The fear of being alone grasps your ribs at the crunch of a knuckle. The words echo around your head and swell at your eyes. You’ve been cursed and you literally cannot escape the feeling of being controlled by this greater desire to self-destruct and shatter into pieces. This is your crash course of heartbreak and you have two decisions: wallow in it or get over it. But you can’t. And the latter thought is simply offensive.
“Getting over it” is not an option. The future you had built in your head sifts through your hands like quick sand and you fall to the floor to gather the grains. But you can’t glue sand and you can’t glue yourself back together just yet. You fall victim to going crazy and suddenly empathise with that girl last year who went bust and went off the rails too. Night Nurse subsequently solves the issue of sleep deprivation, but grips your dreams so tightly like the squeezing of an empty toothpaste tube that the once only temporary happiness and comfort you found in your dreams, is now distorted to nausea and sleep paralysis. You follow the steps in a blind, drug-infused haze, unaware if you’ll ever surface the water back into reality again and for a long time, you don’t.
After the days and what seems like months of winter you start to find new ways of living. You drink excessively and take drugs just to follow the cliche that it numbs the pain. You question everything. Are you sad that they’re gone or are you sad that you’re just alone? You fumble in the darkness with strangers which only confirms your fears that it’s the lack of them, not a someone. But you try to convince yourself otherwise. You’ll smoke. You’ll dye your hair. You’ll lose weight, either voluntarily or involuntarily as meals are just so often from your mind. You’ll do anything to distance yourself from the person you used to be because that person involved him. He was apart of you and you’ll try to rebuild a new you… You’ll be unsuccessful.
You’ll spend days in darkness and days just doing things to keep your mind preoccupied and seem (at least to everyone else) that you’re just fine. You’re coping. The silver lining is that your writing improves and you start to notice other people. Other potentials that could make you as happy as you used to be. But in your fighting phase you’ll deny this. You’ll torture yourself that no one is like him. You won’t even give anyone else a chance.
And then eventually, after all the pain you only have yourself to blame for, you do surface. A hand appears over the entrance of the hole you’ve dug yourself into and you’re helped up and out. The daylight is blinding but it’s liberating, too. The foreign land is welcoming: you’re no longer in love with that person and the places you went heartbroken are now re-walked in confidence and seen differently. If only you had known that you would feel this way. You should’ve listened to your friends and family but you refused to, and now you feel ridiculous.
And the most ridiculous part of it all? You’ll do it all again and again and again, just to love and be loved in return.
You stop turning down other potentials. And then there’s a new someone. A new someone you can’t stop thinking about and obsessing over. You let it take it’s toll and are excited by their differences from your past lovers. You’ll learn new things and start to realise things you never realised before. You’ll like the things in your new someone that your past someone disappointed you with or simply never did. You’ll stumble across these small adorations without you even noticing. You didn’t even know it at the time that there was an absence with him – you thought you had everything together and only now do you see how wrong you were. A small smile will appear on your face when your new someone surprises you by doing something he never did. But it’s not like you live in constant comparison, you get about life just fine without the past crossing your mind until your new someone does something simple like not letting you wash up or spending time with your best friend just to get to know her better or driving up in the middle of the night to surprise visit you – things that X never and would never do. You didn’t think it was possible and yet here you are, with a more perfecter person that actually takes you places rather than talks about it and is lovely to their friends and family and to you. He doesn’t control you and he puts on a shirt when meeting your dad who instantly loves him, unlike the predecessor where it took a good six months. He offers to buy you things you like – even though you refuse. You can’t help but feel so happy at the stupidest and littlest of things but cannot voice your musings in fear he’ll think you’re comparing, even though there’s only one clear winner here. You rejoice in your happiness. How good it feels that you were so wrong before!
Somewhere in all this you’ve stopped hurting yourself, too – but you don’t know where the pain stopped and the happiness really began. Maybe when you accepted yourself and stopped wallowing in pain. Maybe when you stopped self-destructing because you decided not to give him the satisfaction that you’re still a mess and instead decided to re-construct. Maybe it happened when you allowed yourself to love someone else. Maybe it happened when you stopped comparing the idealised and un-realistic shadow you’d created of him against everyone else and started appreciating other peoples’ little things. Maybe it was when you realised that he wasn’t everything or “the one” because if he was, he’d still be here. The person you’re supposed to be with will never not love you and you’ll never stop loving them. But he did stop and eventually, I stopped too. And that’s not his fault and it’s not mine either. We’re just not meant to be. Simple as that.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that hindsight’s a bitch. Or maybe we all fall down the rabbit hole willingly after a breakup? Maybe we know the path we’re walking when we’re doing it and subconsciously know that there’s an end somewhere. Nevertheless, I don’t think it can be avoided. No matter how many articles you read on “getting over a breakup” or conversations with your friends and family. I don’t think it matters if you’ve done it time and time before – you will always ride out the pain of a breakup whether you want to or not. We just read and write to pass the time in a mild and unsuccessful attempt to make ourselves feel better until we actually do. And you do, just wait for it.