5 months

It’s been five months today since we said goodbye. Five months since I saw Monkey, five months of sleepless nights, five months of not knowing how to eat, how to sleep, how to get out of bed, how to talk to people, how to be productive, or fulfilled or inspired or anything but numb.

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This is NOT where I thought I would be five months later. I was certain I would have my condo set up how I wanted it, I would have a routine, I would be on the verge of a new job, I would be healthy and fit, and I would feel content. I thought I would miss you, but in a peaceful way, not in the most painful, heartbreaking way.

I moved to Denver with you, I bought a condo in Denver thinking we’d still be in each other’s lives, and here I am, alone in this condo that still doesn’t feel like home, in a city that doesn’t feel like home, in a body that doesn’t feel like mine and in a world that I no longer understand where I belong.

Shortly after we said goodbye my knee decided to ‘enter the room’ if you will. It started making this awful popping noise and then it started causing pain. I could no longer workout, let alone walk up a flight of stairs without pain. I started physical therapy with small improvements but not enough to live the fit, active lifestyle that I had imagined. Then I got the MRI done, and the cortisone shot, and still, to no avail my knee is speaking up loud and clear. It’s weird when you have to make a change to your life because of something that feels so out of your control. I did not expect to have to slow down, not only emotionally, but physically since we said goodbye. I know I’m supposed to be learning a lot about myself through this, but it’s hard to find clarity through the pain.

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This blog is for me, to process, to learn, to grow, to be sad, to be me. It happens to be public, where others can comment, and read, and like, or dislike. But this is not a cry for help, this is not for pity, or guidance, or advice. This is not to trash talk anyone, or put guilt on anyone, this is for me. Social media is such a strange thing. I posted something on my personal Instagram account today and a few people reached out from the woodworks asking how I was doing. I am not doing well, and I don’t want to talk to you about it. I also don’t want you to reach out because of something you saw on social media, I want you to reach out because you know this is hard, not because I’m posting something on Instagram. I want you to show up at my door, with coffee, and your dog, and take me on a walk and tell me about your day. Tell me what’s going on in your world, the ups, the downs, the excitement, the hardships, and let me listen. Let me be there for you because I no longer want to be in my head, or in my heart, or in my stomach. I want to show up for someone else, and have them simultaneously show up for me. I don’t want to ‘make plans’ or ‘work around a schedule’ or have to prepare. I just want you to knock on my door, give me a hug, don’t ask how I’m doing but just tell me what we’re going to do. Tell me you made plans, and took some time to do those plans with me. Tell me that you made time for me, not because it was convenient, or ‘on the way’ or you were ‘in the neighborhood’ or because you felt like I needed it, but because you wanted to show up, and in turn I’ll listen. I’ll listen to what’s going on in your world, and I’ll show up for you. I don’t want pity, I don’t want attention, I just want genuine connection. And with time, I’ll start opening up and talking again.

Emotions are such a weird thing – sometimes people want to be coddled, and held, and listened to, sometimes people get physically violent, or hide away in their shells until they are ‘better.’ Some people turn to vices, some people go to the gym, some people eat, or stop eating. We all want something different and it’s crucial for us to learn what we emotionally need from the people in our lives, and learn how to genuinely, and kindly tell them. We need to learn when we need different types of emotional support, because one size doesn’t fit all. We want people to inherently know, and show up correctly every time, but we don’t even know what that looks like most of the time.

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Five months in and other people in my life thought I’d be past this and in a good spot, but now that I’m not they want me to ‘lighten’ up and not be dramatic about how I’m feeling, and fake it till I make it, and just pretend to be happy. I have been this person for other people too. I thought, until now, that you could force your way out of emotions. That if you kept showing up, you would get better, and it would get easier and you could start moving on. That you could ‘put your big girl panties on,’ show up and your mind would get better. That hasn’t worked this time, and it’s making this process that much more painful.

I told a friend recently that I feel so broken and that this breakup crushed me and she, in a very loving way, said that she’ll accept a lot of emotions from me, but that these two she could not accept. That I’m doing so well and that I’m so lucky to be where I’m at in life. She is not wrong – I have my health, own my own condo, I have a good job, and a family who would always be there for me – but with all of these blessings I still feel broken and crushed. It’s the weirdest feeling to have your heart actually hurt, day in and day out. That’s what feels broken. To no longer know how to get out of bed in the morning, or how to fall asleep at night, or how to feed myself, or get things done on my condo. This video came across my feed today and it hit hard, and reminded me that these feelings and emotions are normal, and countless people have gone through these same exact emotions before.

Five months in, and while it feels like I haven’t gained any clarity, I am learning my voice. I am learning why this was exponentially harder for me than I thought it would be, what kind of support I’ve been seeking, that I started to find out who I was in this relationship, and now that it’s gone I need to find that person again. The one who (with a little support) wanted to push her boundaries, who started to feel more confident in her own skin, who knew how it felt to have a group of friends to turn to, who fell deeply, madly in love. I can also now see the girl who lead out of fear, of being left behind, of not being good enough, strong enough, pretty enough, confident enough. While I haven’t been able to practice this, I’m learning about what triggers me to want to escape a situation, and how to look inward and use my voice to stay in a situation, to ask for help. To remind the other person that I’m all in, and if I’m afraid that I can’t be, then asking them to be the strong one for our relationship in that moment.

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Some people are more comfortable being single than others, and some people have lots of distractions (busy career, busy social life, going on one off dates) that they can find contentment in their singledom. Ultimately though I don’t think we’re supposed to be alone, and we are all seeking connection in all facets of our life. That girl, who acts out of fear, is still very much alive in me. I am afraid to go to a workout class on my own (also, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic….), I am afraid to go to an event on my own, or even sit at a restaurant by myself. I want connection so badly, but I’m not putting myself in the place for connection to happen.

I don’t want to edit this post, to make other people feel more comfortable about it. I want to be raw, and real, because I’m finally learning how to be emotional. Do I like it? No….. Do I want to remember this person and what she’s going through and how far she’s come and the real, honest place I’m in? Yes.

I hope we can all find grace for one another, meet the people in our life where they are, and keep moving.

“If you cannot fly, then run; if you cannot run, then walk; if you cannot walk, then crawl; but by all means, keep moving.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

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