I have officially been single for one month.
Though I don’t know what “officially” means, since the relationship never was confirmed on Facebook, so I couldn’t make it officially “over” via Facebook either. . . If a relationship status is never updated, does that mean the relationship wasn’t real?
I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Kind of.
Anyway, I thought to celebrate a month of Being Back Together With Myself, I would share some of the things I’ve learned:
- I am not as much of a hermit as I thought I was. I mean, I don’t like socializing in large groups because the more people there are that I need to interact with, the more anxious I get. But one on one? Hell yeah. I’ve been meeting some of the coolest people ever and expanding my circle tenfold and developing friendships with people I never would have met if I hadn’t had my heart broken and decided to distract myself by communicating with strangers. That was a long sentence. I apologize. I’m just so excited about these people!
- I was living in fear. I mean, I’m always living in fear because my anxiety disorder likes to wake me up and tell me that the hole that ripped in my sheets is really a hole to Hell and Satan Himself is going to drag me down through the bed like that scene in Nightmare on Elm Street where young Johnny Depp gets eaten by his mattress.
But I was living in fear-fear. I was afraid to speak my truths because I didn’t want the relationship to end. I was afraid to push, because I didn’t want the relationship to end. I was afraid to do the things I wanted to do, because I was fucking afraid the fucking relationship would end. And look what happened! Let me be clear: it wasn’t because I was dating someone terrible. It was because of the stories I made up about myself and how I knew this person would respond to me. (To be fair, I was also scared of a lot of other things: the state of the world, Trump, finding a job, Trump, homeowners expenses, Trump, doing yoga, Trump, etc.)
- I felt pretty alone anyway. This one makes me sad, for two reasons: One–yes I’m mourning the loss of something I never thought I’d lose, and two–apparently I had already lost most of it. Looking back and seeing things from above points out just how much things weren’t working and where I felt ignored or hurt or where I knew I was ignoring things.
- I forgot how good I am at being alone. I’m fucking great at it. I can entertain myself for hours by reading or playing piano or looking up trips I want to take that I never will or by counting all the chocolate chips in my house and then eating them veeeeeerrryyyyy slowly (or all at once). I know how to take care of myself. You know the movie Matilda? I’m like her, except minus those specific family details and the *small* problem of not being telekinetic.
- I’m learning how to not compartmentalize my feelings. I am really good at this. I have little boxes in my brain for things that hurt and I put episodes like this in there and lock them away and don’t deal with them. Then, when I watch a Disney movie or Agents of Shield, I bawl my eyes out. It’s not healthy, and I’ve been teaching myself that it’s okay to accept whatever feelings come up when they come up. I’ll be really sad and missing this person, and I’ll let myself cry, and then a few minutes later I’ll be smiling like an idiot at my phone texting with some of my new friends. I am not trying to force any of these emotions away, but I am not letting myself wallow, either.
- I think the most important thing I am learning is what to do with the love you have for someone who no longer wants or deserves that love. I did yoga for the first time in months this weekend, and we did a releasing ceremony where we meditated on our own piece of rose quartz, placed it in a bowl with river rocks, and one of the instructors poured it into the river to let it go. I cried really, really hard over that tiny piece of quartz. I wanted it to take my love away and to remove any emotions I had for this person. I didn’t end with that thought–it’s unrealistic and callous. Instead, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to wash that love from my heart and let it dissolve into my bones, where it can settle. Like a tree ring. Like if years from now someone takes a slide sample of one of my bones, they will see this love in the layers, above and below other loves, and they will say, “Aha! This is where she learned how to speak her heart again.” It took me a long time to part with that quartz because I had been, up until recently, unwilling to let go of any of it. But I did. And I feel okay.
I mean, I’ll feel better when I don’t have to worry about my mattress murdering me, but I feel pretty good right now.