“Hold on to Hope If You Got It”

While working this morning, I decided to listen to Paramore’s latest album (After Laughter) and stumbled upon the song “26”. While, I’ve had this album downloaded for months, I’ve never *really* listened to it from start to finish. I’ve skipped around here and there. Anyway, I finally listened to this entire song today and it’s beautiful, but also a little sad. It kind of reminds of being in a hopeless place after being heartbroken and trying to talk myself into “not giving up all hope”. That’s a difficult place to be in and one I don’t wish on my worst enemy. Everything seems dark and desolate.

I’m thankful to be in a much better place today than several months ago. Life just keeps getting better as time goes on and I’m eager to see where the journey takes me next.

Here are the lyrics. The portion in red was particularly touching to me.

 

Man, you really know how to get someone down
Everything was fine until you came around
I’ve been chasing after dreamers in the clouds
After all wasn’t I the one who said
To keep your feet on the ground?
Man, you really brought me back down

Hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
They say that dreaming is free
But I wouldn’t care what it cost me

You got me tied up but I stay close to the window
And I talk to myself about the places that I used to go
I’m hoping someday maybe I’ll just float away
And I’ll forget every cynical thing you say
When you gonna hear me out
Man, you really bring me down

Hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
They say that dreaming is free
But I wouldn’t care what it cost me

Reality will break your heart
Survival will not be the hardest part
It’s keeping all your hopes alive
When all the rest of you has died
So let it break your heart 

And hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody

Hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
They say that dreaming is free
I wouldn’t care what it cost me

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I Didn’t Fight.

nightmare

I keep having this reoccurring dream where I’m sitting there across from him on my couch stone faced. My hands are interlocked tightly in my lap with my back stiff and parallel with the back cushions of my couch. My cheeks are flushed, my heart beats have become intermittent and my breaths have started to slow down and become longer. The room is frigid and seems to be closing in around us with each passing second. I can faintly see him sitting just two feet in front of me. All of his vibrant coloration has become faint and a foggy haze surrounds his figure. The once bright and bubbly caricature he so often portrayed himself to be appears to be dwindling away into the darkness, like an old book that’s been left out in the  scorching summer sun for many decades.

He nervously drums his fingers on the tips of his bare knee caps and hunches over as he slowly parts his thin, coral lips. He is inaudible, but I can tell by his body language that he’s just poured out his emotions to me regarding why he feels we need to end things.

I don’t flinch a muscle. I don’t interject. I don’t make a sound…I just sit…lifeless like doll. I’m not even sure if I’m able to blink. He inhales and sits back as if he anticipates my snippy rebuttal. He tenses up as if he’s prepared to go into battle.

My expression is listless and my mind is completely blank. At that moment he seems foreign and unrecognizable to me, almost like an inaccurate duplicate of the man I had come to know. His usual gangling stature has become folded and compacted like startled prey. I can feel a tightness and restriction in my chest as he struggles to find any sort of emotional response from me that for some reason is absent. After a few moments of this cold and somber silence, I stand up as if to indicate that he needs to leave my house. I cut my eyes towards my front door.

He slowly stands up and follows my lead, visibly upset and starts heading towards my the door ahead of me. He turns around to face me and stands just inches away from me at this point. His heart is racing and his face becomes rosy. He darts his eyes at mine and I suddenly feel a dull electric shock throughout my entire body as he opens his mouth…

You. didn’t. even. FIGHT FOR ME, he snarls…his words come crashing into my ear drums like a tsunami wave. Tears well up in his squinted eyes, which have turned a stormy, ominous gray from their usual sparkling, sky blue hue. He continues to stare at me in utter disbelief as my eyes widen with terror. His words (while not exaggeratedly projected) seem to echo throughout the house and eventually in my mind as everything around us fades to black.

