May 15th, 2017
First off, I want to thank Caitlin for allowing me to collaborate with her and for her support in writing this piece, as well as, letting me publish it on onlynaturallove.wordpress.com. I’ve been reading her blog since I got to Howard University and personally, I admire her genuineness, strength, and positivity. Thank you Caitlin for letting me do this because I feel as though in writing this for myself, I might also touch someone else.
A little back story: My ex boyfriend broke up with me (for lack of better words) because I was away at school and he knew he was going to fuck other bitches while I was away. I hadn’t been away at school for a month at this point.
Let me be clear, I was never naive enough to believe that we would last forever.
I will say that I never thought it would end as ugly as it did. With that being said, never in a million years did I think us breaking up would affect me the way that it has. I also wanna point out that though we officially broke up in September, there was a lot of back and forth and we didn’t stop speaking to each other until November. It is now May and a lot has changed since November. Up until about April, I would say that I was just very sad. I take mental health very serious and so I don’t want to say the word depressed because there are people who have actually been diagnosed with depression however, I was very down. I never considered suicide but, I definitely wanted to die. I felt broken, purposeless, and weak. I was so angry. At everyone. I not only felt betrayed by him but my family and friends as well. I usually cried myself to sleep every night and during the day I spent a lot of time alone, kind of just going through the motions: School, work, eat, sleep…repeat. To be honest, as I write this, I don’t know if I can truly say “I’m over it.” I do know that I see the growth in myself. Everyday gets a little bit better. I do not claim to know everything about break ups but I do believe in sharing what I dealt with so that maybe I can help someone else. Here is how I got through (am getting through) MY break up:
- REFLECTING:: DO NOT HOP RIGHT INTO ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP. I’ll never forget my friend Rob telling me in high school that I always went from guy to guy. (No, I didn’t sleep with all of them LBS) He probably doesn’t even remember telling me this but he said, “You know it’s okay to be single. Be alone.” It didn’t hit me until after this breakup but I guess I really did have a problem with being by myself. I didn’t want to be alone and I’m sure I’m not the only girl who has ever felt like that. A few therapy sessions later, I have realized that it is okay to be by yourself. Did it help that not one guy at Howard tried to talk to me?? Well, yes because obviously, I had no choice but to be alone, lol. Even now though, with me smiling more (getting my groove back) and new guys expressing their interest in me, I’m okay with just being by myself for right now. I never really learned how to just be alone and be comfortable in myself to know that I, alone, am enough. Learn to be comfortable with just you before you get involved with someone else.
- GETTING SERIOUS WITH GOD: I love my family and friends to death, I really do but, the only person who had my back 24 hours/7 day a week was God. I grew up in the church like most people I know but, I am no better than anybody else. I definitely don’t deserve His love yet God is always looking out. Simple as that. Towards the beginning, I was real life cursing God. I was legit so mad that any of this was happening to me. I didn’t understand why it had to happen the way it did and why that nigga wasn’t valuing me.
Only person I needed to be valued by is God and of course, myself.
When I would be sitting in my dorm, tears streaming down my face asking God to please let me die, telling him that I can’t get through any of this, He would send comfort. That probably sounds so dramatic but, I’m oh so serious. I can’t even explain how it just felt like God was rubbing my back or wiping my tears away and a sense of peace would just come over me. I got through my first year of college because of Him and Him alone. I still gotta work on being consistent with Him, however, I encourage everybody to seek Him every day. He was the light during my dark times. I could go on and on about how God has been through this with me but, in a nutshell, get ya relationship with Him together.
- TRUST YOURSELF: I love my family and friends so much. I really do but, with the exception of my amazing roommate Tierra and my girl Kiana, absolutely nobody was there for me like you would’ve thought. I’m not saying my friends were bad friends or that my family is terrible. Not at all but, the truth of the matter is that everyone is dealing with their own shit and many of times, perhaps your people don’t understand what you’re going through. (My family and friends didn’t get it at all.) Shit, I didn’t even understand what I was going through. I just knew I was sad and very angry all the time. Learn to trust yourself. Your journey. I’m not saying you don’t need a support system because I believe that can be important but, I realized that in the end, the only way I was going to feel better is if I got myself together. I don’t know how many times I called Kiana crying, would feel better after talking to her and then cry all over again. It is a mindset. I can’t sit around thinking defeat and expect to get through something. Trust yourself, you can get through it.
- TAKING BREAKS: I now take social media breaks. I call it going to Egypt after getting the idea from Alicia Keys who would take trips to Egypt and disconnect from the rest of the world. This is where she would get the most peace. I love my breaks. Just disconnect for a few days. Delete the apps (stop lurking, LOL) and just focus on what’s in front of you. I’m a Communications major and so I recognize the importance of social media and how it’s damn near impossible not to use. Trust me when I say though, taking breaks has helped me tremendously. When I’m off of social media, I’m off. I don’t worry about what’s going on with anybody but myself. It leaves more time to focus on you. Honestly, that’s how it needs to be sometimes. This kind of goes with my final piece of advice…
- LET PEOPLE GO: I say this in reference to exes but also, friends/family. If it’s one thing I learned throughout this break up, it’s that you do not need everyone. Not meaning that you have to fall out with everybody but, I wanted to heal. I want to be better. I want to grow. I want my peace. If people aren’t trying to help you do that, drop em. It’s not always that simple but it can be. Someone I considered family really hurt me by going out to celebrate with my ex and his new girlfriend. Yall, I was so mad. Eventually, I had to look at the situation more maturely though. It doesn’t always need to be drama or bad blood. I have no ill feelings toward the girl anymore-I just let her go. She wasn’t going to help me get to where I needed to be and her doing that foul shit wasn’t either. Since then, I have done a lot of filtering and it has definitely helped. I have many more things to learn but, I do know that everyone that is in my life now, I have allowed to be in my life, I want them in my life and in their individual ways, they all have a positive impact on who I am trying to become.
I also wanted to share some books that I personally have read that helped me throughout this process:
- Who am I without you? 52 ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup by Christina G Hibbert,
- The Wait by Devon Franklin and Meagan Good,
- Bigger Than Me by Monyetta Shaw and Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes. (Excited to read her new book, Don’t Settle for Safe too!)
Thanks again for allowing me to do this Caitlin. If anyone would like to comment, has a question or would like to know more information, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.