On Mending

Google, “heartbreak” and “how to deal with heartbreak” on the internet and you’ll find a wide spectrum of advice columns on the subject matter. Some are particularly encouraging and motivating and suggest doing things like taking up yoga (wait, I did actually do this) or volunteering in your community (that too) to feel better and others are negative and basically state that not only will you experience again (and most likely worse), but it most likely happened to you this time around because you’re a terrible person (so ok, I’m exaggerating just a tad).

I take everything with a grain of salt these days. There is no easy “fix” to heartbreak and everyone is different. There is no sound proof recipe to follow. Everyone’s relationships are different, the reasons behind why those relationships failed, the people in them and the reasons why they started in the first place are all different. Maybe one person’s way to get through heartbreak is to jump out of a plane, while someone else’s might be to throw themselves into work (not recommended for me).

If there’s anything that I’ve discovered about myself over the past six weeks or so is that no amount of yoga or skydiving is going to “fix me”. I have to essentially find ways to self-reflect and readjust my energy (and attitude) to focus on more positive areas of my life like my friends, family and even acquiring a new skill. It’s been going ok so far. I still don’t sleep particularly well at night, but I’m working on it.

Recently, I’ve found myself diving into skills that my ex either did or we did together. In a strange round about way, it’s therapeutic to me to accomplish these things on my own. it’s almost my way of proving that I can do it and in some cases do it  better than he did (of course, he wasn’t great at EVERYTHING, but he mastered A LOT of really cool skills well. I of course mastered smearing makeup on his pillow cases, falling asleep on him while watching almost ANYTHING on netflix, never being able to finish whatever portion of food he made for me and unintentionally becoming inebriated after one glass of bourbon–where is my cookie for this outstanding craftsmanship?!). I did this with Kayaking while visiting the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago (kayaking was not one of these things that I was better at–but I managed to do it and didn’t die in the process). Will I ever do it again? Maybe…perhaps in a lake on a non-windy day.

flipping over

Check.

Cooking is another thing I’ve started to focus more energy on. I’ve never considered myself a bad cook, just lazy. My ex however, was a marvelous cook and regularly made these masterpieces for us to share just because he wanted to. I never cooked anything for him, because again I’m lazy, but I DID bake for him a few times and he seemed to be appreciative of that. On our second date, he invited me over to his place where we made homemade pizza together (we’re both pizza snobs) while drinking sipping bourbon neat (which I’m learning to appreciate). This was not only a fun activity to share, but a knowledgeable one as well.

I’ll never forget coming home after being away on business for a week. He invited me over for dinner the following night where he made this elaborate moroccan dish with like 500 ingredients (so ok, I’m exaggerating–but it was at least 50–because I SEENT IT…most of them were seasonings, herbs and spices I couldn’t spell or pronounce), including one spice that tops out at $20 a jar (was this gold dust? He was probably flexin–why would anyone spend $20 alone on a spice? By the way, it was called, “Saffron”).

i seent it

The dish took him an entire day to “prep” and nearly 2 hours to actively “cook” and god know how long to shop for all of the ingredients (this most certainly was love). While I didn’t really help with this one (I did stir, brown the chicken and introduce him to merlot!), it really motivated me to be more creative in my “masterpieces” in the kitchen. Like bloody hell, why am I not prepping for an entire day and buying exotic spices? I’m happy to report that while I didn’t recreate this specific dish (girl, bye), I have managed to do my thing in the kitchen with a few elaborate meals. I’ve even used cast iron (his prefered method of making said masterpieces) as well as teaching myself how to season, clean and maintain the skillet (doable, but labor intensive and I’m still lazy).

meal

(Actual moroccan dish he made AND the merlot that I so graciously provided-full of NOMs–I flexed FOR him on the ‘gram)

Another Check. Difficulty level, 2 (scale of 1-5).

In a bizarre way, accomplishing the things I mentioned as well as running, picking up a new sport to get into, hanging out with friends/family, volunteering/learning how to make/bottle bourbon (and others I’m too lazy to type out), it makes me feel better and more at peace. It’s almost as if it allows me to take him off of a pedestal and remove the notion that I need him there (of course there are some very specific things that he did quite well (QUITE with a capital “Q”) that I’m not physically able to do (at least on my own)–ha, but that’s not for a public post.

wink

I’ve still been keeping up my goal of not being in contact with him for a little while and I’m happy to report that I’ve done well. Tomorrow makes two solid weeks. While we haven’t communicated via text or verbally, I’ve seen him here and there (in traffic) around our side of town. In living ten minutes from one another and knowing each other’s routines and shopping habits, that’s bound to happen (I just really hope we don’t run into each other in Walmart). For instance, he was at an intersection I passed early last Saturday morning. He’s a fan of grocery shopping once a week on Saturday mornings.

