Yep, that’s right.
Almost 5 long years – and it’s come to an end. An abrupt end, for me, but an end none the less.
For the sake of not crossing any privacy lines, I’m not getting into any details about why or what happened.. Having a blog is weird like that. What’s okay to share, and what’s too much? Being open about myself is one thing, but being open about others is different.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, we’re both a bit torn up over it. Yes, it feels totally weird and totally unnatural. Yes it was for the best.
But the rest of the world is moving on, and so should I (even if all I want to do it sleep and not shower, and not move and not do anything productive).
I’ve been through this before… not to this extent of course, but I’ve been in love. I’ve dealt with heartbreak. I was 17, so this is very different and much harder- I mean, we lived together. Not only did I lose a significant other, but I lost my job, my home, my town, my friends, his family – I mean, I got so close to his family – I had all these big city Raleigh opportunities, ACCESS TO HIS HULU ACCOUNT, and a future with someone that I thought was solid and all planned out.
But the last time I went through this, it killed me. I was so sad and so depressed and so negative. Like, I didn’t want help. I didn’t want to get over anything. I just wanted to sit there and be angry and cynical.
NOT THIS TIME, UNIVERSE.
5 years is a long time. It changes the dynamic of your life and the complexity of your emotional range and shit. I mean, when long term relationships end, you whole life changes. I have to find a new job and I had to move back home, and I have to reconfigure my entire future.
But it’s not all bad.
I have the world at my finger tips. Before we got together, I wanted to move to New York. Then at the beginning of our relationship, I wanted to move to Orange County, CA. I don’t want to live in North Carolina forever, but his job was keeping him here and he wanted to be here, so I arranged my future in a way that it all worked together. But now that I don’t have to do that, what do I want?
There’s a lot to consider and think about now that I am where I am in life. And I’m determined to use this time for positive change, so here are 9 ways I’m going to survive my long term relationship breakup, inspired by Britany Ederveen’s Breakup Project (linked at the bottom).
- I’m Going to Manage the Shock.
When life has been one way for so long, and it ends all at once, you’re literally in shock.
Like when you jump into freezing water and can’t catch your breath.
Being home with my family is definitely helping with that, and being in a town where there are things going on and I can be around old friends helps distract me from the weird nausea and the fact that I was literally kicked out of my own life.
Being able to distract myself and keep myself busy is so important in getting over the shock that immediately follows a long term relationship breakup.
So how do I do that, when all I want to do stay in bed?
I’m signing up for classes or activities that I enjoy. Forcing myself to sign up for things that will get me out and get me moving.
I’m going to go to the gym. Maybe take a yoga class.
I’m taking my work to parks, coffee shops, or other people’s houses. I have to get out of my house. I can’t be here alone.
I’m going to call family and friends. I’m going to keep my mind occupied with other people.
- Take Care Of Myself.
Force myself to take a shower.
Put on makeup.
Do my hair
When I feel good about myself, it ups my confidence which just makes me feel better in general.
- Delete Him From My Life.
I actually chose not to do this because I don’t want to delete him out of my life, exactly. Instead, I got rid of conversations I might find myself reading over and over, and I got rid of most of our photos. I need to be able to ignore and avoid if I’m ever going to heal. Keeping tabs on your ex-person will only fuel the fire. If you need to, delete everything from social media. This again, wasn’t something I wanted to do. But some people need a total cleanse to begin their healing process. For now though, the thought of being completely cleansed of him still hurts and kinda feels weird, so I’m not doing that.
- Let Myself Grieve.
I’m going to let myself 100% feel this.
It’s important to process your emotions – this was a big deal for me and I can’t ignore my sadness, frustration, anger, and all the other emotions that come with such a thing. If I need to cry, I’m going to let that shit out, dammit.
It’s okay to cry.
And I know every day that goes by, will get easier.
And each day will feel different.
And each day will be a different obstacle.
A different memory that pops into my head, and different question about my life, about him, about our life together for those years.
And I’m going to embrace it. I’m going to embrace these feelings, and feel them totally and completely. Releasing these emotions and words into the universe will help me heal and move on to different emotions and thoughts, thus allowing this process to take place.
- Talk It Out.
