Not too long ago my heart was obliterated.
I handed it over to someone I loved; all 100% of it. It was murdered, then brought back to life, tossed back into my chest, murdered again and then left for dead.
I won’t go into the details of the relationship. It was short, unique and passionate. I fell hard, he mostly stayed standing. I, an empath and he, a narcissist.
We all know by now how that goes.
I look back at the month and a half since he dumped me as a dingy, old bucket filled with long naps, salty tears, cheap wine, sad Facebook posts and anxious denial. This pathetic bucket also seems to have a small hole in the bottom where everything inside leaks out in the form of late night texts to the man I could not stop thinking about.
I cringe inside when people tell me I’m beautiful, smart and “such a great catch”. It means nothing when you’re tucking yourself in at night, knowing the one you wanted wasn’t satisfied.
Not beautiful or smart enough—catch and release.
I know I’m better off without him; but tell that to my poor heart that’s deep underneath my flesh. She can’t see what’s going on, sitting quietly in darkness, wondering where the love went.
Where did our lover go and why?
So it’s been an unpleasant 45 days.
I know that’s not a long time; I still ponder what I did wrong, cry when I hear love songs and talk about him way too much.
But it’s also not a short time; I’m getting back to my old self, optimism is returning and I’m starting to carry a new bucket.
However, right now I carry both.
Each day the things inside the dingy, old bucket reduce and I start to patch the leak. My other bucket is sparkly and new, yet familiar. I’m filling it with the friends who love me unconditionally, the yoga I stopped practicing and the hope and optimism of falling in love again.
I loved being in a relationship—but I love being single, too.
I love how I focus on myself when I am single. I exercise more, I eat more nutritiously and I read really inspiring books on self-improvement. I like to take time to reflect on my last relationship and how I can improve my approach to love and relating to the opposite sex.
I have more time to explore, get better at hobbies and dive more fully into my relationships with family and friends. I love not knowing what my weekend will entail or who I will meet. I love the unpredictability that comes with not having a partner.
I don’t always like it, but I love what I learn about myself when I am alone. Being alone scares me, and so I know it’s probably good for me.
I always cherish the mental clarity I gain when I abstain from sex. I always take a good, long break in between lovers and I swear all of my senses become heightened—my women’s intuition gets stronger and I actually feel more in touch with my sexuality during this time.
When I’m single, the possibilities for new love are exciting. I’m a healthy, loving and conscious woman; which means I will someday (no rush!) attract a man who also holds those same traits. I’m special and deserving of love and I know that my time will come. I can be patient while I enjoy this truth.
But alas, as I sit in this gratitude and knowing of good things to come, I am still experiencing numbing, emotional pain. Even though he stuffed my heart back in my chest, he still holds it inside of his too.
I’m bullied by the memories of when things were good between us. When things were good, he was the best I had ever had. There were so many moments that were hauntingly and perfectly magical.
There were moments that were better than anything I had ever experienced. This is a drug that sometimes seems impossible to detox from, because there are no rehab centers to help you with this kind of withdrawal. You just sit in it all alone and deal.
The heartbreak is so heavy sometimes I feel like I have the energy of a basket of dirty laundry. Other days I feel as magical, radiant and awe-inspiring as a Hawaiian sunset. It can drive you crazy not knowing what your brain is going to decide to order from the mental health menu.
However, I know I’m on the cusp of feeling good full-time again. I’m starting to feel like I can appreciate what we shared without constantly wanting to go back to it. I’m beginning to accept that it’s over and big, beautiful, new doors are yet to be opened.
I’ve stopped fantasizing about us getting back together. God knows that would be like handing over another bullet because he missed me the first and second time.
I’m remembering how much potential I have and how one person’s perceived value of me has nothing to do with my actual worth.
Standing on the proverbial crack between heartbreak and new beginnings, it’s a hopeful place. It’s a bit grey-scale and lackluster at times, but I can see the potential for joy and even rapture here.
It’s a bit of a thrill not knowing what’s going to happen. But I know I’m in good hands, because the hands I’m sitting in are my own. I’ve been good to me before and I’m beginning to be good to me again.
It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be wonderful. It’s going to be better than I’ve ever experienced before.
It’s a hopeful thing, sitting on the cusp.
Author: Lealyn Poponi
Editor: Erin Lawson