My emotions still kind of shift and level out from day to day, but the fluctuations are becoming less and less frequent and my moods are starting to remain a little more consistent. I have moments of sadness, but not nearly as many. I notice that as long as I try not to sit idle for too long, not read texts from him, peruse through photos of him (or us) and actually stay on top of taking my anxiety medication, I am ok.

I’ve also come to realization that this particular breakup hit me hardest of all because I was on the verge of being in love(d) with him and he loved me too. He treated me far better than any other guy, even right up towards the end. It took this relationship for me to realize that I’ve probably never truly been in love in the way I thought I was (even with another ex who was emotionally unavailable and is STILL a terrible friend to this damn day). Strong like, yes….even strong toleration (see above), absolutely, but never true love.

heart break

I’ve read that our brains really treat heartbreak like an illness. Your body goes through all of these periods of attempting to “fight it off” and you’re basically out of sorts with yourself for a little bit…even the one who initiated the break up. It’s just a weird period of time. I like to think my ex WENT or is going through this, but outside of saying he was a little sad, drowning himself in work on purpose, not sleeping and looking like death warmed over, I’m not sure. It’s not my place to ask. I hope he’s able to eventually heal/mend too.

So there you go, I’ve officially experienced true heartbreak and I’m still standing (queue Elton John’s, “I’m still standing” with some shimmies, glitter and body rolls–YASSSSSS). I am also proud to admit that I honestly don’t resent my ex and have found no true reason to “hate him” (and I shamefully DID try to find a reason a few weeks ago). He’s a good person with a huge heart and while it didn’t work out between us, I still wish him well with his life. I just appreciate that we were able to do this peacefully.

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Don’t Be A Sad Turkey.

Hello World, it’s been a couple days since my last post. Well, last public post anyway. I just reread that shit, yep, still pretty damn sad.

Since I last wrote, I have experienced my entire spectrum of emotions and oddly enough, I’m starting to feel more like myself today.

The day before Thanksgiving, we met for a casual lunch at a cafe. He works in the town the cafe is in and the cafe was in the same parking lot of my doctor’s office, so it worked perfectly (Fun Fact, when we were together, we had planned to do lunch at this exact place, on that exact day…)

He pulled up shortly after I parked (and parked beside me AGAIN) and immediately went into asking me what I was doing for Thanksgiving (Fun Fact, we were SUPPOSED to be spending it together until we broke up). I found it odd that we had barely said hello to one another before he asked me that. Why would he even care? Wasn’t the specifics of my life dead to him? But I confidently told him, I had made plans to stay in town this year and regardless of the events that have since occurred, that was still my plan. Though he had picked up a shift to work on Thanksgiving, he alluded to just making himself a spread of turkey and nasty carbohydrates.

Lunch was ok. We were mostly able to speak to each other without any awkward pauses or vindictive comments.  To the untrained eye, we just appeared to be two friends catching up with each other’s lives. He told me about his job, how he hasn’t been able to sleep over the past month, how he coming along with trying to reach “SME” (subject matter expert) status in his field, how his NFL team is mucking up their season, how he had finally decided on an area of town to live in when he buys a house, how his sister was doing post rehab (I drove him to the airport the day he had to rush back to his hometown for an intervention for her), how his parents were doing, how much he appreciated the bourbon I brought him back after my cruise (because it’s so difficult to find), how he planned on Christmas shopping online and how he most “definitely” needed a new wallet. We laughed and joked. Congratulated one another and gave nods of support and words of encouragement.

Eating together gif

It was peaceful, though he looked kind of run down. I initially attributed this to his possible lack of sleep and high amount of stress at his job, but there could be a host of reasons, really. Outside of those things he told me, he didn’t bother to share and I didn’t feel that it was my place to dig (ask).

We parted ways after about an hour of this and walked side by side to our cars. As we started our “goodbyes”, he pulled me in for a hug. A very tight and long hug. So long in fact, that I remember attempting to slightly pull away and he was still holding on to me. It reminded me of the types of hugs he’d give me when I was cold or when we were saying goodbye “see ya later” to one another or when he just wanted to kiss me on the forehead and tell me how much he cared about me (he’s AT LEAST a full five inches taller than me).

hugs - gif

Why did he DO this?

For the most part, I try not to really read much into things these days with people, because I find that people’s motivations and intentions with their actions aren’t always what you think. But it definitely left me with some food for thought.

That night, I had a very vivid dream about him leading into Thanksgiving morning. I haven’t dreamt about him really since we split, so that was odd. We briefly spoke via text that day, but that was it.

