It’s Okay to Be Sad

Today I realized that I’m still pretty bitter and sad about my breakup this past December. I had been trying to convince myself for so long that I was over him. If it was a good idea to breakup, surely my life must be better now and surely I shouldn’t miss him. I kept thinking that if I’m a strong person, I shouldn’t be sad anymore. I should be thankful, I should be doing better.

I’ve been trying to get involved with everything, partly because my coping mechanism for grief is to make myself so busy I don’t have time to be sad, and partly because I want to prove to myself that I have a better life. I’ve joined a boxing gym, I’ve started playing Magic, I started a Pathfinder campaign. I’ve said yes to getting involved with so many things at work that my colleagues constantly ask me how I’m handling it all. I love the new things I’ve started, but it hasn’t filled that emptiness inside me. The hole where my relationship used to be.

I’m past the stage where I miss him, but I’m not past grieving for the dream life I imagined us to have. My relationships never seem to work out like the movies- you meet someone and hit it off, you fall for each other, you have a beautiful wedding, beautiful children, and spend the rest of your lives together. That’s the life I want. That’s been my dream. And when I met Patrick, when we started a relationship, when we moved in together, when we took vacations together, I knew that would be our life. Except, it wasn’t. And it never could have been. But my heart still hurts for losing that dream. I’m not giving up on that life with someone, but neither am I getting engaged anytime soon.

I don’t miss him, but he’s still in my life. He’s in my life in the way I’m currently bleaching my dishwasher to clean it, like he showed me to do. He’s in my life in so many of the board games on my shelf that I loved first to play with him. He’s in my life in the garlic fries I now make for myself. He’s in my life in the king bed I bought for us that we built together and that I now sleep in alone. He’s in my life in these tears I now cry.

I don’t regret our relationship and neither do I regret breaking up with him. But I still grieve for the life that we’ll never have together.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to be sad. It’s advice that’s easy to give, but harder to take. But with this post, with this blog, with my life now, I’m trying to be honest and authentic. And part of that is admitting when I’m sad, and being okay with that.

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