When chaotic things happen to me, I have a tendency to overthink, overanalyze, and over exaggerate. This particular skill has gotten me into trouble but has also forced me to look at certain people/ situations in a new light. As a forgiving person, and someone who can’t help but see the good in people, sometimes having a more realistic attitude can be particularly helpful in keeping my peace and sanity.
My therapist has given me a task of writing about myself. At first it sounded daunting. In the wake of a particularly traumatic breakup, (See previous article for complete story) I have put my analyzing, overthinking, and exaggeration skills to good use. I have spent the last three weeks in constant anxiety and disarray. Part of my trauma comes from being abandoned by my birth mom when I was a year old, and the other comes from other childhood instances. This causes me to behave irrationally and have difficulty in recognizing my own emotions when chaos ensues. Much of my energy is spent on the other person, the situation, and a potential solution, all of which I have learned are irrelevant. So here I am, trying to understand my own feelings in the only way I possibly can.
Understanding my feelings has been hard these past three weeks. Confusion, anger, and burst of sadness are the familiar sensations that I also felt a year ago when I went through my first breakup. In that particular situation, I also felt strong denial and refused to accept the end. I masked my pain with alcohol and hoped our romance would continue. I would ask myself what the point of the pain was, what the message in this was, and how long would it be before he called. I put energy into the situation, and not onto myself. I refused to accept the possibility that we were not good together and made each other absolutely miserable. I refused to accept any red flag thrown my way.
A year later, exactly, I am going through the same situation, with the same person, but instead of losing a lover, I am losing a best friend. While our reconciliation had been steady at first, it didn’t take long for drama to follow. So when our friendship imploded with an email that borderlines on satire, I quickly understood that I couldn’t put my happiness, my self worth, and my lifeline onto someone else. As I read the email, I felt a sense of relief, and a sense of clarity. Now while this clarity comes and goes, the message that this person was not the solution to my problems was clear. I had spent the last year focusing on this other person’s feelings and neglecting my own.
I am writing this story one year after getting my heart broken for the first time, three weeks since receiving the email, and days after deciding to put myself first. I still have trouble understanding my feelings, I still overthink, analyze, and exaggerate, and I still sometimes put energy onto this person. However, I am making a conscious effort, with myself and with a therapist, to acknowledge the pain, welcome it, but also to learn from it. I understand recovery is not linear.
While I had great memories with this person, romantically and platonically, and will forever cherish them, for my well-being I need to heal myself and I can’t do that with the same person who hurt me. I am sad our friendship came to a bad ending, hurt that he said painful words to me, and annoyed that I still deeply care about someone who I am not sure cares about me. But I am also grateful for the experience he gave me, he taught me what love means, or at least a version of love that was unknown to me. I know the healing road is hard and has many speed-bumps ahead, but I also know in order to love someone else again I need to let go. I need to find my independent self again and move on. Someone once said, “there are things we don’t want to happen that we have to accept, things that we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people that we can’t live without that we have to let go.”