Updated: Feb 14
For the purpose of this writeup I will refer to my ex as M’lek (meaning King in Arabic), it was my pet name for him.
I never imagined that I would ever break up with M’lek. In the history of all my romantic escapades I was most secure, most peace filled, most happy, most settled and most certain that he was my forever. He was my beautiful surprise, the balm to my heart, the sweetest melody to my soul, to me he was love personified, my homie, my comfort and I adored him.
During our relatively brief but intense time together he never gave me reason to doubt that it was mutual, until he abruptly ended things over the phone two days after Christmas Day last year. If I’m completely honest, there are still parts of me that can’t believe he is no longer a part of my life, there are still parts of me that are frozen in shock.
After we hung up from the shortest call we’d ever had I had questions, many questions and though I felt my ego needed not to ask them, my heart really yearned to fill in the blanks. In my confusion I plucked up the courage to text him.
M’lek was courteous enough to answer the immediate why’s that raged havoc in my mind. Based on the frank and brutally honest text-based responses (all new news to me), it would appear at first glance - that I was in the company of the cliché “it’s not you it’s me” bug. Sadly I’ve had to make do with the utter vagueness of his answers, forced to leave the missing gaps unfilled, whilst trying not to fall into them as I navigate my way to the exit, which he had evidently long passed through.
It's my fault
Initially I could not help feeling like I was the direct reason he chose to leave (and perhaps I was) because well, it is me he was letting go of after all. I still believe M’lek to be of good character and sober judgement, so if he was choosing to walk away from me then surely I could trust that it was highly likely that he’d deemed me unworthy of his affection and efforts. Conclusively my first instinct was to deduce that if I am deemed discardable by a man such as him, it must be true that I am unworthy of that calibre of man, and that hurts. It hurts to lose a good man and to feel like you weren’t good enough for a good man, it cuts deep. This was the biggest point of incision in the first hours of being let go of, a natural part of the process.
Why it cuts deep
You see, when an idiot let’s go of a good thing, it’s easy to reason, but this right here was very new to me and my heart was plunged into deep darkness. I questioned everything, did he even love me? Was he pretending all along? Why would he just drop me like I never meant anything to him? Was he even real? We committed our relationship to God and everything, did that not carry any weight? Was he really the man I thought he was because that man promised to always have his Queen’s back and never let me go, but he did! Who the hell was this dude unapologetically shattering my essence? I still don’t know the answers to most of these questions but I had to make a choice that night. Would I let heartbreak happen to me or would I happen with it, so I leaned into my unraveling heart with every ounce of brokenness in me, I consciously welcomed the pain and resolved to let it complete its’ work in me.
Here are some of the things I jotted down in my healing process. I hope that they will be helpful to you in some way regardless of the nature of the challenge you might be facing currently or may face some day.
1. Choose well from the get go
Have healthy relationships to start with. I honestly think that the positive posture that I’ve been able to maintain regarding breaking up with M’lek was also influenced by the fact that neither M’lek nor I are toxic people to begin with. The relationship was based on shared values and free from all forms of abuse. Losing someone you love and having to work through the grief of it is hard enough, without the added stress of having to deal with extra baggage from emotional abuse or other toxicities that can exist in relationships. Choose your partner well to start with. Choosing healthy people to do life with in general is good practice, of course there are no guarantees; loving people is always a risk but the only thing you should be open to, is your hearts ability to let go (should that time come), not your heart’s ability to survive ‘gunshot’ wounds.
2. Let it hurt
When it hurts, let it. Let it take you to that unbearably painful place where your insides feel like their burning and let it burn. On the night M’lek let us go I literally could not breathe, I needed to vomit but I’d never learnt how to purge out my own heart, my veins were on fire, I couldn’t stop crying (this lasted for days), I felt like I was going to die and I was okay with it. I prayed, I cried, I didn’t sleep, I got out of bed the next morning and drank all the alcohol that was left from the Christmas festivities just two days prior, I sang sad break up songs, I went to the place where we first met on the following day. I was intentional about facing it and feeling it, because it mattered, because he mattered. In the same sentiment I had let the joy of his arrival into my life take me to beautiful places, I had to let the pain of his departure go with him.
Frustration can be good fuel or it can be destructive fuel. It’s your choice which you opt for. I hadn’t written a poem or a blog in a very long time before this incident. My tears turned into purpose when I picked up my keyboard and drenched it with tears. I wrote a poem that night. On the morning that followed I sang a beautiful song. I’ve not stopped writing and singing since. The process of intentionally leaning into my healing has stirred up passions that were lying dormant in me and I’m thankful for their reawakening. Your creativity or healing expressions might look very different from mine, but it is my hope that you would let them come alive whatever they are, they will keep you company where you once had someone to share your company with, and they won’t leave you stranded.
4. Love still
When we’re hurting it’s so easy to lose sight of all the other love that still surrounds us. Remind yourself that you are still loved and lovable. Zoom into the love that still is, be thankful for the love that was and look forward to the love that awaits you.
5. Let go
Let go of what could have been. Let go of the questions you will never have answers to. Let go of bitterness. Let go of any negative tags you’re tempted to place on yourself when someone leaves you. Let go of everything that could hinder you in the future (trust issues, self doubt etc).
Happy Valentine's Day!
Find a reason to smile daily because there’s always at least one reason, before you know it, you’ll wake up one morning and there won’t be a trace of ache left in you; only a heart healed and filled with gratitude and renewed hope.