Heart break and healing

This blog originally started as a dating blog. It morphed into a relationship blog and is now mostly a blog on my personal life and my adventures in sports psychology.

I haven’t spoken of the relationship I was in, in some shape or form, for eight years in a long time. I’ve kept that part of my life private after exposing some of it here with not so great results.

I’m choosing to talk about it today because it’s been affecting me and has caused my silence here. We are no longer together, nor do we have any contact anymore, however, the night before Valentine’s Day a call from him sent me into a tail spin that lasted for two weeks.

I made the decision back in November that we couldn’t be friends anymore because I wasn’t strong enough not to be affected by him or to slide right back into a relationship and lose myself again as I’ve done time and again over the years.

I grew up in alcoholism and one of the side effects resulted in me being a very good codependent. I’m in recovery now and am learning to be my own person through program.

It’s easy for me to turn myself inside out to please a man. I’m a great chameleon, I’ll be whatever you want or need me to be. I’ll throw myself under the bus to make you happy. Whatever activities I enjoy will slowly disappear and I’ll stop seeing my friends. It’ll be all about you and I to the exclusion of everything else. I’ll look to you to make me happy. Not very healthy is it? Well that was me.

I’m happy to say I’ve changed but it’s still very easy for me to slip into old ways of thinking and behaving. I’ll be in program for the rest of my life as a result. It’s the only way for me to be the best version of myself.

Eight years. Eight. Years.

It’s a long time to be with someone as a partner or friend. We raised his daughter together. Being her step mom is the single best thing I’ve ever done with my life and I’m so very grateful for the opportunity.

I tell a brief version of our story in the rooms of my program when I am asked to speak. It goes something like this. We were both adult children of alcoholics and neither one of us were in program at the time. We both had trust and commitment issues and it was drama all the time. We tried so hard to make it work. I grew up with a mom who stood by my dad no matter what so that’s what I did.

So many people tried to reason with us, including our families, to try and make us see the light but we were stubbornly trying to make something work that just couldn’t.

I was watching a series on Netflix last night. One of the characters said something about a love so intense yet bringing out the worse in each other. I teared up because that was us. Love was never the issue between us, we were.

I thought I had grieved when things ended between us in November. I went around in an unconscious miserable coma for weeks. I’d go to work. Come home, cry, go to bed and start all over the next day. Then all of a sudden the fog lifted and I started feeling moments of happiness and peace.

Then after three months of silence, I got a three minute phone call from him inviting me on a ski trip. As soon as I hung up, I burst into tears and called my sponsor. I cried for three days. The depth of my emotion scared me. I had no idea where all this sadness was coming from. Turns out I wasn’t done grieving.

I turned to old coping mechanisms and became a little hermit. I hid in bed and did what I needed to get by. I did make it out to program meetings but I was a shell of my former self. It took time but I’m happy to say I’m back.

I’ve come to realize an eight year relationship isn’t something I’m going to get over quickly. It’s going to take time to heal and that’s alright. Program has taught me I am right where I need to be. Dating other men in the interim isn’t the solution either. It’s a good codependent idea but not a very viable one. Besides which, until I’ve sorted myself out, what good am I to anyone else?

So I sit here with a smile on my face, knowing I’m doing better emotionally and that lightness always comes after darkness.

 

 

Love

Five weeks ago I met a man who changed my life.

We fell in love on the spot, the stuff movies are made of, even though I didn’t know it at the time.

I wasn’t looking for once, I was dating someone else. He was also in a relationship.

You can’t explain attraction can you? We were magnets for each other.

As much as I tried to understand, to resist and deny, my heart shifted.

After six years of trying to make a relationship work, this just was. We were tied from the day we met.

He doesn’t live in the same city as I do and so for four and a half weeks I didn’t see him. I can’t begin to explain or describe the ache I felt.

We texted and spoke daily for a while. Then he asked for silence as he couldn’t be in two relationships at once.

All the while, being the eternal optimist that I am, I banked on the best outcome.

The best outcome has come to pass. He is going to go do the work he needs to do on himself. To learn to like, accept and love himself. Whatever we were is over.

I am a change agent, It’s what I do. I shift people. I shifted him.

What I didn’t expect is for him to shift me.

Thank you for loving me. For helping me see that love is possible. For cracking open my heart and bringing in light.

My heart is shattered. I am gutted. I’ve forgotten what pain like this feels like.

Even in this thick blanket of fog that surrounds me and pain so deep I don’t know what do when the waves hit but allow it, I know something is being worked out in me. Healing is happening on a grand scale.

I will come out on the other side of this with insights and lessons learned like I always do.

Be well love. Thank you.

Sadness

Sadness.  A heaviness that just won’t lift.  I seem to have a profound relationship with my bed lately.  I know why.  It’s where I get to forget for a few hours, shut my brain off and not have to deal with reality.  It’s my escape because reality lately is colored in hues of grey.  I don’t feel like myself.  I feel stuffed in cotton, removed, almost outside myself, watching. 

There will be moments when I descend into sadness, like a pit and the tears come.  I feel lost.  I lose a grip on reality and all I can feel is this heart wrenching pain.  It doesn’t seem to get better, just more and more of the same.  I don’t know how to move through this, I don’t know that there is an end in sight.  I certainly can’t see the end of it and it fills me with despair and makes me feels more alone, less a part of.

It takes everything I have to go through the motions of daily life, to show up.  This person takes over and I seem to run on automatic.  I’m there but not there.  Meanwhile this heaviness and sluggishness reign.  I miss my energy, my zest for life and my smile.  My heart feels heavy and it’s not going away.

