If your heart is broken, I want you to know something: it gets better.
It doesn’t feel like it ever will. Each minute ticks by at a glacial pace, each day feels like a lifetime. You look at the calendar and count how many days it’s been, and you’re always shocked it’s so few.
You question your self-worth, you are sure no one will ever love you again because they didn’t love you. You weren’t right for them, so you’re not good enough, pretty enough, funny enough, kind enough, smart enough, loving enough, fun enough for anyone. You stop looking at yourself in the mirror because you hate what you see: self-loathing, cold, puffy eyes.
You think you will never make it out alive, but I’m here to tell you that you will. You will make it out. Do you hear me? You WILL make it out.
I didn’t believe anyone when they told me that either. So, to prove this to you, I want to share something with you.
I started writing the day he broke up with me. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone but I couldn’t keep it all inside of me for fear of going insane, so I just opened a Word document and started writing down everything. It’s titled, “Keeping Sanity” and that is exactly what it did.
The document itself is over 100 pages long (I had a lot of thoughts), but I want to share with you some blurbs from “Keeping Sanity” to show you where I’ve come from, to show you that it takes time, to show you that you have to be patient with yourself.
So here it goes:
My worst fear has come true: he broke up with me.
It happened. It really happened. It never occurred to me that this could happen. It has never crossed my mind that we couldn’t make it through anything. I always thought we could work anything out.
God, I love him so much. Why is this happening? Why doesn’t he love me as much? What did I do to push him away? Why am I not worth it for him to commit to me? What is so wrong with me, with our relationship, that has made him doubt it to the point of doing this? WHY GOD, WHY?
I feel like such a fool. Of course this happened. I was so sure about us. I was dead set on us. It literally had never occurred to me that this would happen. Do I deserve it? I don’t think I would wish this pain on very many people, but I had so much pride in our relationship. Look at me. Look at how in love we are after all these years. Look how great we are even after 4 years apart in college. Look at how perfect we are. I feel so worthless.
Crying all morning. Crying on my run, crying in my bed in my running clothes, crying in the shower, crying in my bed in my robe, crying while taking down his pictures, crying once I’m fully dressed and have make-up on. Why is this happening? I can’t believe this is happening. I thought we were golden, perfect. I thought we were the exception. I was ready. I had given him my whole life, my whole self.
God, if you’re listening, help me. Help me be strong. Help me know that you have a plan. Help me remember that I am a great person with or without him.
“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
“And we don’t acknowledge these lost parts. When someone looks at you with indifference where they once looked at you with love, there is no secret combination of words to make them remember how they used to see things. You cannot scream them into coming back. Their physical presence — the fact that everything, to the uninitiated viewer, would seem the same — is almost the worst part of it all.”
This happened to me on that day he ended it all. I made him those stupid heart-shaped waffles with that waffle maker I specially bought for this Valentines occasion. He was sitting across from me eating the waffles and I could hear myself talk talk talking to fill in the void of something I couldn’t put my finger on. It was his eyes. It was always his eyes that gave him away. He smiled with his mouth and reacted to my story, but he didn’t smile with his eyes. His eyes were lost and looking for something that was apparently not in front of him.
When I begged for him not to leave me, I was really begging for him to remember who he was, for him to regain that piece of himself that he had lost somewhere in the last two months. But like the above quote says, no combination of words that I could have used to plead with him could have made him remember which part I was talking about. It was the part that thought the sun rose and set with me. It was the part of him that thought I was worth everything. Without warning, that piece of him was gone and I mourn for its loss every single day. With that piece of him I lost, I lost all of him.
You fucked everything up. Why wasn’t I good enough for you?
I dreamt about him again. I knew he was leaving me. I hugged him and I wouldn’t let go. I knew that letting go of him meant that he would be gone forever. He was leaving me for someone else, for something else better.
Everything hurts today. All of my insides, the pit of my stomach, the edges of my eyes, the bottom of my throat, my heart, my lonely, sad, hollow heart- they are all waiting for the day they stop wanting to cry and break, and die. Dear God, when will it stop hurting so much?
My greatest fear came true. You grew apart from me. We grew together for so long. I thought it would last forever. Without warning, though, you veered and I stayed the course. You left me here by myself. You said you’d never leave me. You said we would figure it out. You said I was perfect the way I was. I guess you lied, to me and to yourself. Or maybe it was true and it just changed. You changed. I stayed the same and you changed. So whose fault is it then? Mine for staying the same or yours for changing?
I gave you everything that I could, my soul, my heart, my friendship, my love, my past, present, and future, my thoughts, my time. What more did you want? WHAT MORE DID YOU FUCKING WANT FROM ME? THE MOON? THE SUN?
