There’s a story I’ve been wanting to share with you guys for quite some time. It all started a couple years ago…
I was fresh off a breakup with a guy I thought I was destined to marry. We had been high school sweethearts of sorts and reconnected right after I’d finished vet school. He was living in Florida and I had just moved back to Arizona a couple of months before. I responded to a message he’d sent me on Facebook, never really expecting to hear back, and was surprised when he called me the very next day. We hadn’t spoken in nearly ten years, yet somehow, magically, we picked up right where we’d left off.
From there, we fostered a relationship of late night phone calls and long distance visits. He seemed to ‘get’ me like no one else ever had. It sounds cliché, but I really believed he could see right through to my soul. It was everything I’d ever dreamed of, a childhood romance revisited. I was in love.
We kept things fairly light over the next two years, speaking often but made no real commitment. We were realistic – we lived miles apart and were both rooted in our respective cities and careers. Still, he was the one person I could always lean on, and remained a constant in my life. It wasn’t too long before we decided to bridge the distance between us. He asked me one day, somewhat out of the blue, to move to Ft. Lauderdale. I was elated at the possibility, yet terrified to take such a big leap of faith. Still, I said yes, and we began quickly making plans, spending many more late nights on the phone, sorting out the details. I never did move to Florida. Over the next few months, our relationship became strained and unraveled shortly thereafter, seemingly without much warning.
To say I was devastated didn’t even begin to explain the way I felt. All of my hopes, dreams and plans had shattered before my eyes. I felt like a fool. Like most people, it wasn’t my first time on the receiving end of a relationship gone bad. I felt the heavy weight of all my past failed relationships crash down on top of me. Days went by and I was numb. I racked my mind endlessly for what might have gone wrong. I talked to my friends and family but felt like no one truly understood. I felt so alone.
A few weeks after the breakup, I traveled to Chicago for a girls’ weekend with my two best friends and I can remember coming back to the hotel one night and just breaking down, tears flowing uncontrollably. My friends consoled me of course, but no amount of consolation could really comfort me at the time. I felt like I had lost all hope – in romance, in love, and to some small degree, in life.
Then one afternoon in September, feeling particularly lost and empty, I was bored at work and browsing on the internet. I can’t even recall what I typed into the search engine but before I knew it I found myself staring at a website for a local therapist. I filled out a brief email contact form and sent it off into the abyss. I was a little startled when she wrote back promptly, offering a free phone consult to see if we were a good match. A few minutes later, I was in the parking lot with my phone in hand, dialing her number.
It felt awkward at first, unloading my personal problems to a total stranger, yet her voice was comforting and kind and something drew me in. Intrigued, and admittedly, a little desperate, I scheduled an appointment to see her the following week. I had already hit rock bottom and figured I really had nothing to lose. I had nowhere to go but up.