I woke up this morning feeling miserable. I dragged myself out of bed only because our dog Walter lets me know when he needs his morning pee. As him and I shuffled down the sidewalk through the foggy morning, my heart felt heavy. I couldn’t shake the gross feeling in my stomach and I totally knew why. My heart is broken and I miss Ian. We dated for 2-years and we still love each other, but we needed to break up in order for me to heal. (It’s complicated). You know that saying, ‘if you love someone, let them go’? Its pretty much the story of our lives right now. *Disclaimer so that people don’t start hating Ian. He did NOT abandon me. Him leaving was a mutual decision.* Trying to navigate my way through this mental health journey with a broken heart is not easy. It almost feels like a cruel joke. When I use to fall asleep Ian would hold my hand, and now I hold Walter’s paw. It’s a very cute substitute, but its obviously not the same.
When I finished Walter’s walk I talked to AB on the phone hoping that that would lift my spirits, but it didn’t; there was nothing that could make me feel better. She can normally make me laugh in a few seconds, but instead as she spoke I choked back my tears, and replied with a few mumbled words. If I start to cry right now I will never make it to school. I had a quick shower and threw on some jogging pants…I could tell I had a long day ahead of me.
Topic number one of the day was, ‘Situations, Moods, and Thoughts’. You’ve gotta be kidding me. Throughout the booklet we learned how to develop a ‘thought record’. The purpose of the record was to see that once we work through some of the moods we have, we often realize that we are catastrophizing, or making things worse than they need to be; we don’t actually possess any evidence to support the thought. I’ve been introduced to this concept before in counselling, and keeping it in the back of my mind did help me from time to time. But the mood I was in today was a very complicated example. I’m ‘heartbroken’…how do I talk myself out of that? Yay! Another grey area! As everyone worked away on their thought records, I could barely hold back my tears. Why couldn’t my mood be ‘discouraged’ or ‘misunderstood’? I could bang those off no problem! Am I wrong to think that there is no such thing as a workbook that could teach anyone how to feel less heartbroken? Isn’t that a normal emotion everyone has to ‘ride out’? I suppose that by my lack of questions, and quietness, the teacher could tell something was wrong with me. “Natalie, are you not feeling well?” Oh, boy. Please don’t ask. I’ve been holding it together so well. What I wanted to say was, “You’re right, I’m NOT feeling well. My heart hurts and I feel alone. I worry everyday about how I’m going to get through this. I hate how much work healing from this illness takes. I’m pissed. I’m tired. I want a glass of wine, and the guy beside me has way too much cologne on!” But all I could muster out was a, “I’m just having a bad day”.
I had to excuse myself during the ‘Enhancing Hope’ section to bawl my eyes out in the bathroom.
At the end of the day I was scheduled to meet with my teacher. She looked at me and said, “I know there’s something wrong”. She saw right through me. I replied, “I feel very disconnected from everything that makes me feel comfortable. I desperately miss Ian; the transition isn’t going well. And I even miss work”. Oddly enough, I have never had an anxiety attack or depression at work, ever. Probably because my mind is occupied, I feel confident and I’m around people I love. But now I go home to a pretty lonely world. This blog has been my saving grace. I hate feeling out of the loop and I definitely hate feeling like my heart is out of my chest. She gave me a good, “Keep practicing your positive thinking”, and “I’m here whenever you need to talk.” speech and I went home. (She is very kind. I actually like her. As you know I’m in a super judgy phase. But she’s passed the test so far).
I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what diagnosis I have been given, or how difficult it is for me to separate a ‘normal’ feeling from the feelings I’m use to in my overly dark world, heartbreak is an emotion we all feel. Not coming up with a miraculous solution after mapping it out with a thought record was to be expected. Surprise Natalie! You’re still human.