Moving on… literally

It’s day 14 after my big breakup and things are slowly getting back to ok. My ex and I are now able to talk without me bursting into tears. I’m able to eat and function normally for the most part. We’re able to see one another without awkwardness too much. Tomorrow I’m moving into a new apartment.

Now I’ve lived in this apartment for 2 years, 8 months and 26 days. That’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since before I left home. This apartment was the first apartment which was MINE and mine alone. I learned how to be single in this apartment. It was my rock for the past few years.

I’ve loved here. I’ve cried here. I’ve heard good news, great news and bad news. I’ve been angry here and I’ve yelled here. I’ve cried tears of joy. I’ve made new friends and lost old ones here. I’ve made love here. I’ve fought here. I’ve studied my ass off the night before an exam here. I’ve graduated here. I’ve created beautiful works of art here. I’ve lost dreams here. I’ve made dreams here. I’ve made dreams come true here. I’ve aged here from my youthful twenties to my wisdom-filled thirties. I’ve made mistakes here and I’ve accomplished goals.

A lot has happened in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days and there’s no good way to sum up everything other than I’ve made memories here. This apartment has been the one stable thing in my life despite all the ups and downs I’ve had in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days; and now I’m moving out tomorrow.

I’m terrified.

I’m moving to a new town where new neighbors live. I’m moving farther away from my friends, my family and my support system. I’m moving to a town where the only person I really give two shakes about is now my ex, and we’re no longer together. This move is suddenly terrifying.

Up to this point I’ve been excited. As I boxed things up I anticipated leaving this place with joy, excitement, happiness. I lovingly packed my things in paper and in boxes and I thought about my new apartment and all the memories I’d make there, but now I don’t want to leave the memories I already have.

I’m terrified to be alone…really alone. I’m scared to move away because I’m worried that my bipolar will make me sick… again, like the last time I lived away from my support system. I’m scared that I won’t like the landlord there. I’m scared that I’ll lose my job in that town and be stuck commuting to a job in a different town again; wasting my time, energy and money on the drive every damn day.

This feeling came over me as I was driving home from work today. I realized that it was the last time I’d drive “home” to this town, at least for a while. Next time I drove “home” it would be to my new apartment in my new town. I’m realizing that the reason I took the job I have now was to be closer to him, to be with him, to rationalize moving closer to him and eventually moving in with him; and now I want to be farther away from him, but I can’t run away. Even “home” will only be a few blocks away from him starting tomorrow and it breaks my heart that I’ll be so close and yet unable to have him.

And so here I sit surrounded by my life packed in boxes. All my memories packed up in neat little cubes waiting to move to a new place. Waiting to be unpacked in their new place in my new apartment.

And I’m terrified.

But sometimes you need to pack up your life, your doodads and your clothes and your knickknacks and move on…literally. Sometimes you need that push in order to do something great. So that’s what I plan to do; do something great in this next chapter of my life.

It’s been 2 years, 8 months and 26 days… it’s time to move on.

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The Deer in my Path

So I’m on day 8 post-breakup and things are still about the same. I still hate most everything and everyone, especially people who have good news or have moved on with their lives. So many people I know are coming out with big news of weddings and babies, and I’m so happy for them… but so sad for myself.

In other news, every morning I’ve been seeing a deer. I’m not sure if it’s the same deer, but it’s in the same spot every day rain or shine. Now I’m all for symbolism, so I looked it up, and here’s what it said about the symbolism of deer:

“A deer is often a sign not to be too hard on yourself. Still the voice of the self critic and treat yourself with gentleness and understanding, be yourself and continue along your path. Seek out your inner treasures and use them generously to help those around you. Trust that kindness and graciousness will be well received.

We are also reminded that we cannot push towards change in others, rather we gently nudge them in the right direction with love and understanding. Lead by doing and showing the way.

Deer is a messenger of serenity, can see between shadows and hear what isn’t being said. Deer teach us to maintain our innocence and gentleness so we can share our open-heartedness with others.”

Now this says a lot to me. First, I’m being INCREDIBLY hard on myself relating to this breakup. I’m blaming myself for a lot of things which I’m not fully responsible for.

Second, I’d love for anything for my ex to change for the better. He’s an amazing person and I’d love nothing more than for him to be the man I see in him and live up to what he’s capable of, but I can’t force this. He has to make that choice for himself, and that’s a difficult reality for me to deal with. I’m trying as hard as I can to nudge him in the right direction, but we’ll see what happens.

