Some would say that the life of a single girl means constantly having to recover from break-ups. You would think that if you have been through something enough times, then they get easier, but that’s just not the case. Each one seems to hit you from a different angle or find a weak spot you didn’t know to protect. Each time the pain feels new, even though we know it isn’t. It’s like how they say that your body forgets the pain of child birth so that you’ll do it again. Well, it’s the same for love. If we remembered how bad the end can be, would we take the chance one more time?
I had a break up that was so bad when I was 21, I thought for sure I would set scientific records by being the first person who actually died from a broken heart. I literally couldn’t remember how to walk. I forgot what day of the week it was. I didn’t know how to be hungry or how to laugh. Everything made me cry. Everything felt dead. I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t his girlfriend. It’s all I wanted to talk about. I couldn’t tell you enough times how much he really had loved me. He said he could never love again. He said I was perfect. But now that he left it must mean that I’m flawed and imperfect. Even though he had lied and deceived me, since I was the one left behind I assumed I was missing out on something I wanted. I would never love again. I would never smile again. I would never sleep again. No day would ever be better than the worst day. No one else in the world had ever experience the kind of unhappiness and abandonment I was feeling. It was so REAL.
Cut to today and I honestly don’t even remember loving him. I don’t remember what I liked about him. I don’t remember why I needed to be with him. I can’t find the place in my gut that he occupied for so long. One day a few years after our ugly break-up, he called me to apologize for how things went down and I laughed. I couldn’t believe he was still feeling guilty after so long. I told him to enjoy his life and consider me his friend. If I was still angry at him, then it would mean I still had a part of me holding on. And I wasn’t letting myself go out like that.
The recovery is so slow. Every day gets the tiniest bit easier, but it happens in such small increments that you can’t feel the progress at all. It’s Groundhog Day in your head. You wake up and open your eyes and then remember the weight of your heartache. From that moment forward you wish for that first ten seconds back, where you didn’t remember.
What you don’t realize is that it IS getting better. There is no explanation for why it does, other than that we are able to survive through it. We are built for it. Our mind plays tricks on us because the grief fogs our logic. We can only remember the best things in the person we miss. We can’t forget the way they made us laugh and the feeling of falling asleep on their chest. We don’t remember their bad attitude whenever they had to hang out with our friends or the way they couldn’t ever correctly decide between “their”, “they’re” or “there”.
The important thing to understand is that you can’t trust how you feel until a few months have passed. It’s a straight up detox and it’s horrible. But it is a passing phase and no matter who you are or who this so called perfect specimen is that you’re missing, everything is going to be fine. That’s the thing we don’t get. You can’t die from this. You get a few months of feeling sorry for yourself, absolutely. Live it up. Put the sweats on, refuse to eat, cry to your family, force your friends to look at his Facebook, stalk every girl who knows his name… Get it all out. Because after ninety days, it’s over. Physically he’s out of your system and you have to emotionally catch up. Now, if you were married or had kids, I can give you more time. But after the shock of the whole ordeal has died down, it’s time to focus on everything you hated in the relationship. You weren’t nearly as happy as you think you were. You complained about stuff. You went to bed angry. You envied other relationships that had elements yours didn’t. It’s time to realize you can do better. Maybe he’s the best for someone else but anyone who could walk away from you should be with someone else anyway.
Create the story you want to be real and then make it happen. It’s not that he isn’t calling you, it’s that YOU aren’t calling him. It’s not that he can do better, it’s that YOU can. Who knows what he’s up to and who cares? This is the only life you’re gonna get and you certainly don’t have time to waste on shoulda coulda wouldas. There is nothing you’re going through that someone else hasn’t been through and come out on the other side with a smile. Rejection is divine protection. Find the purpose in your struggle. It’s happening for a reason, and a really good one I’m sure. You’re going to be better for it one day. You’re more interesting for having cried these tears and screamed these screams. I got your back.
Image via punjabigraphics.com