It’s been four months since my breakup, and today I felt like writing a bit of a reflection on how I’m feeling at this point.
To say that these past few months have been hard would be putting it mildly. I feel like I’ve had my heart put through the ringer and I don’t even recognise what came out the other side. I’ve had times were I’ve been in so much emotional pain that I was sure I would die, because I didn’t think it was possible for someone to exist when they were hurting so much. I kept waiting for my head to explode from all the thoughts and feelings that were swirling around in there.
In a lot of ways I feel better than I did when I first wrote about my break-up. I no longer burst into tears four or five times a day and I’ve stopped hoping that we’ll get back together. I’ve accepted that it’s over, even though that’s very difficult to admit.
I never thought that it was possible for me to miss anyone as much as I’ve missed Ross these past few months. It’s almost been like a chunk of myself was missing. For nearly a decade I hadn’t gone a day without talking to him. He was always there to celebrate with me when good things happened and comfort me when I was feeling low. It’s been so strange to adjust to life without him. There were many times when I’ve picked up the phone to call him to tell him about something that’s happened, only to have to put it back down again and remind myself that he’s not my boyfriend any more. There are days when I still long for him. But the truth is that he’s changed a lot, and I don’t actually think that the person I’m missing exists any more. It’s almost like mourning a death, the death of the man I loved. On the few occasions that we’ve seen each other, I’ve walked away shaking my head and wondering why this stranger looks exactly like the man I spent a third of my life with.
I also feel like I’m mourning the loss of the future I’d dreamed we would have together. The wedding I imagined us having, the children that might have been, our house, travelling together after we retired. All of those things are gone. I also feel a keen sense of loss for our ‘story’. In many ways, our relationship fulfilled fantasies and dreams that I’d held since I was little. It unfolded and grew in such a beautiful way that I sometimes felt that I was in a modern fairy tale. I felt so lucky that these amazing things were happening to me, and that I’d met someone I connected so well with. Having him leave me wasn’t the “Happily ever after” ending I’d been hoping for, and it’s tremendously hard to let go of what might have been. I’ve had to re-think a lot of my beliefs about love and relationships and re-arrange my expectations.
I can feel myself hardening towards the idea of love. When I watch a romantic film I find myself rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yeah, he loves her now, but he’s just going to leave her for someone younger in a few years time”. I hate feeling so cynical and cold, because it’s not who I am. I don’t know how to defrost myself to a point where I can trust another man.
The thought of dating again is fraught with difficulties. Sometimes I’m so lonely that I’d love a man to spend some time with me. I miss physical affection and having cute nicknames and in-jokes. But I can’t imagine myself falling for anyone just yet. I’m just not ready.
I do worry though. In the past four months, at least five of my friends have either gotten married or announced their engagement. I get the distinct feeling that I’m being left behind, that I’ve failed at yet another very important life goal. I worry about being the last sausage left on the shelf.
And then there’s the anger. I’m not an angry person, but these past few months have been tinged with rage. Mostly directed at my ex-boyfriend. I’m angry that he left. I’m angry at him for changing. I’m angry at him for acting so cool and collected whenever I see him. I hate feeling this way, because it’s not like me at all. I’m a stranger to anger, and I don’t like how acquainted we’ve become.
But it’s not all bad. I’ve gotten to a point where I’m beginning to see some up-sides to our breakup. Like the fact that I no longer have to clean up after anyone else, or trip over piles of comic books and DVDs every time I move. Like not having to worry about another person’s moods and just being able to concentrate on looking after myself. Like being able to fill my days with things that are important to me rather than having to compromise all too often.
I’ve also had a chance to see how amazing my friends and family are. I’ve had so much loving support from my nearest and dearest these past few months and that is truly humbling.
If anything, I’m feeling more like myself than I have in months. I’m laughing a lot more, taking the time to do the things that make me happy and trying to heal. I don’t think I’m all better yet, but I’m definitely on the right track.