It’s been more than a year since my last post. And things are mostly good with me. But I have to write this and the place it needs to go is here.
I’m still well. Things are going incredibly well at work. I’ve moved into a nicer flat. I’m going back to university later this year, hopefully. My social circle has expanded slightly. Every so often I’m amazed by the way that I cope with the shit that does come my way. It amazes me because I’m not really used to finding myself using healthy coping strategies. But I find myself doing it automatically.
I’ve taken risks with my feelings in the knowledge that I can deal with the fallout when things go wrong.
And this is a way of dealing with the fallout now that things have gone wrong. My first important relationship since my recovery has ended and now my heart feels like it’s been shredded into a thousand little shards.
I got together with her last year after meeting her while working at our other site, about 5 hours away from home. It was good. For various reasons, mostly to do with her being where I was emotionally a couple of years ago and the distance, we broke up in January. It was kind of mutual. It sucked. I asked her if she wanted to move here, but she declined. So yesterday, while I was back at the other site through another work thing, I went to see her.
We talked for a couple of hours. Mostly about her. She’s getting therapy and looks far more hopeful than I’ve ever seen her. She also has a new boyfriend. But apart from that, the things that make the relationship impossible haven’t gone anywhere. It’s nobody’s fault really. But it seems so unfair and it hurts like a motherfucker. I got a taxi back to the hotel, then wept harder and longer than I can remember ever doing. I cried at my last break-up, too, but I was doing the breaking-up and I was crying because I hated hurting someone I still cared about. Then, after I stopped crying, I went to sleep. And when I woke up I cried again.
I’ve never been able to deal with these kinds of feelings before, so this is a first for me. Before, either the feelings were so intense they were impossible to cope with, a swirling vortex of pain that seemed more a force of nature than something human and tractable. Or the feelings weren’t there and there was nothing an emptiness that persisted for years. It’s weird. Feeling hurt like this is a good thing for me. Without experiencing the pain, you never actually deal with it. And if you can’t deal with the pain then you never move on from it. This is not the end of the world: It just feels like it. And even now, slowly, it gets easier.
Last night, when I was talking to her, I told her how I wished that I couldn’t deal with it, how I wished that it wouldn’t be OK. I don’t think I explained it very well at the time, but what I meant was this: It’s far easier in the short term to succumb to the swirling votex of pain or the empty void of feelinglessness, it’s simple and requires no effort at all. This right here requires a whole lot of effort. After I stopped crying in the morning, I showered and dressed and put the feelings away in a box in my head while I had to concentrate on work. And now I’m back home, I can take the feelings out again. I’ll be OK. I wish I didn’t have to be. But I’ll be OK. And there’ll be a next time, which will be a bit easier because I’ll know the territory.