In the last five years of my life, I have lost pieces of myself in relationships that I was certain were meant to be until a harsh reality sunk in more and more each day.
I had to make a highly difficult decision this weekend and end another relationship that I was certain was meant to last forever. Even though I still love and care for this person, deep down I know it was best for us to part ways. It was painful; tears were shed and hearts were broken.
It still hurts. I haven’t been on my own since 2011. After I ended an engagement in 2014, I immediately started a relationship with someone I had been friends with for a long time and we fell in love with each other. I jumped from one relationship to another without thinking about the repercussions of that decision. Fast forward to now, I came to the realization that we needed to part ways and take care of ourselves on our own.
I will not go into the details of our relationship as that is not anyone else’s business but ours. Instead. I will focus on the premise of getting to know oneself, working out issues and maintaining confidence and self-esteem before committing to a serious relationship.
After the breakup, I realized that I am “alone” for the first time in a long time. Frankly, I am terrified. I am not used to sleeping alone or being alone when I am not at work or elsewhere. I will admit that I am scared because being “alone” is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for me. That just tells me I need to get back to me and take care of myself for quite some time.
I put “alone” in quotation marks because I am truly not alone. I have my family, friends and my baby, Olivia. (She is not a real baby for those that don’t know me, she is a cat, but she is my baby.)
My heart is still heavy. The tears have stopped (for now), but I am slowly starting to feel OK with being on my own. I know I need to take a step back and reflect on what I want out of life, meet my goals, take better care of myself, focus more on work, school, friends and hobbies.
Without going into detail, I reached a point where being in the relationship became so stressful that my work, health, sleep and overall well-being were suffering. I was suffering. However, I denied that anything was wrong and convinced myself that everything was right. It wasn’t.
I need to get myself back on track before I even think about dating again, let alone entering a relationship. That will happen when the time is right and I have all of my shit together.
The coming days, weeks and even months will be hard since I invested two and a half years in this person and built a life with this person. It breaks my heart to know his is broken too. It is a loss, so we will both grieve. In fact, I am grieving the loss of the relationship. It will take time, self-care, self-reflection and strength to move forward.
It is time to get back to me and get to know me. I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said I truly knew myself. I don’t, I’m still getting to know who I am. Yet, I believe all of us are in one way or another.
I’ll take it easy and take it one day at a time instead of dwelling on the past or obsessing over the future. That is easier said than done, but I believe I am capable of learning to live in the present while planning for the future.
This won’t be easy. Like my dad said, “If life were easy, we’d all be living on Easy Street.” Nothing good or worth having comes easy.
Even when I am having a hard day, deep down I know I’ll be just fine and this is a fresh start. When the time is right, I’ll find love again. For now (and always), I have to love me.