I’m not the same girl who was so haunted by C leaving.
Yesterday, I took V to a restaurant for a quick lunch. I fussed around ordering, getting her settled and into a high chair. I didn’t even think about it until we were seated outside with our food.
Oh yeah. I used to come here all the time during the breakup.
It’s a burger place, and I’d lost so much weight during that dark time of 2012 that I would stuff myself to the brim to try to put on weight. (It was not a problem I’d ever had before and I definitely haven’t had that problem since.)
The way the trees moved, the sound of cars going by on the adjacent street, even the way the light filtered down onto our table reminded me so clearly of that time. Missing C. Feeling so heartbroken. Never having anywhere to be, and so spending lots of time on restaurant patios reading books to try to feel better. Getting sore from spending so long in those plastic chairs.
Wow, I thought. I barely remember what it feels like to have gone through that.
There comes a time after every breakup where the pain and obsessive thinking finally release its grip. In other blogs, I’ve called it “the snap.” Suddenly, enough is enough, and the cycle shatters.
That doesn’t mean that there doesn’t continue to be sadness, or longing, or dark days. It just means that the majority of the pain has lost its grip. And because the dark time you’ve just experienced is in such close emotional proximity, you may feel its aftershocks for a long time, even after you’re doing better.
But there will come a day, when, like me…almost six years later, you won’t recognize the person you were when it happened. You will have fully digested that pain, and used it as fertilizer for newer, beautiful things. It will have hollowed you out and made space for new relationships, new interests, new streams of happiness. The person you were will be wholly transformed into someone new.
It will cease to cast its dark shadow over your life. For good.
What will remain behind, thankfully, is compassion. You will feel the pain of others when they go through something similar. And their pain will not scare you. It will not bother you to be among them, to help them. You will remember how desperately you wanted that, back in the days of your dark time.
The sun will shine on your face again. And one day, even the places you went in your darkest moments will have zero grip on you. You’ll think, “Oh, how interesting. This used to hurt so much. I can barely remember what that feels like now.”