”Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful too”
All my life, I have been ruled by fear, a powerful, underlying emotion that has determined much of my behavior. I was never conscious of this driving force, nor the stranglehold it’s had on me, until a year ago when my greatest fear was realized.
After an emotional roller-coaster ride, my first long-term, 6 and a half year romantic relationship ended. My deepest insecurity was confirmed: I was unlovable. My previous fear of loss and rejection had now become an unbearable reality.
I felt as though I had died, that my world ended, as if all the love I’d known had been ripped out. I felt worthless. My greatest dream to be loved and accepted had perished, the love of my life just walked away 5 months out from our wedding. Gone, in the blink of an eye. Without a second thought, vanished. And nothing was changing his mind. Not even me. It felt like I wasn’t enough even after the sacrifices I made.
I left home, and everything I knew at just 19 years old to follow his career and provide him with endless encouragement and support. I moved every 2 years to places I had never even visited, to places I didn’t know one single soul. To places where I had to start over, find a new job, and make new friends. Every single time we moved. But it was okay, because I had him, we had each other. And that was all that mattered to me.
In spite of his willingness to let me go that easily after 20 years of friendship and 6 and a half years together, and engaged…. I held onto him, to the hope that this despairing situation would somehow turn around. If only I could win back his heart.
The week following his unexpected departure out of my life, I created a scrapbook, filled with photos and our favourite things. I wanted to present this to him in hopes that he would want me back, want us back together as a family. Mid-construction, I realized that this was a desperate attempt to earn his approval, and I feared that all of my labor would only yield greater rejection and sorrow. Despite me wanting to show him how much he’s worth to me, and that I am worth holding onto, I never finished building that scrapbook.
My close friends simultaneously encouraged me to let go. After all, he had already articulated his belief that we would be better off apart, and I needed to respect his decision. Although surrender seemed impossible at the time, my first milestone toward healing eventually came from self discovery.
To my shameful acknowledgement, my motivation for holding on was actually self-serving. Even after our relationship ended, I wanted to feel loved; I clung to him, because I had become emotionally dependent on him to make me feel loved and secure. I was afraid to lose him, fearful that I would never again or experience true love.
I wanted a solution, I wanted closure and I couldn’t get either. I wasn’t used to feeling this way. I knew I had to let go for this painful feeling to stop.
3 months after, I was still so caught up in the intensity and actually, even 6 months later, I realised that if i didn’t want to feel like this and I couldn’t find a way to get rid of it – I would have to find a way to deal with it. For it to live inside of me but for me to work with it and continue to seek the happiest version of my life out there.
After this experience, and what felt like emotional torture. I went head first into my career and subconsciously my barriers came up. I finished that teaching qualification I never thought I would finish. I enrolled into a new university to start my nursing career. I made new friends, I bought a new car and I started a brand new life on my own. I slept alone, lived alone and I ate alone. I did things independently and that is something I never thought I would be able to do.
I was brave, I was strong. And I had gained my own independence and realised that I can do life on my own. I found happiness within myself and found new exciting things I enjoy. I found myself laughing more, and concentrating on creating the best version of myself. I discovered I am in fact enough and I’m unique and most of all, I am loveable.
People always tell you about how to get over the wrong ones, how you shouldn’t chase the ones who left, how you know within your heart that they don’t deserve you. But they don’t tell you that sometimes you think you know, and you get it completely wrong. They don’t tell you that sometimes you have to get over someone that you don’t hate, that you can’t hate and that you feel you are totally in love with. Well your mind is anyway.
My mind was in love with the idea of what I wanted him to give me. I had totally obsessed over him and what I wanted us to become. So much so that I had created a bubble of illusion that I got completely carried away with and then… bam, reality hit.
Some people will always hold a little space in your heart. And that, I think was what I found the hardest. Ive learnt “What’s meant for you will not pass you. And what passes you is not meant for you.’
So… to anyone that is reading this that is grieving a lost love and feeling like their world has stopped spinning…
I feel you.
I feel every inch of that heart wrenching pain that you’re feeling right now. Or those questions flooding your mind at this very moment. Those silent tears that you cry yourself to sleep. It has been weeks of sleepless nights and loss of appetite. You’ve been having unexpected episodes and withdrawals. You have been carrying all this weight inside your chest and yet you smile like nothing happened.
We may have had different stories and that you may think that the pain you are going through right now isn’t even half of what I’ve been through. But let me tell you this, it doesn’t matter. Because pain is still pain. And for what it’s worth, it still demands to be felt. And it hurts… That feeling of not being able to get up in the morning just because you keep on remembering everything. Or that feeling of numbness and you don’t even know what to feel. You just lie down there contemplating every question inside your head.
“Am I not enough?”
“Am I that easy to leave behind?”
“Am I that hard to love?”
We all have these puzzles scattered everywhere and it feels like every answer to those questions is a part of you that you will never get back.
But you will get better. Believe me, eventually you will. When you learn to accept that broken hearts are a part of life, and that we all go through it. That it is necessary for us to get hurt for us to know the true meaning of love. When you learn to accept that the past relationships you had will be the reasons you will need someday to understand why it never worked out. To know what you’re made of and most especially, to know your worth as a person….
To understand that YOU are in fact ENOUGH.
That acceptance is the only closure you need and it comes with forgiveness. To forgive them and to forgive yourself.
Now that I feel i’m getting through the other side, I can finally stand testamont to knowing after heart break or heart ache, I will be okay.
And for anyone else experiencing heartbreak you will be okay too.