I reach out for him…and then he’s gone…

||Get out of my head||

“Fight Club”

Within the last month or so, I’ve slightly entertained dating again. I’m in a good place now and I feel like I’m realistically ready to venture back in. I’ve kept a pretty open mind about it and have made sure to meet people (guys) in a variety of ways (in person, through friends, over shared hobbies, online, etc). I’ve also made it a point to not seriously devote more than a fourth of my life to “actively seek” love or companionship, because I don’t “need it”. I’m happy enough with myself that I’m ok with being by myself. Those things are nice (when they’re meaningful and have substance), but I’ve learned that having someone in your life should only enhance your happiness, not exclusively bring happiness into your life. I also haven’t been super serious about committing to any one guy, because I don’t need to right now. I’m not interested in hopping right back into a relationship. I’m good on that.  I’m ok with being single, doing my own thing and spending time with friends. As I mentioned some time back, dating helps you identify if someone is a good match for you. It’s silly to dive head first into the first person that has a shared interest with you.

Ok, enough of the reflection introduction…

As I mentioned, I’m entertaining multiple avenues of meeting guys. Of course, one of the avenues is online dating. Ha. It seems so taboo to me (even in 2018), but everyone is busy and it’s just another means to put yourself out there. While I’ve spoken to a few guys up there, I haven’t taken it extremely seriously just yet (more on this in a future post)…So imagine my shock when I get a message last night from a guy I know IRL.

So here’s the thing, I’ve seen several guys online that I know IRL (mostly as acquaintances), but my rule of thumb is to not interact with them online. Hell, I even saw a mild crush of mine online, but it’s pointless to communicate there. I mean, if we know each other IRL, and there isn’t enough spark to entertain dating or “getting to know one another”, why interact online? It seems counterproductive, ha.

 

fight club

 

So of course, you can imagine my shock when I login and read the message from a guy I already know.

Hey–how are you doing? Do you remember me? We went to college together and worked together, ha. Small world. How are you doing??

At first, I wasn’t quite sure how to even respond to this because it was awkward. Eventually I wrote back to let him know I was fine and hoped he was doing well too. I didn’t ask any questions as to intentionally dead end the conversation.  I’m not sure what his point in messaging me was, to be honest. Perhaps he was on a Walter Mitty mission?

walter mitty

I’m not going to explain each specific detail, but in a nutshell, Walter discovers his crush has a somewhat active dating profile and wants to date her before someone else does. He realizes in reading her profile, that she’s looking for someone full of adventure and realizes he hasn’t done a lot of adventurous things in his life…so he sets out to change that and goes on a weird self discovery quest of sorts. It’s a cute movie.

Anyway, hopefully that’s the end of our interaction really. I wasn’t his biggest fan when we worked together (and went to college together), so unless he’s done a 180, I’m not interested in entertaining anything with him IRL.

We’ll see.

Wheel O’ Moods

Part of my goals for the new year was to focus on self care and part of that is recognizing my moods and what triggers them. Obviously, I haven’t been myself the past few months, but sometimes taking time to step back and understand the root of why and what triggers these moods is instrumental.

About three weeks ago, I downloaded this app called, “self checkout“. It’s this cool app that allows you to “check in” regarding your mood. If you fail to check in, the app reminds you and also suggests a self care tip.

When I first downloaded the app, my moods were all over the place (so much so that you can barely see them all on the wheel below) . I’m pretty sure I hit every mood on the spectrum .

 

 

I’m starting to notice that my moods are leveling out and as that happens, I’m feeling more like myself again for the first time in months:

 

 

Seeing a visual of this progress is rewarding because not only do I feel better, but I can also see a visual representation of just how much better I’m feeling. It shows that I’m starting to lean more towards being “ok” and “content” and less “down”. This lets me know I’m almost out of the woods and I can see the clearing.

Speaking of my moods stabilizing, I’ve been quite the social butterfly lately (with friends) and I’ve able to entertain dating a little more seriously. I’ve somehow managed to have three dates planned for later on this week with guys that aren’t seamlessly the scum of the earth. Nothing is promised yet, but this is definitely a step in the right direction from where I came from a few months ago.

