To me, a year from now

Yes, sometimes you still cry over it, even in the middle of the day. Today you got home from a day of managing the wards by yourself and feeling like a rockstar, and then you read a poem about heartbreak and ended up curled up on your bed soaking your pillow. Then you pulled yourself together and had dinner with your parents and lived your life the same way you have been for the past three years, pretending nothing is wrong.

I hope that by this time next year, you’re not talking to him at all. You know you are attached to the toxicity of it all, you know you still want to hear from him to hear that he needs you too, so that you can both hold onto each other in an unhealthy way. You know none of this is sane or practical. You know you need to stop checking your phone for his texts. You know you need to outgrow it and outgrow him.

This time next year, I hope you have matched to psychiatry in the city of your choice, whether that’s home with mom and dad or living a new yuppie life in another big city. I hope you are surrounded by friends and joy and achievements.

I kinda hope there is no guy in your life! Don’t latch onto just anyone who gives you the time of day. Don’t succumb to parental and societal pressures. You’re 26 but you probably aren’t ready yet. This kind of trauma takes a long time, more than bullet holes, more than open-heart surgery. And the next (and hopefully last) guy deserves you at your best.

I know it feels like it’s been forever. That’s because it has. People get over divorces from their spouse of 20 years quicker than you have. You yourself have witnessed couples with grown children fall out of love, get divorced, find new love, and get remarried–in a shorter period of time than it’s taken you to come to terms with all this. It’s for a reason. We don’t know what that reason is yet. Someday we will.

Right now, you are questioning if you actually have some pathology in your brain that is preventing you from getting over him like normal humans get over people. You have mentally thought through all the personality disorders and you know none of them fit. You wonder if there is something strange with your amygdala or limbic system that has you instinctively and emotionally attached to the idea of one particular person despite all your higher cortices shouting down commands otherwise. You see your prefrontal cortex shaking its head with its arms crossed, muttering about how out of character this is for an otherwise strong willed, smart, serious girl. You wonder about how and why he is still the biggest issue in your life despite having tried cutting him out, being friends, developing new hobbies, intense prayer, and meeting new guys. At this point your prefrontal cortex throws up its hands and backs down, knowing that you truly have tried everything.

You cut your hair yesterday–chopped it right off, reminding yourself everyday in the mirror that this is a new you. You know the change hasn’t come from the inside out so you’re trying it the other way around. You are surrounding yourself with good people. You are throwing yourself into your career, and you have narrowed in on a new passion. You are doing everything right.

Stop worrying, baby. Accept and embrace the concept of self-love. It is not just forgiving yourself. It is not just accepting what has happened. It’s loving yourself better than any man could. It’s being enough, just you, on your own. And it’s remembering that even when you are not enough, God always is.

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