Who would’ve thought that amongst all of the kind messages I’ve received post-breakup, one of the most empowering ones would come from an ex-girlfriend of the guy I dated. I met her briefly at my now ex-boyfriend’s sister’s wedding about a year and a half/two years into us dating. I’d been told by his family all the things families say about ex’s, which in hindsight should’ve been indicative of their level of compassion (or abhorrent lack thereof).
Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of her when I met her- I mean who is? Current girlfriend, meet ex-girlfriend. Well, fast-forward a couple of years and we met again at his family’s election night gathering. We spent hours talking and getting to know one another, and honestly, I really liked her. We had so much more in common than the guy she’d dated/I was dating. We both like pineapple on pizza, love a good pun, and country music is our jam.
We kept in touch over the last year or two, and when I heard she was going through a shitty breakup last year, I took her out and the waiter delivered champagne and a dessert with “Happy Fresh Start” written on it. We both thought it was hilarious and now that I’ve found myself in a similar boat, she reached out to me and has made plans to hangout with me tonight, on Valentine’s Day of all days (super sweet IMO).
Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought in a million years I’d find solace in someone I initially had a sour first-impression of…but that’s because I didn’t know her. That’s how I feel about my ex’s family, that they never really got to know me, so when things got real (like marriage talk real), they got scared and suddenly I was ousted from the family without the batting of one eyelash.
It’s been so long since I’ve dealt with a breakup that I’ve literally forgotten how to cope. It’s not that I dislike being alone, I just like being in a healthy relationship more when I can dote and care for another person. Well, it’s been two weeks of (barely) eating and (profuse) crying. I may not be ready to throw my metaphoric hat back in the dating game, but I’m stoked to start to pick myself back off the floor of depression and heartbreak and actually start do things for me (to stay distracted from the literal pit of depression and anxiety that breakups actually are).
I’m going to look into signing up for an exercise membership of some sort and commit to it. I’ve been wanting to get back into regular workouts, just haven’t had my health and head in the game. That ends now. I’ve been wanting to get more into healthy cooking, so I’m also going to spend time working on that. As much as it sucks to end a relationship that’s meant the world to me, I know if it’s meant to be, it’ll be; if not, this is just an end to one chapter that’ll be followed up by another one filled with different memories.
I’ve found I’m at my most vibrant when I’m going through something – it may not be pretty, but it’s 100% authentic. I’m going to learn from this. I’m going to grow from this. I’m going to come out a better person because I owe that to myself, not anyone else. Yeah, it’s sad it’s over, but he couldn’t grow and become a better person if I kept helping out every way I was doing. He needs to stand on his own two feet, and maybe when he does, if we’re both at the same place in our lives, we’ll reconnect.
If not, I sincerely wish him the best that he finds someone to love and loves them hard and never lets them go. I want that for myself, one day. Because even though this love let me go, I’m never going to let go of loving myself.
As ugly as depression is, I’ve learned ways to cope with it and so far, with all of the love and support online and offline, I’m coming around to realize strength isn’t something to envy in others. It’s something to desire in yourself and oftentimes it can only be cultivated when life throws you upside-down and you try to stand back up for the first time.
This is me, dusting off my knees and getting up.
Life’s way too short to be filled with regret; and I regret nothing. I can only become a better person moving forward and reflect on my past as a measure of personal growth made in the last five years, and hopes that I’ll continue to work on myself in the next 50+ or however long I’m on this planet.
Here’s hoping you’re finding strength in whatever you’re doing – it’s out there, sometimes you just have to ask for someone else to shine a little light on where you should be looking for it.
Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate that. I hear some call it “Singles Awareness Day,” but honestly, I’d rather be single and working on myself than in a relationship that causes one or both people to be unhappy in any way. Today would’ve been the day our ring was supposed to be done. I can either look at that as a sad thing that a proposal never happened, or a silver lining that if and when I get one in the future, it’ll be with a guy that cherishes me no matter the ups and downs that come our way.
Spoonie Adventures in Books, Beauty, & Bullshit
I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.