The reality where plans which once held so much happiness and joy are gone.
The reality where someone you hoped would walk side by side with you into the unknown is no longer there.
Loss can do certain things to the soul.
The worst times are at night, when you’re alone with your thoughts.
It starts with numbness, followed by disbelief
Then comes the crushing pain of heartbreak.
Red hot, it curls around your entire being till it settles right around your heart, tight and heavy at the same time.
It’s a strange feeling when it hurts to even breathe.
Morning finds you waking up to a very scary and lonely world, and you wish you could hide away forever with your little ball of pain.
But life stubbornly decides to still move on.
It’s funny how everyone goes through breakups and knows exactly how painful they were, but yet can be surprisingly dismissive when it came to someone else’s.
“It’s not about meeting anyone!” I wanted to yell back.
What I really needed at that time was for friends to just listen, and not try to fix me.
Most of all, I needed them to not say “let me know if you need anything”, even though I knew it was well-intended.
I did need anything and everything, I really did. But when making it through each day takes up every bit of energy you have, sometimes even dialing a number becomes too much.
And because I was feeling so vulnerable, I couldn’t stand the guilt of being a burden to anyone, so reaching out for help was just. hard.
I guess that’s how I ended up listening to a lot of sad songs alone, including an embarrassing amount of Adele and Taylor Swift.
If I could give any advice to my past broken-hearted self now, it would be to do away with the sad songs.
They kinda make you go from this.
After one particular devastating breakup with an ex, I shall call Ben, I was doing a lot of crying myself raw, missing meals, and torturing myself with replays of memories long gone. There came a point where I realized I had to get some sort of a grip.
It was either that or slowly starve to death on my bed, and I really didn’t want “Heartbroken Sad Sod” engraved on my tombstone.
So I forced myself to squash my little ball of pain down and opened the door to get some takeout.
However, going outside seemed to also have its challenges.
It feels like you’ve completely made no progress at all when you pass by something that remotely reminds you of your ex.
The pain of heartbreak hits you like a tidal wave, and you’re suddenly overloaded with so many feelings that you just need to stop for a second and breathe.
It was an unassuming spot by a pond that triggered my memory-induced sad spell.
During a bad storm some months ago, Ben had lovingly sheltered me with his umbrella right there. I remembered how cold everything was, the warmth of his arms, and how safe I felt, and it really really hurt that he would no longer be there to do it anymore.
I was struggling to reel all my emotions back in when I noticed an older gentleman sitting nearby. He was dressed casually and was taking pellets from a packet to feed to some fish in the pond.
Every time he tossed food into the water, he would smile.
Seeing him there, quietly getting joy from such a simple act, made me realize that he would be associating this place with happiness, not pain. Here was someone who was just sitting there, with no clue how others felt about the place, giving out all these happy, contented vibes.
Suddenly I didn’t feel so bad anymore. Suddenly all my emotions kind of just gave way to a sense of curious awareness. Because, when you put it into perspective, a place is just a place really.
What it means to people is entirely within their heads. Which is a good thing, because at that time that meant that I could also change the memories to something that wouldn’t make me so sad anymore.
By making new ones.