LIFE

Gratitude Check: Heartbreak

Hello loves. I cannot tell you how many times I have written this post out in my head, or sat down and tried to find the right words but couldn’t. So, coming fresh from a good cry, I am just going to write what I’m thinking. I genuinely hope that this post will find someone who needs to hear it, because that’s really all that matters. Let us begin. 

Heartbreak

Five Years

Without going into too many personal details, I recently ended a five year relationship. It’s been four months, but it feels like it’s only been four hours, still very fresh in my mind. And as more time goes by, I feel the reality of the situation more heavily, like continuing pressure on a fresh bruise.

In my case, I don’t think I had understood how much I had depended on my significant other until we parted ways. Multiple areas of my life feel incomplete and just strangely empty. I’m not as confident as I thought I was, not as strong as I thought I was. He was the one giving me strength and confidence and drive. And I know what you’re thinking, “Never depend on someone else for this and that,” but we were together from ages 15 to 21. It’s quite difficult to not feel this way, no matter how hard I try. I feel very lost and confused, not knowing where to turn or what to do or what to think.

But, in a way, I’m so grateful for this. I think I desperately needed this, because it’s forcing me to find myself and to grow the hell up. Being with someone for so long, from such a young age, made it difficult for me to find out who was. And the strange emptiness and holes that were left from our parting are being filled, very slowly, in ways I didn’t think possible. I’m learning more about myself and sometimes I’m surprised at how strong I am. Do I have days where all I do is cry and regret my decisions? Of course I do, more often than I would like to admit. But that’s normal and okay. It really is. I learned pretty early on that holding in my emotions and hiding them from the people around me was not the smartest thing to do, because it was quickly destroying me from the inside. I’m not one to show if something is upsetting me because I don’t like being sad. I like to be a happy smile and light for other people, so I wasn’t letting myself feel. I was also afraid that if I let myself feel the feelsI wouldn’t stop feeling those emotions. But I’ve been letting them in and I’m growing stronger from the pain.

Heartbreak is messy, nasty and painful. But it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to react to it. The easy route would be to let the sadness and pain overwhelm us into submission. Or, we can take that pain and turn it into drive. Drive to find ourselves and better ourselves, because we’re alone now. It’s just us. We are now only responsible for our own thoughts and actions and although that can be lonely most of the time, it’s also freeing.

This can also be a time to reflect on the relationship and how you may have been in the wrong. I am NOT saying to start blaming yourself and wallow in remorse. Do not do that. You cannot change what has happened and wallowing in your mistakes will literally bring nothing but pain, trust me. I’m saying to think about what you may have said or did and use that information to better yourself. I’ll use a personal example; I was very selfish, in more ways than one. One of the ways that I cannot seem to shake is the fact that I was selfish in the way that I guarded my mind. My former love (I feel that calling someone your “ex” anything is so negative, so I refuse to call him that) has one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever been lucky enough to encounter, and I took that for granted. Every time he would try to explain a theory about religion or science or space, I would immediately shut him down. Why you ask? Because I’m stupid. No, jk, I just didn’t want to change the way I thought about things, so I was ridiculously stubborn and selfish in my retaliations. I remember it as though my eyes would glass over and everything he said went in one ear and out the other, without any recognition for what he was saying. But now, knowing how selfish and cruel I was, I’m always looking for ways to broaden my mind because I want to learn more, I’m hungry for it. That one mistake I made has given me a drive to open my mind to the universe…and if that one mistake changed me in such a way, just imagine how all of the other mistakes I made are changing me. It’s truly liberating.

If you’re going through this, or have gone through it recently, I’m with you. I pray that you are stronger from it and are learning more about yourself, and learning to love yourself as well. Also, talk to someone. My roommates have been so overwhelmingly sympathetic and helpful in my journey, even though it took me a while to open up to them. So if it’s your family, friends, roommates or a professional, talk about it. Don’t keep it bottled up. And it is okay to feel the feels and be sad, just don’t let them overwhelm you and your life. Feel the emotions, but use the pain as an anchor for what you want in this life. As my dear mother tells me time and time again, “Feel the feels, and move on.”

I’m with you, and we will get through this. I promise.

until next time,

Tessa

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