numerous occasions where I could not guarantee that. She hurt her partner just as I had hurt mine repeatedly. She felt the gauntlet of human emotions during her last few months alive, as I had. She mourned the love. She tried to find meaning to what had happened. She ultimately found other people, but couldn't escape the clutches of her and her girlfriend's past. I ended up finding someone impeccably kind, and thus Qiu's path and my path diverged, although they ultimately will end up at the same location. Whether that path ends prematurely by my own hand or winds as long as its natural formation is up to me. I can say that, at least for now, I am prepared to see this path as long as it goes.
"Because I've never and will never again hurt someone the way I've hurt [them]." - Qiu Miaojin