After that realization, it became startlingly clear to me that I needed to go do something for myself Something to make me feel more in control, more ready to face life head-on.
I really liked to scuba dive and was certified for the sport a few years ago. I thought it was a good opportunity to take the Advanced course and see some aquatic wildlife again.
So I booked a trip to Bali and two weeks later found myself on a very rocky boat headed to a little island off the coast, idly wondering how many times I’d bumped my head in the last 10 minutes.
My little ball of pain still lingered like a dull ache in my chest, but for the first time since the breakup, I was genuinely excited. Jumping into the ocean felt completely surreal, even more so when, quite unexpectedly, I spotted my first turtle. It was just sitting there, as chill as fuck and so stupidly pleased with everything.
That turtle made me giggle, which, considering that I was 100 feet underwater, was a bit of a feat, but I achieved it nonetheless. It was at this point where it hit me.
I wasn’t thinking of Ben. I wasn’t in the pain of heartbreak.
I was just laughing at a turtle whose personality I had totally made up in my head.
That was it. This moment.
This moment was completely mine. And from this moment, I could make more moments mine and be completely in control of them. The “Eureka!“ effect was overwhelming.
Excitedly, I tried to communicate this to the turtle, but somehow the message didn’t get across, and after a while, I noticed that my driving instructors and the other students were looking at me strangely. It was a rather awkward ride back to shore, but so incredibly worth it.
I hadn’t exactly realized it at that time, but what I was experiencing were the effects of self-love. Because I had done something for myself, and truly enjoyed doing it, I had given myself the rare gift of well, me.
I picture self-love as having a plushie version of yourself around.
A little worn, a little creepy, but definitely huggable.
The more you take care of it, the more lovable you make it.
Sooner or later, you will discover, in astonishment, that your heart has gotten a lot lighter, and the coils of pain that once gripped it have long fallen away. And just like the turtle, you find yourself being free again.
So for right now, it’s fine if you’re not where you want to be just yet.
Heck, with my latest heartbreak so fresh in my mind, I’M not where I want to be just yet either.
But as long as you keep loving the heck out of that plush doll, as cheesy as it sounds, there is going to be hope.
And with that self-awareness, kinda like climbing out of an apocalyptic sea war with your turtle companions, you will be able to find the courage to look determinedly into the future and say to yourself: “I’m not OK right now, but I will be.
Enjoyed the comic about the the real pain of heartbreak? Leave a comment below.
Originally appeared on Steps To Happyness.com By Cherlyn Chong
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