So there I was, single again after three years. The last time I ended a relationship it was my idea, and it was a really crappy relationship, so the break-up was a lot easier to get through. This time, even though it only took me a few days to start seeing the reality of things and understanding that it was really necessary to end it, I was still a wreck. The cliché of being a “raw nerve” is obnoxiously accurate – the smallest little things would start the waterworks and my poor, sad brain was too foggy to do anything like think straight.
As I’m afraid too many of you already know, the beginning of the break-up healing process is needing to talk about it. All of it. Talk every single tiny, miniscule, microscopic thought or feeling or idea to death. It’s like you’ve become the coroner character in any police TV show and you’re doing constant and repeated autopsies of the relationship, the end of the relationship, your ex, things that he said, things you said, things you didn’t say, that funny tone in his voice when he said that thing, the other thing he said 2 years ago and did it have something to do with the thing he just said and oh. My. GOD. But it’s annoying.
It’s annoying to you and it’s annoying to everybody else. And you know it’s annoying, so you go from being a person with friends and a partner and family and a nice, supported life to being that person that you’re embarrassed to be and that you know nobody else wants to be around because you just CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. That transformation took me exactly 5 days.
Once I made the transition I was stuck with still so much emotional crap I needed to spew and not really anybody I could dump it on. I pulled out the trusty old journal and that helped for a while, but eventually I couldn’t even stand to cover the same ground, or even new-but-still-lame ground, in my lovely, leather-covered friend. So I had a few weeks where I talked to myself.
I have to tell you that it’s a very good thing there is no law against talking to yourself while behind the wheel of the car. Also thanks to the evolution of cell phones I worried much less about judgmental looks from passers by when I took my bike rides, ranting on and on to nobody at all but me. I struggled to keep myself together all day at work and thanked my lucky stars that my office-mate sits behind me and wears headphones all day. And say what you will about judgmental cats – my furry roomies curled up around me in my safety zone on the couch and purred supportive comments all day and night. (twice as loud when the treats were within reach.)
In the end I made it out the other side and I reassured myself that I can do that physician thing and heal myself when I don’t have resources available to me. It’s a good thing to know, and I also hope I don’t have to do this kind of self healing again any time soon.
Break-ups? They suck.