Last weekend I drank too much and drunk-sobbed the entire night. Tonight I went out sober to avoid this and still felt extreme sadness. No man would make eye contact with me. Why do I even dress up and put make-up on and do my hair? I should have just stayed in bed.
I ended up walking home alone. There was no crying. There was only the feeling of defeat, anger, and sadness.
I am heartbroken, but I am alive. I have people who love and care about me, people who would die if something were to happen to me.
On the way home from work, a lemans blue M5 stopped at the light right where I was standing. He wasn’t driving it, of course. It was an old man with white hair and a tan suit. He didn’t look at me as though he recognized me, but I saw so many memories inside of his car.
I was walking down the sidewalk. I must have looked terribly sad or upset because our maintenance man, Frank, who has been an endless source of joy this year, was walking towards me. He reached out and touched my shoulder and said, “Hey, it’s going to be ok.” I was so surprised since I hadn’t seen him. I apologized for not seeing him then continued walking. But then I couldn’t stop smiling. What a small, kind gesture. He could have let me go ahead and keep walking. I didn’t see him. He didn’t have to reach out to me and offer any comforting words, but he did. And I am so thankful he did. I could not stop smiling. And when I told Carly, Emma, and Rosemary, Rosemary nearly started crying.
Small acts of kindness really do matter.
As I walked through Kogan plaza, hot vanilla latte in my hand, cool air on my neck, happiness and content in my heart, I thought to myself, “I hope he’s happy. I hope he’s genuinely doing okay. Not single-life happy, but happy-happy.”
I love him, I miss him, I think he is a fantastic, incredible, intelligent, loving, caring, amazing, beautiful person, but I do believe this was the first time in two months that I wished he was okay without me. I want him to miss me, but I love him too much to not wish that he were happy- even without me. I think this is a good sign.
I dreamt about him last night. High school him. Gelled hair, teeth fresh out of braces, thin, and short. I was as I am now. He looked at me in that way and smiled. I couldn’t stop looking at him because of the way he looked at me. He looked at me like he used to… when he loved me. He looked at me like the world started and ended with me. He looked at me like he couldn’t imagine life without me. And I soaked it up. I knew he would grow to feel how he does now: like I’m not as great as he once thought. But I thought maybe I could do something to change his mind. I thought maybe I could change earlier on so that he would continue loving me.
And even when I woke up, I could still see his face whenever I closed my eyes. It was comforting.
Looking through pictures. I miss him. I think I will always miss him. Even years from now, I feel there will be moments where I feel a twinge of sadness because something reminds me of him, of us, of our time together. They will become fewer and farther between, but I suspect they will never completely go away.
No one tells you how quickly your friends get sick of your broken heart. They would never admit it, that they are tired of seeing you sad or mad, or hearing about how you’re not feeling great today, but you can see it in their faces. They look relieved when you’re smiling and laughing and they retreat when they see you are not in the best mood.
I can’t blame them. I get sick of myself most days, too.
I can’t hear his laugh anymore. I’m trying really hard to remember it – I can even picture him laughing – but I can’t hear it.
I admit it: I’m sad. That dream has haunted me deep down all day. I’m struggling. He isn’t here, I’m graduating in three days without a job, and I might not be going to Europe. It all seems hopeless. Everything is falling apart.
What happened to my life?
I’m trying to believe this quote I just posted on Facebook, but I don’t know if I can just yet.
“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
― Eckhart Tolle
Life, you cruel, cruel, bitch. Even though you have dealt me a fairly terrible hand, I’m still holding out for you to surprise and delight me. So get on it, will you?
But enough about him. It isn’t about him anymore. My life was based around him for five years, but it isn’t any longer. It’s actually pretty exciting. I can do anything. I can do whatever I want. Of course, trying to figure out what I want and having the means to do that is the difficult part… but still. I am free to make whatever decisions my heart desires. If I can thank him for anything, it is that. I have never felt this way. I have never been able to make life decisions without factoring someone else into my grand scheme. And now I can. And it’s overwhelming and exciting and scary and exhilarating and fucking awesome.
Life isn’t over, it has just begun.
He blind-sided me. I thought he was in it the way I was. I thought we were going to fight for each other. But he just gave up. He gave up on me and he gave up on us.
And for what? Because he was afraid of the quickly approaching future?
