I’ve never loved anyone the way I loved him.
I thought I had- I thought I had experienced the depths of love and heartache and someone seeing the rawest parts of me. But with him it was entirely different- it was pure and piercing and breathtaking. I became an entirely new individual capable of so many things. I never thought I would be able to view a person the way I viewed him, and I never thought I’d see myself being with someone for maybe forever.
But, sometimes, forever is much shorter than we anticipate.
I thought it would break me. I thought this would be the thing I didn’t recover from. I didn’t eat, I could barely go out in public without losing it, and the way that he looks at me now ripped apart my insides. I found every excuse to be angry, instead of allowing myself the compassion to give him the space he needs and to respect his decisions as his own. I didn’t know if healing was a possibility.
But oddly enough, a little bit later, I feel good. Like, really good. Even with the slip-ups, even with the dips in my internal emotional battle. Instead of a relationship being my idea of forever, the opportunity to grow into a badass woman is my forever now. The idea that I can be anything and anyone I want is my forever. I am my forever. And that’s what I need.
It isn’t easy, it won’t be easy for you, but I have a few tips:
Give yourself the time to drown in it, for a bit.
Now, the key part of this tip is the ‘for a bit’ part. You can’t wallow forever. You’re better than that, and frankly, it won’t do anything for you. However, you need the time to really sink into your emotions, to call your friends seventeen times in one day because you can’t handle the silence. You need the time to stare at the wall and think ‘why me’ over and over and over until your brain gets bothered by your repetition. This stage isn’t forever, and it won’t even be for very long. But you have to do it. It will hurt the most. But it will make everything else heal easier.
Find the circle of people that are invested in you making it through this process, fully.
You’ll know these people when you see them. Sometimes, they are newer faces. Those that were hanging in the background of your life and all of a sudden are sprung forward by your current situation. A lot of times, they are people that have been and will always be around. Value these people, treat them well, and listen to what they have to say. When you find the right people to surround yourself with it sort of springboards your processing. It pushes you to move forward and get to a healthier spot.
Give yourself a little grace when you, inevitably, mess up.
This can look like a lot of things. Whether it be a lengthy and unnecessary conversation with your ex, a nasty rumor, trusting the wrong person with information, or perhaps you just do something ugly- have a little grace for yourself. It’s understandable and literally inevitable that you are going to do something you are not proud of during this process, but you have to remind yourself that it’s okay. You have to accept that the slip up happened, realize that a slip up is all that it is, and make an action plan to not do that thing again.
Allow yourself the space to be angry, but do not let it consume you.
This one is a little different than the first tip, as anger is its’ own stage entirely. There is a day, a comment, a look, or an interaction that triggers it. All of a sudden a massive raging fire burns up from your belly and threatens to eat you alive. I know you’ll want to let it, you trick yourself into thinking fire and anger means power. That would certainly be easier. You can allow it to warm you back up a little, that’s really okay, and sometimes it gives you a clearer vision on what your situation really is or was. But don’t let it become you, and don’t let it burn the other person. Doesn’t matter what they did to you; all that action would do is make you look ugly. There’s no point in that. Not when you’ve come this far.
Be realistic about where you are at and what you can handle.
Pride is your biggest enemy through all of this, or at least it is for me. It causes you to think you can do anything and handle anything, and that simply isn’t the case. Maybe you can’t handle being in the same room as them right now, and that is okay. Maybe you can’t handle going to the places you both used to go, and that is okay. Find new places to go, exit an area if they are there- if that’s what you need. Need to delete their number? Do it. Need to delete your social media to clear your head? Do it. Every choice you make from here on out is your own, and there’s a lot of power in that. You’re not giving anything away by listening to your own needs and understanding what you can handle.
Finally, accept your circumstances. No matter what they are.
Say this with me- your wants do not change your circumstances. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to repeat this in my head over the last few months. It doesn’t always convince me, but a lot of times it helps. Your circumstances might suck so much and everyone might tell you how what happened to you was so awful, but it doesn’t change a single thing. So don’t let it. Fully stretch out what happened in front of you, and bit by bit make peace with it. The truth of the matter is- it already happened. It’s already done. You can’t change it; you will never be able to change it. The literal only thing you can do is accept it and move on.
There isn’t anything in this piece that will heal your hurt and mend your wounds. They are just things that can make this break a little cleaner, and little more realistic, and a little more manageable. Find compassion for the other person as best you can, but mostly find compassion for yourself. There’s a hope, there is always a hope that the next day will get better.
If you let it, I believe it will be better. It will take time. It will take effort. It will take control. But you can do it. You have to do it.
There is no other way.