I am going to go out on a ledge here. Yes, a ledge, because there is a global pandemic going on and I am not writing this with any intention, whatsoever, of having this be about the global pandemic. Rookie move, probably, considering this'll be the first thing I post on this site. Or, it's simply the fault of timing. My life's timing.
See, in two days it will have been a month since I last talked to him.
Since the miserable night when he ended us, via a long and vague message about how he loved me but didn't love me enough. It was so vague I wasn't even really sure we had broken up until a week later when I realized I couldn't keep holding out hope for something that would never come.
Even that didn't really quell the little hopes I would feel. Coming up on a week, I imagined that would be some sort of deadline for him, then two weeks, then three, and now? Now we're coming closer to one month, and even though I know it's over, and I know he's probably even stopped missing me by now, I still feel that same hope that he'll reach out. That he'll tell me he misses me, that he still loves me, will always love me. I don't even know if I feel all of those things for him anymore, but I do know I'm still mourning the loss of the one person who made me feel whole.
I caught myself wishing there was some way for me to get him back today.
Though, what scared me was that when I imagined "him" in my mind, it wasn't the guy who dumped me. It was the guy I met, the one I fell in love with, the one I had for two years before he left for college and changed. I realized he was right when he told me his priorities changed; but, he was wrong in thinking that was the only thing that did.
Everything about him kind of changed. His morals, his values, his plans, his wants, his needs, his dreams, everything. Even his appearance changed. I found ways to love the new him, but as he changed he seemed to forget why he ever loved me. I feel that now. I can admit that now. The things he did to hurt me, the mistakes he made, they weren't done deliberately, I believe that but they were done and he didn't even regret them until I forced him to see it all through the lens of "my boyfriend" rather than just "a freshman boy in college."
He wasn't trying to be faithful or to be with me, he was trying to be himself and he was right, the "himself" he was was different. He didn't want to be in a relationship, at least not a long-distance one with a girl who was ready to be more serious than he was.
While me writing this was motivated by this idea of "spreading the word that these things hurt so other people don't feel so alone," I think, if I'm honest, I have to admit that I am hurting today, more than my new usual, and I needed to jot the feelings down so I can try to understand them and hopefully let them go.
Also, because I feel pretty alone, and that's not a very good thing to be feeling, not right now. So, the intro was selfish, the intro was about me and him, an "us" that is no more, an "us" I miss dearly. But, from this point forward I have to step into another role, a detached role because frankly, I need a dose of reality to feel alive... like I still exist even without him, and maybe that's what some of you need too.
Breakups were meant to hurt, that seems obvious but was also something I seriously forgot early on.
I didn't want to hurt. I didn't want to be the girl who shattered and was set back by this abrupt change in her life. But, I also didn't expect that I'd go from being in total control of the fate of my relationship that he had tampered with, that he had destroyed, to being dumped by the person who, at that point, I couldn't even say "I love you" to because I felt too hurt.
I broke down on first instinct, and then I begged everyone around me to make sure I was never alone, to keep me as occupied as possible even in the midst of a global pandemic just so I wouldn't have to worry about being left to my thoughts and in turn, spiraling.
I didn't let myself grieve, not for the first two or three weeks.
The result of not grieving was gruesome. I held out hope and I found myself stuck on this peculiar Ferris wheel-like journey of feeling excited to be free and happy that he ended something that was toxic one moment to feeling worthless, lonely, and miserable the next. Today was a low day. Today, though, it occurred to me that it shouldn't be a Ferris wheel at all. The problem wasn't ever that I was going from high to low, I realized the problem was that I wasn't letting myself be low when I felt low. I did everything I could to get away from it, to hide from it, to shield myself from the hurt.
In the time after we broke up, I dove into faith. That helped me a lot, immeasurably, but it also served as a distraction too.
It kept me from mourning what I lost, until today. Today I got off the Ferris wheel, if only temporarily, and looked at it from across the amusement park. A giant wheel of good views and happiness but also deep lows and annoying pauses and kids who rock their bench and get yelled at by carnies.
I looked at it from a distance and realized what I'd done to myself, I prolonged a pain I should've felt a long time ago. I avoided it and avoided it and avoided it, but see, dear friend, you can't avoid it. You can't surround yourself with people and instruct them to keep you distracted. Or, rather, you can. You can for a while until you feel equipped enough to face it or even just more equipped to face it, but then you absolutely have to set the distractions aside and let your heart shatter.
Let it shatter. Let your heart break. Let your stomach drop, let your body ache, and let your mind feel flustered and full of draining memories that once made you smile.
Let yourself grip onto that old T-shirt tightly, let yourself panic as your tears drip onto it because you fear the tears will make it lose its already fading scent. Let yourself mourn.
People don't get past pain by forgetting about it. You don't break a leg and leave it alone until it feels better, you take some meds and distract yourself but then you go to the doctor, you feel the pain of surgery or of the doc resetting the bones, you get it bandaged, wear a cast for as long as needed, and when you come back, you ease into it.
You get help from friends getting from point A to point B and then someday, someday you walk again.
Someday you walk and then later you'll walk faster, and eventually, you may even run. Eventually, not now, not even soon. Expecting to heal immediately, expecting not to hurt, is a massive misstep that stems from some weird dignity or self-worth issue that, in attempting to make you feel better, only makes you feel worse.
So feel it, learn it, get to know your pain so deeply until you're able to talk about it, then talk, spill, open up, and let it out.
Let it out and then, let it go. On that day, and only on that day, will you be able to see the blessings in the pain and the lessons in the hurt. You'll realize what you learned from the challenges you faced, and how capable you are of applying them toward your future. And then, that's when you'll run. You'll go out with your head held high and you'll find somebody new, somebody better, someone who you won't expect to complete you, but rather compliment you. Someone who will be your partner forever, making you laugh and smile and feel such great joy that you'll look back and wonder why you ever felt so hopeless before. You'll look back and wish you could show yourself now how much better you would feel in the future.
The moral? Don't push feelings down, pushing them down just gives them a greater foundation to destroy you, even if it gives you the opportunity to strengthen yourself in the meantime.
Face the feelings, feel the feelings, and eventually, let go of the feelings.
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