Love is brilliant and awful.
The two and a half years that I spent with my recent ex-boyfriend have been rewardingly healing, and somehow, now, so excrutiatingly painful. I have only ever been in love, properly, this once. It has made me grow into a better person, and has also managed to crush me into a horrible, bitter one, and it it is completely unexplainable how simply loving someone has managed to do both of these things. After the events of the past couple of days, I have re-kindled with the terror of knowing that falling in love will pretty much always be the wrong thing to do; until I find the ‘right’ person, it will always result in my heart being broken into a million tiny pieces.
I am lucky. This break-up was only awful because I adore the bones of the guy, I have known him since I was fourteen, and it wasn’t my choice. He left because he wasn’t happy, and so I had to let him go. I care about him too much to make him stay in a situation where he is not comfortable, and I deserve to be with someone who is happy to be with me. It was the right thing to do, I suppose. Still, he has broken my heart (without necessarily wanting to), and yet I feel unfailingly thankful and glad for the time I spent being in love with him, because there was absolutely nothing like it. When the inevitable heartbreak follows a relationship, it can be difficult to accept the pain as proof that you were doing something right. Everyone is telling me that I must have been loving with everything that I had, and that’s why it hurts me so much now that he isn’t here to love me, or be loved, anymore. I guess what they are trying to say is that the amount you hurt during a break-up is the equivalent to how much you loved them. Mourning him is one of the worst feelings I have ever felt, and yet I am being told that I should be proud of it. I’m currently at the horrible stage of grieving him where I don’t want to be proud of my pain. I want to click my fingers, and for everything to be okay again, or at least for me to stop hurting and to have gotten over us.
Relationships are never black and white. There’s this horrible grey area where confusing feelings like Mr Darcy’s love for the strong-headed, penniless Elizabeth Bennet lives. When it comes to love, things can get very complicated and confusing, and that’s why I have come to the conclusion that there is no ‘right way’ to handle a break-up. It is so difficult not to isolate yourself, and to stay within the warm protection of snot-covered and tear-stained bedsheets instead. It’s the worst thing you can do, and yet I am still sat here, writing this blog post, doing exactly that. I think that I have had to internally scream “STOP REACHING OUT TO HIM, YOU DESPERATE TWIT” around a thousand times over the course of the week and a half that we have been seperated. Going from having one person that you can tell anything and everything, to being on your own, is nothing but crap. I also need to get the idea of the pain never ending out of my head. It’s pissing me off, quite frankly, and I know that things will eventually ease back into normality. It’s so hard not to spend the day muddling through a thick, gloopy bog of self pity. They say that time heals everything, but the problem is that that takes time. (Obviously.) I am trying to wake up and get through each day as positively, and as normally, as possible, but is proving rather bloody difficult at the minute.
I get attached to people too fast. In this break-up, I knew that my other half would be able to handle himself. He was very sad, just as much as I was, however he has a bittersweet ability to emotionally detach himself from situations. When we were together, it infuriated me and made me feel so, so sorry for him. Now, I only feel jealousy towards it. He was sad for a day or two, and then he pretty much got over it and moved on. I was, am, the complete opposite. No amount of Yorkshire tea and cheese toasties has filled the hole that is now in my life, not only because of how he made me feel and how much I am missing my best friend, but also because of the horrible tendancy we all have in long-term relationships: planning a future together. In our story, there would be two children, a sausage dog, and trips around Europe. We had planned our life after retirement, our careers, and where we would live at different points throughout our lives. We created this whole life together in our heads, and even though things are over now, it still breaks my heart to know that I am sacrificing a ‘perfect future’. However, imaginary futures are exactly that: imaginary. I know that I only pictured everything perfectly because I allowed myself to create that perfection in my own fantasy. Looking at my ‘perfect future’ now, I realise that my life would never, ever have been that way.
Currently, I am coming out the other end of feeling like absolute crap. During the first couple of days, I had never felt so low, or been so lonely. I was scared that I would never be able to love anybody else in the same way that I loved him. I hated the fact that he had already moved on, and that I was left to watch him happy whilst I mourned our relationship. I was scared that nobody would ever be able to make me feel as loved and as special as he did. I was worried about him forgetting about how good our time together was, and telling people about the bad times, instead of the good. I was scared that nobody would ever ‘get me’ like he did. I felt like it was my fault that he was not happy, even though I know that it is not the case. I was scared that I would turn into a jealous, psychotic ex-girlfriend. I was torn between wanting him in my life and desperately needing space to get over him. I felt like I was grieving a dead person. I was so alone, and scared that I would be for a while longer. I was sure that I was going to struggle to let people into my life in the same way again.
Sorry… But how ridiculous is that?!
I suppose, what I’m trying to say is this: all feelings are valid feelings. In these kind of situations, people often get told that they are “too sensitive”, or are being “overly emotional”. I think that what I have learned during this difficult time is to let myself feel, whether that be sad, excited, guilty, positive, or angry. Part of any healing process involves a rollercoaster of emotions, and the more we recognise and accept the rollercoaster, the more tolerant, empathatic and caring we will become. Despite being totally and utterly broken and confused, I am excited for the future; it is going to be filled with so many amazing things… I am going to travel so many European cities, study for a degree, read all of the books, fall in love again, listen to music, and dance like I’m the only person in the nightclub. I want to make so many new friendships, eat new food and try new flavours, grow plants, sing too loud, take ridiculously long baths, and spend more time with my family. I am going to write so many articles, watch the best films, keep dreaming and aspiring for more, laugh until all fifty of my chins are on show and my stomach hurts, and appreciate every moment. You lose a little bit of yourself in relationships, which is great because that means (at some point) the two of you became one, but I am so ready to ‘find myself’ again.