You’re Not Over It Yet (And That’s Okay)

Ben Seidelman
Ben Seidelman

In the depths of a very depressing and bleak post-break up phase, I once Googled, “How long does it take to get over someone?”

And as I’m sure you can guess, the internet didn’t exactly agree on an answer. It’s not like I really expected to find my answer, some magical cure-all, just sitting there in a search engine. Like maybe some Yahoo answer could really mend my bruised heart. Yes! Thank you, iLuv2suckDix69, your answer of, “As soon as you get under someone else!” was all I needed! I’m fixed! It doesn’t hurt! Hallelujah!!!

Nope. It didn’t work like that.

But absolutely everyone had advice. Strangers on the internet, my friends, my mother, even my college counselor. I was such a sad little sight that I began talking to my counselor about my break up. It wasn’t the fact that I was talking to a counselor that felt kind of pathetic, but that I was wasting her time on someone who had so clearly wasted mine. When I thought of all the other things I really could have been working on, the things that mattered a whole lot more than all six foot three of disaster, I felt kind of sick. I felt pretty disgusted I was ever so hung up on it. But maybe that’s a problem too.

I remember how often I thought about him, about us, all the things we promised and talked about, and how none of it was going to happen. I hated having those conversations on loop. Repeating. Over and over. I blocked him on social media. I did all the things I was supposed to do. But now, far enough removed from the shell-shock and pain of losing someone I hadn’t ever anticipated losing, I wonder if there really was something I was supposed to do. Was there a specific way to grieve that kind of loss? Had I done it correctly? Was I wrong?

The world is full of opinions, and that’s beautiful. And annoying. I don’t know, maybe it’s a lot of things. People are going to tell you what to do. What you should do. What you shouldn’t. Even me, I’m here telling you to not listen to them. Don’t listen to me. Listen to me? Eh, screw it. Just hear me out on this one teeny, little thing.

If you aren’t over a relationship yet, that’s okay. You’re okay. We all process at different speeds. Don’t compare your grieving process to someone else. Why? Because you’re completely different. I know it’s so difficult, but you can’t even expect the partner you split from to experience the same thing you do. You’re seeing things from different lenses. And that’s a hard concept to truly grasp. We expect people to understand. When you have a heart so mangled and destroyed, you just want to open your chest and show someone. You want someone to see how it hurts. And to help you.

And people will try. They’ll tell you to move on. As if it’s just that easy. It’s like telling someone not to worry. “Oh, just don’t.” That doesn’t help you. It pressures you, it shames you. It makes you feel like something is wrong for still hurting. Like maybe you’re pathetic. You’re clingy. You’re the only one with that bleeding and battered heart.

You’re not. And when the time is right, your wounds will heal. Scabs will form, and I can’t promise that they won’t be ripped open again. They might. But your skin will always grow back over it. We heal in different ways. I didn’t get over my ex as fast as I felt I should have. But you know what? That’s okay. I took the time I needed. And you should too. There’s nothing wrong with you. You loved. And now you’re learning how to keep loving. Don’t rush that. Eventually, you’ll be fine, but it’s okay to not be fine for a little while. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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