In October of 2017, my world was shaken up. While I knew things weren’t going great, I was under the impression that things would get better if I just rode it out and stayed in prayer. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the case. The delusion that I had been living in finally came to light. I felt a mixture of emotions, but I was literally frozen and becoming more numb by the minute. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but that is truly my experience. I couldn’t do anything, couldn’t think of anything, many days, I couldn’t speak anything. I literally sat in silence at home for about a month. I went on about my daily work day, maintained conversations via group chat with my friends, and still laughed and joked with my mom, assuring her I was fine. But every day I’d go home, I was silent; partly from exhaustion of having to fake things all day and partly from the anger I felt at God. I was dying a slow death and confided in no one.
Months passed and I still sat in that emotionless state of shock, I guess. In between that time, a few things happened, a physical altercation, self-inflicted stab wounds to my right thigh, a move, a new job, and an epiphany: I had officially gone crazy. I didn’t know what was going on with me and was convinced I had some type of mental illness, but I still continued to go about my daily routine. In February of 2018, after I had started my new job, I decided to finally see a therapist. Now I am not one of those people who “feels some type of way” about therapy. I knew I needed it and was glad to finally have taken the plunge and scheduled an appointment. Therapy was everything I thought it would be. I walked into a room decorated in pastel blues, a soft aroma, and the infamous couch. As soon as I sat down, I could feel the tears already welding up in my eyes, but I played it cool, like a G, at first.
I realize there is probably a little explaining to do, especially in regards to the physical altercation and the stab wounds. So as to not create alarm, I will back up a bit and briefly address them. I honestly don’t remember which happened first (things are becoming a blur), but in the midst of a heated argument, in which I was enraged, I literally jammed a pen into my thigh, HARD, multiple times. It was as if I had blacked out. I can only imagine what that would have looked like to a fly on the wall. I didn’t feel any pain. It wasn’t until the other person in the room asked me what I was doing and snatched the pen from my hand, that I looked down and saw blood rolling down my legs. Side bar- I realize and understand now why people cut themselves. Physical pain is much easier to endure than emotional pain. It’s such a release and the body heals fairly quickly. I know that is a controversial statement, but I believe it to be truth; back to the story… then there’s the physical altercation. This one I will not go into detail about because it is a trigger for me. But it was another moment of “black out”. When you are in the middle of a physical altercation with someone you actually love and care about, things can get really difficult. My adrenaline was pumping, mostly from disbelief. I remember fighting to breathe and then just stopping. For what felt like 5 minutes, I just laid there. In that time, I knew I could no longer live my life in this fashion. I saw a knife (or maybe scissors, I’m not certain) in the corner in my peripheral vision and my mind went back and forth between grabbing this object and planning my next move. It was as if my energy was transferred to the other person involved and that person snapped out of it and just stopped as well. Then there was silence. We never really talked about it. I did receive an apology and that was that.
The very first thing my therapist said to me was very cliché. “Why are you here?” she asked. The flood gates immediately opened and I unleashed years worth of built up anger and emotion on her. When I was done, (in which she literally just sat there and watched me spaz out) I very vividly remember her leaning in close to my face and saying “I’m just going to say what no one else will and what I know you have been waiting to hear.” I’ll let you all guess what she said. It was a four word sentence – no, commandment. After that, I felt like I could finally exhale. I felt like I hadn’t taken a breath in years. I’m sure some of you understand that statement, whether you’re willing to admit it or not. I continued therapy for about a month. In the mean time, I was doing what I needed to do to get through each day.
There’s something about my birthday that makes me really emotional. That emotion can vary greatly. As my 33rd birthday was approaching, I felt sadness. I knew deep down, that I could not and would not spend another year of my life unhappy. A few days later, I grabbed all the personal belongings I could carry, packed them into my car and a friend’s car and I left everything else behind. Yes, you read that correctly. When you get to this level of desperation, where you are willing to sacrifice any and everything just to be happy, you realize many things you thought mattered, just…don’t. I mean you would be willing to do anything just to FEEL again, so I jumped off the cliff…and guess what, my parachute opened. I spent the next day handling business and the following day I happily celebrated my birthday with my closest friends. They don’t know it, but that day meant the world to me. It was the most fun and probably the most I had laughed in years.
I know that was heavy, but there’s a method to my madness. Heartbreak can come in many forms and from various places: family, friends, lovers, church, work, school, etc., but I am a living witness to the fact that your life can and will go on. As I am approaching my 34th birthday, I thought it necessary to reflect on this life lesson. Almost a year later, I am still heartbroken. I can be in a room full of people and at times, I still feel lonely. Life has truly beat me down; however, this comeback has been nothing short of amazing. I have grown so much spiritually and I have seen God work in my life in ways I have never seen before and it didn’t involve me going to the alter falling out every Sunday. It truly took peace, silence, and stillness to develop such an intimate relationship with God and with self. I love myself so much and no one can ever come between us again. I know myself very deeply and this intuition is on point! Throughout all of this I have learned that time doesn’t heal all wounds: YOU have to decide you are ready to be healed. And when that time comes, you will know.
Tips For Dealing With A Broken Heart:
- Seek Therapy (no one has to know unless you tell them)
- Cry (you have to release it, there’s no other way)
- Eat (I know, it’s hard)
- Do the things you enjoy doing (you know what you’re good at, do that)
- Set a personal goal (like getting your body back right)
- Fast (from people, social media, bad habits, etc)
- Be authentic (don’t want to go- don’t)
- Be observant (don’t ignore red flags, trust your gut)
- Hurt yourself or others (if you’re feeling suicidal, please seek help)
- Allow others to tell you how you should feel, think, or believe (i.e. you should be grateful, etc., shut down this behavior, it is toxic)
- Isolate yourself all the time (sometimes is actually ok, allow people to be there for you)
- Create distractions (you have to deal with this now or later)
Brittny is a southern girl who is an avid reader and supporter of education. She enjoys deep conversations about current events, pop culture, and the emotional rollercoasters that encompass black women and the black community as a whole. She is a lover of family, books, and yoga. She dibbles and dabbles in writing from time to time.
Written for the From Darkness to Light event. If you’d like to be a part of the challenge, find more information Here. But first, leave a comment and let Brittny know what you think about her words, and be sure to visit her over at Sincerely Brittny when you’re done.