July 27, 2011

Thirteen

The past couple of days have been surprisingly difficult. Matt and I weren't officially in a relationship, so I didn't break up with him, per se. But we spent a lot of time together these past two months, and now there's a lot of empty space to reacquaint myself with.

I didn't cry at first, but as people in my offline circle got wind of what happened and started to ask about it, the tears came. A friend of mine from my Monday night conversation hour knew something was up and asked about my problèmes in his broken French, and my eyes welled up as I quickly dismissed it - je peux pas en parler maintenant. I just can't talk about it now. I cried when my dad called to talk about it - I kept it controlled on the phone with him, and let it overtake me as soon as we hung up.

Monday I was strong with my eating (and even survived a trip to a pizza place without eating a single thing), but I fell apart a little yesterday. It didn't feel like a binge, I didn't want to hurt or be numb. It just felt like I could eat and eat and not feel full, or even simply satisfied. I became mindful of what was happening and stopped, logged the damage on MyFitnessPal, and made some fun crayons like Christina made with her son, all while drinking lots of water.


By the time the crayons went into the oven, the empty feeling transitioned to full and I was ready to reflect on the situation with a bit more mental clarity.

I laid on the couch with the sun warming my face, closed my eyes, and wondered if I could even imagine how much it would hurt to lose someone I was with for longer than six and a half weeks. I thought about how upset we all were at my grandfather for withdrawing from life after my grandmother died, and how they were together for nearly sixty years. Mine, comparably, is an incredibly small loss, and I suddenly felt very selfish.

I also thought about a recurring idea I've pondered since starting on my journey: the connections to my thirteen-year-old self. I've become upset quite a few times, frustrated at things I'm learning at 24 that I should have found out as a teenager - dating stuff, mostly. If I had gone out more with boys when I was younger, this wouldn't be new. I would be less awkward, less confused, less naive. I'd have an established recovery plan for situations like this, something tried-and-true that I perfected in high school or college.

But you know, a lot of things would have been easier to figure out at thirteen. Like the fact that binge eating isn't a solution to my emotional problems. Or that gaining weight and hiding from the world isn't going to protect me from being hurt. Even if I dated dozens of boys before Matt, even if I were 13 or 18 or 90, this would still be difficult. I'd cry. I'd seek comfort. And I'd eventually pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back on track with my life. (If there's one thing I've gotten good at this past year, that would be it.)

I can't change the fact that I spent most of my life avoiding real world experiences. But I'm learning, slowly but surely, how to feel my emotions and not eat them. And I'll learn how to recover and carry on from heartbreaking experiences. The emotional weight loss, like the physical, involves a lot of high-intensity workouts, for sure. I know where I'd like to end up, but I have to pace myself if I want to get there in one piece.


And I'm so, so, endlessly grateful for the support of this community. Thank you - all of you - for spotting me.

15 comments:

fatgirlwearingthin said...

My heart is with you, Mary. Hugs may be virtual, but they are yours, too.

Chubby McGee said...

*hugs*

You're SOOOO young...you have so much to learn and, on top of that, learn to cope with. The beautiful thing: this too shall pass.

But still...*hugs*

Amy said...

I too feel a lot like you describe in the love sense. When Stewart and I broke up my mom said, usually girls your age have 2 or 3 of these under their belt. You fell in love at an older age and it's just harder because you felt like it was going somewhere and having a broken heart for the first time at 23 isn't easy.

So I get it. While I don't know what the heart ache from 2 months feels like, I don't discount it. I'm sure it hurts in the same way, probably just not as prolonged.

It'll take you less time to get back to your old reality because you haven't forgotten it, it'll be easy enough to bounce back to the way it was.

Whereas for me, after 4.5 years I'm not the same person any more. I have to find a new way to live my life and be me. I'm finding pieces of myself from before but it's still a new journey. My heart hurts less but it still doesn't mean I know what I'm doing. It's exciting finding myself again, but at the same time it's terrifying tackling the world alone(I'm not using alone in a woe is me way). I'm slowly gaining back that independent swagger I once had, and even after I meet the next guy I'll never let it be squashed again the way it was.

My life. My rules. And some guy is just lucky to join me for the ride.

