Permission to Feel

Lonnnnnng Read || Honest Read || Felt cute, might delete later

I’ve been thinking about how I can share this story without delving too deep into my personal life. That being said, I have yet to come up with a good way to do that. For those that know me, I’m not exactly the subtle type. I’m pretty straight-forward actually. As a matter of fact, I’ve just decided like twenty seconds ago that I’m just gonna go for it. Our phones are always listening and the government has a record of my search history anyway, so I might as well just get into the grimy details and tell this story like it is. Here it goes.

I’m single. My long time boyfriend of three years and I broke up recently. So, for the past few weeks I’ve been figuring out how to cope with that while still keeping my professional volleyball life intact. Because, you know what, it’d be super easy to crumble.

Details and reasons for the breakup aside, I am still very much in love. I’m grieving over a lost relationship that gave me some of the best years of my life. That hurts. More often than not I’m haunted by some of our most endearing memories and I deeply feel each and every one of them. Each time I start to reminisce about these moments my heart sinks and starts to pull me down into the depths with it. It’s that feeling right there that could tear everything apart. My body starts to turn off, my mind goes blank, I don’t want to move, nothing seems to matter, I shut down. If I dwell too long or think too much about those moments, this feeling will wrap me up in its unrelenting fingers and never let me go. I’ll lie in bed all day, drink no water, eat no food, just wither away in pain and sorrow. I will crumble.

But, GAH, isn’t that a bit dramatic? Like come on? In fact, I was so adamant about not letting THAT happen, within the first day of our break-up I vowed that I would not fall apart. I could collapse. I could feel broken. But I would not crumble. My life would not “be over” because of this. That’s why throughout the next month(?) three months(?) six months(?) one year(?) that I spend getting over him I’ve given myself permission to feel.

Here’s what that means. The first “official” day of the breakup I allowed myself the full day to fall apart. I was devastated. So, I cried. I stayed in bed. I ate very little, drank very little, didn’t even get a shower in. For the full day I was mess. The only condition was, that was my one day to do this. After that, it was ok to be sad, but I couldn’t let it stop me.

The following day I got up and out of bed. I functioned, I worked out, I had volleyball practice, went grocery shopping, etc. Throughout the day I would think about the breakup, acknowledge the wave of sadness that would hit me, but I didn’t let it stop me. I stayed in motion, maybe a bit too much in motion, but if movement and purpose was what I needed then I was entitled to it. The day after that I was angry. I would shake and wanted to throw things. My mantra for the day? “F**K MEN!” But if that’s what I needed I let myself have it. I gave myself permission to be that angry. That’s what this has been about. I have every right to feel all these things.

Giving my self permission to feel the emotions that I’m feeling has been liberating. I haven’t tried to push down my sadness or breathe through my anger. No, I’ve felt it. I’ve felt it all and I’m ok with feeling it. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes the sadness is so heavy I can feel my legs giving out. Sometimes I am so hurt I break down and cry. But instead of trying to act like there’s nothing wrong, I acknowledge that the emotion is there, cry/scream/punch something if I need to and carry on.

Doing this has made it easier to heal. Rather than push my emotions down and deal with them another day, I deal with them in that moment. I face them head on. And you know what? Just like every moment has done for all of time ((unless your conception of time is circular not linear, but that’s a discussion for another day)) it passes, and I can move on. I can see past my heartbreak, past that feeling of betrayal, past my insecurities and into this moment right now.

Now, and I can’t emphasize this enough, that doesn’t mean I see into the future. I don’t see myself eventually being alright. I don’t see myself someday finding happiness again. I don’t picture myself ten years down the road happy and married or whatever. I see myself in the now. In the moment just after that devastating emotional tidal wave, I see myself. And you know what? I see someone strong, capable, and whole. By giving myself permission to endure this pain, I’ve also given myself permission to grow. I’m not being held back. I don’t have to worry about dealing with emotion “X” in the future. I’m moving forward. I’m moving on. If this heartbreak has taught me nothing else it’s that life goes on. So, here I go.