I don’t blame him for the way I became.
This is was never the person I saw myself becoming.
This was not the independent and emotionally-sufficient me I envisioned myself growing into.
The drive to be the best version of myself had been watered down. Investing myself completely in my relationship had left me identity-less.
Perhaps it in my nature to seek, to crave, emotional security and a constant supply of attention. I had become too used to being surrounded by his presence and his absence only accelerated the insecurities I had formed in our relationship.
Plagued by lingering trust issues and constant worrying, I started diagnosing myself with either borderline depression or bipolar disorder.
Emotional attachment, perhaps obsession, was my ultimate downfall.
The 17-year-old me would have never approved of this shell of a human being I had turned into.
I had lost my foothold. I was unstable, directionless.
I had forgotten how to walk on my own.
As Thich Nhat Hanh said,
“At any moment you have a choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it”.
It took a lot to end my relationship, to detach emotionally.
It took courage to walk away from what I previously regarded as perfection—as my destiny.
I separated myself from the person I once referred to as my soul mate, my other half, my best friend (the clichéd titles we bestow on our partners). But I underestimated the intensity of what came next…
Learning to accept and embrace the breakup. Because going through a breakup is tantamount to learning to walk again.
At first we run away from our problems, chasing temporary highs, convincing ourselves that we are absolutely alright, that we are strong. In convincing ourselves, we convince those around us too.
Some of us run for days, some for years, but eventually we all reach our breaking point—our do or die situation.
We run until we can’t anymore. Or sometimes we run until there isn’t a place to run to anymore.
Then one day it all comes crashing down. Our legs, unable to carry us through, exhausted and worn out, collapse underneath us. The weight of our emotions bursts the walls of the dams we have built around them. We come face to face with our demons.
As time passes, we learn to deal with these emotions. We learn that putting them to bed with alcohol, cigarettes and drugs does not leave us settled. We learn that resting and learning to accept things as they are is important for healing.
As we heal, as our legs recuperate, we learn that we need to get up again. From here, we learn to walk again. Not literally of course, but we do start from scratch.
We may stumble, taking those baby steps again, but we learn to forge our own paths.
We may require crutches for a while, in the form of friends or family—or God, or spiritual guidance, or whatever it is that lifts us up, supporting us in order that we may stand up again and again.
Slowly, surely, we will learn to walk again.
We will find ourselves again.
I am still going through this process myself. The lessons I have learnt so far are priceless.
I don’t regret walking away from that which no longer serves me, that place where I can no longer be of benefit to myself and others. Imprinted in my soul is the decision to never settle, never again give up my sense of self.
I am learning to walk again.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” ~ Robert Tew
Author: Rekha Cheah Shankar
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Jordan Whitt/ Unsplash