Later on that evening, after leaving a friend’s house (friendsgiving), I abruptly burst out into crocodile tears. I cried so hard on the way home that I had to pull over to gather myself enough to wipe these tears so that I could see to continue driving. I managed to make it home where the crying continued and I basically hyperventilated a time or two. All the while, I couldn’t gather where this sudden burst of sadness and frustration came from. I mean afterall, I was fine, right? Right?

I had spent the past month tricking everyone, including MYSELF into think I was ok (or that I at least was going to be ok). I smiled, kept myself busy, went out of the country, regularly took my anxiety medicine, was speaking to a therapist, hey, I was even mature enough to sit across from him face to face (twice) and have not only a cordial interaction/conversation, but to even be nice and share a couple of laughs. Haha…so WHY was I so sad?

All I can gather from that episode is that I finally broke down emotionally and needed to let everything I had been bottling up inside (not only post breakup, but even things I felt while IN our relationship). I kept running it in my mind that, I did everything I could/he wanted to keep him happy! I supported him during some dark times. I was thoughtful, I was kind, I kept an open mind, I never judged him, I never let a day go by without telling him just how wonderful and special he was…

tyrese crying gif

and that STILL was not enough to “save us”. I kept replaying the relationship and questioning whether or not I was even happy in it (which at times I was not–I was so focused on HIM that I often lost sight of MY needs & MY wants). Maybe that was my mind’s way of officially accepting the breakup for what it was. I will say the breakdown caused me to realize that I need to detox from him to finish healing properly. I think seeing him triggered some unresolved emotions, especially since we kept bringing things up that we had experienced/seen/done while we were in a relationship (but I thought I was “ok”). As much as I promised myself that I would still remain friends with him and “not hold anything against him”, I just need some time to myself. I’m exhausted.

My goal is to be silent for at least two weeks to start (basically starting from Thanksgiving). Depending upon how I feel after, I might welcome text messages (general, “how are you doing”, sort of messages), but I’m not sure if I’ll be ready to see him again by that point.

Being in the midst of holidays during this time has been really difficult and at times sad. I see things that remind me of him or things I WOULD have brought him for Christmas if we were still together. I think about all the missed nights of snuggling up together with flannel PJs and hot coco….I think about decorating a tree together while listening to sappy Christmas music, I think about netflixing really lame Christmas movies and laughing about it, I miss exchanging Christmas traditions and funny stories that our families have done,  I think about seeing his face we would have exchanged gifts and satisfying it would have been to see how touched he would have been, I think about holiday parties, tree lightings, etc, but I have to move on from “what could have been” and try my best to feel comfortable in my new reality.

I will say that since I cried my eyeballs out, I feel more at peace. I feel a sense of relief, like I can regularly get up now and concur my day.

Two Steps Back

Yesterday was a bad day emotionally. It felt like my entire being was consumed with sadness and despair to the point where I could barely focus on anything. Several co-workers commented that I looked like I didn’t, “feel well”.

Truth be told, I don’t know what caused the emotional set back, because I’ve been in semi ok spirits the past week or so. Maybe this is partially to blame on “seasonal depression”. I’ve been pretty good about taking my anxiety medicine (both day and night), but I guess it’s too much to manage even with medication some days.

I’m going to attribute this to seeing him Sunday afternoon for coffee/hot chocolate. We had been communicating back and forth towards the end of the week about getting together to exchange our keys and personal items. So obviously, not something I was super pumped to do, but I knew I needed the closure that comes along with it.

It was a bitterly cold and cloudy afternoon when we met up. My initial reaction when I saw him getting out of his car and walking into the coffee shop was extreme anger. This is an emotion I haven’t really experienced this entire time. It was new, it was raw, I felt my face get hot. I intently looked down at my phone during this time, because I did not want to make eye contact with him. He ended up having to text me to let me know he had arrived.

After he got his hot chocolate, he came over to my table and suggested we sit outside where there was more seating, so we both bundled up and headed outside. I could tell he was nervous. His voice at times shaky, almost as if he was bracing for me to yell at him and make him feel like shit (which is not my gig. That’s petty and I wouldn’t dare allow him that sort of satisfaction of knowing he “got to me” ). Definitely not the confident voice I was used to…

We spoke about work, NFL, smartphones, pets, traveling, this past halloween, the drastic change in the weather, and so on. After a few minutes we spoke like old times, joking over stupid things.

When it came time for us to part, I handed him a gift I had picked up for him while on vacation a few weeks ago. It was a bottle of his absolute favorite bourbon that’s very difficult to find here. He seemed very touched by the fact that I even remembered that and thought of him. I mostly did it because my cat (who he pet sit for me — even though we broke up the week prior) “attacked him” one day (he showed me the scar on his arm).

