Advice, Dating, Friendship, LOSS, Relationships, Uncategorized

How I Let Go

Here’s another how-to article.  I don’t know, maybe you’re someone who doesn’t get attached and is able to let go of things relatively easy.  It’s no secret if you’ve met me that I am a very sensitive individual and feel things deeply.  When I care for someone whether they are a  coworker, friend,  or someone I’m in a romantic relationship with – I would do anything for them even to my own disregard.  I may not be the number you call for a good time, but I am always the number to call when you need someone to care. I care.  I’ve come to stop resenting this about myself – coming to terms with the fact that it’s not that I care or care so deeply that causes me pain but instead caring about people who aren’t worth caring about that does. When it’s taken but not returned is when there is pain. It’s the giving out of multiple chances after empty apologies that cause pain.  I care.  Until I don’t – which getting to that point for me is a long and painful process. This is my most recent successful process.  (Before this it had been an on again, off again –  this is how you shut it off for good.)  Although these are numbered like they are linear steps to take – most of these things were a continued gradual process.

How To Get Over Someone – (Well here’s one way – it worked for me.)

 

  1. COLD TURKEY

Stop talking to the person.  Do not call. Do not text. Do not like the dumb shit they post on social media.  Infact, remove them from all your social media.  You can’t heal if you’re still holding on to what wounds you.  I not only cut him out of my life but any and every person we had in common.  I didn’t want to know him anymore.  He no longer was welcome in my world.  Him no longer being a priority was not enough, he could no longer exist in my world.  It’s like a detox.   Smaller dosages would not clean him from my system – I had to go cold turkey.

 

2. ACCOUNTABILITY

I blame/blamed him for alot of things.  Justifiably so.  However, playing a victim is not only inaccurate but also not helpful.   The first time we ended things – I could have sworn innocence.  But the fact that I kept going back and accepting him back after he had shown what kind of person he was – shows shared responsibility for all the damage.   My behavior was reactions but that also doesn’t mean I was right for behaving that way.  My response to him treating me like dirt should have been just to leave.  Instead my feelings came out in passive aggressive ways.  Taking responsibility for my own mistakes and behavior is the only way I can  learn and better myself.    I also finally told people what had been going on between he and I and was honest about things he had done.  (Hell, there’s blog entries on here that were about just that.)  I did this because it gave another obstacle to keep me from going back to him.  I couldn’t just go back to him without having to explain to my mother, my friends, and others why I was doing so.  And there couldn’t be an explanation. There was no excuse.  There would be no reason to go back to that.

 

3.  GRIEVE

At first I wanted to just act like everything was fine.  I kept myself really distracted and just pushed down any bad feeling or thought I had about the situation.   My logic behind this was basic – I had cried enough over him already. I had wasted enough energy and time on him already.   I didn’t want to be miserable anymore, I just wanted to move on.  But you can’t move on by just wanting to just like you can’t get in shape or be rich simply by wanting to. You have to put in the work. Plus, the pushing things aside and away is how I had handled things before and it always ended up with us making up.  I had to decide that I didn’t want to make up – that he did not get to make up with me.  I had to accept that he broke it and therefore I was not responsible for fixing it.  That nothing I did from this point on was for his benefit. I had to decide to start accepting and loving myself and the reality over his lies and manipulation.   I let myself feel sad. I let myself feel anger.  Because it was sad. Because it was infuriating.  I grieved for the friendship I had wanted with him. I grieved for the person I thought he was. I grieved all that had been wasted on him.   I gave myself a week to grieve.  During that time I cried.  I wrote down everything I ever wanted to tell him. I cried to trusted friends. I read through every old message and listened to old voicemails.  I took it easy on myself and forgave myself for things I should have handled better.  I forgave myself for allowing someone to treat me so poorly.   I shut myself up in my house and I buried the relationship.  After a week, I stopped.  I stopped talking about him. I stopped crying over what happened.  Give yourself time and space to feel however you feel – take time to grieve – just do not stay there.

4. CLEAN

 

I put all the things that reminded me of him in a pile.  (Not stuff he got me because he never gave me anything. So that was easy.  Mostly things I had given him.  It still wasn’t everything because I had given him so much it proved to be impossible to get it all back.  I ran into him at a coffee shop a few months back and he was still wearing a shirt I had bought him.)   I had originally planned to burn it all in a cathartic ceremony.  Time had passed and his junk just took up room in my closet sitting there until I found the time to build a bonfire to toss it in.   Then one day , I was thinking about that junk taking up space in my closet much like he had taken up space in my mind and schedule and life for so long and I got mad.  Burning it and making it an occasion was still giving him importance, and making it significant.  So on an ordinary day, without pomp or circumstance, I  tossed it all out in the garbage – where it belonged.  I went through my whole house and took things left from others and threw them out as well.   A wooden sign, tshirts from volunteering for VBS, old cards, letters and gifts from old boyfriends – I purged the whole place.  How was I supposed to let go of all that negativity if I was physically holding on to old things? Let it all go.  Make room for new and better things. Then I took a sage stick and cleansed all the negative energy out of the space. I made my home a sanctuary – a place of rest, beauty, nurturing, peace, and rejuvenation – a place he had never seen, touched, or influenced.  New furniture, new paint, new decor, new wardrobe –  Start new.

