WHEN my two-year rollercoaster relationship ended, I was a complete train wreck. I spent weeks crying. I cried when I woke up in the morning and before I went to sleep. I cried at work in front of my colleagues and I cried on the floor with my friends. I didn’t know how to put myself back together. I was at my lowest point in life. I had hit rock bottom.
Some of my friends told me that our relationship was bound to end anyway sooner or later because it was toxic. They told me I deserved better. But that wasn’t what I felt. I didn’t want anyone else.
I had spent the last two years focusing on loving him and letting my world revolve around him and our goals together. I felt fireworks whenever I was with him. I felt the butterflies in my belly whenever he held my hand. And every single light in the city seemed a little bit brighter when he looked at me. His I Love You's made me feel beautiful and his good morning and good night texts made me feel loved and wanted. So when he stopped doing all those little things, I was devastated.
I noticed when he stopped holding my hand in public. I noticed when he began postponing our regular coffee dates. I noticed when he stopped writing me love letters. I noticed the slightly higher pitch in his voice whenever he got mad at me, and I noticed when he stopped talking about our future together.
I had focused so much on loving him that I’d forgotten that I am important, too.
I constantly nagged him about the little mistakes he did. I got jealous easily and became insecure. I was slowly becoming the person I had promised myself not to be, and I know deep in my bones, that pushed him away from me, too.
Love is a drug and heartbreak is your body in withdrawal. Battling this kind of addiction was hard, but I realized that I cannot move forward if I keep on letting myself relapse every time I see his things in my room. I most definitely cannot spend the rest of my life hung up on someone who’s not coming back. But here’s what I learned:
I learned to love my own company. I started dating myself again. I watched movies alone, went shopping alone, and ate at our favorite restaurants and coffee shops alone without crying.
I realized that your heart won’t stay broken forever. Cherish the good friends you have right now because they are the ones who will help you get through the toughest of times. I’m so lucky to have the "awesomest" bunch of people who always made themselves available when I needed them the most.
I also became closer to my mother. When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me, I called my mom crying. I told her how much it hurt, how I didn’t want to work anymore, that I just wanted to go home and that I couldn’t handle the pain. It was something I hadn’t done before. She comforted me but more importantly, pushed me to be strong. We constantly talked. She would check up on me every day; asking me how I was feeling, sending me inspirational quotes, and even made a poem for me. Our bond had never been stronger than this and I am indeed grateful.
I know a heartbreak can turn you into the most pessimistic person on Earth and make you not believe in love again, but trust me, a broken heart is a gift that builds character and makes you a stronger and wiser person.
You will love again. You’ll sing in the shower and dance in the rain again. You will listen to the Beatles again. And you will most definitely love again. Pain is temporary. Take it from someone who has hit rock bottom. It gets better. (Erika Julien Clar Chavez)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on January 12, 2018.
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