Last I’d love a little more serenity. Right now I’m incredibly stressed out…

SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!

Serenity now

I know that with time I will feel that peace, but I’m being a little impatient, ok? My heart is a big open wound and I’d like to have it heal just a little already.

For now every time I see my deer, I will think about being one minute closer to healed, one step closer to change, one tiny bit easier on myself and one nudge away from something amazing.

Dear Ex

Dear ex,

It’s been 5 days since our breakup. I hate the world less. I hate you less. But I’m starting to miss you. Given all that has happened I know that I should think that I’m better off without you, but I don’t feel that way. There’s so many reasons for me to not want you, but I still love you and none of those reasons will ever trump that one thing.

Each day when I wake up I want to text you first thing. It’s hard choosing to be without you. I miss talking to you, you’ve been my best friend for the past few years. I’ve shared things about my life that I’ve never shared with anyone else. You’re the first one I want to tell about my good news, and the first one I want to tell about my terrible day. You’re the last person I want to say goodnight to.

I didn’t cry today… until now.

That’s pretty good. Not great, but getting there.

I still remember the first time we met. Your hair was longer then. You looked like a wreck. You were wearing Birkenstocks, torn jeans and a yellow tee shirt. My friend told me you weren’t good enough for me, but I didn’t care what she said. I looked into those eyes, and I was hooked. I never wanted to look into anyone else’s eyes.

I already knew your heart by the time we met in person. I’d known you for months. You shared your dreams with me. You shared stories that you had never shared with anyone before you and I had ever met in person. You shared your heart with me before you even knew you’d done it, something which took you by surprise as well.

I don’t know why, but I could tell you anything and know that you wouldn’t treat me any differently regardless of how fucked up it seemed to me. You knew you were just as fucked up inside. We were both a little damaged around the edges, but we both accepted the flaws of the other, and together it worked.

For years we developed our relationship. We developed our own patterns, our own inside jokes, our own memories. We built a life together for these past few years. We shared laughter and we’ve shared tears. We’ve been afraid together. We’ve been excited together. I know every inch of your body and you know every inch of mine. We know what the other is thinking even before a word is said.

But now I don’t know where we stand.

I have news I want to share, but I can’t share it with you anymore.

I have struggles I want you to help me with, but I can’t share my burdens with you.

Most of all I just want to look into those eyes one more time and not see anger like what was there the night we broke up. I want to feel the way things used to feel. Not like the world is falling apart around me, but like it’s falling into place.

My friends are trying to help me get through this. They are saying terrible things about you, but they don’t really know you like I do. How can those things possibly be true? How could I have fallen in love with someone who my friends think isn’t worthy of my love? Why would I stay with someone who doesn’t appreciate me or deserve me?

I miss you.

I miss your smile and everything about you. I miss our inside jokes and our patterns. I miss our memories. I even miss things that once drove me crazy about you, like when you’d leave your socks on the floor.

Oh dear ex, where did things go so wrong? How can we fix them?

I don’t know if we can, but I want to try.

I still love you more than anything.

Maybe that’s enough.

Getting back on the horse (literally)

I’m in day 4 following my breakup… everything still sucks, but it sucks less than what it did yesterday.

I had a riding lesson today, which is something I love and just started doing this summer. There’s something about seeing the world from the top of a horse that does something to your troubles.

Tonight I rode a horse who gave me troubles in the past. She never stayed in a trot when I wanted her to. She walked when I wanted her to trot. She pulled at my reins. She never listened when I told her which way to go.  She grazed with the bit in her mouth all the time we were riding (which is not good for those who have no experience with horses).

But tonight was different, not in the way that the horse behaved, but in the way that I behaved. I decided to throw myself into improving my riding. I had a decent day, I didn’t cry, I didn’t want to kill anyone. I decided to give this lesson my absolute all and leave my problems at the stable door.

It started with a look. The horse looked at me, and I could just tell she knew what I had been through. It was a look that says far more than any amount of words. It was a look that although we are from a different species, she understood what I was feeling. She knew I was hurting.

I brushed her, saddled her and walked her to the arena. I didn’t say much to her. I did all of this gently and quietly. I had never saddled a horse on my own. I’ve only been taking riding lessons for 3 months and even then only one night a week. But I managed to do it all on my own. Before I got into the saddle, I gently stroked her face and she gave me that look again. It was a kind look.