Waves

waves

I spent the past weekend “off the grid” and out of town with family, taking a break from social media (including blogging), texting, email, etc was MUCH needed. Constantly checking, tweeting, posting, reading, absorbing, replying was starting to trigger my anxiety. It was nice to have a few days to just enjoy family time and live in the moment (which I did).

I still haven’t really spoken to my family about the breakup in specific detail, but I just haven’t felt like I’ve been in the best place emotionally to dive into that yet (until semi recently). I basically left it at, “we decided to take an indefinite break because our expectations no longer align.” I assured them that I was ok and we were on good terms (which is sort of a half truth/half lie or whatever). I never told them how he came over 2-3 days before our cruise to end things or how our fragmented communication/outings since have just further pushed back the healing process, how there are still days (less days now) where getting out of a bed is a struggle, how running into him/seeing him around town is triggering (we essentially live in the same “suburban borough”) or even how he was previously engaged. I’m not sure if telling them any of those personally specific details even matters at this point, because that was my relationship and not theirs. Ensuring them that I am fine is really my only worry at this point. They have surprisingly not asked me a ton of questions about it, so that helps…but I know it’s coming.

Speaking of ol’ dude, I’ve managed to go the whole year so far without intentionally being in communication with him (that’s like 16 days, but that’s still an accomplishment). I don’t even feel anxious about it, nor do I feel like there is anything to “share” with him. No longer do things really “remind” me of him (minus this past Saturday when I went into a store that had an entire Green Bay Packer’s clothing section and last week when I passed by a bridge that overlooks the city where we would frequently go after dinner at our favorite fancy upscale pizza spot—eh, such is life I guess). Occasionally, I’ll log on to fb messenger and see that he’s “active” or I’ll login to IG with the app listing him as a “Friend” to “nudge” about joining IG (I don’t care if he joins IG, I just know I don’t plan on being his “friend” there). I’ve hidden all of his updates on FB (not that either one of us ever used FB like that anyway) and placed him on a list of people that will see very limited and basic updates from me.  I still have his number on “Do not disturb” on my phone, with the last text he sent me unread and unreplied to…. and of course, I’ve removed all photos of him from my phone. I haven’t even read past text messages from him so far in 2018. The only thing I haven’t done is remove photos of him (us) from my IG account. I thought about deleting or archiving them, but then realized those photos were a part of my life at that particular time, so I left them. My IG is my way of capturing aspects of my life through photos. Since he’s not tagged in them (doesn’t have an IG anyway), his real name is not used, I only referenced him as my “boyfriend” in ONE photo (on national boyfriend day), my IG account is PRIVATE and I so rarely shared ANYTHING he and I did on social media anyway, I felt it was ok to just leave them in the past and leave them alone (for now). The people I’ve been super selective about allowing access to view my IG are close friends anyway and I’m sure they understand. I’ll revisit that if I ever find myself in a “serious relationship” again. Besides, anyone that scrolls back that far on my photos has a problem.

Like I stated before, I don’t think we won’t EVER speak again, but right now is delicate state of recovery for me and I’m serious about getting better. To be fair, I did hint to all of this (keeping my distance and not really being in communication) the last time we seriously spoke.

While continuing to move past him, I’ve been a little more open to date again. I’ve really only been on a handful of dates both online and offline (with guys I’ve quickly realized were not for me), but at least I’m making an effort to keep an open mind. I have yet to meet a guy so far that gives me that same jolt of excitement I got in the initial stages of getting to know my ex—before he and I even had our first date actually. I’m not sure if this always needs to happen in this way or if in some situations this jolt comes later? I guess I’ve dated guys or been in relationships where it came over time, so maybe that’s ok too? I have been more particular about who’ll I’ll date and per the suggestion of my old co-worker, I’ve started to treat this as a project or business meetings with specific “goals” and “outcomes”. It sounds silly, but it saves me from wasting a lot of time.  I know mostly what I’m looking for and I’m really serious about “deal breakers”. Here are some of mine:

  • Drug use
  • Financial instability
  • Lack of goals/motivation
  • Inability to carry on an intelligent conversation
  • Lack of a sense of humor
  • Lack of education
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of hobbies

So ok, some of these things are kind of “givens”, but you’d be surprised what you find out about people even after talking to them for a little while. Some of these things start to float to the surface.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough in this post. Hopefully things will continue to be on the up and up. I think I’ve had enough downer days to last me for the better part of a year.

