Yesterday I ran into my ex. It was random. He broke my heart 3 months ago and I am over it. It was a short relationship. It lasted 6 months. It was however the first relationship I have had in recovery, and since I started living a sober life, so it was a big deal to me. It was happy and it was full of love and kindness. Then we had a bad week and he left. And it was apparently over. It hurt. A lot. I didn’t see it coming and I wasn’t involved in the decision. In retrospect I believe we fell in love and didn’t stop to look at how incompatible we are. He has an active night life that involves bands and being a dj and spending a lot of time in bars. I am in recovery and like to be at home in front of the fire with my girls, reading, studying, writing, gardening and trying to cook. I hate bars. I can’t be myself in them, and I have strong thoughts about being in places where I can’t be myself. He got there faster than I did in realising it wouldn’t work and he was right.
What struck me was how awkward it was to talk. We would never pass each other by, but neither are we friends. In a minute really, the person I trusted most and felt safest with became the person who had hurt me most and who I feared the most. That’s a big thing to lose. And for humans, it’s all about loss when we are hurt. Loss of a friend, a relationship, a job, a dream, our physical health, in the worst case, loss of someone we love through bereavement. So now, although I wish him all the best, I suppose he reminds me of all that I struggled with when he decided the relationship was not for him. I was un-chosen. And let me be clear, we had talked about forever, the word love was used, this was a special relationship for both of us. As it turned out, forever was 6 months! I suppose no one wants to be reminded that they were de-selected as a person to love.
And I thought I was going to die. I sobbed and I struggled and my heart was broken. And at the same time, I pulled the blanket of self-care all around me and I believed in the process. I sat with those feelings and I felt them. I cried. I felt inescapably lonely. I woke up at night and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I meditated. I walked in the rain. I spoke to my friends. I wrote it all down. I raged at him and then I made my peace with him. He had to do what was right for him. I had coffee and cake with my friends. I took some time off my PhD work. I started writing my book. I had good days and bad days and very bad days. I got a dog – I am not a dog person – tip – if you are not a dog person, do not get a dog because you have a broken heart! I went back to writing my gratitude lists several times a day. I wrote lists of stuff I like about me. I remembered that I am the same person that he fell in love with, what had changed was his perspective on me, not me, not the core of me. That was the same. I stayed with my routine. I went to work. I looked after my girls. I walked to my thinking bench on Lough Foyle and I thought there. I had a massage. I loved and looked after myself.
And now I am fine. I have moved on. And it’s just a bit awkward is all.