It’s been over a year, but I must admit, I still think about my ex. It took me about three months to mourn that relationship. At first, I was proud of myself because I felt like I was handling it pretty well. I went on with my life, did well in my classes, and just didn’t care. At least I thought so.
Before my ex and I started dating, I was in a pretty bad place. My relationship with my mother was going downhill, and I had just moved out of her house. There were issues with my financial aid, so I had to work extra hours to make ends meet. That meant less time to play and study. Not only that, but I had also just changed my major for the third time. Fortunately, that went well because I absolutely loved my classes. When my ex and I met, the feelings came naturally. I was barely getting back on my feet, getting the hang of my school and work schedules. I knew it wasn’t what I needed at the time, but it just happened. I was young and clueless. I only realized that after the relationship ended.
My psychology professor once said that it takes an average of three months for people to move on after a breakup. I thought maybe I did it wrong or something. It took me three months to feel anything after the relationship ended, and I was out of control. Feeling sorry for myself, I was so sure I’ll never love again.
Like I said, I was young and completely clueless. I found myself constantly stalking my ex’s Facebook page and reading our old messages. I wrote letters to him and fantasized about getting back together. I even drunk texted him after six months, a shameful memory I’ll never forget. Every time I think about it, I just want to slap myself across the face. What was I thinking? I always wonder if it would’ve been easier to move on if he had cheated on me or something, but he was so great to me. I hated myself. Every day, I blamed myself for ruining our relationship. Everything reminded me of what I no longer had.
That was the old me. I never thought I’d say this, but I did move on from that. I’ve grown, and I’ve learned so much from that relationship. I’m more grateful than anything because I learned to love myself more, something I forgot. I matter, but I put another person before myself. I was so busy swimming in pity that I completely forgot about myself. It was time I started making my own plans.
Graduation was near, and I needed to figure out where I was going next. I started focusing on myself, thinking about my future, and my goals. I treated myself, went on little dates alone, and started getting back into my old hobbies. Instead of writing letters to my ex, I started writing letters to myself. I wanted to improve as an individual and become happier. I learned that I definitely don’t need someone to do that for me.
I deleted my ex from my Facebook, per my cousin’s request, and started self-reflecting on what I wanted and needed in my life. I focused on my small accomplishments and wrote down things that made me happy. I stopped stalking his Facebook and I stopped reading our old messages. I learned that I needed to prioritize my well-being first. I started talking to my family more about my mental health in an effort to better understand it.
My life isn’t over, but that relationship is. It took me a while to find myself, and that’s okay. I just don’t want to lose myself again. I can’t afford to live in the past as time waits for no one. Everyone’s different when it comes to breakups, and I know I don’t speak for everyone. All I know is that things do get better. I was so obsessed with someone else’s life that I forgot about mine, and I refuse to allow it to happen again.