Rarely do I remember what I was doing precisely a year ago. As someone who revels in the nonobservance of benign, bullshit holidays (i.e. Valentine’s Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, anything with a mattress sale) and who spends the majority of the better holidays pumped full of enough weed smoke to forget the festivities all together, those trusty markers of remembrance aren’t something I rely on with confidence.
Last year was different, particularly February, when my heart was essentially ripped from my chest and figuratively hurled into a dying star. Are the dramatic thematics enough for you yet? Basically, I was hurt. Badly. Horribly enough that I still hurt pretty regularly, with my own little Marla from Fight Club; the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can’t. I’m trying not to be a pussy about it but, alas, this pussy is a pussy when it comes to getting her heart broken. Boy, do feelings suck sometimes.
Heartbreak is sickening. It’s like the continuous inertia of getting hit by a bus, but at least once you get hit by an actual bus you’re probably, thankfully dead. Heartbreak is the moment of bus to body impact stretched through days and weeks and months, until you’re so exhausted and in so much pain that those around you are scared you’ll break. All the while you’re expected to function normally.
“Hey, Ally, do you want any coffee?”
“CAN’T YOU SEE I’M GETTING HIT BY A BUS?”
The last time I felt like this was when I lost my dad to cancer when I was twelve-years-old. I know that may sound insensitive and extreme. I mean, of course the long term psychological and emotional effects of a breakup can’t compare to those of losing a parent, so that’s good(?) I guess? But losing someone you love, however you lose them, is a similar sensation to having someone die.
Getting dumped goes something like, “Oh wow! This is awesome! I like having this person in my life!” and then suddenly that person is gone. It’s jarring to say the least. And the memory of them, the habituals of your relationship hitting dead ends, leaves you hopelessly in love with a ghost.
Pretty fucking sad, right? Boo hoo me, right? I hope you’re laughing, because heartbreak for me has been a long, long time coming. Not one to value monogamy or any semblance of a long term, stable relationship I lived a hippie-dippy, polyamorous existence for the first half of my twenties. I was upfront about my escapades of infidelity with very few of my male counterparts, and those who did know were about as cool with it as a snowman chillaxin’ on a radiator. But I didn’t care, “No man is gonna hold me down!” I bellowed from my feminist turret. I was actually just being a shitty liar who wanted her cake and to eat it too. Mmmmm.. cake… FOCUS. This was all fine and good (for me, not them) until I found someone I actually cared about. Until my soul was like “I pick him” and conscious, butthole me ignored it. Until it was too late.
You hear a lot about the five stages of grief and loss, yet they don’t tell you about the seventeen less famous ones; like binge eating and self loathing and driving yourself crazy. Surprise! Those are bonuses. It’s one of the beautiful causalities of life, when the same person that made you feel whole is the same person that later, upon hearing a particular song, makes you want to hurl yourself out a window.
So much of the past year has been telling myself “I deserve this. I totally deserve this.” Which, since I’m responsible for my predicament, I guess isn’t wholly untrue. But what it comes down to is, you can’t make somebody love you who doesn’t. You can’t make someone want to be with you who just doesn’t. And so in a way I do deserve what happened. I deserve to be with someone who wants both of those things. To love me, despite all of my quirks and occasional instability, and wants to be with me while we figure out our weird lives together.
Basically I’ve accepted and embraced my pain. I wear it like some sort of beat-up ‘badge of honor’, and know that if, after this kind of heartbreak, I can manage to function like some semblance of a normal human, I can get through anything. Are you cliché induced barfing yet?
I’m pretty okay with it mentally these days. It’s taken a lot of writing, some traveling, and a shit ton of love and support from my friends. You really find out who’s in your corner when you’re down and out; a bloody, pathetic mess in the boxing ring of life. And despite the pit in my stomach that occasionally peeps up like, “Hi! I’m still here!” I feel pretty okay physically too. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I’ve been treating myself with a care and sensitivity I’ve never before been able to manage. I’m in a monogamous, healthy relationship based on kindness and mutual respect. It’s weird. Good weird. And I’m making new memories, good, albeit hazy, weed filled ones, that will be what I look back upon next year. If I can manage to remember.