(Almost on) The Other Side.

With each passing day I feel more and more like myself. For a few months now, I’ve been waiting on that feeling of “waking up one day and feeling better”. While I haven’t hit that day yet, I feel that I’m dangerously close and it feels amazing. I no longer listen to sad songs or songs about love and cry. I can pass by places we went and not be overwhelmed by sadness. I can look at photos of him and not be depressed (though I did delete all of them off of my phone).  I can think back to time we spent together and be reminded of good times instead of being bitter and resentful. All I do now is genuinely wish him well (internally) with each passing day. Breaking up around the holidays is particularly difficult (difficult in general), because the entire world around you seems to be happy and you’re in the pits of hell trying to muster up the ability to pull yourself out of bed and simply exist in a world that seems so cold and dark. Dramatic, I know…but I don’t know how to describe that any better. That shit is depressing.

I can tell I’m starting to feel better because the idea of dating isn’t entirely off putting. As I go out more and more, I feel more confident to possibly entertain it. I find myself looking at/meeting guys that I find attractive or not entirely obnoxious. I also find myself being able to quickly identify guys that I could entertain and guys to stay away from (guys that would potentially stress me out or eat away at my peace–BIG no-no in 2018). And while looking/meeting these guys, I’m not necessarily comparing them to my ex. Not that he’s a bad guy, but comparing every guy to him would be dangerous and destructive. I’m not even sure if I want to date someone exactly like him, even though I don’t hate him as a person (he’s a kindhearted person). What I DO know is that I most definitely, under NO circumstances want to ever RUSH a relationship ever again in the way that I did with him. Nothing good ever comes from that. If you EVER feel rushed through a relationship like I did, SPEAK UP and let your voice be heard before going down that bumpy road. I feel like he was subconsciously destructive and careless with my heart for his need of companionship and cohabitation because I showed him genuine kindness and love and he chased after it like a wild animal. I feel like he was in love with BEING in love and I stupidly went along with it. We’re human, it happens.

Last night, I went out with some friends (as I’ve been consistently doing now for the better part of a month or two) and managed to meet some guys while bar hopping, that bought me drinks. I honestly was trying to save money and cut myself off at $20 worth of drinks, but certainly didn’t turn down the offer for more!

Ryan G - buy you a drank

While this has been a common theme lately (going out), I can’t remember a more vibrant time in my life where I’ve just been able to go out and let the world be my oyster. I mean, even last year this time I was “seeing someone” and dated throughout much of the time between that guy and my most recent ex. I haven’t really had enough time to just fly solo. It’s been fun and has helped me to brush up on my flirtation skills–which reminds me, I’m super doper goofy when it comes to flirting. I mostly just end up being silly and making the guy laugh, which usually ends up breaking up any awkward tension.

laughing really wide.gif

I’m not taking any of these interactions seriously right now, I’m just having fun being single and free. I find all of the interactions as practice and “dusting things off” so to speak. Which by the way, I have “interacted” with guys here and there, but it’s not important enough to disclose on this post…Outside of this guy.

I think I can do this again in time. I’m happy that I’m not entirely broken or defective merchandise. I AM lovable. A month, 3 months, 6 months from now, I look forward to what life might have in store for me, but for now I’m just going to sit back and continue on the journey back to normalcy. This is certainly a change from a time where I couldn’t imagine seeing the sun again.

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.

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.