Someone observed lately I’m still in love.  My first reaction was absolutely not, no way, not after everything, no.  But I’ve been thinking and there seems to be some truth there, it’s not like we can shut off what we feel for another person overnight.  He seems to have moved on and I’m happy for him.  A part of me hurts that he has so easily.  Last weekend was proof that I haven’t.  I am so not ready and that’s ok.  It’s normal to be where I am at and it’s going to take time, much more time than I expected.

I went skiing with my father yesterday.  It’s the first time I had been on skis since we split.  It’s been six weeks.  Part of me didn’t want to do this alone.  I haven’t skied with my dad in 5 years, that’s a long time.  But yesterday it was like we had never stopped skiing together.  I felt in my element.  More alive than I have felt in weeks, it was a great afternoon.  I made some good memories.  My heart lifted and I reconnected with me.  That’s got to be a blessing right?

So I keep hoping.  Day by day.  That somehow this will shift.  That I will shift.  That it will get easier.  That I will find moments of ease, lightness, peace and joy.  It’s my greatest hope for me.

Presence

Presence.  A simple word, a much more difficult concept.  I’ve blogged about being present before.  A friend commented on a previous post and said it was time I left the past.  It’s gotten me thinking.

I’m with a good man.  He’s exactly what my soul needs at this moment.  He and I had met briefly prior to my relationship.  It was a happy accident that I sat with a whole weekend off in front of me yesterday wondering what I was going to do with myself when I messaged him.  We hadn’t chatted since the previous split with my former partner.  He invited me up to his place on the Big Rideau.  More beauty, more kindness and more care than I think I deserve, horrible self defeating thought, but it’s where I’m at.

I’m challenged with staying present with him.  The grief I feel is written all over my face, at any moment I lose it and the waves come.  He just stops what he’s doing, holds me and tells me it’s going to be alright.  That time heals, that I need to let go, that the man I was with does not deserve this much space or attention or pain.  I get all this at a head level, I do, but my heart oh my heart.  It feels like it’s been split, shattered into a thousand pieces, I feel adrift, lost and it’s all I can do to come back and stay present.

I want to be present, to stay grounded, calm, and peaceful.  I also want to release whatever is being worked out in me, I want it out.  Every last bit of it so I can move on.  So I can make better choices and attract the kind of happiness I so richly deserve.

Grace

The grace to endure.  These words were sent to me today.  They resonate.  I am hurting, grief is really kicking me in the pants.  The worst is I never know when it’s going to hit.  Not sure what it is with me, my car and tears but oh boy what a triple threat.  It’s like the flood gates open. 

This morning again.  Crying like my heart is broken.  It is broken and I know it will heal but this place I’m in really sucks.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think of him, not one.  It will have been a month this Friday.  A month.  I’m tired of being in this space.  I am being told where I am at is normal, to be patient and good to myself.  Well enough already, can I please just move on?  What am I grieving exactly? 

We didn’t work.  No amount of love, effort or time would have made us work.  It was impossible. Then what am I mourning exactly?  Why is my body screaming for a break?  Since last week I have not been well.  Light headed, faint, teary.  Exhaustion is my guess.  The store is demanding more and more of me, not less and less.  I was away on business last week and barely made it off the plane.  I thought I was going to pass out.  Again yesterday and today.  What the hell is going on?

So I am asking for grace.  The grace to endure.  The grace to keep on keeping on.  The grace to move through whatever is being worked out in me.  The grace to find peace in the eye of whatever turmoil I’m in.  Grace, please find me.

Emotional hang over

I’m exhausted.  Not sure if it’s because I’ve been working my ass off at my new job literally and figuratively or because I’m in the midst of grieving.  I slept in today on my day off.  I fully intended to go skiing, instead, my bed held me captive or rather I chose to stay firmly within its warm embrace.  Every day in the past week I’ve woken up feeling spent, tired from the bouts of crying.  Tears must really take a toll on the body, even now, despite all the sleep or maybe because of it, I’m tired.  Beyond tired, I feel emotionally hung over.

I’ve been playing with the feeling of being emotionally hung over all week and it resonates on many levels.  I am grieving heart break.  It’s happened more times than I can count with him.  It doesn’t make it any less painful or sad.  I’m glad I’m out of the pattern we created together, however, there is a mourning which is part of the process obviously.  I’ve come to learn how important it is to honor and allow my feelings to show up.  I want this sadness out of me but I know I’m exactly where I need to be and I can’t rush the process.

In the meantime I’m taking care of myself.  Reaching out to friends when I need to.  Isolating when I need to do that too.  I feel grounded and peaceful.  Appreciating and enjoying the smiles and lightness when they come too, there are blessedly more and more of those moments.

Sadness

Sadness has hit since Sunday, it comes in waves, at any moment my face is wet with tears.  I miss my best friend, the one I couldn’t wait to share my days with.  The one whose arms I sought to find comfort and love.  The one whose body wrapped around mine at night and made me feel safe.  I miss my skiing soul mate.  Watching the snow melt at such a rapid rate is a painful reminder of what we loved doing together and where we shone best. 

I know where we are at is for the best, it became an untenable situation but I am human and grieving a loss.  I miss the way he made me laugh, his generosity and kindness.  I chose to remember the good.  Good bye my love.  I wish you well.  I know I wasn’t always easy to love.  You may not have loved me the way I wanted you to but you did and for that I will always be grateful.  I learnt a lot with you.  I’m still sifting through it all. 

I know I will come out of on the other side of this sadness healed.