Time, My Healer

I discovered why a heartbreak is called exactly that on a Wednesday afternoon in September. All it took was six words to fill my world with immense physical pain; my heart stopping for a moment, my heart dropping into the soles of my feet, my heart breaking into a thousand pieces inside me.

I can’t be with you anymore.

I can’t be with you anymore.

I can’t be with you anymore.

His words and the way they brought me to my knees on my bedroom floor still haunt me today, almost four months later. Triggered by the subtlest sights and inconspicuous smells, I replayed that day over and over in my wake and in my sleep, looking for answers in the past, picking at the scabs of the wound and refusing to move on.

Time dragged on in what seemed liked forever, and the days blurred into long nights as winter crept its viscous fingers through the cracks in the doors. I lived monotonously, completely devoid of life. My friends and family urged me to move on, to forget, but I was too comfortable being miserable; the pain in my heart made me feel alive in a way that I had never felt before. Was I really capable of feeling this way? Was I that raw? That human? I knew what love was, but desolation?

And when everything else is gone, are we left with nothing but anguish?

The ache shadowed my every move and eventually became my friend. I nurtured it with tears and nightmares and confided in it with my darkest thoughts until it grew into something stronger than any other force I have ever encountered -self love. And it wasn’t until my ex’s name was brought up in a random conversation two months later that I realized that I hadn’t thought of him for an entire week.

My heart was beginning to mend its broken pieces with a little bit of help from time and pain, and I found myself fully immersed into ‘project me’ where I was figuring out what I wanted, and most importantly, my worth. The next few weeks felt like laying in a meadow, watching the clouds contort into different shapes as they passed by, and giggling as the soft breeze tickled the hair on my arms. I was still tender, but my heart was beating again; I could hear it pulsating in my ears and I could feel it vibrating in my wrists. I was alive. The worst was over, but was it really that bad? Had I not come out of it a stronger woman?

My four year relationship came to a sudden halt, and with it, shredding the blueprint of a future I so badly wanted to share with someone I truly cared for. The memory of it still sends shivers down my spine in the same way tremors continue to shake the grounds after an earthquake, but with each shudder I am reminded of how invincible I am. I am no longer moved by sad songs, nor do I tear up every time I go to a familiar place – I have finally set fire to all our memories because holding on to them was only causing more pain.

And so, as I sit here, writing and erasing and rewriting my thoughts, I realize that the healing process is far from over. Some days are easy, but others are equally hard; the yearning I have to reach out to him, to hear his voice, to see if he is okay cradles me every now and then, but I remain steadfast in my pursuit of self-fulfillment. And if I have to carry a fractured heart in my chest, a heart that is too afraid to beat for anyone else but myself, then so be it. Break ups are never easy, but with time, and most importantly, a grieving process, they become more bearable until we ease into an improved version of ourselves. We may never feel the same kind of love again, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t’ be better, more fulfilling, more nourishing.

I read hundreds of articles on how to cope with break ups and at first they seemed recklessly written and juvenile. Time will heal, be patient, it’s time to focus on yourself. They bombarded me with notions of deluding myself when all I wanted to do was lock myself away and cry until my blood ran dry. But now, looking back at my journey I realize that every word I had read was absolutely true. I had to be patient and trust in the inevitable course of time passing.

Like sore throats and fractured bones, broken hearts heal too. And although it leaves behind a more permanent scar, the wound becomes an opening into the most beautiful parts of us. There is a time for pain and, in return, a time for healing.

“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” – Marcel Proust