Ending a relationship, no matter which side you’re on, is hard to do. Through a break up, you find yourself asking myriad questions — was it my fault? Am I not worthy of love? Do I have a pattern? What the heck went wrong?
It was 1:34am on a Wednesday when the man I had been dating for over a year — the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with — the absolute-sure, no-doubt love of my life — shattered my soul. The walls closed in and a very real, very physical pain shot through my body, battling through me until finally finding a comfortable spot in the gaping hole that previously housed my heart.
I had never been in love before, and to make matters worse, I had never been dumped. The emotional co-dependency that had developed was the cherry on top of my relationship-mistake sundae.
I, like so many before me, truly believed that against all odds and statistics, little ol’ me would be the one person to conquer and be loved the way that I wanted to be loved.
A slew of friends, family, and trained therapists tried being supportive. Some held my hand and hugged me close. None of it helped. The advice you hear is rather disheartening: throw yourself out there and start dating immediately, curl up in a ball and don’t come out for a month, fight back and get even, wait it out and he’ll come back, and so on.
At the two week marker, I wanted to go bury myself alive. I cried and drank myself to sleep every night. I stopped eating. I stopped living, barely even existing. I sincerely believed that I was never going to feel better. I knew that the pain would dull in time, but assumed it would never get better.
Then a friend of a friend, someone I’d never met before, spoke the two words that finally gave me my breakthrough: Life Happens. So simple and yet so unbelievably profound.
He followed up with: Stop judging yourself. You are human and you have to forgive yourself. If you two are meant to be, if you really love him as much as you say you do, then you’ll be together. If not, then you won’t. Life is only as complicated as you allow it to be.
My breakthrough came with the realization that I had to stop worrying. This world and the people in it are not in my control.
I had to accept my humanity and my ability to make mistakes. I had to learn to love myself again. Not for him, but for me. I had broken the cardinal rule of becoming dependent on him for validation, and feeling love. He was my “other half,” but when you really think about it, if you are your own self-aware individual with no crisis in identity and no need for validation — two wholes are better than one.
Been through the relationship ringer? You’re not alone — just ask Sorah! Join the conversation!