The Hardest Breakup Of My Life Taught Me This

Tamara Bellis
Tamara Bellis

To say I was devastated would be a severe understatement. I remember it all too well. Crying on the bathroom floor at 2 AM, praying to God she would come back to me tonight. Crying in bed and skipping class because I was too sick to go, wishing she could be there to take care of me again. But then again, I don’t remember it all too well.

I was black out drunk, vomiting all my feelings into the toilet along with a whole bottle of vodka. Stumbling back out to the party and having to fake and smile so I could down some more liquor in hopes to ease the pain of losing her. I recently just went through the hardest experience of my life, and that experience was breaking up with my girlfriend of a year.

The moment I met her, it was an instant connection.
Just like in all the fairytales, I saw fireworks and sparks and all that other bullshit. I loved her with every ounce of my being and she worked her way into my soul. She was my everything, she had the ability to change my mood at the drop of the hat, and when her hazel eyes locked with mine, I was at her mercy. All I knew is that I would follow her anywhere.

But sometimes good things don’t work out, and she left.
She left me much like a tornado leaves a town. Damaged and in shambles, wondering if I was ever going to return to my original state again. And in all honesty, I did not think I would make it. But somehow through all the sleepless nights, weeks without eating solid food, mornings with dry eyes from crying the night away, and evenings eating dinner alone, I taught myself some of the most important lessons I have ever learned.

I am stronger than I ever knew I was

I’ve been through my fair-share of heartbreaks like any girl my age. But this one rocked me to my core. I could FEEL it with every inch of my body. Some mornings I couldn’t get out of bed. Hell, some days I didn’t even leave my apartment. I laid in bed all day and cried, and asked for anything to bring her back to me.

I remember going into the dining hall at my college and sitting in the back, not knowing what to do without her. I would eat, or attempt to eat, by myself with my headphones in listening to anything Taylor Swift. I would see her around campus having fun and smiling with her new friends and the new guy she was with, and I would feel myself shatter again. At this point, it was always a race against time to get back to my apartment or my car before anyone saw me crying.

But you want to know what the crazy thing is? It got easier.
The days spent crying turned into hours, which turned into minutes, which eventually turned into laughter somehow. The meals I couldn’t stomach turned into yogurt, which turned into oranges and apples, which turned into slices of pizza and burgers. The vodka turned into water and I felt myself slowly being glued back together. I could sit through a class and not cry. I could see her around campus and even look at her, and no longer felt tears welling up.

My toughest battle turned me into a girl who couldn’t be stopped. I achieved my best semester academically in college EVER and discovered a new career path that would eventually become my calling. I rejoined my school’s basketball team and was able to lose myself in the sport I loved. I made new friends who showered me with positivity and optimism. I felt like I could conquer the world and shatter any obstacle in my way.

My friends are amazing people

My God, this to me is the most important thing I learned. My friends are truly a blessing from the Lord above, and I will say that until I’m blue in the face. It was Taylor and Olivia, always being there for me and supporting me through everything and being the epitome of what a best friend is, coming over every single night and talking to me about my breakup even though you were so sick of hearing me speak her name. It was my whole basketball team welcoming me back to the team with open arms when I needed them and the sport most.

I could never formulate words to help explain how important the team atmosphere was to my healing process. To have 12 girls who I could turn to, who would always have my back, who believed in me, is a feeling that only a few lucky people get to experience in their lives. It was my coworkers Merry, Allyson, Madison, Bre, Tricia, Jess, Sarah, Rosa, Abby and Rachel who always had my back and would do anything for me, those who saw me cry and collapse to the floor at work and still picked me up every single day, both mentally and physically.

It’s my new-found friends Kayla and Helena who chose to look past all the issues I had at the time, and showed me that people can still love a broken person, not in a romantic love kind of way, but in a pure, friendship way. It’s my friends from day one Kristen, Tori, Jayne, and Miranda, the girls who have seen my rise and fall many times but chose to believe in me and my ability to never give up the fight. It’s the other people who are too infinite for me to mention but touched my life during this period. I cannot thank you all enough, you are the reason I am so strong now, you are the reason I never gave up.

I am enough

Finally, this is something that I wrestled with up until a few weeks ago. When someone walks out on you, it’s a scary thing. You don’t know what you did wrong exactly. What did I do to make her stop loving me? Could I have done more? What if I had handled this situation differently, would she still be here? Is this really what’s right for both of us?

These are the things I asked myself every night, until I came to the realization. It was nothing I did or did not do. It was nothing I did wrong or right. I just happened to be too much for her and not enough at the same time. And once I realized that her leaving was her decision only, not based on my actions, I began to realize other things.

Our relationships demise was her decision, not mine.
I did everything I could, but you cannot change someone’s mind. That is not how love works, you can tell someone how much you love them and how much they mean to you but that will not make them love you again nor will bring them back or make them stay. All of this being said, I harbor no ill-feelings or hatred towards her.

Sometimes you cannot force someone to love you back. Sometimes love is not fair. Sometimes giving your heart to someone does not work out.
So instead of loving her, I began to fall in love with myself again. I could look in the mirror again and think I looked pretty for class that day. I was able to feel confident in my own skin. I was smiling bigger and laughing louder than I ever had and nobody was going to stop me from being this new, happy Rachel. And quite frankly, I will never let myself be a slave to anyone else or their love ever again. I am my own person before I am anyone else’s.

So I suppose at the end of the day, losing her was vital for me to become the girl and young woman that I am now.
I know I have a huge heart and can’t wait until I can meet the person who I can give it to. I’m a confident woman who has high goals and expectations for myself. I have a great support system full of people who have my best interests in mind from friends to professors to teammates. I am beautiful and happy and caring and confident and kind, and sometimes to make myself feel that way, all I had to do was tell myself I was.

I look around and see beauty in everyday life now.
From the people in my classes to nature’s beauty, I take a second longer to appreciate the beauty in everything. I am now seeing in different colors and dimensions and have such a positive outlook on life. I am a child of Christ and His love for me is eternal and He has forgiven me for my past mistakes. I have incredible parents who love me and support any decision I make. Parents who only want the best for their only daughter.

It’s been about 5 months since I lost her. She is still gone. But that’s okay. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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