Going into therapy after work today – I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and safety. It’s been an emotional, draining weekend and I was looking forward to getting those intense feelings off my chest. Since I had cried myself silly the past few days, I really thought I was finished with the waterworks, but that wasn’t the case. And that’s okay.
Since I’ve been through heartbreak before, I know this feeling and lately I’ve been preventing myself from feeling fully sad because it’s a hard emotion to constantly feel, but I have to. When I got into therapy and felt comfortable, I told my therapist what happened and it wasn’t until I read her the letter I ended up writing and sending to my ex boyfriend that I started to cry.
It was through talking it out with my therapist that I realized just how proud of myself I should be. Throughout the rough weekend I experienced, my anxiety did not raise its voice. Yes, I cried so hard that I almost couldn’t breathe and it felt like someone was consistently punching me in the stomach but guess what? I knew it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t personalize and I’m proud of myself. Just a year ago, my anxiety could easily have latched onto a highly stressful and triggering event like this and told my mind that everything was my fault, but through my own personal growth and self-awareness, that anxiety never roared. It will likely spike down the line, but I’m ready for it – I have the tools to handle whatever is thrown my way.
From listening to me talk about my anxiety and feelings for the past week or so, my therapist discussed the possibility that I have intuitional anxiety, which means I have a sense of what is to come before it actually occurs, but I label those feelings as anxiety, rather than embrace them as reality. I’ve done this with almost every relationship I’ve been in and it’s about time that I view this as a gift for myself. When I’m feeling worried or insecure in a relationship, that’s a red, flashing NEON sign that I should be paying closer attention to. Lesson learned.
The last thing my therapist had me do was an exercise where I generate a list of what I’ve learned about qualities I look for in the right match. Here’s the list I’ve come up with:
What I’ve learned about the right qualities for me in a partner:
- Respectful of my time
- Ability to compromise
- Healthy work-life balance
- Emotional communicator & insight
As I continue to think about it, I will learn more from this entire experience and have a better handle on what the right match looks like for me in the future.
For now, it’s all about self-love. I need to allow myself to feel whatever I need to. It’s never easy saying goodbye to something or someone – there’s no deadline for moving on or “bouncing back.” It’s okay to not be okay.
I don’t regret one minute of my relationship. I learned important lessons from it and will hold some very special memories with a person I still truly believe is a wonderful human being. It’s like I said in my letter to him:
We all slip and fall, sometimes we just need a new plan for getting back up.
Here’s to more personal growth and finding even more of myself in these next few months. I welcome it.
Have you gone through a breakup recently? How are you handling the anxiety associated with it?