Personal, Self Care
Comments 7

Arrive.

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Photo Credit: Sam Nute

Turns out writing is hard when you’re heartbroken.

Doing a lot of things is hard when you’re heartbroken, actually. Fundamental tasks feel like a train you keep missing, when all you want is to arrive safely at your destination. Even if your destination is eating. Or sleeping. Or showering. Or seeing people. Or seeing yourself.

Seriously. Have you seen yourself, lately?

You’d think nothing would clear up your own heartbreak faster than seeing the threadbare and unraveling excuse for a human you’ve become. It feels obvious each time you pass your own reflection in storefront windows. You catch yourself hunched over like your backbone is folding on itself, and with that image, you’re sure you’d have enough strength to stand up straight and sever the sadness. You’d think you’d be able to kick out the uninvited houseguest you’ve turned into inside your own mind. After all, it’s YOUR brain. YOU live there. You’re certain that when all of the darkness in Pandora’s box already lives dormant underneath your eyeballs, and is re-released into the world each time you open your eyes, you’ll soon be forced to start living again.

Because you can’t just not open your eyes. You’ve tried that. People kept checking on you. And you have no more room in your fridge for lasagna and pea soup. You don’t even like lasagna and pea soup, but that just happens to be the form kindness keeps arriving in. You will be too exhausted to turn it away.

But writing, and sleeping, and showering, and seeing people, and seeing yourself won’t be the hardest part.

The hardest part of heartbreak won’t be choosing to walk away. It won’t be falling down a rabbit hole of new information. The hardest part won’t be reliving. It will be reviving. You will never be the same person you were before whatever moment or series of moments took the person you thought you were and wrung you out. You have to accept that the version of you that you’d grown attached to is gone. It stopped being yours the moment you gave it to somebody else for safekeeping. That’s the scariest part of love, really. Trusting somebody to not destroy the very essence of what you know to be true about yourself.

At times, going through heartbreak is going to feel like the scene in Billy Madison where they put dog shit in the bag, light it on fire, and leave it on that poor old man’s doorstep.

And he steps on it and shouts, “it’s poop again!”

It’s going to be just that. Poop again. On loop. For months and months…And months.

But from breakdowns come breakthroughs. If you approach heartbreak as a chance to reinvent, it feels less like condemning doom (or a fiery bag of burning shit) and more like an opportunity to revive.

Sometimes you have to give in to your own gravitational collapse before you can start rebuilding. Sometimes you have to sit inside your own suffering until you’re ready to come out of it. Sometimes, you have to become so fucking sick of your own mental and emotional state that the only way to get well is to drag your ass to the beach, or the gym, or the studio, or whatever your temple is. You’ll swim. You’ll kick. You’ll write. You’ll pray. You’ll curse. You’ll cry your whole way there.

But eventually, you’ll arrive.

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7 Comments

  1. Love, love, love this. Just arrive. The arriving is the hardest part. From there, you can just do the best that you can to rebuild. But, I agree. The rebuilding and reviving is definitely the hardest part.

    • So true! Arriving is a process that can’t be rushed. You really gotta just FEEL—ALL—THE—THINGS. xoxo

  2. Carley,

    This is raw and beautiful. I couldn’t find better words to describe it. I honestly tried to find a better word than “raw,” but there it is in all of its heartbroken glory. As for the beauty part, well, you found a way to convey it.

    And thanks for giving me an excuse to watch Billy Madison again.

    Chris

    • Thanks Chris! And raw is a great word. And there aren’t enough reasons in the world to watch Billy Madison haha! Great flick. Thanks for reading + for your thoughtful comment. xo

  3. This is everything today. Thanks for this. I’ve had a lot of thoughts similar to this recently. None I’m quite ready to comment about on the internet yet, but thanks for sharing your own thoughts so eloquently. Nice to know we can be alone together.

    • So glad this reached you! And you may never be ready to comment about it on the internet. It took me 9 months. Also I got your lovely card. Thanks to so much!! Such a rad thing to do post conference. xoxo

  4. I read this and revisit then reread again. Carley, I truly believe this is one of your finest works … eloquent and exposed for what it is…brilliant !

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