One of the people I follow on Instagram posted this caption with one of their pictures: “I love the dynamic between beauty and sadness. I think those are two dynamics that we experience continuously. There’s always these moments of quiet alienation and the sense of disconnect but also these moments of possibility”
I think I have learned a lot in these months of being heartbroken. I’ve learned compassion for others, how you can’t kick someone while they are at their lowest, even if their lowest isn’t close to your lowest. I’ve learned the real beauty of friendship, how you really can have a best friend as a soul mate. But I’ve also learned how most people get tired of your pain. They are there for you at the beginning, but they soon forget you are hurting after a few weeks. They assume you’ve had enough time to heal. This led me to realize how important it is to have more close friends. Keeping up relationships is hard, but worth it.
But this quote touches on one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned – that with sadness comes opportunity. When you are happy, what is your motivation to change? There is none. Why would you change what is good? But with sadness, you must change, you must do something in order to get away from the sadness and the disappointment and the loneliness. So you put yourself out there because there is nothing else you can do. You join clubs, you see old friends, and you go on walks with your dogs or to coffee shops by yourself. You try to put happiness back into your life in anyway possible. You are forced to leave your comfort zone. And that is the great beauty you experience with sadness. The possibilities are endless.
I had a terrific day today. I had my first day of bartending class, my interview went really well, and we went to see Grandma in the hospital. Despite all of this, when I turned off my light and got into bed I just cried.
I talked to God. I told him that I was happy for my life. I am healthy and so is my family. I am on the verge of the beginning of my life. I am excited for all of the possibilities. But it still hurts. He rejected me. When couples break up, you can look back and track what was wrong. With us, though, I look back and see mostly good. Sure we fought every so often, but that is usual in even healthy relationships. So instead of looking back to see where it all went wrong, I only see happiness. Therefore, he rejected me. It was me that wasn’t right. And that is what really fucking hurts.
I cried and talked to God for a while. And guess what? I slept fairly soundly.
Tomorrow, it will be 4 months since that day that feels so so long ago. I just had to count on my fingers in order to make sure I hadn’t been counting wrong. It’s only been 4 months. It feels like an entire lifetime since I held his hand. Him being mine feels like one of those memories you have where you aren’t sure if it really happened or if you made it up in your mind so long ago that you lost track of whether it was real or not.
I just saw this caption on someone’s photo that stuck with me:
“I left you as I found you, but saw you in a different light”
He left the same person he fell in love with all those years ago, but he couldn’t see me in the same way anymore. He had changed. Perhaps what he wanted from a relationship, from his life, changed somewhere in the course of our senior year. Or maybe he just needed to find out who he was without me.
Today was the first day of my first real job. I wonder if you knew it was. I wonder if you’re proud of me. I wonder if you contemplated texting me good luck.
It’s interesting the perspective heartbreak gives you. I never thought about heartbreak before. I heard about it in songs and in books and from people who were apparently heart broken, but it was never a thought in my mind. There was only love. I looked at people and wondered if they had ever been in love. Now I look at people and wonder if they have ever had their heart broken. It’s a different kind of camaraderie. To find out that someone you know went through or is currently going through heartbreak is to see them in an entirely different light. Before, you liked them. But now… now you respect them. They made it through and so will you.
He must have been in my dreams last night. I feel like I just saw him. I can’t remember seeing his face, but his face feels familiar, recent.
I wonder if I’ll ever let it go, the fact that I wasn’t good enough for you, or wasn’t the one for you.
I wonder what he’s doing right now. I wonder what the guy I’ll end up marrying is doing right now.
I got the urge to text him randomly in the middle of watching Sweet Home Alabama tonight. That doesn’t happen very often.
Rosemary said something two nights ago, “Not every day is easy, but more days are than not.” That was a really great realization. When did that happen? I know it wasn’t just recently. It’s been like this for a few months or more. But the transition was so slow, we hardly noticed.
And the worst part about spending an entire Friday night sobbing over someone who left you nearly 9 months ago isn’t the night of sobbing itself. No, it’s waking up with next morning hoping to feel refreshed and strong after getting a good cry out of your system and looking in the mirror at the puffy-eyed, sad version of yourself. It’s the very real and recent feelings that carry over from the night before, creeping into your morning, the morning that was supposed to be a fresh start. It is looking into your eyes in the bathroom mirror and seeing someone you want to hug and comfort. It is knowing he did this to you and although these nights of sobbing are very few and far between these days, you know that this won’t be the last, probably far from it. It is having to hide behind a pair of sunglasses at the dog park and in the line to get your coffee so no one feels the need to throw a look of pity in your direction.
I really miss him lately. I’ll think of him, and all of a sudden I see his face in my mind and a huge wave of sadness will flood over me. It’s a realization that I lost my best friend. It’s a realization that we haven’t spoken or seen each other in 9 months. It’s a realization that I will probably never be able to be friends with him again. Typing this now is causing my eyes to get misty and a large lump to form in the middle of my throat. I can’t swallow it.