 

4.  SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE

A big problem in this particular connection was that I accepted way less then what I gave. It was not a two way street.  I was supportive, caring, generous and loyal – I made the decision that I only wanted people in my life who shared those same qualities and treated me with the same respect.   I rid of one toxic relationship but what would be the point of clearing out just one and keeping others?  I consciously kept close people who shared the same values as I did. People who were uplifting, supportive, generous and loyal.   People who built me up instead of tearing me down for parts.

 

5.   INVEST IN YOURSELF

When I was around him my health took a plunge.   It was gradual, and my mother and good friends took notice before I did. The mental and emotional toll he took on me eventually started to manifest physically. I stopped menstruating. I gained 30 pounds. My skin looked dull and grayish. I returned to self injurious behaviors to cope with life with him. Behaviors that I hadn’t struggled with in a good decade.  I never did my hair or makeup, and my clothes were old and worn.  When he was sick, I took care of him.  I continually complimented him and bolstered him up and regularly checked in on how he was feeling.   Now that he was out of the picture I took all the attention and care I would give him and gave it to myself.   I finally went to the doctor.  I started exercising. I began eating healthier and more regularly.  I began meditating, taking care to get enough sleep and quality sleep.   I started taking vitamins, getting out in nature and doing what I wanted to do.   I got a new job. I bought a new car.  I redecorated my entire home to exactly what I liked and how I wanted it.   I began to invest in my physical, mental and emotional well being.   I started investing the extra money I was making  and started an extra savings account and investing in my financial future.  I took a trip.  I took a class. I always loved to paint so I started painting again and found a studio space.   I started gardening more and taking time to do the things I loved.   I changed my hair, I bought a new wardrobe.  I made a beautiful life to fall in love with. I began loving myself again.

6. FINDING THE SILVER LINING

I wrote down everything that situation had taught me and reasons to be grateful why it happened. After all if it wasn’t for him maybe I’d be in an even worse situation. After experiencing what love and friendship absolutely is not I will be better able to recognize the real deal.  This was the situation that got me to turn my life around. This was the situation that gave me motivation to leave a toxic environment at church,  recognize who my true friends are, and helped me realize my own worth and to stop looking for validation from others. He was my rock bottom and without that situation, I’m not sure if I would have been able to recognize the need to claw my way up. I also learned how to cook many new vegetarian recipes. This step is important because the opposite of self pity is gratitude.

7. OPENING UP TO OTHERS

I  have shut myself off from meeting new people for almost a year.   In the past when we’d be on a break, I’d rush myself into a fling which always ended in disaster.  They were quick fixes.   Also the unresolved issues I had with him I would just take out on the new fling.   They didn’t cause the wound but man oh man, would they pay for it.   So this time I took my time.  The dates I’ve gone on are not romantic material but I’ve had some good conversations and even made a couple new friends.  It’s learning to trust myself again, and learning to trust that everyone I meet isn’t out to use and break me.   Learning that not everybody lies.   And trusting and accepting that I am worthy of things like love, affection, and genuine friendship.     I’m not quite at the point of being ready to be in a relationship yet – but confident in my ability to create healthy and lasting deep connections with the right people.

 

8.  FORGIVENESS

The things that he did to me and how he treated me was not okay.   So when I say I have forgiven him I do not want to give the impression that what he did was okay  or that I now think that they are or ever will.   What I do accept now is that hurting people hurt people.   I know the situation he was in with his family and how his other friends acted and treated him were not supporting or healthy.  He wasn’t just lying to me but lying to himself.  We all have flaws. And we all make mistakes.  I also recognized why I was drawn to him in the first place and what made me believe it wasn’t a hopeless situation.    I admitted and remembered the good in him.  It’s really easy to hate someone when you think of them as a villain.   I love literature and a good plot and it’s very easy for me to see the world as black and white.  The truth about life is that people are not divided up into heroes and villains.  We’re all just human. I forgive him for being human.  I didn’t want to hate him anymore or carry that burden with me. I didn’t want to feel any way towards him at all.   I forgive him in a way that will not keep me connected to him through pain or resentment.  Then I wished him well. There is nothing that I need or desire from him. Not even an apology. I wish him well. And then I let go.

 

 

 

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