After the gift exchange, we exchanged keys and other items that we had at each other’s houses. I figured that was that, and he pulled me in for a hug. I wasn’t expecting a hug, so it caught me off guard. It was also weird, because I’m used to kissing him after an embrace like that. Anyway, after the hug, he told me to “keep in touch”. I have no idea if he really means that or not, but we haven’t spoken since Sunday…not that we should have???

Perhaps I let it sink in yesterday that we could potentially never see or speak to each other again and that’s a big pill to swallow, especially since things ended so abruptly. Even though he said to “keep in touch” I feel like it would be more of an effort on my end than his and even then, he’s not obligated to respond. Why should he? It’s clear that he’s done with the romantic aspect of our relationship. He may care about me in the most general sense (like wishing me well), but that’s it.

Anyway, I’m still on the road to recovery. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I truly need time to adjust my mindset, let go, get rid of baggage and so on. Everything I’ve been reading about moving on after a breakup says to cut all communication with your ex for several months before even attempting to be friends with them. I’ve had breakups before and I don’t remember them being this difficult. Some were mutual and others I may have done the breaking up or also felt things were ending if I wasn’t doing the breaking up. With the exception of one relationship that ended due to cheating, I haven’t felt this many EXTREME emotions dealing with it. I did learn through all of my reading, that the person who initiated the break up sometimes goes through just as many ups and downs. Maybe guilt…wondering if they truly made the right decision, wondering if their ex is “ok”, if they will ever enter into another relationship that *will* work out to their standards..loneliness, etc. I don’t doubt he hasn’t experienced at least some of these things.

Here is to hoping I have better days ahead.

One of the Good Days

It’s been a few weeks now and I’ve recently gotten to a point where I feel completely at peace with everything.

In thinking over these past few weeks, I realize he was right and that we both confused companionship, general friendship and intense passion with chemistry. It happens, IT happened and I’m ok. We’ve communicated a few times since without any drama or resentment, which is awesome. We’re still able to have actual conversations. In general, I still like him as a person and wish him well, he deserves it, I just no longer have romantic feelings towards him. I wish more people were like him though. Very genuine guy. He restored my faith in the possibility of love (and men) and I appreciate that .

Aside from feeling a little more like myself, I’ve made it a point to occupy my free time with hobbies, outings with friends and traveling. I haven’t had too many weekends at home lately, which may or may not be a good thing 😊. Aside from the exhaustion, I’m just enjoying life.

This past weekend, I made a last minute trip to the western part of the state, this time with my family for the holiday weekend. While I was there, I met up with blast from the past. He took me out for dinner Saturday and get this, stayed off of his phone and actually engaged in conversation with me the entire time. Granted, he SHOULD have been doing this all along, but it was refreshing to connect with him as we used to. I really miss that sometimes. We really had some great times back then.

The whole situation with the ex (can I call him that since he referred to us as a couple???), made me also realize that while blast from the past and I are practically a perfect match on paper (no, this actually happened), we’re probably better off as friends and that’s ok. Maybe at times I latch on to him out of loneliness and he does the same thing. I feel like there’s mutual love there, but more along the lines of loyalty and support. In all of his stupidness, I’m confident that he’ll always have my back and I will have his.

Speaking of which, he finally gave me my birthday gift (only a month & 1/2 late). Ha, in his defense, he had to build it….

The last time I visited him, I was eyeballing Sega’s version of the NES classic. I didn’t spend a great deal of time checking it out and had no idea he really paid any attention to my drooling. Fast forward to this past weekend and he gives me what’s called a “raspberry pi”, which is basically a miniature computer (about the size of a cassette tape), that he preloaded with thousands of games from EVERY classic gaming system! Nostalgia 😍. You can plug the device into your t.v. and a game controller into the device to play. What a cool gift…that he built…spend hours on… Probably one of the most thoughtful gifts to date–which sidebar, he’s been giving me a ton of non holiday related gifts over the past year, “just because” 🤔.

Outside of all of that, I’ve just been focused on being happy and I’ve been realitively anxiety free lately (knock on wood). Dating–especially serious dating, makes me anxious. I’m not really in a rush to go out and date right now. I’m ok with being single. Besides, if I dated right now I would have zero interest in the guy really. There’s this guy that’s shown interest in dating me (and we’ve been out for drinks super casually – as in sneakers and jeans casually ), but I honestly can’t take him seriously for a plethora of reasons (too lazy to devote that level of interest to list)…all of this being stacked on top of my lack of interest in actually dating is an equation for going nowhere fast.

I have a feeling life will pan out. Life has a funny way of doing that. Just when you think something is the end of the world, something even better comes along.