an emotional roller coaster from start to finish
One of the best outtakes from any television show, ever.
I just coughed up a lung
A few months back, I was reading the textbook for my Death and Dying class. It was near the end of the book and was suitably about grieving. Grieving is something we all do at one point or another. In life, shit’s going to happen to you and there’s no way to just shrug it off. You’ll get hurt, sometimes very intensely, and the only way to return to “normal” is to let the pain run its course. Either way, I specifically remember reading about grieving for lost significant others. Regardless of how they were lost - either through physical or metaphorical death - the book gave proposals for how to cope with their loss. Granted, it understood that grief is a very individualistic deal and did not lay out step by step instructions. However, the one proposal I distinctly remember disagreeing with was “reinvesting the emotional energy” that you had invested in that significant other. At the time I was reading this, I was grieving for my lost relationship and I thought that proposal was bullshit. I told Will, I told my counselor, I told anyone who would listen how strongly I disagreed with that proposal. How could you reinvest romantic and intimate emotional energy into friendships? It wouldn’t work, I told myself. I could never care for a friend the way I cared for her. I told myself I would reinvest that emotional energy into a new girlfriend and that was that. Until then there would be a void and I was determined and stubborn and swore that was the only way.
I forgot about all that until now. If I made two lists, one being what was most important to me four months ago and another what is most important to me now, they would be nearly identical, minus one specific name. I’ve realized that there is no void. I don’t feel empty because I don’t have a significant other anymore. I’ve realized that I very subconsciously did what I told myself was bullshit: I reinvested the emotional energy I had in her into all my other friendships. Now, that’s what I understand to be so great about moving on. You don’t know it’s happening until it’s happened. You tell yourself that everything is miserable and that you’ll never be okay again or not nearly as happy as you were and it’s just not true. I’ve been single for four months now and that’s not a long time at all, especially considering how long my relationship was, and, not to be too cliche, everything is great now. Just as great as it was.
I don’t mean for this post to be pointless or without a “lesson.” I don’t know if I’m posting it to teach anyone anything. However, I know people who are going through some shit and are probably stubbornly saying and thinking exactly what I thought: it won’t get better until I replace what was lost. I suppose I’m writing this to tell you that’s not true. It takes time, but you don’t need to get what you lost back. There’s going to be that void, that hole, for a little while. Maybe a long while. But time goes on and everything else that was near that hole starts to expand and soon enough the hole is all but disappeared. You’ll remember when it was there, certainly. But just like a physical cut, one day you’re noticing and touching the scab and wincing at the pain and the next you look down to discover that all you have now is a scar. Eventually, that fades too.