There are a few stages in the mourning period following the end of a relationship that are so emotionally difficult, we all swear we’ll never fall in love again. Of course, we all eventually do — but at the time, it seems inhumane to experience such traumatic ups and downs when we still have the aftertaste of a happiness that was, once upon a not-so-long time ago.
I’m attempting not to blame my current grief on myself or the fact that it’s incredibly normal to experience the longing, but rather on outside factors that can alter someone’s rational mindset. In fact, I think I’ll call them “Things That Make You Want to Call Your Ex to Come Over and Keep You Warm or Do Other Things That I Shouldn’t Mention in My Blog.” (Short title to come later).
1- The transition from hot weather to chilly weather= it’s colder, snuggling is desired.
2- The onset of a nasty flu due to a last-minute decision to get my first ever flu shot= I’m curled up in blankets drowning myself in chicken soup that’s not even half as good as my dad’s.
3- The tactful persuasion of my friends to go out and drink away my woes= alcohol’s even more persuasive ways of making me want to reply to text messages, emails or phone calls that I know I should definitely ignore.
4- The indescribable feeling of being so satisfied with your job that the days go by so quickly, you can barely believe it = such joy is often expressed to the person you love, and then suddenly, because of your decision, they aren’t there anymore. Or if they are, you know you can’t take advantage of that lack luster connection.
Sure, I’ve felt all of these things before in some shape, form or fashion. I know that before I can feel completely like myself again and let go of the idea of what I thought I’d found with Mr. P, I have to feel all of the heartbreak. I have to let those dreams die in the slow, painful and wrenching way that they always seem to do. I have to remove those lovely rose-colored glasses I’ve sported foolishly for the last several months, and not only face who Mr. P really is, but who I am without those specs. I have to be willing to cut communication and my losses, so I can try to see all the lessons I gained from the relationship. And before there can be wisdom, there’s always a bit of whining and a few nights of sending emails I instantly regret the next morning.
I woke up today with a cloudy head and tired eyes, and out of habit, I turned to greet Mr. P’s warm body. When I rolled over, I nearly fell off the bed (getting used to the whole middle region still), and realized I was alone. His photo isn’t by my bed, his backpack isn’t in the corner of my room, and he doesn’t have a towel here anymore. There are no sneakers by my bed, no toothbrush by my sink, and his number isn’t the last one I’ve called. There isn’t anything new for me to analyze or something for me to worry about in terms of us because whatever was us, is now over. There isn’t anything to feel guilty about and there wasn’t a bridge that was burned, just my pride and my spirit were bruised in the process. Along with a sometimes overshadowing sadness that floods over me on mornings like this one.
My mood continued to be melancholy, despite my attempts to cheer myself up with pumpkin pancakes and two cups of coffee. For the first time in while, I allowed myself to have those “Remember when?” thoughts. My mind chronicled the good times while carefully omitting the bad chapters that most of the time, outweighed the splendor. My memory served me wrong and highlighted those moments where I really felt like I was falling in love and those weekends where we spent endless hours talking and caressing, forgetting that we had any responsibilities at all. My senses started detecting things that remind me of him — from New York landmarks to Groupon deals that he would have enjoyed and funny emails I’d like to forward him. My heart continued to ache, even after treating myself to soup I couldn’t taste and walking around the office for a bit to give myself some breathing room…well, from my own thoughts. I worked incredibly hard to try to erase the negativity I was engaging in, but my headache just continued to get worse.
That’s when numbers 1, 2 and 4 come into full effect, as I cursed myself for not bringing my daytime medicine. I was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe through my nose, so I started inhaling slowly through my mouth, making me sound incredibly odd when I answered the phone. I could have taken a quick elevator ride to buy some meds, but I was comfortable and more content, apparently, to just suffer through the sniffles. While stifling my coughs, someone from the mailroom stopped by my desk with a package, which I signed and thanked her for, and went right back to work.
An hour later when I decided I absolutely had to get some water or I would pass out, I kicked the package with my foot. After shooting the bag a dirty look, I opened it up and found a blessing I didn’t even ask for: orange juice.
Naturally, my first thought went to Mr. P — wondering if he had remembered my addiction to the juice and sent it to me as some sort of grand gesture. I quickly realized it was simply a PR company promoting a new blend, and while I was a tad disappointed, I was more highly surprised and entertained. Here I was, sitting around missing a man who couldn’t give me the love I deserved and needed, and the universe delivers something to brighten my day, without even the slightest request from me.
I smiled and poured myself a glass, happy to have something that always seems to make me feel better. It won’t keep me warm at night, it isn’t alcoholic and it probably won’t help my career, but it gave me something I needed more than vitamin C: perspective.
Sometimes it’s those things you don’t ask for or those things that you don’t even know you need that you actually do. Oddly enough, orange juice was just what I needed, even if I thought I needed something (or someone) else instead. After all, pouring myself a glass of tangy perspective is much better than pouring myself back into the past.