“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.” – Mohadesa Najumi
A few weeks ago, I ended my healing journey. I thought it is a good reason to write this piece. For a long time, it wasn’t possible. It took much longer than I thought to recover myself, and maybe there are some people experiencing a breakup right now. I am still in the process to find my real self. The pain couldn’t be deeper, because it already hit the rock bottom. At least, that’s how I felt. I believe my trip through the question ‘When will the pain end?’ can be a little piece of advice you need.
Chapter 1 – The toxic cookie and its addictive taste
Last year, at the end of October 2016, my long-term relationship ended. He ended it. In reality, we were broken up many months ago, but someone had to say it out loud. It wasn’t a great situation to be in, especially when you both live together and one of you needs to move out. In this case, it was me. He chose it will be me, by telling me this place belongs to him, even though I paid my part of the deposit. ‘You won’t see your part’ – he said. And I literally didn’t.
I moved out as soon as I could. The most hurt part is knowing that you are right back in the beginning. On point zero. You have to start living, alone, and the idea of being out there alone is frustrating. You don’t want to go out. Or date. Or go to work that helps you buy food which you don’t even want to eat. You only crave loneliness and a bed. No conversations. Nothing.
Somehow, I tried twice to go out and it didn’t work. I felt tired of talking to those guys and living without any purpose. I didn’t want to date anymore. I don’t need another toxic boy. Why would I ever want to be in a new relationship? Because HE is dating? Because I found him on Tinder already dating other girls? Yes. No? Obviously no. It’s not me that I used to know. I needed a goal to get out of the jumble of pessimistic thoughts hole I was in. I needed my ambitions and my confidence to come back.
Chapter 2 – The New Year’s Eve and a tiny planted seed
After the breakup, for two months we tried to be friends but his toxic and awful behaviour towards me around our friends made me feel worse. Before Christmas, he announced he wants to meet me before the New Year to hand me a Christmas gift. My friend convinced me that it isn’t a good idea, and starting a ‘New Me’ in a new place should be what I need. The last thing I wanted to do are fun things, but she had a point. I said ‘Yes’. My sister, my friend and I went on an adventure. We did everything to feel we are in a magical place.
On New Year’s eve, before going to bed, I got the text “Happy New Year” from my ex-boyfriend. Something wasn’t right. I didn’t text back. I was happy out there. In control of my thoughts and I felt something. Something familiar that already I felt before. The desire to meet the world. The tiny travelling seed was still in me.
Chapter 3 – Medicines and drugs
As soon as we came back to the city, somehow it made me even sadder. Every morning, I felt this kind of pain in my chest that didn’t want to go away. The idea of seeing your ex and giving them a chance to see you sad and vulnerable isn’t promising. In the end, it was The End he chose. I cut the relation with him and his friends. It was time to move on, on my own terms. His presence will remain only on paper.
I wrote a list of things that I used to love before knowing him. There were many dreams, but the intention of seeing the world was slowly coming back to me. I’ve planted a tiny seed in my heart many years ago, and in Amsterdam, I felt the need to water it again. Making it alive. Yes, travel will be my prescription for the healing. The only medicine.
At work, I asked for a raise. I was valued. I focused on savings for my future trips and a medical procedure I had to go through. This is how 2017 started. In March, almost five months after the breakup, I started going out to meet new people, travelling to other cities or countries and came back to photography. This is where also starts “Party & Booze” stage. I went out every night for a few months. Not to get drunk and pass out, but to forget what I was running away from. I was still hurt and the pain wasn’t going away. At night I craved conversations and during the daylight, I was a passionate worker.
Slowly I understood what poets were talking about. When your heart is shuttered in thousands of pieces, even sleep won’t help. You wake up with this strange pain in your chest and it doesn’t go away. I wasn’t sure if I ever find peace in my head. The silence was louder than the noise.
Chapter 4 – Not always is about the endpoint, but the journey
Months were passing. I did everything that I dreamt of. One day in October after my trip to Portugal, I woke up and realized that I am not sure if what I’m doing is right for me. I craved something else. This unfamiliar feeling appeared. I wasn’t sure if it is just another post-travel depression or something bigger.
Do you know that feeling, when after coming back from a trip you find yourself buying a new plane ticket? Yes, I’ve been there too. But this time I came back and reached the place in my heart where I didn’t even go in the first place. Instead of finding the answer, I was looking for, I found more questions: “What now?”, “Do I want to live from the trip to the trip, or do I want to be happy where I am?”, “Do I really want endless travelling?”, “Do I like my job?”, “Am I happy?”, “Is my pain ended?”, “Why do I feel more anxious now?”.
The questions were freaking me out.
Chapter 5 – Look into the eyes of the past and let it go
I drew a little map of thoughts and emotions with much more questions: “Was I still suffering? Where is this going?”, “Do I need a change?”, “What the fuck is happening?”. On the same day, I went out with my friends to a pub. It was Friday, so a break was needed. I know a lot of people won’t believe the universe works strangely, but that night I met my ex-boyfriend. I was terrified, but decided to be bigger than anxiety and say “hello”. We talked, we cheered and we wished each other the best.
I felt no pain, no anger. I was free.
We were not meant for each other, but we were meant to change each other lives. People have different dreams and sometimes is hard to accept it when you still love somebody, or at least you think you do. Sometimes, you both have the same goals but as time goes by, your priorities change.
Was it love? I don’t know. Nevertheless, I perceived that the relationship was extremely toxic. When you forget who you are, what your dreams are and that you are not capable of achieving anything you dream of… something must change. When you are with someone and the only thing is pleasing them, blindly believing you’re the problem and slowly accepting this is your future… You need to shift your mind. Sometimes, breaking up is the best thing that could have happened to you.
Chapter 6 – Take care of your tiny seed and let it grow
One year later after the breakup, I was on the way to my future-planted goals. The mourning was finished. I strongly believe that every experience we’re going through is there to teach us something. Breaking up with somebody is a sign of death. The end of the chapter and of the feeling for someone that you thought you will spend your life with forever. Loss hurts and only time, and how you deal with it, is able to help you rediscover yourself. You may never love someone again in the same way as you did, but maybe this is the best information you’ve ever heard.
Travelling heals your heart by living the moment. It fills your mind with positive thoughts and a bigger desire for the unknown. It wakes you up. It is a drug you will come back for.
In my case, travel helped me heal my broken heart but hasn’t healed my thoughts. I’ve met people. I’ve written stories. I opened new doors by closing the old ones. I found a part of me and let it guide me.
We will always have a question for ourselves.
We don’t always live for the answers.