My mother told me something that has resonated with me ever since. She told me that you're going to be hurting a lot longer than anyone wants to talk about it. I've found this true on many occasions, and maybe it's because I tend to have a lot of feelings and I feel things very deeply, which can be a good and bad thing.
On the side of deep grief, it tends to linger a little longer than what is considered "normal." But when a friend told me they should be over something that happened a while ago, I realized there's never a right time to be over something.
Individual grief requires an individual timeline.
If we had pre-determined times to grieve, how easy would that be? If I knew a breakup only required 3 months of being sad, then I might be more willing to dive into a relationship headfirst. Sadly, sometimes it takes three years to feel right again, but that's OK. It's important to realize that everyone's healing journey is different, and so are the coping mechanisms.
With all that being said, I guess I'll divulge into my hurts and how even (years later) it still affects me. In high school, to put it simply, I had the biggest crush on the new and cute boy in my physics class who happened to turn into one of my best friends. Which is a hard place to be. Are we friends? Are we more? What's going on? Is there a formal definition for an "I like you and you like me, but we're not going to do be an official couple?" Truthfully, I'm not sure if any of those questions got answered.
I am a big fan of things that are black and white, but for nine months I was stuck in a very grey area.
I fell for my best friend and could easily say I was even in love. And he supposedly loved me too, which aided in my confusion. As a result, this made me question why I wasn't worth committing to. What kind of guy acts like he's dating you (down to the "I love you") but doesn't want you exclusively? What was so wrong with me? The answer is "nothing" but I didn't know that at the time.
I don't feel sorry for myself in any way, shape, or form though, and I don't want anyone who's reading this to feel sorry for me either. I'm so glad that I love people the way I do and I'm very grateful for the chance to love him. I learned a lot, but it still doesn't mean that it didn't make my heart ache.
Carrying that burden into college was heavy. My self-esteem was ruined, and my trust issues were at an all-time high. I don't know why I thought college would magically fix any of it, and truth be told it didn't get any better until I truly sat through therapy and worked on it.
I learned through this that healing is not linear either.
It's not like I woke up magically one day and said "Oh, this is THE DAY that everything will get better" or "Wow, I'm magically healed!" I have a lot of good days, and then around Thanksgiving every year I get pretty sad for a hot minute. Then I pull myself together again, and everything is okay.
Healing from a hurt that makes you feel you shouldn't even be upset about something so unofficial is rough. It was not easy, and I probably let down a lot of people in the process. But it is a process. And I'm so grateful to everyone who got me through that period in my life.
Remember: Healing is not linear, and it looks different for every single person. Don't beat yourself up for having valid feelings, but make sure to stay close to the people around you who feel like sunshine.
Follow Swoon on Instagram.