“Many times, we think saying “I’m okay” truly means we’re okay but it doesn’t.”
I remember my first heartbreak like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 2007 and I was going into my Freshman year at Georgia State University. (Whoop Whoop! Where my Panthers at?!!!) I had fallen in love with a guy and I gave him my most prized possession; my virginity. Everything was going great and I thought we were going to last a lifetime but oh contraire. One day, everything just stopped. He stopped calling as much, we used to see each other every single day but that turned into once a week. Then one day, he stood me up and I knew we were coming to an end. I knew exactly what Cardi B meant in those song lyrics when she said “It all stopped so abrupt, you started switching it up…” because that was my exact feeling. Through some MySpace snooping (Yes, I said Myspace) and conversations with his family members, I used my Inspector Gadget third eye and I got to the bottom of it. I found out the man I was in love with was cheating on me. He was a real cheater too, not like this fake cheating people do nowadays where they openly date multiple people, he actually had two girlfriends who knew nothing about each other. Through the grape vine, I heard he was having a tough time deciding who he should be with so I made that decision for him. Once my investigation was complete, I sent him a short text. It read…
I know. Nothing to explain but we're done. Delete my number, our memories, and don't even think about me. Matter of fact, don't even breathe my air.
I was a very dramatic 18-year-old, don’t judge me. I felt so crushed. I literally felt like I had been hit by a car. The pain was unexplainable. I cried a little but most of it was just me sitting in quiet places staring. I had never gone through heart break so I didn’t know what to do with myself. I thought leaving and never talking about it was good. I also thought trying to move on was smart as well seeing that he had moved on. So after two months of “healing”, I began dating again.
I thought I was over it. I hadn’t spoken to him and I hadn’t really thought much about him. I was dating so I just knew I was over him and his cheating ways. It wasn’t until two years later when I found myself crying after sex that I realized something was terribly wrong. I literally had sex with a guy then ran out crying when we were done. He was very confused but that’s a story for another day. The point is, I wasn’t okay. I had been hiding from my pain rather than healing and it had come back to the surface, like it had just happened yesterday.
“The feeling of a healed heart is being able to accept what happened and let it go.”
I spoke about this in my first book How to X Your Ex . Many times, we think saying “I’m okay” truly means we’re okay but it doesn’t. You can’t talk yourself into being healed. It isn’t something you can fake, it is a process. The issue with many of us is that our default is to shut down. Shutting down takes many forms. It could be what I did and completely ignoring the person and acting like the pain didn’t happen. It could be drowning yourself in work so that you’re so busy that you can’t address it. It could also be going through a “playa” or “hoe” phase because you’re single now and you think this the perfect time to screw as many people as you can because it’s apart of the healing process. All of these things are signs that you’re actually hiding instead of healing. A good indicator that you’re hiding instead of healing is when you actually have time to sit down with yourself, no distractions, and you feel that negative emotion all over again. Many times, you don’t understand what it is, but you feel sad but you don’t know why. The reason is, you’ve hid all this pain and finally it’s coming to a head. It’s like sweeping trash under a rug over and over. Eventually, it’s going to be lumpy under that rug and you’re going to have to clean it.
So what is healing versus hiding? I’m glad you asked. The feeling of a healed heart is being able to accept what happened and let it go. Understanding that although the situation didn’t end how you expected it to end, you can still be at peace with it. Although the definition sounds easy, the process of healing can be rigorous. Facing pain head on is like readjusting an out of place bone. The harsh pain you feel putting that bone back into place is going to be worth it in the end because once it’s back in place, you’ll be all good. But if you just leave that bone in that broken place, it won’t hurt as much as the readjustment, but it’ll never heal properly in that position.
If you’re reading this and you suddenly realize that you’ve been hiding versus healing then good. Acknowledging the issue is step one. Whatever you have been hiding behind, it’s time to release that and face this pain head on. Sit with yourself and just let that hurt out. Cry, scream into a pillow, go to the gym and punch a punching bag. Do what you have to do to release. Once you pinpoint exactly where this pain began, then write it down. Write a letter to yourself, release all that stuff you’ve been holding inside. Once you’re done and you’re ready, burn that letter. If you don’t like fire, tear it up or shred it. Once you’ve done that, then go write down where you want your heart to be in your new season of healing. Write how you want to feel and anything you could do differently this time to help you not go back to that place of hiding. Congratulations, you have begun your process of healing.
I can’t give you the full roadmap to success in this post but I can tell you that hiding is the worst way to get to the destination of acceptance and letting go. Every person is different because every person’s point of pain is different, but we can all heal. No matter what the situation, we can each heal from it. So come out of your hiding place and readjust your perspective because just like that bone, you can’t heal in that broken position.