I've learned a lot about myself over the last few months. I guess you start to see yourself and your surroundings a bit differently when you make the sort of changes that rock your world and switch the entire direction in which your life was heading. Of course, I'm talking about the big break up I had back in June. Even though it's been a little over four months, it still feels somewhat fresh and I'm still getting used to my new life and figuring out what I want to do next. I've taken the necessary steps to recover from all of it and I'm very proud of the decision I made and all of my progress.
The one thing I've really been struggling with lately is the occasional wave of sadness. It seems to come out of nowhere and, until recently, I wasn't sure why it was happening. I'm happier now than I've been in years and I've had so much fun meeting new people, going to new places, and just being myself, so why has this been happening?
Enter my counselor. I see her every other week and she has been incredible throughout this whole process. She has gone above and beyond to help see me through all of this and I'm so lucky to have her! Early in the Summer, our sessions would be about dealing with the immediate aftermath, remembering that what happened to me wasn't my fault, and discovering everything that I've learned to ensure I don't get into the same situation again. I did well with all of that and really felt like I was growing and improving constantly. But, these little bouts of sadness would make an appearance here and there, making me wonder if I was ever going to fully heal. I knew I wasn't going to get rid of them if I didn't get to the bottom of why they were happening in the first place. So, I mentioned them to her and we were able to figure it out...
First off, even if it's for the better, a break up is a loss. The more serious ones are like a death. The manner in which I had to leave my ex was abrupt and I literally could not see him or speak to him. Zero contact was the only way. It was like he died, so the natural human response would be to grieve. I still occasionally grieve.
Another revelation is that the anger I felt for everything that happened to me has now turned to sadness. Sadness about the things that were said, things that were done, the unkept promises, and all that I'd been through. Even though it's made me a stronger person and I know better now, I'm still sad that it happened to me.
Lastly, I am a nurturer at heart. I want to take care of everybody. I get excited when someone needs a bandaid or a ponytail holder and I have it in my purse. I love to cook for people, help them with any burdens or tasks they have to do, listen when they need an ear, and just be there. I was there for my ex a lot and I had to shut that off entirely. No more making his favorite meals, picking out the perfect birthday presents, calming him down when he was angry, supporting whatever venture he was on, or just doing whatever little thing would make his life easier. He abused the right to have me in his life, so I can no longer be there for him. I didn't realize that because of this, I've struggling with where to channel all of that nurturing energy. We came up with a few ideas, such as volunteering more often, sending cards and care packages to friends and family back home, making meals for my friends, and focusing more on taking care and nurturing myself. I hadn't put myself first for years, and it's finally time.
The healing process has been an eye opening journey so far. I look forward to the day where I'm completely on the other side of it, but I won't take this time now for granted. Like I said, I couldn't have done it without my counselor and I think it's unfortunate that counseling and therapy is still seen as somewhat of an embarrassing subject. Everyone struggles and it's okay to call for reinforcements when you feel like you can't bear a burden alone. It has really helped me to stay strong and find peace, which is something that I craved for a very long time...