I think too often we confuse strength for weakness, we confuse being broken with being unfixable and we confuse hurting with not being able to survive. I think too often we are ashamed of thoughts and feelings we can’t control but are controlled by someone else. I think we hide our pain to make the person who broke us feel better, even though they don’t deserve to feel anything other than remorse.
I discovered lately, that coming to terms with something which knocks the air from your lungs and makes you feel as if the world as you know it is crumbling around you, takes time. I’ve learned that some things cannot be forgotten in a day or a week or even a month. Sometimes we are told things or we discover things which chip away at us, that take a piece of us, and suddenly we are forced to readjust and be whoever this new version of us is.
And this process- no matter how long it is, it is going to look different every day. Some days you will be you—all of the parts but none of the substance; you will be there but not entirely present. You will feel like yourself with a piece missing; you will go about your day but your mind will keep replaying on a loop. Other days you will want to scrape your brain out because it is torturing you. You will want to cut out your heart because it feels to heavy inside of you and you will wish for an “off switch,” something to just take away the pain, the reliving, the terrible thoughts. You will feel like an awful person for screaming and crying and saying hurtful things.
But you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t apologise for how you choose to heal from what they broke; you shouldn’t feel guilty for trying to survive something which is threatening to kill you. You shouldn’t feel the need to speed up the process or hide it or just pretend it doesn’t exist because it will come back, it will haunt you.
Believe me when I tell you, there is strength in crying on the bathroom floor and there is strength in playing the same sad song on repeat and sobbing until your stomach hurts. There is strength in the quiet, in your decision to not say a word because you feel too broken and confused and muddled inside. There is strength in screaming and shouting and demanding your pain to be heard.
There is power in saying how you feel, of unleashing your terrible thoughts on to the person who caused them and there is strength in letting them see you cry.
There is beauty and awe in choosing to rebuild something which has been shattered and there is a fearlessness in still loving someone who didn’t love you enough.
Taking back, going back, choosing to stay is not weak. It is not stupid or reckless or asking for trouble. It is choosing to believe in the good, it is having your trust broken and choosing to re-build it. It is having faith that people make mistakes, that we’re only human, that being better is an option.
It’s knowing that the years which belong to you both mean too much to throw them away and give up.
There is power in whatever you choose from this moment forward because being in love is fearless and choosing it when it keeps not choosing you is fearless.
Strength is in every moment you choose yourself, when you demand happiness, when you show emotion and fear, when you choose to not show anything at all.
Strength is in every tear you have ever cried and every day you have come home and collapsed onto your bed and sobbed.
Strength is surviving all of those moments when it hurts so much you can’t breathe.
Strength is having your heart broken and still choosing love.