I overheard a conversation today between two young women in a cafe. One was talking about ways to get a guy back who from what I could tell, really wanted nothing to do with her. It made me sad. I wanted to be like "Girl, you're too good for that! Find someone who thinks everything about you is amazing! You're a rockstar!" But I kind of figured that would have been a little out of place since I hadn't been invited into the conversation and it was one of a fairly personal nature. What I wanted to tell her was that she had two choices. Manipulate the situation, or push past it and thrive. More often than not, when someone tries to manipulate someone else into feeling something different from what they are actually feeling, it doesn't end well.
I used to have a very fragile heart. I would fall in love (well, not in love, but something emotional that often disguised itself as such) very quickly, and it would take me ages to climb out of it when it didn't work out. Mostly because I hadn’t learned to love myself. I've had my heart shattered once or twice before. (Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. Obviously my heart still has to be in one piece and fully functional in order for me to be sitting here writing a blog.) At those times I thought I wouldn’t recover. "I’ll be alone forever wahh wahh, poor me." People sometimes get this idea in their head that there is one person they're "meant to be with" and even if that person treats them like absolute garbage, when it doesn’t work out they’d rather struggle to stay in that dysfunctional relationship and dwell in misery than find someone who actually cares enough to treat them like the perfect incredible badass that they are. A lot of it has to do with the amount of time one puts into something like that. Ok, so you spent 4 years in something that you might consider to have been a waste of your time. but A. It wasn’t actually a waste of time because you probably learned a lot from it. If all you learned was how you don't want to be treated, that's massive. B. All you have now is the future. Let's look in that direction and be over it, ok?
There’s a reason I don’t say GET over it. I say BE over it. If you keep telling yourself you’re "just getting over it.." you give yourself permission to continue to talk about it, think about it, blog about it. Just decide to be over it. “That’s easier said than done.” Okay. True. But here’s what I mean. I don’t mean that you can turn off your feelings. Of course you can’t. What you can do is change your actions and force your pain into leaving sooner than it had planned. I read somewhere it takes 12 minutes for the sadness or anger chemicals to leave your system once you stop dwelling on them. While that might be total BS, it helps me to remember that those feelings don’t go away until you stop fueling the fire.
A couple years ago I went through something that when I was 19 would have been the end of the world, but knowing what I know, and having gone through what I’ve been through, I decided to try taking my own advice. I sat down at my computer and started writing. Started planning. I read 8 books in 2 months, which isn't an easy task for me because I have a terrible time focusing. My heart hurt, so I worked harder. I wanted to cry.. so I did.. while I worked. I came out of this after 2 months and 5 days and I had so much passion and so much to show for it. Now that I was excited about something real, I could see that the thing I had been upset about was nothing more than an outlet for my subconscious dissatisfaction with my own life.
Throughout that time, seconds of happiness began to turn to minutes that turned to hours and so on.. Suddenly the future seemed bright again. When you push through the pain, allowing yourself to feel the emotions, but continuing to stay productive through them, you can feel the moments of happiness lingering longer, and the moments of pain loosening their grip.
The first step in recovering is to stop complaining about it. (Obviously death and other forms of tragedy are another story. These things have a very different mourning and recovery process. I don’t expect you to get over something like that in a short period of time, or ever completely.) In the normal heartache situation, don’t accept people’s pity and agree with them. While they may have good intentions, often people say “Aw, what happened? I’m so sorry. That is awful.” and personally that makes me so much more uncomfortable. I’m like.. “NO I’m fine! I’m fine.. stop. Im saying this is a good thing!” And then of course if you happen to be on the verge of tears, and someone asks if you’re fine, you are undoubtedly going to cry. Why does that happen? It's like someone asking if you are okay opens some sort of emotional floodgate. I guess because they are forcing you to choose between two unpleasant things; lie, or admit that you're not okay.
In any case, if you’re going through something difficult that is leaving you with a heavy heart, sometimes it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I promise, every tunnel no matter how dark, ends in light. It’s your job to be strong and get yourself off the ground and moving in that direction. Taking the first steps to break through the initial barrier of pain is not easy. It is simple, however. People often confuse the ideas of simplicity and ease.
Final thoughts: You can do it! Get up. Move forward. I believe in you... and I think you're rad.