Swimming in Anxiety

I’ve been fairly anxious these last few days and it seems that the issue is only getting worse. I usually do an ok job managing it with coping mechanisms and medication, but I started to run low on medication and skipped days here and there, only taking the medicine a day or two here and there over the course of about two weeks. Not to mention, the past two weeks have been jam packed with chaos and at times, stress. Why didn’t I simply refill my medication? It’s expensive and I wanted to wait until I got paid again (tomorrow) to refill it and I’ve been running in so many directions lately, I just haven’t given myself time to actively refill it, pick it up, etc.

Anyway, the issue really came to head a little over 48 hours ago when I was sitting beside of my boyfriend, on his couch as we binged watch Narcos (which by the way, the main character had an anxiety attack in one of the episodes we watched — not to mention most of the things going on in the show are highly anxiety triggering anyway). We had been watching the show several hours by this point and the BF was extremely exhausted (which he had been for most of that day). We had spent the better part of the previous 48 hours together and all of our activities were starting to wear him down. After all, we spent most of that particular day doing “couple” things like visiting a pumpkin patch to get pumpkins and taking a distillery tour with whiskey samples. That’s enough to make anyone tired, but three days in a row, even if you *really* love spending time with someone can be a lot. “Overexposure”, if you will. While under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have suggested we spend that much consecutive time together (especially considering we road tripped last weekend), but I’ll be out of the country for an entire week starting Saturday, so I didn’t think much into our obsessive amount of time together this past weekend too much. Logically, I understand this (how you can simply feel exhausted just from actively entertaining/spending time with someone) and by no means SHOULD have thought twice about it. He’s always been fairly straightforward with me, so if there was an issue with me being there, he probably would have said so…plus, none of his actions changed (we still cuddled, we still spoke, laughed, ate dinner together, etc), he was just exhausted and not his usual high energy self.

My anxiety on the other hand came up with this insane notion on how he probably felt smothered, I was putting a wrench in his plans, I was overstaying my welcome, he probably wanted me to go home so he could be lazy in peace, and so on. These thoughts consumed me in through Sunday even after I left and went back to my place. The thoughts bothered me so much yesterday, that I ended up having to self medicate in order to get through the rest of my day. that I had to take a nap just to get through the rest of the day (and advil PM to fall asleep that night). I worried all day about how my actions could have possibly made him second guess whether or not our relationship was a good idea or something he even wanted to continue to pursue. I hung on to every word he said verbally and his text messages over the past two days….I dissected them…trying to read between the lines when there was really nothing there to “read”… Omg! What have I done?!

Even in briefly talking to him via text yesterday evening (as we usually do on evenings where we’re not together) and I mentioned feeling bad for basically interrupting his “relaxation time”. His response was very simple:

“It’s ok, babe. I had fun anyway.”

Anyway?

You would think his response would have been enough to put that crazy notion to bed, but then I wondered..what if he doesn’t really mean that and was just trying to be nice? What if, what if, what if, what if…

Today has been no better and I need to let him know what’s going on so he understands that part of this insanity is something I’m not able to control until my medicine fully kicks back into its normal cycle. I’ve mentioned having anxiety to him briefly via text message, but I never went into any detail, just said, “I’ll explain it in my detail later.” Well, about two months later and I never got around to it and now this and he hasn’t asked about it either, though perhaps it just hasn’t come up in conversation.

What I struggle with is just how to tell him. I want to be clear and up front about how being anxious really affects many aspects of my life (sleeping patterns, eating habits, the ability to concentrate, frequent headaches or simply “not feeling well”, inability to comprehend or fully believe him when he says I’m not bothering him…etc). I know he will listen and may not be TOO judgemental , but anxiety is such a broad and heavily layered mental illness that goes through phases and intensity levels. For me, it even goes “dormant” sometimes and then shows up again out of the blue in full force. Crazy things trigger it that sometimes medicine doesn’t even fully help.

I stumbled across this article about telling someone you’re in a relationship about the illness. The article (well letter) was well written and hits the nail on the head for how it feels to deal with anxiety.

Anyway, here’s to hoping I feel better soon.