By Lorenza Brascia
Another Saturday morning waking up puffy-eyed and, possibly hungover. If I was hungover, this was a sign of improvement. It would mean that I had managed to suppress my deepened, darkened feelings, pulled together an outfit, and allowed myself to “let loose” for a night when deep down inside, all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed. Lights off. Sleep. Repeat. Ice soon to be on the ground, a sunless sky; it was too easy to stay inside alone.
It’ll get ya.
For many months (and what felt like years) I did opposite of most women who just experienced their first heartbreak. At first, I didn’t shed a tear. I put on my best outfit, picked up a bottle from the liquor store, and met up with some old friends who were in town. Dancing. Laughing. A drunken slice or two on the way home. Life seemed just fine with me, myself and I.
But in short time, ignoring the reality of ending things with my first love crept up on me. At first, I was extremely bitter. I rarely let him know I cared, but when I did, my heart poured out with frustration, insecurity, and resentment. To my friends, I would reminisce on times that he hurt me to make myself feel better about the situation. It allowed for a moment (or two, or three) in my day for me to stop feeling so insecure. Because remembering the bad times was so much easier than remembering the good.
Day by day, I tried to keep myself as busy as possible, always planning my next activity or girl’s trip and ultimately, running myself until I physically or mentally had to stop. Of course, he’d be on my mind no matter how hard I tried to run away from my thoughts and feelings. Remember. Resent. Repeat. Burnout.
When I realized this didn’t work, I ended up back at paragraph one. Sporting two retainers, an old shirt from my senior year of high school, reading through sweet cards and crying until no more tears were left. Alone in bed.
While I never once put him through the misery of blowing up his phone repeatedly to prove some sort of point, I never failed at putting myself through hours of doing things that I knew would make me feel miserable inside. Somehow, it felt justified to look at old photos.. emails.. clothes of his in my closet. Even though it never made me feel better.
Now—I’d be lying if I said I never responded to his texts to me, or even texted him myself on a random occasion. Quite honestly. I even saw him a few times.
But then in this twisted world of losing control over your emotions and equally important, losing your sense of self, you wake one morning and realize a little anxiety has chipped away. Even if it is the slightest bit, you feel so drastically different because it is a type of anxiety that you’ve never felt before and never want to feel again.
Finding Myself (Again)
As the days go on, the anxiety slowly but surely releases. You begin to realize that you are not the person you were two years ago in love or the person the past year of your life on the mend of heartbreak. While you are still that person you’ve spent years becoming, you realize you are stronger, wiser, and you accept that you still have many years to become.
You realize to love the qualities that make you, you. And that those qualities are beautiful and precious. That your good should not be wasted for someone else’s bad in return. You realize that when you crack and have a bad day, you’ve already hit rock bottom, so you fight harder to get back up.
You realize that even if someone else might think you are insanely dramatic for having ever even having these feelings, you are a person and people feel.
And with time, you let go of resenting someone who may never have even meant to hurt you in the first place.
You accept that the heartbreak, the tears, and the process of finding acceptance in being alone ultimately brought you one step closer to your truest self.
And that what’s meant to be, will be.
New York, New York
Lorenza Brascia is a 22-year-old living in New York City. She currently works in the communications department at CNN. A Las Vegas native, Lorenza loves heading back to the west coast for the holidays; particularly Los Angeles, where her family currently resides. Her hobbies include being with her family, shopping, going out to eat, painting, and traveling.
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Photo Courtesy of The Source.