They're layered. Just when you think you're whole again and out of the woods another wave hits you and knocks you down and it's not fair and it doesn't seem worth it and sometimes I really don't think it is.
Recently, I went through a breakup of my own. I have this unique talent of repression where for months at a time I refused to acknowledge it. I tend to do things like:
- Pretend I'm 'totally fine' and 'seriously guys, I'm great don't worry about me'. But the weird part is that since I'm so seasoned at repression that I really, honestly felt totally fine. I felt lucky that I got to skip over all of the hard breakup stuff and just be over it
- Party. This was strange because I had just turned 21 so it's part of your job to party for a few weeks so no one raised an eyebrow when I went out from Thursday to Saturday night for about a month and a half. Going out is fine, getting wasted every time you do it when you're going out as much as I did is not fine.
- Get a whole new group of friends. This can really help in a breakup, however since they don't really know you in the relationship intimately they can't offer advice. It's important to talk to people who were around during the good parts and bad parts.
- Sleep. I am someone who avoids. I avoid everything, and sleep is a great way to do that because you don't even know you're avoiding because you're asleep. Well once my body stopped being able to do all the things during the day and still go out like I wanted, I inadvertently decided to sleep all day so that I could essentially go out all night.
- Get piercings/tattoos. I got tattoos, I like them luckily and I am happy I have them. But it was something about changing myself so that he wouldn't recognize me as familiar to him. Anyway, if you feel like getting a tattoo because you've been thinking about it for years HELL YES. Tattoos are sick and I love them. But if you get 3 unanticipated ones in a month, you should be a little concerned.
These are symptoms. They aren't just 'oh they're going through a breakup', it means a storm is coming for you. If the relationship meant anything to you, a storm is coming. I spent no time, absolutely no time thinking about what part I played in the relationship, what part he played, and how he was doing because if I did -and it's time for real honesty- I would have completely unraveled.
And that's exactly what I did.
The holidays hit everyone hard. Whether you don't have a great relationship with your family or you're having a rough year or going through a breakup.
I spent every New Years since I started college with this guy, so New Years is what really got me. I couldn't run anymore, I couldn't sleep anymore to avoid it, I was with my parents so I couldn't party to numb it, and my parents knew him and liked him so there was talk about him over the dinner table. We recently moved to Bainbridge Island, so the whole time I was there I kept thinking about how much he would love our new house and where we live now. I really, really missed him. Not like I miss my friends when I go on break, I mean like there was something missing in me when he wasn't there. The storm hit me.
I was forced to understand the gravity of the situation. I had avoided for 4 months (successfully) and now 4 months later, I'm supposed to face it. When everyone thinks I should be over it by now. Honestly, screw what other people think. You process things in your own time and if people don't understand that, then you really don't need them in your life. It's a good weeding-out process.
So now, I'm sitting in bed. I have a sort of flu that I believe to be caused by stress. I have had to completely sever all communications with my best friend and the person that really meant the most to me in the world. I'm angry, sad, jealous, you name it. But it's better than being numb because at least now I know I can work through it.
No one can make it better and people say 'only time can heal' well that's a load of crap. Because I spent 4 months of my time not healing because I wasn't facing it. You have to be the one to decide to get better, no friend, no substance and no amount of time can help you. It's hard work and it's emotionally exhausting and I'm pissed off that he's fine and living his life and I'm here thinking about him. But one of the most important things to remember is that it's not about the other person anymore. It's about doing whatever you have to do to get healthy, get better and get whole again.
That being said, there are things that are helping me right now like:
- Ice cream.
- I have gotten really into soups which frankly I don't understand but I'm rolling with it.
- Grey's Anatomy. I always fall back on this show when my life isn't so great.
- Cut your hair. I cut mine off, I love it and it'll always grow back if I get sick of it short.
- Fresh flowers. They just help, until they get that really bad flower smell, then throw them out because it's bad Juju.
- Stop excessive drinking. I have stopped drinking for a while. I don't know how long it'll be, I don't mean I wont have a glass of wine with dinner with my family because that's unrealistic and it's not the type of restricted lifestyle I want for myself. I mean when I'm in social situations at bars I don't drink anymore. It's cheaper, healthier and I wake up with no hangover on Sunday morning which is worth it.
Here's something that I think is really helpful, it's not a black and white situation. You're going to feel fine one minute and then another wave hits you and you're not going to be okay for a while. That's okay, that's the process. Forcing yourself to be fine isn't going to help you it's only going to make it more difficult later. I am now facing my emotions and feelings, and it sucks. It's probably one of the most confusing and painful things I've ever had to do. But if I don't deal with it now I'll just have to deal with it later.