I promised myself that I would never be this girl. I was sitting on the floor, tears streaming down my face, angry, confused, contemplating jumping off a building, and wondering: how the hell did I get here? This was not like me. I was always the girl who reveled in her self reliance- confident, career driven, and incapable of believing that I could love anything more than I loved my morning runs. I rejoiced in my heartlessness, I even compared my soul to my coffee- black and bitter. I equated love with weakness, and I was terrified of ever giving my heart to someone who could turn me into a pathetic, love sick girl.
Everything changed when I met the “perfect” man. He waltzed right into my life, and thoroughly disrupted it. He opened my eyes, and got under my skin. He sent electric impulses through my body with a glance, and made me feel more alive than I’d ever felt before. Suddenly I was singing love songs in the shower, smiling on the subway, and living the fairy tale I had never believed in. I had found my soul mate and I was intoxicated with happiness.
Then we hit a roadblock. A huge, gaping, hole that sucked us in and refused to loosen its grip. I’ll spare you the details, but let it be sufficient to say that I was not the victim, and my actions largely contributed to the disintegration of our relationship. I woke up one morning and wondered how the man sleeping beside me had become a stranger, and then things got hard. Very hard. I called my best friend and asked her if I was making a mistake. I looked at other people’s relationships with envy. I started questioning myself, and him. Mostly, I panicked.
After a month of fighting we took some time apart. We didn’t see each other, and we didn’t talk. I had lots of head space, and I used it to sift through my memories. I remembered the way he made me feel, and how I smiled at my phone like an idiot when I got a text from him.
I remembered the effortlessness, and the 3 hour phone calls, and the way he looked at me while I sipped my morning coffee. I remembered the way he held my hand at the movies, and how he carried me up to bed when I fell asleep on the couch. I also remembered the challenges we faced, and the hurdles we had to overcome to be together.
I thought of the spats that ended in reconciliation, and the times we got on each other’s nerves, but worked it out because we loved each other SO MUCH GODDAMNIT! And even though those fights seemed trivial to what we were currently facing, I realized that we had the ability to make it work. I went through the good memories, and the bad memories, and I asked myself the big question. Did I still love him? The answer came to me immediately. It was as if every atom in my body screamed, “YES, YES, YES, you IDIOT, go fight for him!” So fight I did. I fought with all my heart. I fought until I’d exhausted every single fiber in my body, and I knew that I’d done everything I possibly could to make it work. But it wasn’t enough. The time apart had pushed us in separate directions, and while I had suddenly become a martyr of love, he had drifted into a stunned complacency. We were not the same people as before, and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t glue the broken pieces back together.
So I became the pathetic, heartbroken girl that I had always abhorred. I had permanent bags under my eyes from sleepless nights, and stress. I lost 10 pounds from my already very thin frame. I tortured myself with sad songs, and James Blake’s music video of A Case of You. I broke down when I came across old pictures. I Facebook stalked my ex endlessly- and most embarrassingly, I shared my story with anyone who would listen. I was a walking, talking mess- mourning the death of my relationship loudly and openly.
The mourning stage lasted a lot longer than I expected. It was terrible, and it was painful and even though I’d like to think that the worst is over, I don’t know if that’s true. I’m not the inconsolable mess that I was, but I still miss my ex. I miss him every damn day. And I’m sure that makes me the pathetic girl from a lot of people’s perspectives. But here’s the thing: before I went through this breakup I never truly understood heartbreak.
I deemed so many people “pathetic” because all I saw was their tears, and their vulnerability. I didn’t understand that these people were fighting, every day, every hour, every second, just for a glimpse of hope. It never occurred to me that their emotion, and honest display of brokenness was courageous. I gave my heart fully for the first time, just like so many have, and I got hurt. So what? It was worth it. What I had was real, and it changed me into a living, feeling, hurting human being…and if that makes me a pathetic girl, I am so glad I am.