I didn’t just wake up one day with a smile on my face. I didn’t just suddenly learn how to laugh again. I didn’t decide to one day “become happy”. You can’t just turn off negative emotions that quickly or that easily. If you have a broken heart, it’s impossible to do that. Or at least, it seems like it is.
But with time, patience, and good friends, the impossible will become possible. I promise.
I’m not going to go into all the nitty gritty details about my heartbreak. I’m not going to dive into the depths of despair that I was under for a long time. That’s not the important part. That’s not the important part at all. And yours isn’t either.
The important part is how you fight, how you drive through the mud, how you lick your wounds and get up on your feet again. The important part of the story will always be how you survive the battle ground, how you persevere through the biggest obstacle you’ve ever had to jump over, and how you eventually see the sun even on rainy days.
It’s about how you begin to smile again. And how you begin to live again.
So, this is how I became happy without you: I got up out of bed one day and washed my face for the first time in a long time. I cleaned off my sad tear streaked eyes. I took a shower and cried a little when the warm, soothing water hit my naked body. I got dressed in an old hoodie that always made me feel cozy like your arms used to. I tweeted a bunch of sad Taylor Swift lyrics on my feed. I got up again and forced myself to eat some oatmeal. I laughed a little, thinking about how heartbreak was the only time I wasn’t hungry.
My roommate gave me a hug. She said I needed to go outside. I needed to see the sun to feel proof that I was still human, still breathing, still alive. I met my sister for lunch. She told me I looked better than she expected. I ate the whole Chick-Fil-A sandwich. With fries.
I walked back to my dorm, being careful to breathe deeply and to count all the steps I was walking. They were all baby steps. But they were steps.
The next week I decided to go to class. I put on makeup. I made a new friend who told me about her past breakups. I sat next to her in psych class ironically. She was my life boat. My thing to hold on to if I wanted to drown.
A few months down the line, I started walking faster. I started eating more. And I began to smile at small things.
Like how the ladies at Starbucks had memorized my order, how the pavement looked shiny after it rained, how my best friends didn’t look at me with pity anymore, and how I was actually happy again.
It’s incredible. Realizing you can be happy without the person who was your whole world. It’s incredible. Realizing that you can power through anything. And how you can fight through your hardships. It’s amazing. How heartache surely but slowly results in happiness and pleasure. It’s so reassuring. You can get through anything after this. You can smile after the drought and laugh after the storm. You can do anything.
This is how I became happy without you. I kept on living. I kept on breathing shallow breaths until they weren’t so forced anymore. I kept on taking baby steps until they became long strides again. I kept on smiling until it didn’t feel fake anymore.
I talked, I wrote, I walked, I ran, I grew. I changed.
I just lived until living without you didn’t seem so bad anymore. I just lived until I was content with just me.