Like how the first blow of pain left you shocked and speechless, your mind blank, with time suddenly frozen and the world around you momentarily in slow motion, the early, tender stages of recovery will also take the words out of you and make you stop in your tracks, like you’ve just woken up from a horrible nightmare that was choking you and keeping you immobilized, and then in a snap — there you were, sitting up straight, still weak and in a daze, but alive, moving, and breathing.
Yes, you are breathing again. And this will feel so unreal and unnatural that you’ll even place your hand over your heart and try to feel the pain again, because you’re just so used to having a perpetual weight pressing on your chest that you’re left in awe at how light it feels.
You’ll be in doubt — is this real, am I really, finally healing? You won’t be convinced at first; it’s just too good to be true, that the struggle is almost over, that you have seemingly won the battle. The war waged in your mind and heart, which has taken over your entire life and kept you curled in a ball for nights and even days on end, crying until your eyes surrender, is somehow dying down. The battle wounds are still there, though, the last draws of blood; but it seems that you’re coming out of the fight alive.
As the dust settles in your mind and your heart quiets down, it will be still. There will be an unnerving silence, like a calm before another storm. You will tell yourself that it isn’t over; he’s still there, in you, ready to strike at a moment of vulnerability and crack your still fragile, barely healed heart.
So you nurse the remnants of the pain he caused you, not ready to accept the fact that maybe you are really on the verge of healing, of being free, because the memories you’ve shared with him have kept you in chains for so long, have kept you wide awake for so many nights, that you somehow cannot believe that your heart just decided to stop playing them over and over in your mind. Maybe it’s playing tricks on you, giving you a few days of breathing space before his memory comes crashing down on you once more, and you’re left doubling in pain again.
But darling, it’s time to take that first step forward. You’ve already felt it, life slowly coming back to you, helping you become stronger each day, letting you breathe. Those are exactly the first signs that you are finally healing from the pain. You’re breathing, you’re awake. The worst is over.
It’s okay to laugh and smile and live again. Heal without fear. Heal without doubt. Heal and keep on healing. It will still hurt, yes. He will still cross your mind when you hear his favourite song or when you go back to the places you’ve been with him. There will be moments of relapse, of momentary torture, and you will feel pinpricks of pain in your chest — it’s normal. But keep on healing. You’re already there; you just have to embrace the freedom and happiness that’s right within your reach.
You know it in your heart — the time has come. Open your hands and let the pain go, darling. Breathe and take that first step, however weak you still are. Healing is a process that can’t be done in a day, but the dawn has broken and morning has come for you. Let the light seep in through the cracks of your broken heart.
Go and heal. It will be hard, but you have to keep on healing.