During my last day in Amsterdam, I managed to go see the Banksy exhibition that I had been looking forward to. There is something about wandering around an art gallery that makes you think about everything but art. A painting or a sculpture can trigger something in your subconscious that will make a 100 different emotions come to the surface. As it was our last day in Amsterdam, I knew that once I got off the plane I would have to say goodbye to Alex forever and no amount of beautiful art was going to distract me from that.
I have noticed that since the break up some people have been trying to shame me into feeling bad about being emotional regarding it all. At the start, I did cry a lot and I don’t care, I do not know how long it will take me to get over it all, I don’t care that I am in my thirties or the fact that this isn’t my first break up. I don’t care if it takes me a year to recover, It will take me as long as it takes me and that is ok.
I certainly DO NOT feel any shame for feeling sad or not bouncing back as quickly as some people expect. I DO NOT feel the need to change who I am or how I feel to make others feel comfortable. Whether it is a breakup, bereavement, job loss or anything where you feel sad you are entitled to feel sad you are entitled to go through all the stages that follow the initial shock and you are allowed to take as god damn long as you need to recover mentally. Self-caring isn’t about taking a pretty picture for social media and adding some quote about self-love. Self-caring should be about you and your mental health and doing what you need to do to keep yourself healthy. So if you need to cry in a dark room for a week on your own because that is what you need to do then do it and know its ok.
I don’t say all this lightly because yes its ok to feel like this but it is not ok to stay in the state, you need an endgame, you need to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether that is you will allow yourself a week to cry and only a week or as the week goes on you will keep getting out of bed that little bit earlier each day. It is ok to go through all emotions, it is not ok to drown in those emotions and if you do feel like you are drowning get help.
I have been having some treatment at hospital, that on top of the break up has just been too much for me alone and feeling like I have exhausted all my friends I needed to start counselling again. And totally not ashamed. I had ten weeks of counselling this time last year and it was the best thing ever, so I decided that although I am a strong woman I don’t always need to be strong, sometimes like most people I get tired of trying not to drown so being able to talk to someone new is a blessing.
None of this makes me feel unhappy or unlucky, I still think I have an incredible life, one in which I am totally blessed and wouldn’t change for all the tea in China (is that still even a saying!) I still smile every day but right now I am thinking about my long-term health and my mental health and if that means an hours counselling once a week so be it! My end game is five months time, that would have been six months then and if I heal quicker than that’s great but if it gets close to my end game date than I know I will need more help of which I am not ashamed of.
If you are reading this and you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel or you feel like you are drowning please seek help, whether that is with a Doctor, counsellor or a friend. Please know that you are worthy of inner peace and you deserve to be happy, in fact, you deserve all the happiness in the world. So yes it is ok not to be ok but it’s not ok to drown.