Cope

3 years, 5 months ago
Link to this thought

A friend recently reached out for help after a painful breakup. Her ex had broken off all contact from her and she felt hurt and alone and worried that she'd try to contact him again "because I'm always the one being the pathetic freak who crawls back and tries to pick up the shattered pieces". Here's what I sent her:

I thought hard about what I would say to you today. To be honest, I didn't have any easy way of coping with a loved one abruptly and completely leaving me recently, and I still don't have a solid coping strategy. I've wallowed in despair, I've tried to distract myself, and I've done this... thing. It's hard to explain, but I've had to do it a few times in the past couple years.

[an unnecessary explanation of my weird tragedy coping ritual redacted]

But I thought about what I'd tell you and I don't think I have anything to say that isn't already obvious. If this issue is truly in your past at this point (albeit very recent past), then you need time, distance, and perspective. Eventually, you'll reach a point where the pain fades from an active, poignant thing to a dispassionate acknowledgement that something deeply disappointing happened. Before that can happen, though, it will take time for that emotional wall to soften so you're no longer trapped behind pain, shock, and a desire for resolution. And that time will only be worth a damn if you spend it being kind to yourself. None of this "pathetic freak" talk.