There come moments when a piece of information knocks you in your gut. It feels like a sucker punch. Information that has you question your own decisions and self-esteem. Here is the information I learned: my ex-boyfriend started dating someone the month we broke up and they dated for seven months. My stuff was barely out of his house. It hurt to learn this. There’s no denying it. Even when we have been broken up for 9 months when I found out this information from him. None of our mutual friends told me, which added to the betrayal.
But there is always more information to this story. It is not black and white as my heart wanted me to believe. My friends, I’m sure, had reasons for not telling me. My ex had reasons for going into the relationship. Some reasons may have something to do with me, some may not. I couldn’t be mad at him, right? Our relationship ended. He had his freedom. But I felt like this tiny bit of information completely invalidated our entire relationship. It had me back to feeling like I was worthless like I did those 9 months ago.
Side note: there is still so much more to this story, that I’m not disclosing. He is not an awful person. I do not hate him. We have both come a long way, and we are okay with that.
But through these past 9 months, I have grown. I joked when I saw him that our break up is officially a newborn baby. I like to think that I’m currently born anew. I can be fresh now. Unbroken. Unscarred. Going back to the me that believed in others. But the growth didn’t leave me fresh and feeling new. I was still scarred and a bit broken, but it had me become stronger and more aware.
I have been dating on and off those months, but with nothing serious (as in no dates past date two), but I was okay with it. I didn’t want anything more. I loved the life I was living. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. I got to spend more time with my friends. I was doing more things on my own again. I had a gym. I had work. I had graduate school. My life was full.
But when I found out about my ex’s relationship, my thoughts changed. I started to feel like there had to be something wrong with me. I am worthless. I am nothing. All these men can see it. My ex could see it. I was so easy to move on from. He is able to have a new relationship so easy, so what is so wrong with me?
The next day I had an emotional hangover. I was drained. I felt as if I needed ten more hours of sleep. I just wanted to curl up in bed all day. My anxiety was extremely high. My negative thoughts were a steady stream. I didn’t want to see a single person. But I didn’t want to succumb to those beliefs. Instead, I went to work. I went to a happy hour. I went to the rock gym.
I almost had a panic attack before happy hour. I felt like I was a waste of space, and that I should bail. But my friends assured me and I showed up anyway.
Then I went to the rock gym, which is a place I always feel insecure. I showed up. It legitimately turned my mood around. I felt like the happiest and luckiest person on the planet. I was surrounded by new and old friends. I was surrounded by people that loved me. I ran into a guy who wanted to date me during those 9 months. We chatted. It was good. But that was all. I only climbed a little, but that wasn’t the point. I needed a reminder. I went home beaming.
Happy hour and the rock gym was my reminder of why I made the decision I did. Why I am so glad I decided not to date anyone in those 9 months. I was relieved that I had my friends who made my life a bit more complete. I’m so glad I didn’t force myself into a relationship that I wasn’t ready for. I’m so glad I forced myself to sit in my heartbreak and be uncomfortable and miserable. I’m so glad that I processed how I felt. I’m so proud of the woman I am today.
Yes, I’m not new. I’m a bit broken. I have a hard time trusting dating. I still have moments, obviously, where I feel like a waste of space. I still have anxiety and depression. I still run away when things get hard sometimes. I’m not perfect. My journey to where I am now wasn’t perfect. But it is what got me here. My ex has his own journey, and it took a different way than mine did. That is okay too. We all heal and process in our own way.