Christina said...

You're such an easy person to care about and want to spot! :) Well, at least you're easing into dating. Learning to handle a parting of ways after six weeks is good practice for handling a parting of ways after three years. :) Here's to a great six-week experience.

Your crayons turned out awesome!

Hyla said...

Even if you had experienced and "learned" those things at 13 you wouldnt be better off. Ending relationships would still be just as hard. And the bingeing wouldnt stop until you took control and made it end.

So dont dwell on what you think you should have learned. Grieve and then move on!

Arwenn said...

The best advice I was given about breakups is to allow yourself to grieve for the relationship and for what you had hoped it would become. I used to try so hard to move on too quickly and to "not let him have that much power over me". When I was finally willing to allow myself to admit how important the relationship had been to me, and to go through a short period of being sad about it I had a much easier time getting closure.

But that's just me, this is so different for everyone.

Corryn said...

No matter how many times a person goes through the loss of a relationship, it doesn't get any easier with each one. I don't think it's supposed to. People are meant to leave imprints on our hearts.

However, this loss WILL get better with time. It sounds like you are allowing yourself to grieve, which is key. Hang in there and forge the memories and prepare your heart for the good that is yet to come. :D You're amazing.

timothy said...

BIG sigh, nothing to say to make it magically "better" but i've been there sweetie. just focus on all the wonderful people in your life and all the great things you're gonna accomplish. i too stink at dating, my type apparently are beautiful heartless bastards who are out to destroy me! LMAO read my other blog if you need proof (reflections in a murky stream, it's poetry about a failed romance) hang in there sweetie, it get's better/easier i promise! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

He Took MY Last Name said...

Its not easy no matter what. Even if you really didn't like the boy, or if you really did, it doean't get any easier. It's one of those things about life. No one wants to be rejected.

However, I believe everything happens for a reason and you need to learn to look back at this as a positive experience, when you can. You said that you still have a lot of growing up to do, and more things to figure out, and as you do, you'll find out who you are. And someone else will too. And love you for it.

It takes a while. But it's oh, so worth it. My advice? Next boy you date, keep it in your pants for 3 months. It makes it a little easier if things go south.

Carbie Girl said...

Oh goodness, I had the same thoughts and feelings when I was your age. If only I had dated in my teens like normal girls I wouldn't have put myself through the things I did in my mid twenties. I can't promise break ups will get easier in the future, but it's definitely better to grow strong alone than depend on someone who isn't the right one for you. It's all about balance my dear and so far though I know your hurting, it sounds like youre taking the right recovery steps. One day at a time :)

Tim said...

Whatever age and how many times people go through something like this, I think it will always hurt us hard.

I think your followers are right, take time to get over the relationship you and Matt shared and focus on everything you love doing i.e. running, cooking, making crayons (LOL, brill by the way!). Learn from what's happened and remember the good times and then when you're ready to move on then I am sure you will find that one person you are destined to be with.

You're a fantastic person, Mary. Keep being you!

PS_Iloveyou said...

Hey Lady,

I'm sorry you are going through this, but I'm glad its now instead of at 13 when you had so many other feelings and emotions you were already overwhelmed with. You are strong enough now to work through these feelings and to also let them go when you are ready instead of stashing them away to pretend they don't exist.

No advice from me (what?? me?? lol) just condolences on the loss but congrats for the experience. Thats what life is right? I collection of experiences?

Much love XOXO Cyn

marisol said...

You over did it with your food but you were honest with yourself and you logged it. Today is a new day Mary and don't let what happened yesterday affect you negatively in what you do today and tomorrow. We are here for you.

Sarah said...

Matters of the heart are never easy, but you will heal in time. You are beautiful and you have so much to offer.

Tammy said...

Heartbreak is never easy no matter what age you are. Like you, I didn't date when I was younger..I was shy, insecure and terrified of boys!! I've had a few heartbreaks since then..my biggest being my separation and divorce starting in August 2009. I have never cried so much in my life. Never thought I could make it thru that. But here I am!:) Stronger than I thought I was and you are too. Don't forget that. Just be you and things will fall into place (by the way, I'm STILL learning this!)LOL So ((((hugs))) to you!!