“It’s ok, friend. I’m here for you.” she told me with her eyes, “You can do this.”

And with that, I got back on the horse.

horse

At first the ride was difficult, but as I got used to the feeling again, it got easier. I walked and trotted the horse. I posted trot on a full lap around the arena, something I have never been able to do before because of my own error. But I was so determined to have something that was just mine just for tonight that it came so easily.

As we walked towards the setting sun in the pasture I thought about how beautiful the world could be and I actually smiled for the first time in 4 days. And I thought about how good the day had been. Nothing special happened, but this day was good. I didn’t cry. I kept my food down. I didn’t think of him. Things which had been so difficult yesterday were somehow so much easier today. And as we trotted down the second hill, I realized that all I needed to do was keep getting in the saddle and eventually things would all fall into place.

And I decided in that moment to keep riding and see where it took me, one foot in front of the other.

Going through a breakup so please excuse me for not giving a fuck

Right now my world is a shambles. It sucks. I hate it. I hate everyone in this world.

I’m going through a breakup.

The worst part of going through a breakup isn’t that your heart is shattered in a million pieces. It isn’t that you feel like you can’t breathe. It isn’t that you just lost something you think you can never replace.

The hardest part of a breakup is sucking out the poison.

Breakups are like getting bit by a poisonous snake. Sure the bite hurts. You become so wounded and the poison sets in and makes you forget about everything else in life. You don’t care about your house, your dishes, your job, that you haven’t showered in 4 days, that you aren’t wearing real clothes except by Wal-Mart standards… The wound cuts you so deep regardless of how long you two were together. The wound hurts because you left yourself open and you got bit… again. It spreads and burns like fire in your veins.

For most of you this isn’t your first bite. You’ve been bitten before, but the last one didn’t feel as bad as this one is, or as deep as this one feels. The last bite was tiny and this one has punctured your soul, but as I said, it isn’t the bite that’s the hardest part, it’s sucking out the poison.

The first thing you need to do after a breakup is remove him or her from your life. You suck out the poison. This means you stop spending time with him or her. You don’t call. You don’t text. You don’t Snap Chat. You take down all the pictures of the two of you in the house. You delete the photos on Facebook and Instagram and every other social media site that you now use in this modern age. Worst of all, you unfriend and block him or her (and everyone who connects you two) on social media. You donate the clothes he or she left at your house or give them back. You throw out the toothbrush that he or she left at your place.

This is quite possibly the most emotional and hurtful thing you have ever done to yourself, but also the most essential. The more times you do it, the harder it gets. You cry. You sob. You look at yourself in the mirror while crying (we all do it sometimes). You use more tissues than a teenage boy who just discovered porn. You can’t eat (or you eat all the time). You can’t sleep. All your brain wants to do is fight this change, be together again, make it like it was before and it will stop at NOTHING to convince you that this is possible regardless of how you broke up or why.

Your friends all tell you how you’ll love again, but you don’t want to love anyone ever again. They try to reassure you that you’ll survive this bite. (They are trying to be good friends here, so try not to bite their heads off.) But inside you feel this hole starting to build, the hole where the fangs got you. And you feel it spread deeper and deeper until you’re more hole than person.

You suck out all the poison until the open wound that bite is now clean and you can really assess the damage. You suck out the poison until your whole soul is exposed and clean and you’re the most vulnerable you’ve been in the longest time.

But that’s not all there is to recovering from a breakup. There’s a whole list of other steps you have to complete before you’re done. And it can be overwhelming. It can feel like nothing will ever be the same, but I promise that once you suck out the poison, the wound begins to heal. It will be the most horrible thing you ever do, but hang in there. Soon the wound will get smaller. You’ll consider scratching it and letting a little bit of your ex’s poison in via Facebook message, or text or tweet, but don’t do it. You need to stay far away from the poison so you can heal.

The most important part of sucking out the poison is to do it for yourself. Don’t try to heal for anyone else but you. Give yourself time. Let yourself be vulnerable and weak. Show your emotions. Cry and sob and let that mascara run without caring. You need it.

But most of all love yourself and know that it takes two people to make a relationship work. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made. Mistakes are a part of being human. Know that you will eventually heal in time, but in the meantime, don’t let anyone else bite you.

Pretty soon you’ll be playing with snakes again…