Today I cried for several consecutive hours. I cried all the way up route 130 and kept it up in the store once I arrived. I cried walking around town in the dark. I cried while I ate jolly ranchers and watched crickets. I cried and cried and cried my eyes out. But, I did not smoke.
I think smoking was a more effective procrastination tool than I realized. It allowed me to avoid more than just my "to-do list". I was also avoiding looking at the unpleasant truth of things. I would just go sit outside and smoke. Now that I am giving it up, there is nowhere to hide. Everything is bubbling up, rising to the surface. And I am afraid, but I also love it.
I am finally, after many months and many moons, accepting that the relationship is over and truly a done deal. I have been telling myself all sorts of stories, all manner of denials. "Maybe he misses me, too. Maybe he feels the same way I do. Maybe one day he will realize what he's missing and change his heart, his mind." Because of these stories, I didn't want to move on. I didn't want to delete the emails, all the texts from the beginning when things were glorious. "Eventually," I told myself, "when we get back together I'll want to have those things to remember." I am finally accepting that this will never happen. I am accepting that there is nothing to hold on to; the past is the past no matter what stories I tell myself about it.
So now I am facing it, allowing the grief to wash over me. It feels like hell.
It also feels pure and real. And uncomplicated (at least when I stick with it.) But, I notice that I want to be angry. I want to demonize him and cast myself as the victim. I catch myself constructing these elaborate stories about how he wronged me. There is nothing happening, all just stories I am telling myself.
And there is another story. This is the one where I sweep my real feelings under the rug so we can be friends. Believing in any story I tell myself won't work.
What I want is the easy way out, to pin a label on it, an answer, something concrete so I can wrap the whole thing up: all figured out. The truth is that there is no absolute truth. And tonight I recognized that I don't have a choice. If I want to live honestly, I need to stay in the moment where it is uncomfortable and messy. I need to steep in it and let it all seep in. It can be a scary place to hang out, but it is real life.
It's time to start telling myself a new story. Maybe it will be a list of possibilities or a love letter to myself. Maybe I will make my life a poem that begins with "love attracts love". Or maybe, I will stop believing in my stories and just allow the the beauty of the world to rise up and meet me.