QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER: I have lost my heart, best friend, boyfriend, support system and voice of reason. I am 29 years old and I feel like I have lost my everything. I have to wake up one day at a time and start over. And it’s hard. I have survived stage 3 ovarian cancer and that situation takes a definite back seat to the pain I am in right now. Our love story was a classic one.
Tim and I met in kindergarten and have been friends ever since, we didn’t start dating until after college. His family is my family and vice vera. He moved to Boston to be with me. We did everything together cooked, cleaned, took walks, had inside jokes and spent every holiday together making each one more special than the next. I thought with all my heart I would be with him covered in wrinkles at the end. I was wrong.
Background story: It took Tim a year to get a job here in Boston. I was the sole source of income. Yes it was hard, yes I had to make sacrifices. But I thought it was worth it. I spent my mornings before work printing his resume out and prepping him for a job interviews. When he got a job I was over the moon happy and proud. Thinking things will be looking up as long as we had each other….no such luck…this is when things started to changed. He started picking me apart. Everything I said was wrong. I was walking on egg shells every time I stepped in our apartment. Then there was the excessive drinking and not coming home when he said he would. I told myself every relationship has up’s and downs and sometime you are not on the same page as one another. But is this normal – I would ask myself. After 5 years of not being able to talk about marriage and him becoming increasingly uncomfortable about the very thought of a future… took a toll on me. I am 29 years old. Gave 100% of me to this guy. And one night the unavoidable happened. He drunkenly broke up with me at our apartment. The kicker. Confirmed things with me over email the next day.
Now what? Yes, I have my incredible family and the best friends a girl could ask for in Boston. I just feel emotionally drained. How will things get better with my heart missing? I’m scared to actually have to start over again. Any advice you or your readers have for me I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much for your time !
Starting over in Boston
The doctor is: IN
Congratulations, woman! It’s an odd way to begin. Most people start with “sorry.” They tell you that “you’re better off,” whip out the “his loss,” then toss you a, “blessing in disguise.” And you want to yank out their vocal chords and feed them to the sea witch because no amount of “say” will make your pain go away. No matter what I tell you, what anyone tells you, you’re going to feel loss. All I can do is offer you a reminder, “Starting over in Boston.” And here it is: get used to it.
If you’re looking for comfort, if you want to feel better, dip into the Breakups & Breakthroughs section of stephanieklein.com. There’s plenty in there, believe me, that will lift your spirits and remind you that you’re not alone in any of this. But for right now, I’m going to give it to you without the sanding sugar.
The anxiety you’re feeling comes with transience. The sooner you realize that almost everything is temporary, that there are no guarantees in life, that anything can be yanked away from us [our health, our children, our job, our life, limbs, marriage, best friend, home] without a moment’s notice, the better off you’ll be. I’m not asking or even implying that you become a cynic. Or even a realist. I’m just reminding you, in perhaps the harshest way possible, that you will deal with this for the rest of your life. And the sooner you accept this, that changes will be thrust upon you—the bad, the good, some of your choosing—the easier this process will be for you to return to your normal self. The self who’s not reminding herself to breathe and eat.
Here’s what’s hard: you can’t protect yourself from being hurt again. You can’t limit how much you love things, hoping it will hurt less if you love less. The fact is that you need to use this time in your life as a tool, an opportunity to see what you’re made of, a chance to prove to yourself that you can get through this.
Here’s how I handled it: shit shit shit shit nuggets. I hate my life. I hate that I now question every little thing wondering what I did wrong. But then, after my snot was dry, I realized that when we’re in pain we do our most growing. And I would deal with this type of heartache again, so the sooner I learned to just wade through it, not fight it, just live through it, the better off I’d be the next time. The easier it would become to loosen my grip and open my palms and accept what’s in front of me.
Am I making any sense at all? Change can suck. It’s hard. Learning to move through change, embracing it instead of resisting is what makes us successful in life. And the sooner you learn how to do this, the easier, the happier, the healthier you’ll be in this life. The bullshit line about this being an opportunity isn’t actually bullshit. This is your chance to grow, to make your life easier down the road. This is the moment on which you will look back and say, “Thank God” and “It was then that I first started to learn the most important lesson of my life.”
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