It might suck, but I’m going to do it anyways. I will talk to my mom, my dad, my aunt, every one of my friends, my blog (lol), my journal, a counselor even – I will talk to everyone. This goes with the last point – talking is a huge part of healing. Put the words out there, articulate the feelings, and talk it out.
I’m going to think about it. Like, a lot. After the initial shock and after being able to somewhat accept what has happened, I want to remember the why – learn self awareness and realize what I could have done better so I know not to make the same mistakes in the future. I want to be aware of the kind of person I am and why I acted the way I did: why wasn’t I happy? Why wasn’t he happy? What can I do differently next time? I’ll make a pros and cons list about the relationship and really look at it for what it was, and not for what I thought it was through my rose colored-relationship-love goggles. I’ll Figure out how I can grow from this situation and be better.
- Be Real & Don’t Obsess.
I’m going to be real with myself: He was also part of the relationship, and he’s having to adjust to life without me just like I am. I’m not alone. We’re both grieving the loss of a huge chunk of our lives.. It’s weird.
But I’m not going to obsess over “what ifs”. The only thing that’ll come of that is anger, anxiety, and hot flashes. LOL.
“What if there was another girl”
“What if he didn’t love me anymore”
“What if it was because of my illness”
“What if I didn’t fit in his plans anymore”
“What if he didn’t find me attractive anymore”
These questions don’t solve anything. They don’t help. They don’t heal. The relationship is over – the why doesn’t matter. All that matters, is healing my heart and bettering myself in the process.
- Doing What I Love.
There are things I stopped doing when we got together, maybe not all at once, but slowly. Things that I loved, that he didn’t. Things he wouldn’t do with me because he just didn’t like it, so I stopped doing them altogether. Art was a huge one. I’ve been taking art classes since I was 12. I love to draw and paint, and it’s always something that was so therapeutic for me. He didn’t like to do that, which was fine – but eventually, I stopped doing it, myself. I just stopped finding time for it, I guess.
I mentioned this a bit before, but I wanted to move out of North Carolina before we got together too. But I was so in love and so comfortable with him and what we had, that I couldn’t imagine doing life the way I had planned before. And I accepted it as a “change in personality” for me, and told myself that I was just growing up. But looking at things now, I think I was just convincing myself to create a future that would work with what career and life he was already living. And I hate that I allowed myself to force my life and future into a mold that was cast by the life he got to choose for himself, without giving any thought to the life I wanted for myself.
After such a long time being with someone else, you tend to lose yourself a little. I’m going to use this time to figure out what I want, do things I’ve always wanted to do, be who I’ve always wanted to be, and truly get reconnected with my own soul. It’s important to be in touch with yourself but it’s hard to keep that connection alive when you’ve given yourself to someone else for so long.
- Find Forgiveness.
Ahh, forgiveness. We’re all imperfect humans and we all act in ways that don’t seem to ever live up to the standards we set for others. If I want to be forgiven, I must forgive. But when you’re going through a breakup, it obviously hurts. It hurts your ego, your heart, your .. entire being. And it’s easy to slip into anger. But what’s done is done. And learning to let go and forgive is the hardest part, but the quickest way to feel better. Harboring resentment only hurts you – don’t forget that.
And while I’m at it, I’ll forgive myself, too. Because Lord knows I feel so so so guilty for things I did or didn’t do. Even if for some of them, I shouldn’t. But the guilt can eat you alive if you let it. And again – none of us are perfect and we deserve the same forgiveness from ourselves. The same understanding. The same love and caring nature.
Like I said, this post was inspired/based off Britany Ederveen’s own “Breakup project” story, which she ended with:
“A six-year relationship is significant: we experienced a lot of the fundamentals of growing up together and I really would not be who I am today without him. While breakups are incredibly taxing, I would not change this [past year] for the world; I have met some incredible people, done some phenomenal things, and most importantly, learned so much about myself while in the process. What I have proven to myself is that I can survive a breakup. When thinking about going into another relationship, of which I someday will, I feel a sense of liberation and fearlessness, because I have proven to myself that my life will go on and no matter what happens, I will thrive.
And that, my friend, is powerful.”
So what the actual fuck is my plan now?
I think I’m going to focus on my blog, making money so I can move, and finding a career that actually suits my personality and what I want for my life free from anyone else’s plans for theirs.
My sister graduates in December, her lease is up in August, and then we could really go anywhere.