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When I broke off my engagement just over a year ago, I prepared myself for the worst. “Micaela, this is going to be really super hard and it will be for a long time. I don’t know exactly how long, but just go with it because it won’t last forever”. That was the sound advice my head gave my heart, and my heart nodded and took a deep breath. Together they were united and ready for battle against the war of confusion, guilt, and sadness that I was facing.
So I let myself cry and grieve what was lost. I talked to friends, and went to counselling when I needed someone to help me separate the truth from the lies. I cried until I had nothing left. There were smatterings of good days, and my hearty laugh slowly returned. The good days started to slowly outweigh the bad ones, but I hated that there were still bad days at all.
I had never been in a relationship before; I didn’t know what an ‘acceptable’ amount of time to grieve was. All I knew is that, months later, I was still crying myself to sleep on occasion. I was content with my decision but continuously suffering from the repercussions of it. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and sticking with it was even harder.
The bad days were riddled with confusion at why it didn’t work and wondering if there was something wrong with me. After all, this man was kind, caring, and of strong character. Though I knew he wasn’t the one for me deep down, I would often question my instincts that had led me to the decision. And as is natural when you have shared your life with someone, I missed him. Not enough to go back but enough to feel the ache of his absence.
Then all of a sudden I decided it had been too long and I really had to stop taking about it for gawwdddd’s sake. I was getting boring and my friends had probably heard enough. I didn’t want to be a burden because everyone else had problems too, so I needed to get over it and fast. That’s what I told myself even if my supportive friends told me different.
I can’t tell you how much I wanted to get the season over and done with. There were countless times that I thought I was okay, finally. I would call my friends at home (in New Zealand) and say “I really do feel good and totally peaceful! I’m on the other side! I’m happy”, only to follow it up with another call the next week bawling my eyes out.
I felt like I wasn’t moving forward. The brilliant thing is that by getting it out, by being honest, by talking and by getting back up again, I was moving forward. On the whole, I was actually happy and things were good, but I’d fall over every now and then because it’s a part of the process. I see now that I was much too hard on myself.
Time is a healer; you have heard it before and will hear it again because it’s true. The last twelve most difficult and defining months of my life are a testament to that. We need to move on from these things in ourselves and not bury our grief, pain and possible unforgiveness in a new relationship. I am now standing in the most beautiful and blessed life, free indeed, and I don’t mind that I took a long time to fully heal and move on from my last relationship. It was worth it because I tell ya what; it feels good to have shed those old clothes! As my good friend Florence says, the dog days are over.
If you’re in the wake of a break up and feeling like you will never be happy again, I want to encourage you to just get through today. Whether you called it off or were broken up with, just get out of bed, do your best and surround yourself with support. It won’t always feel this way. Give yourself the time to grieve, because I promise you that life will be overwhelmingly good again with time, and for all the right reasons.