Several months ago I sat on my counselors couch searching for words to try and describe the pain that I was in.
This was a pain I had never experienced in my entire life, it was the type of pain you couldn’t put into words so it came out in tears.
I sat there sobbing as I tried to explain to her how badly my heart was hurting. The truth is, it wasn’t just my heart, it was everything – everything hurt.
I had experienced being in love for the first time – and now, I was experiencing my first heartbreak…
It was the end of December when I went to see my counselor, the New Year was right around the corner…we had been broken up for almost three months at that point and the pain felt like it was actually getting worse.
There were several factors that contributed to our break up, the biggest being that we wanted different things in life. I had gone over one night and we decided to lay everything out on the table. Some really painful issues were discussed, and although we didn’t break up that night, we both knew in our hearts that things would never be the same. That night was the beginning of the end and we knew it. We laid there, held each other, and just cried. Again, there’s no words for that kind of pain.
We spent the next month unsuccessfully fighting for our relationship, ultimately just making things worse. I was starting to resent this man because I could tell he had checked out mentally and emotionally. I started to question everything about myself because I couldn’t believe I was continuing to sit at a table where I knew love was no longer being served. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I was already heartbroken, and now I just felt broken. I wasn’t this woman.
I feel like that was the longest month of my life. I tried to write down everything I was feeling, my emotions, thoughts, our interactions… I wanted to document everything because I knew this was the beginning of a very long and painful journey for me.
My heart physically hurts today, like I think something is actually off with my heartbeat…I wonder if heartbreak can do that?
I don’t want people to know how devastated I really am, I’m really good at hiding it…I wonder if I’m going to just break down in front of everyone one day? I’m usually good at waiting till I get in my car…
Sometimes I wake up and hope none of this was real, that it was all a bad dream – it’s crazy how quickly I remember how heartbroken I am as soon as I wake up.
This…pain…feels… like… I… can’t… breathe. I’m having a harder time pretending I’m okay today.
I tried to take a nap to escape reality and I can’t even do that! My head and my heart won’t even let me escape with sleep.
I am not this woman.
We don’t say I Love You anymore.
I don’t think he’s going to go to church with me anymore.
I feel numb – that’s a lie. I feel sadness and numbness. I’m like a walking zombie.
I’m less able to fake it this week – I’m scared others are going to start to see right through me.
Break through Katherine.
This was only the beginning…these thoughts, feelings and emotions would continue to torment and torture me for the following months as I tried to navigate through my first heart break.
My absolute lowest point through all of this was the day before my birthday. I had always been someone that starts a birthday countdown like two months before the actual day (I’m that person). This year I didn’t even want to hear the word birthday, it gave me anxiety to think about it. We had only been broken up for a month at that point and I was still trying to process everything. The day before my birthday I came home from work, laid on my couch and just sobbed. I sobbed so hard I could barely catch my own breathe. I was in so much pain I didn’t know what to do with myself. I absolutely wanted nothing to do with my birthday the next day.
I decided I wanted to go to the hospital, I was in so much pain and just wanted to sleep – for like a week. So I made up my mind and came up with a story to tell my mom and co-workers as to why I had to go to hospital. Then I remembered I was doing a fundraiser for my birthday the next day. We were doing a live broadcast at work and everything had already been promoted and set up. There’s no way I could cancel on this organization, that was literally the only thing that kept me from going to the hospital that day.
I’ve only ever told two people about that moment, it was by far the lowest I had ever felt and I was so embarrassed about it for the longest time. I couldn’t believe I had gotten to that point, I felt completely pathetic.
It’s important to me that I shared this moment because I think so many people think they’re alone in pain. We all put on our masks when we walk out our front doors in the morning and go into performance mode. Everything is “fine,” everyone is “doing good,” we post all about our happy lives on social media, all the while – we’re hiding the hurt.
I had spoken with an old co-worker recently and told her what this weeks blog post was going to be about. I worked with her in the beginning of all of this and she said to this day she can’t figure out how I hid it all so well. I jokingly told her, spoons. For months and months I kept spoons in my freezer and in the morning would wake up early so I could press them on my eyes. My eyes swell up like crazy when I cry, and since I was crying daily I knew I had to figure out a way to hide it. I literally googled, “how to hide that you’ve been crying?”
Some days I would try and remember what it felt like to be happy…not fake happy – not social media happy… genuinely, in my heart and soul happy. Would I ever feel it again? Or how about normal…would I ever feel normal again? What about that fiercely strong woman I’ve always loved…would I ever be her again?
I sat on my counselors couch praying she would tell me some life changing words and I would walk out of her office a completely new woman…I was practically pleading with her, I don’t want to feel this way anymore.
Katherine, do you remember when you sat on my couch a few years ago telling me you didn’t think you were capable of love? That you had accepted that you’d never truly be in love…Now look! You’re sitting on my couch because you loved SO much and because you loved SO deeply! You Loved Hard – It’s Going to Hurt Hard.