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I know what you are thinking. The phrase traumatic breakup sounds a tad redundant. A break-up is always hard, the rug beneath your feet being swiftly pulled away by forces that are beyond your control. You feel displaced, out of depth, like a part of you has ceased to exist.
Our break-up transpired 9 months into our relationship, we were sitting at our regular pub with the second round of pitchers of our favourite cocktails when he just broke down at my simple question, “Where do you think we are headed?” He apologized and tried to explain, he was extremely fond of me but he just wasn’t in love with me.
Over weeks and months, I went through the five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - over and over again. Initially, I downloaded Tinder with the intention of getting back on my feet, also to show him what he was missing out on. A couple of one night stands followed, but nothing helped me in getting over him. A wise soul told me on our first date, “You can only get over him if you stop being the person you were with him.”
With him I was an anxious ball of energy, ticked off by his inability to reply to my messages for hours on end and not meeting me often even though he just lived 20 minutes away. In spite of being utterly besotted by this emotionally distant person, I knew something didn’t quite fit. And yet, I fought on, with his misplaced belief that love could fix everything.
When we snapped the cord, I had no choice but to reflect inwards, focus on myself. Of course, I was talking about him to anyone who would listen, but being kind and patient with myself became a priority. Love’s position reduced from being an all-encompassing magical alchemy to just simple companionship.
As cliché as it may sound, how could I expect others to find the best in me, when I held myself in the harshest light?
If you are also struggling with your break-up, the book, Becoming: Sex, Second Chances, and Figuring Out Who the Hell I am (Rs 659), is a must read!
And thus begun, my journey of self-discovery. My Eat, Pray, Love-esque moment when I consciously made the decision to be single for a year.
Contrary to popular perception, not looking for love doesn’t magically yield in love beckoning you to give it a shot. But it gives you perspective. I found myself writing and reading more often - two hobbies which I value more than dear life. I went to spoken word poetry events on my own, I watched La La Land on the big screen and sobbed in the comfort of not knowing anyone around me. Wandering off to cafes, just to read a book and rate their cold coffees became my favourite past time. I met friends who recounted similar instances of falling out with lovers, in sharing our pain, we weren’t alone anymore.
I learned that it is okay to take time off, even in your personal life, if you feel burned out. No relationship is perfect, but once the inevitable lack of reciprocation is certain it is okay to let the grief take over you so that you can mourn but finally let go.
Next week will mark a year since my break-up which unravelled me but also helped me find myself in a brand new way. And I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
Buy yourself this pretty floral skater dress (Rs 999) and take yourself on a date because why not?!