I met him four years ago. He was handsome and tall and spoke English like an Englishman. He played the piano and someone had introduced him to me as a pianist because I sang. (Now that I think about it, maybe we would have made the perfect couple, like my parents)
We seemed to hit it off right from day one, talking about everything and nothing and laughed late into the night. We read together, went to class together, went to church together, and choir rehearsals and every other place there was to go to together. We shared everything (well almost everything), our dreams and fears and goals and failures. We had a whole life ahead of us. I love words: poetry, small notes, letters, any form they came and he knew how to give me these little surprises that warmed my heart and I’d stay up late some nights, reading them and giggling like an idiot.
He was responsible, strong, disciplined, funny, intelligent, handsome, and he had a relationship with God. I loved him. I was willing to go to any length for him, willing to stay with him when it was hard to get up from bed to face the troubles of day, willing to stick with him even when I knew he didn’t even have enough for himself, talk less sharing with me. You can say that if I had a second chance at life and I had to pick who I wanted to be with, I would pick him over and over and over again. Not that he didn’t have terrible flaws, but something in me just seemed to overlook them. Note that those flaws were his undoing because I’m a kick-ass lady *winks*
So three years down the line and three years of his persistence and I finally said yes. I thought it had be electric and it will send butterflies running round my tummy but it didn’t. It was quiet. He was strangely and unusually quiet. It was a quiet walk home and I assumed (wrong move that was: you must never assume for a guy). So I assumed that he probably was so happy that finally we get to be together and didn’t want me to see how stupid he’d look if he actually grinned and expressed himself. Boy was I wrong!
A lot of times we tend to look at the faults of the other person and analyze what they did wrong and what they did that hurt you and then we capitalize on it. But the truth is that sometimes, we might have had our own part to play in coming apart. I understand that at that point in time, we are blinded by our hurt and anger and frustration that all we see faults.
When he broke up with me, I felt like my world just came crashing down. It was worse than the feeling you get when a door gets slammed in your face. I wanted to cry but I just didn’t want to attract unnecessary attention. I took a bus back to my place and while walking, my heart started to beat faster and I started to hyperventilate as I began replaying all the scenes in my head. The break up scene, the words he said to me, the insults he doused on me, the poems I sent to him while trying to make things works and his thoughtless nasty reaction to it. I felt like the biggest fool of the century. I tried to pull myself together. I remember getting to my room, changing into more casual clothes and dashing off to my mentor’s room. I got there and broke down in tears. She seemed surprised to see me cry and she knew it was over. At that point nothing she seemed to say made me feel better. She talked about me finding a better man and how God worked like this sometimes and how God was prepping me for something even more beautiful.
All I could think about was nothing but the pain I was feeling. I felt empty. I felt like the oxygen in the air wasn’t enough to breathe anymore. I thought about all my compromises and mistakes, all my principles that I threw in the trash can to make him happy and I realized how stupid I was for spending the last cash I had on me buying him a present on Valentine’s Day only for him to confess to me later that he bought the scanty chocolate bars and flimsy card he got for me out of duty! I stooped low and made a fool of myself and I cried every other night after that. I had sleepless nights and long days and bouts of headaches and fever, even heart contractions sometimes. Sometimes I groaned out of my sleep and stayed awake through the night. Gradually as the slow days passed by, I started to smile again and they were sincere, I didn’t have to fake a laugh and I could even chuckle.
I honestly cannot tell you that there was one thing I did in particular that changed everything for me. I’ll say it was a series of actions born out of a decision to stop hurting and whining and crying and move on with my life. I didn’t know how that was going to happen but I knew, well at least a part of me wanted to leave that chapter. I’m grateful to heartbreak songs like Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri and Man who can’t be Moved by The Script. I’™m also grateful to my cute bear, Sebastian (yes I know it’s a goofy name) for soaking in all those tears.
God told me on one of those days when I went off into the quiet to talk to him, to make a list of ten things I loved about myself. I thought hard for a while then I started to write and got stuck on number 5. Then I knew I had to work on my esteem there. It may seem all calculated but it wasn’t as easy then as I speak now. So I started to take some steps to really move on. I was tired of hoping that he’ll come back. So I understand when someone says the best way to not get hurt is to never expect anything.
I took to journaling. I poured out my thoughts, my frustration, my anger, my pain and when I ran out of words because words were never enough, I would sit there and cry and draw little doodles and smileys or just scribble jargons on my journal.
Then my friend gave me a book Called a Break-Up because it’s Broken by Greg Behrendt. The title alone made me cry. I never imagined that there will be an end to us but here it was staring me in the face. So I stared at the book for a while. It wasn’t a christian book nevertheless, as I flipped through the pages of the book, I knew my healing process had begun. I poured over the book all day. I had sticky notes glued to the wall right above my head rest on my bed. There were different ones. One told me ten things to do in place of calling my ex, one told me my bestfriend was me and there’s nobody who could make me feel better other than myself, there was another to remind me how amazing I was regardless of what I did or didn’t do in the relationship. There was another that said to me;
your life is not a yard sale. It’s time to get rid of all the broken stuff that you’ve been lugging around for days, months, and maybe even years, and make the bold decision to start looking for stuff that works.
There are no hard and fast rules to recovering from one. I won’t take you down the spiral of hurt feelings and of crushed hopes and hearts because that will only make you cry again and hate him or hate yourself for letting it happen. You might have even stalked him for a while, hacking into his e-mail account or asking your mutual friends about what’s new in his life or going to his favorite restaurant or hanging out in places where you know you’re sure to see him. That would only hurt you even more especially when you find out that it seems he has moved on. (girl, you know those things that we do.)
I cannot carefully craft out a healing pattern or process as it were, if I did maybe I would have tagged it getting past the heartbreak. But I’ll say this: moving away from this stage of your life is born out of a decision; the decision to be happy, the decision to refuse to let anyone and anything put you down; the decision to love again and love hard because without love, life tastes bland and success is empty.
So change into a cute red dress, dab on some powder (I’m so grateful to concealer too, that make-up tool works wonders), put on rouge or orange lipstick and take yourself out on a nice dinner. Treat yourself to all the comfort you can afford,and don’t for a split second give room to hurt or pain or thoughts that might make you cry and I promise that with every step you take at being happy, you’ll find yourself going farther and farther away from everything that has held you down and you’ll embrace the beauty of being single and of course love when it comes along your way again BECAUSE IT WILL.
Written by Angela Adebiyi.