Three months. Three measly months. Sounds like such a short amount of time but it’s been three months since I started this blog. Ninety days since crying publicly in a cafe and wondering how life could be so cruel, wondering if my heart would ever heal.
I remember writing in an earlier post about how it felt like the gaps between the broken pieces of my heart were filling from the inside out. That’s still how it feels. The broken pieces are still there, and I’m still really connected to the memory of that time when the sadness was crippling, but I feel more held together now, less disjointed by the pain.
I had another counselling session yesterday and afterwards when I was reflecting on our conversation, I realised that I was getting excited about the future again. There was a long time when the future didn’t feel like a friend and I couldn’t imagine or hope for anything beyond numbness. And now, without me realising, hope has snuck up on me and presented a future that I can be friends with again. Isn’t that just amazing?
It wasn’t until I realised this that I also saw how far I had come. Three months is a short amount of time but it’s also been a very long journey. Only in hindsight can I see how far I’ve travelled. This life thing is crazy!
One of the worst things after a break up is having to tell people about it. After J and I broke up, I sent out texts to my closest friends – just copied and pasted into different conversations. I wanted to rip that bandaid off in one go. But there are still conversations you have to have face to face and each time I tell the story of us, I’m pounded again by the reality of those words.
I felt this today at my counselling session. We talked about the breakup and effective strategies to move out of this hole I feel I’m in.
At the moment, I’m skeptical that I’ll find someone like him again, someone that I’ll connect with so instantly and deeply. My counsellor suggested swapping out definitive terms to more time restricted words. So instead of “I’ll never connect with someone else like that again”, to change to “Right now, I feel like I’ll never connect with someone else like that again”.
A couple of years ago, I did a mental health course and they talked about cognitive theories and how you had to train your brain to go down certain thought paths – that our brains were like rivers and the more you carved out the same thought patterns, the easier it was for your brain to think those thoughts. I like that.
I’ve been feeling so disempowered the last few months, have resigned myself to these feelings. It’s nice to think that I can take back some control, that bit by bit, I can train my thoughts to become more hopeful for the future again.
It’s 10pm and I’m sitting in bed, typing this out and thinking about my counselling session tomorrow. It’s my first session with this counsellor and it feels daunting, thinking about all the ground we have to cover to catch them up on my life.
I want to be honest but am scared to be vulnerable with a stranger, want to be able to say the right words for them to feel what I feel, but don’t want to expose my weakness. Even with someone who has probably seen the worst of worsts, who is trained to be empathetic and understanding, I still somehow feel like I have to prove something? Still somehow feel like I need to downplay my pain even though the fact that I’ve made an appointment is admission that I’m not okay.
In the last few months, I’ve had to learn again that it’s okay to not be okay, but more than that – it’s okay to be sad, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes we’re so used to being comfortable and hearing good stories, we forget that life isn’t always easy. Life is ugly sometimes – it’s crying in the bathroom at work, it’s running until your lungs burst because you need to feel something else hurt that wasn’t your heart. It’s sitting in the uncomfortable with friends who are hurting and not trying to fix them, just sitting.