Everyone has a different way of dealing with a heartbreak. Beyond the pain, the crisis it stirs up lie the questions that make it so hard to come to terms with the loss of love.
What did I do wrong?
Will I be able to survive this?
Will I ever be able to love again?
And the list goes on, often repeating itself.
In the past six years, I have had this repetitive, stubborn list of questions trouble me, lead me into episodes of depression and worst of all tempt me into indulging in self-harming behaviours on a number of occasions.
This blog has been my biggest solace. Every time, my mind struggled with the withdrawal symptoms of the drug of love, I’d go back to my archives to read the sequence of events that made me choose to step out of my marriage.
Even though I had been strong enough to decide that I could no longer live with my ex-husband, my heart couldn’t cope well with the loss of love. The coping mechanisms that got me through in all sorts of life battles were failing me.
The trials in the court and the hardships my ex-husband’s betrayals gifted me did help me get over the trauma of our separation, but the void left by the tragic death of my marriage, sought love to make it feel full again.
I was confident I wasn’t seeking romantic love but what baffled me further was the fact that my child’s undivided love too didn’t quench my want for love. I clearly remember the times, when I’d sit by the window with a book in hand, staring at the words but failing to make any sense out of them. My mind would be so occupied solving the mysteries that led to the failure of one of the most important relationships of my life that comprehending anything said or written was a struggle for days at an end.
They say time heals everything. I beg to differ.
Time heals only when we prepare ourselves to allow the healing to happen. It is only when, we are proactive in trying to move on that our mind, our soul, prepares itself to take the leap of faith. We have to be willing for closure, to be accepting that it’s all over.
In those troubled times, I pushed myself to read. More than I had ever before. Genres that frightened me, because these were the non-fiction books written by the experts who dealt with people quite like me. Though I wanted to be healed of the misery, a part of me was resisting the possibility of having the last traces of the love washed out of my system.
Maybe, I was addicted to being in love even if it meant to be with the man who just wasn’t right for me. Maybe, the memories of my marriage fed my craving for being loved. Maybe, the memories where I laughed freely, travelled at whim, owned everything needed to live comfortably were making fun of the present me, who was stuck being a single parent with virtually no support.
It didn’t take me long to forget the man I was in love with, but the longing for love lingered.
The overwhelming helplessness would often leave me breathless. I’d become a living ghost who went through her day, running errands, working insane hours but having no memory of what filled my working hours. I seldom looked at myself in the mirror. I have no memory of how I looked, whether I’d even combed my hair or what I wore on some of the important occasions in those years.
With time, I did gradually overcome most of these challenges. What remained was my craving of being loved in a way I’d feel enveloped in a warm embrace. I yearned to live a life brimming with the assurance that I wasn’t alone in this. And most of all, a love that would rejuvenate my numb mind, fill each moment of my life with the zest of an achiever, the confidence of a teenager and the resolve of a feisty child trying to get to the candy jar.
My wishes were finally granted.
Not by wishing them upon a shooting star.
Not even by having someone new step into my life.
Neither could the assurances of my family or the love of my child make it happen.
I found the love that I craved for, by learning to love myself.
The love I searched everywhere for, couldn’t come to me from anywhere beyond me. No one but myself could have loved me the way my soul craved to be loved.
Nothing else in the world could have filled the gaping void that my heartbreak left me with the way self-care did.
It wasn’t easy.
It didn’t happen overnight.
This revelation was gradual but the healing it brought along has been phenomenal.
I am confident that I do not seek validation from the outside world.
I believe that I am enough.
I am ready to face life without the crutches of false hope.
I am positive that I am strong enough to shoulder the responsibilities I’ve been entrusted with.
I am aware that the life ahead is tough, but I’m equipped with the emotional strength I need to face it.
This is the beginning of how self-love transformed me from being broken to being alive and thriving.
“Something like that. But you know, there’s an upside here. Because when you spend so much time just intensely wanting something, and then you actually get the thing? It’s magic.”
All of a sudden, I feel like crying. In a good way. In the best way. Because I know exactly what she means. It’s butterflies and haziness and heart eyes, but underneath all that, there’s this bass line of I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this is me. I can’t quite articulate the sweetness of that feeling. It’s finding out the door you were banging on is finally unlocked. Maybe it was unlocked the whole time.”
~ Becky Albertalli
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The song on my mind: Duur ~ Strings