I hear a lot of women say that an awful breakup shattered them.
You feel shattered because your relationship was this beautiful illusion that you put together and you chose to live in that mirage of a safe place. Doesn’t that make us crazy? Don’t we commit people to asylums and mental hospitals and rehabilitation programs because they choose to live outside social norms, in a world separate from the one that that society has deemed appropriate? There is no such thing as a single version of reality that we’re all regulated to adhere to; we each have our own world. Sometimes, we build new realities with new people and feel as though we have found our own asylum, or safe place, in their arms. It’s all perspective.
So then when someone shatters you, why do we always choose to believe that this is the single most detrimental thing that will ever happen to us?
Why don’t we have a glass-half-full mentality when it comes to being shattered? Yes, it hurts. Every time someone shatters you it feels like there’s a knot of desperation and despair dying to escape the tangled ball it has formed inside your throat. Some of us deal with this sensation dangerously; we abuse drugs and alcohol to escape the feeling of impending doom. We indulge in these things to make the feelings go away, albeit only temporarily, because even that fleeting moment of relief is worth the hangover you’ll feel the next day.
I’ve suffered from anxiety for most of my adult life. I feel shattered practically all the time, like I have a thousand different things I have to pick up and put back together before I can do anything productive. It eats at me every day. It chases me around, harassing me and begging me to drown it. I used to indulge. I did what I needed to do to make it to that happy, hazy place that was going to make me forget about my problems. For a little while, all of my broken little pieces were allowed to float in the languid air, like a gaggle of buoys in a dark and dangerous sea.
Just momentarily, I was allowed to forget that my pieces had a rightful place. With every moment I wasted in that blissful semi-consciousness, I was becoming more and more broken. If I ignored the work that needed to be done to put myself back together, these bits of myself would break off into twos, threes and fours, until finally the pieces had doubled, tripled and quadrupled and I was left in a mess of pieces I didn’t even know I had. You go from being shattered to being completely crushed, reduced to nothing more than settling dust forgotten by the world around you.
This is self-destructive behavior.
I have a solution.
Let’s stop treating our pieces like they are something to be feared and start treating them like they’re something to be revered.
What a joy it should be to have so many complex, beautiful parts. Yes, they are pieces. But how lucky are we to have so many incredible facets to put together? There are so many harmonious bits that might be broken right now, but the moment that they start to come together again is a moment that we should all be happy we have the opportunity to achieve. It’s a high that no drug or drink can give you; it’s a feeling that no person can fill you with.
I want people to start rejoicing in their pieces instead of using them as knives to their own demise. How blessed are we to be so complex? Really, how cool is that? It must take such a beautiful, incredible and capable person to have so many pieces to shatter into. Stars explode. New stars are born. And we’re all just stardust.