I honestly thought this one was “the one.”
We were so connected, so aligned. Our relationship felt like two weird and wonderful puzzle pieces that couldn’t possibly fit anywhere else but together. It wasn’t perfect, because nothing is, but it was ours—and it was magic.
And then one day, completely out of the blue, he left. He didn’t tell me where he was going or when he was coming back. He grabbed his backpack, said he needed space, and never came home again.
Four days passed.
I reached out again and again during those four days and was met with either coldness or silence. My back flared up. My stomach was in knots. It felt like I was in the twilight zone, as if this just couldn’t possibly be happening.
And on day four, I got the text. “We just grew apart and I’m not in this all the way. It’s best we go our separate ways.”
I called and I called and I called. He wouldn’t pick up. He wouldn’t talk to me. He wouldn’t (and hasn’t) given me a fair explanation, a fiber of compassion, or an ounce of closure.
Shock. Trauma. Heartbreak. Rage. Confusion. Disbelief. Sadness. In cycles. One after the other, back and forth and back again. It was (and is) the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced.
But the ultimate cosmic joke that I came to realize in the days that followed was that I was experiencing the deepest wound of my life thus far, and I was the most capable I had ever been to handle it.
I reached out to my friends who are also healers. Reiki masters, tarot readers, bodyworkers, intuitives. I allowed folks to hold space for me. I talked it out, processed my pain, allowed myself to feel the full spectrum of human emotion. I pulled cards, lit candles, journaled, and nurtured myself as best I could.
I know how to heal. Healing is the work. Healing is my work.
Over the past several years I’ve learned how to identify my triggers, name my feelings, process my trauma, and reclaim my worthiness. I know that this breakup isn’t about ME, and I know I am worthy of love and belonging. It doesn’t make it any less painful, but it does mean that I’m able to stay tethered to myself, that I can be totally NOT OKAY, all while knowing that it’s okay not to be okay.
I’m able to unpack the situation without my worthiness being challenged—to see with clarity that people unprocessed trauma have no choice but to unleash that trauma onto others. I’m capable of coping in healthy, effective ways, and learning the lessons from this experience.
Most of all, I’m learning, again and again, to detach from what was “supposed to be” and live fully in what is. Ugh. The Universe, ya know?
I don’t know what these past few months would have been like if I hadn’t been doing my own healing work all of these years. I don’t know how I would have survived or what state I’d be in as I write this. What I do know is that I didn’t numb or distract while in the initial stages of this trauma. I didn’t use alcohol to cope, as I’d done in the past. I didn’t blame myself. I didn’t self destruct.
I didn’t give up hope or harden my heart. I refuse to close myself off to the force.
And I was able to do this because I have spent years cultivating these tools. I’ve read, journaled, unpacked, introspected, and processed. Listen, I wish I didn’t have to use these tools—this heartbreak SUCKS and I don’t wish it on anyone—but I’m glad that I knew how.
I’m not yet in a place where I’m grateful for these shadows; that part comes later, much later. But I am grateful for all the shadows that came before, the ones that taught me how to heal, the ones that showed me over and over again that everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be, even when it’s not how I wanted it to be.