May 10, 2007

90 Days

Many weeks ago, when my days were filled with analyzing and tears, lying in bed immersed in depression and anxiety, wondering when it was all going to be better, I received a comment from someone.

She told me that going through a break-up can bring about actual physical responses in your body, and that you are going through a withdrawal, just like you would with anything else. It was going to take some time to get it all out of my system. In conversations with other friends about the same topic, they agreed that it takes your mind, as well as your body, quite a long time to heal, and there is no rushing it, people heal when they heal, and some take longer, especially when it comes to a broken heart.

However, because I couldn't stand the thought of being messed up over him indefinitely, I took the last part of her comment quite seriously. She told me that a friend of hers gave herself 90 days to completely get over a break-up. Ninety days didn't seem that long to me. Time flies, even when you aren't having any fun. I figured I'd pay attention, and see how it goes. My own little psychological experiment on myself.

After a few weeks of feeling like absolute shit, fighting anxiety attacks every day, and searching for my self-esteem and confidence all over the place, I started to feel better once the spring came, and I truly do credit my much more positive attitude to the weather. Spring fever was in the air, and I was reminded time and again that being single really can be fun when the weather is warm, and when you're out with your friends. You only have to worry about you. You can do what you want, and any consequences are your own. I didn't feel that I was mentally healthy enough just to run out and find someone else to date, or even jump into bed with for that matter, but knowing that I would be soon enough was a comforting thought. The knowledge that I had matured enough to know that I wasn't healthy enough to be with anyone, and I was just going to have to go it alone until I was, also made me feel much better about myself.

It wasn't until about day 60 or so though, that my thoughts were not consumed with that annoying little voice that kept telling me that maybe it could all work out, because I loved him. I stopped worrying about running into him, I stopped analyzing every little problem in the relationship and within myself, as much as I was. I still felt extremely lonely, but I could see all the good in my life, the positive changes I had made. I made big strides towards getting my self confidence back, without even realizing it, because I felt so low. I sang into a microphone that wasn't in the comforts of my own home, and am still getting compliments on my singing weeks later. I am selling my wares in an actual store, and they are flying off the shelves, and I am afraid I won't have anything left to sell at the Arts Festival in a couple weeks. I nabbed a job that pays well, and I truly enjoy. I started acting like myself again, and that brought about many wonderful compliments from friends and acquaintances, and young men who just wanted to dance with me, buy me a drink, and who just said all they wanted was to know my name, so they could explain to their friends who they were ogling.

But of course, despite all this good, when I was home, and alone, I was always wondering how he was doing. I was wondering if he was thinking about me. I waited for an email, a phone call, some sort of interaction. I wanted truthful answers, or even explanations that would be good enough, so I could put my mind at ease, but I didn't get them, and knew that I probably never would. I wanted him to be hurting just as much as I was, even though I knew that he wasn't. Above all else, I wanted to be able to be his friend, and keep things light and fluffy and kick my emotions to the curb so I could do just that, even though I was told time and time again that until I truly didn't care about him, that wasn't going to happen.

Around day 70, I started to think that friendship could happen, one day. When we talked, it was light and fluffy for the most part, with an air of uncomfortable phoniness. But no matter what I tried to tell myself, I still had feelings for him, for some reason that I couldn't put my finger on. Sure, I wasn't spending my days pining for him, shit I've got better things to do than that, but there was still something in the back of my brain and in my broken heart pestering me to be at my best and on my best behaviour, just in case he cared right back.

That all changed on day 73. I learned that he had moved on, long ago. Every thought I had in the 72 days prior, all of a sudden, like a kick in the face, came flooding back. Everything became clear, the wishful thinking, the horrible thoughts I had about myself, disappeared in an instant. With a clear head, I looked back on it all. I was embarrassed, and angry. Upset at the secrets kept from me, upset at the thought of all the lies, whether that is rational thinking or not. Upset at the feeling of being duped.Upset that I had been right all along, and should have just listened to my gut. Upset that he was right, I could do better. But mostly upset with myself, for not thinking I was good enough. And I was tired, tired of the tired game.

So here I am, at day 75. Angry, for so many reasons, but it's a healthy angry. I awoke today with a clear head, and a positive attitude, and a knowledge that I know what to do now to make myself better. Life isn't so bad when you're single, especially in the summer time. I have no interest in dating, I have no interest in getting my heart broken again. I don't deal with it very well, it's too hard. But at least I know who I am, and what I want, and most importantly, what I don't want. I'm ready to just get back to being me, and moving on, and just enjoying the company of friends and lovers.

Not that I'm all better. I am still hurt and damaged. I can't help but feel that the universe has played a little joke on me. But, day ninety isn't so far away anymore, and I can't help but wonder if the whole "it takes 90 days" theory isn't just bang on.


wench said...

the only good thing about having your heart broken is that you get a really up close and personal look at all the goodness that is inside it. that's you. abby the wicked sweet goodness girl!

savia said...

You're doing so well. I am really proud of you.

We seriously have to get together for drinks soon.

i am the diva said...

when i was going through a difficult breakup - people (mostly my mom, actually) kept telling me "it will only get better from here" and it used to drive me crazy. But it's true...and i know it will only getter better for you.

Abigail Road said...

Thank you ladies. You are all right, it will all get better in time, and I am doing quite well, considering I could very well lose my noodle and start throwing punches, and embarrassing myself even more at any given time. But I won't. 'Cause I'm mature like that.
Drinks are on me, whenever I see ya, and hopefully that won't be too far away.