Breakup means ‘broken’ but on the way ‘up’

January 14, 2021

Collage by Finn Souter with images from Pixabay

Emily Kelly shares her feelings and advice about love and loss

We’re surrounded by love: movies about it, songs about it, books about it. We’re convinced we’re nothing without it. And that’s exactly where the problem lies – that word convince.

From the first date we convince ourselves it’s perfect. During each and every argument we convince ourselves this is what couples are ‘meant’ to do. Through the tears and the laughs and more tears we convince ourselves that the bad days will make us stronger, will make us appreciate the good days so much more.

What the movies, songs and books don’t always tell us is that the good days are running out. There will come a point where all you have left is the ghost of the times; the times when you had more than just the lies you convinced yourself were true.

There were good times, and it wasn’t all for nothing but it’s okay to stop trying to convince yourself. It’s okay to admit that it wasn’t perfect and you’re just not happy anymore. I know, you still love them but darling you’re not happy and it’s just not worth it anymore.

When was the last time you thought about yourself before you thought about them? When was the last time you did something just for you? When was the last time you breathed? I don’t mean inhale and exhale; I mean truly breathe.

When was the last time that block of bricks wasn’t sitting firmly on your chest causing every inhale to take a bit more energy than it should. Energy you don’t have to spare because of the tears – god the tears. I bet you never thought you could cry so much. I want to remind you, though, you weren’t crying for them, you were crying for yourself.

This is the broken phase, but it is just a phase in the scale of things

For all the times you felt you were absent in a moment because they represented you both. For all the things you missed about yourself because you just couldn’t be that anymore. For all the sacrifices and little compromises that added up; that you convinced yourself were worth it and that they were doing the same.

They didn’t give up anything and that’s okay. Maybe they gave up on you, or you finally decided you missed breathing more than you would miss them. If you just let go.

Either way, you have yourself now and that’s enough. You are enough. And please don’t feel silly for loving so much because that says so much about that tender heart of yours. If you’re going to convince yourself of anything from now on, it’s that you’re okay. You are going to be okay.

A breakup. It’s all there in the word really. You feel a little broken at first (or maybe a lot) and then it’s all upwards from there. Call me an optimist and keep telling yourself how much it hurts and say that I’m wrong and be angry and cry and hurt – feel. Feel it all now as intensely as you possibly can.

This is the broken phase, but it’s just a phase in the scale of things. Reminisce and go through your photos of you together because with each day that passes, they get further and further away; the memories that is.

Eventually, you will find yourself looking at them feeling detached. It doesn’t hurt forever, but let it hurt right now. Miss them and disconnect from them. This pain doesn’t define you and it will take time to realise you can be so much more without them.

Writing is cathartic and healing.

Here is my poem about grief:

To cry those dry tears
That seem to bring no release and
Never cease to make you ache all over.

To blame yourself and
Remember the wealth of joy you once had
And forget the bad in all that he said.

To drink and to dance and
To entertain a glance from a man that’s not him
To sin.

To wake in your bed alone and
Finally drone out the thoughts of
When you were there.

To run and to laugh and skip through
The path of your life because you
Are bathed in sunlight and
Know in hindsight
He needed you a lot more than you needed him.

Emily Kelly is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh studying Social Anthropology and Sustainable Development. Emily took a gap year and travelled to South East Asia, Central America and Tanzania in East Africa. She is passionate about travelling and seeing the world as well as the power of writing and how we can connect and share our experiences through it.

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