Dad asked me if I ever thought about what would happen if I ran into him. I said I would probably want to die, and then maybe hug him and exchange pleasantries. He says he thinks he lost the privilege of my hugs.
Also, today was supposed to be our 6 year anniversary.
The most unexpected part of this broken heart is how sometimes it feels like it never happened, none of it. Not the break up, not even the relationship. It was all a dream. He was a dream, a figment of my imagination.
In ten hours, it will be a new year, a brand new year.
What do I want out of this New Year? Recently I’ve been feeling a flurry of contentment bubbling up within myself. I am feeling content with “being alone”, with being by myself. Of course, I am not alone. I have people that care about me and that bring joy into my life every day. I’ve stopped dating after about 4 or 5 months, and it feels right. Right now I really just want to focus on myself. I said that before, but I didn’t mean it yet.
I remember how long and painful and scary that first month was. I was so, so sad. Sad, hopeless, and angry. When March 15th finally came, I cried and cried because it had only been a month, but it felt like it had been a year. How was I supposed to make it through the next year, let alone the rest of my life if I could hardly make it a month? But I made it.
It has been rough. Boy, has it been rough. I wouldn’t want to re-do 2013, but I am also grateful for the trials and tribulations it put me through.
“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” – Chris Hardwick
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I feel like a more complete person after this year. My heart was not broken, but shattered into an infinite number of tiny shards. I thought I would never be happy again. I thought I might actually die of a broken heart. I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I was unable to be loved.
I still think about him every day, multiple times a day. I still dream about him a lot of nights. I still think about him coming back to me. I still cry about it sometimes. I know that there is still a lot of pain and growing ahead of me. But I feel more whole than I did before. I feel happier somehow.
Before, I thought I was whole because I knew what love was. I was empty until I felt love, and I hadn’t even known I was empty until I felt full of love. And then when he broke my heart… I felt really empty. Emptier than I have ever felt in my life. There was a huge gaping hole where he once filled. I didn’t know how to fill it once more. For a long time, I didn’t try to fill it. I just left it exposed and bleeding. I didn’t even know where to start and I didn’t have the energy to care about starting to fill it. Then I tried to fill it with finding a new job, with moving, with dating. These things helped, but they didn’t heal.
In the end, it has been time that has helped to mend the hole. Time and new experiences and friendship and family. It is love. Loving myself and seeing how my family and friends love me. I know it wasn’t me, it was just, somehow, meant to be.
One day I will be able to look back and say, “Ohhhh. That’s why.” For now, I am just moving forward and learning to be content with myself. I haven’t been alone for a long, long time. I need to learn how to be happy and content by myself because in the end, that’s all I ever really have. And once I love myself completely, and I am completely content being alone, I will be ready to find someone else. And not because I’ll need them, but because I’ll want them in my life. They will add to my happiness and encourage it and nurture it.
Ah, 2013. I had so many dreams about you. None of them came true. It’s like Rosemary and I always say: You want to make God laugh? Tell him about yours plans.
Some days, like today, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I haven’t talked to you in almost a year. After talking to you almost every single day for 6 or more years, it’s baffling. How are you no longer in my life? And then I remember that you made that choice. You chose none of me.
So I have this idea. It involves getting another job to start earning money to save for a big trip. It involves perhaps starting a project on Kickstarter.com, to create a video about my dream, to make this into a book. It involves quitting my job in 1.5 years after saving up enough money or being funded on Kickstarter. It involves me just leaving everything behind and wandering. Why not?
A week after this last entry, I got a part-time job as a waitress, and a few weeks after that I started this blog.
Day 579. (Today)
Today I met a girl a few years older than me who is going through the same thing I went through a year and a half ago. Do you know what I told her? I told her that I thought I was happy in my relationship, but that I have never been happier than I am now. I have never been happier as I am working toward accomplishing my dreams.
Do you believe me now?
I won’t lie to you: it takes time. BOY, does it take a long time. Not to mention the pain, the unbearable, excruciating pain. But I swear to you: it gets better. Time is your friend. Don’t bottle it up. Don’t push it aside. Deal with it now. Feel the pain. Let it open you. Let it make you feel raw. Let is tear you into a million pieces. Because when you do that, you can rebuild yourself into the person you were meant to be. And that person will be happier than you ever imagined.
And one day maybe you’ll look back on your heartbreak fondly because you’ll know what you hadn’t known then. You’ll know you were on the verge of greatness.
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