What I've Come To Understand About Heartache

What I’ve Come To Understand About Heartache

I feel as if I can’t write enough about this topic. Each step in my personal journey through this has drastically changed where I thought I was stepping next. I’ve been thrown into the volcano and shot right back out and landed in the mouth of a fucking lion. Basically, there’s no happy ending here.

But there’s a few things I’ve come to understand, and that’s all I need right now. The happy ending comes later. The hurt and the pain and the progress and the change are what comes now. Here’s what I know, and here’s what I understand.

Understand that you don’t really know them like you thought, and you certainly don’t know them now. There are parts of them that you will never know, and that gap will just continue to grow. Let it. Let that canyon grow wide; let it sink into the ground so far that you can’t see the bottom. Let it give you so much space that you can barely see them on the other side anymore. There’s always the chance to build the bridge if you or if they need it, but let it open up for now. Let the foundation of your separation really sink in. Take this opportunity to look up and around you—there’s a warm sun tanning your skin, there are trees with roots so deep you’d never find where they end. There is life all around you and it’s happening—don’t you want to see?

Understand that you can’t tell them how they are feeling. You cannot put words in their mouth that they are not saying. Even if you believe you are right, even if you ‘know’ that you are because you ‘know’ them so well, even if you see through all their bullshit and all their walls, you don’t actually know. You can’t. And you can’t be the person who tells them how they need to feel—that’s not your job.

It is your job to accept where you are. By all means, feel free to not accept or even ignore what they’re doing. They aren’t yours to worry about anymore—they made that choice. You have to accept that this is your new situation, this is your new normal, and there’s a lot of opportunity there.

There’s opportunity to make some seriously poor decisions, to sleep with the wrong people or date the wrong person or buy an outfit you actually kind of hate or dye your hair a really strange color out of desperation for change. There’s a chance for a new job, a new crush, or even just a fresh coat of paint on your nails. There’s time for you to read all those books that have been judging you from your shelf because you’ve ignored them for so long. There’s free time to breathe and really get to know who you are and who you want to be. There’s also time to grieve the loss of something that wasn’t what you thought it would be.

Understand that this is your chance; this is your shot to be whatever the hell you want. But also understand that this is your chance to do that positively. You cannot hate the person who put you here, even if that person is yourself. You can make mistakes, and make a bunch of them, but you have to learn how not to make those again. You have to forgive yourself when you mess up, you have to love yourself through the pain, and you have to wake up every day with a new resolve to continue on.

Understand one last thing about all of this: you still have choices. It might feel like you don’t, because somebody else made a lot of them for you, but you do. You have the choice to allow yourself to move on. You have the choice to forgive them, even when they’re not really asking you to. You have the choice to leave behind whomever you were when you were with them and become someone else entirely. You have the choice to be a rockstar of a person—don’t let that chance slip away.

You are electric, you are enchanting, and you are phoenix-ing right now. At least, you could be. Let yourself. Let yourself rise right on up out of those ashes and fly the hell away. You can come back down to the ground when you’re ready. Enjoy the view for now and understand that the way this process moves right now is up to you. Not them. Not anymore.

Choose you. Choose you before you choose anyone else right now. Choose to forgive yourself for all the awful things you’re convincing yourself of internally. Choose to love yourself wholly and fully before even trying it again with anyone else.

Understand that you matter. Even if you don’t feel like you do. You matter and you’re going to get through this, and even if I don’t know you at all, I’m right there with you. We can do this.

We have to. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Good person, messy eater, notorious plant killer.

Keep up with Shelby on Instagram and shelbyirene.com