In Which Even Amicable Breakups Have Stages of Recovery

In the past 9 days, I’ve realized that to every breakup there is a season.

A time for tears.
(He’s gone–And now I can’t give him that sappy card I was saving for a special occaision, and my weekends suddenly have far less purpose, and I had the best April Fools Day prank that now I can’t use, and my inbox is so. ridiculously. empty. JUST LIKE MY HEART sob.)

–Hey, no one said the tears were exactly logical.

A time for laughter.
(Yes, he REALLY said that. Men, right?)

A time for anger.
(At him. At myself. At life in general.
Half the time not even being sure at what or whom–You just want the pinpricks of hurt to be pointing anywhere but at the vulnerable areas a relationship exposes, and villainizing someone or something else is generally the easiest option.)

A time for ridiculous hopes.
(No, that text is NOT from him. No, he hasn’t sent an email. No, there will not be a letter from him waiting in the mailbox. No, he will NOT be standing on your doorstep when you get home, penitent for ever having imagined that life without you would be preferable to a life WITH you. No, life is not like a Hallmark movie or a Nicholas Sparks novel or a Romantic Comedy starring Meg Ryan.)

A time for ignoring facts.
(When nostalgia for the good parts and yearning for the lost intimacy and companionship conveniently ignores the many valid reasons for why the relationship has not continued.)

A time for self-doubt.
(Was I too idealistic? Too demanding? Too emotional? Too needy? Too self-conscious? Too over- analytical? Too selfish? Too boring? Too average? Too ambitionless? Too crazy? Too reserved? Not reserved enough?  He didn’t want me enough to keep me, so I must have done something wrong or somehow been not good enough. –This part tends to blend with the ignoring facts because it fails to consider that I, too, had valid reasons for letting go.)

A time for sorrow.
(There really were a lot of good times. Fun times. Happy times. Grand adventures. And that which was being built has halted mid-construction, never to be completed. And the broken shell of a building is sad.)

A time for meltdowns over seemingly innocuous triggers.
(It was 2.5 months instead of 3.5? He became THAT significicant in THAT SHORT of a time? 
-HE was the fact checker for my blog post about our breakup??? 
-I have a master’s degree, but I can’t do simple math accurately??
-Of all the people to witness my inability to do simple addition, it had to be THE PHYSICIST????
-Woe is me, I can’t even maintain a relationship for a full 3 months????)

Yeah, it goes sort of like that: Rapid-fire spirals of histrionic emotions that aren’t necessarily tied to anyone’s perceptions of angst-worthiness but my own.

A time for awkward transitions.
(Stilted conversations in new roles while the echoes of former roles resonate within the heart are difficult to navigate. Emotional undercurrents run deep beneath the things that are said. But they must be said, because friendship, like any relationship, is intentional. And eventually, the transition will be complete, and the awkwardness will abate. But the first few fumbling attempts are best done through electronic chatting so the inadvertent tears of a bittersweet exchange need be neither admitted nor acknowledged.)

A time for busy-ness.
(It’s too soon to jump back into casual dating, but a month of play rehearsals to clutter several evenings a week? Determination to tackle the dozens of unread books I’ve accumulated? Renewal of blog updating? It might be avoidance of truly dealing with the transition, but buying emotional distance helps with objectivity once one DOES start to actually deal.  )

A time for rationalization.
(Any of my wild hopes would require him to change into something that he’s not. If what I want is something that he’s not, then what I’m actually missing isn’t him but the hope for what our relationship could have been.)

A time for lists.
(Reasons why, reasons why not, things I’d like to say if I ever get the opportunity, things I wish I would have said, things I’m glad I didn’t say, things I wish I hadn’t said, things I would have liked to do with him once the weather grew warmer, things I don’t miss, things I do… the list goes on.)

A time for retail therapy.
(Why, Amazon Prime? WHY must your shipping be free???? Ah well, surely acquiring this new thing will soothe my troubled spirit, right?)

A time for remembering.
(Depending on my mood of the moment, those will be positive or negative, biased toward or against. Memory is  a fickle creature.)

A time for acceptance.
(Things aren’t that bad. Life is beautiful. My friends are wonderful. This chocolate is delicious. That sunset is gorgeous. so much positivity that I’m ok with the change and the silence and the things that aren’t going to be. I’m hopeful about tomorrow and next week and the future as a nebulous whole.)

The only trouble is that none of this is a linear progression. None of it is a once-and-done feeling. Rather than a line, it’s more like  a crazy web. Or a pinball game in which I ping pong around from point to point on an hourly basis. It is not unusual to hit most or all of them a some point throughout a given day in varying extremes of intensity (except for the retail therapy. Due to budget constraints, that one requires minimal indulgence.)

9 days have passed.
And soon I will be counting in weeks rather than days, in months rather than weeks.

And in a few months time, I will look back on this post and barely remember the intensity of most of these stages as they first occurred.
But until then, there is no way around. Just through.


4 thoughts on “In Which Even Amicable Breakups Have Stages of Recovery

  1. charlotteroyal

    While I am sorry about your breakup, I am delighted you are writing more frequently. Here’s to beauty and ashes, to the good times and hopeful futures.


    1. Thank you, Charlotte ^_^
      Indeed. It seems as though silver linings come with clouds (and snow in April if you live in Minnesota >_<) but the "ooooh-shiny!" is always lurking somewhere.

      (Thank you for being happy that I'm writing more. It pleases my dreadfully vain vanity when people like my writing ^_^)


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