The day I broke my own heart
Emotions ran high this week, with quite a bit of tears. Between dragging myself to work, hanging out with my best friend Lilian, seeing the band that brought James and I together, catching up with my friend Dylan, doing my assignment the night before it was due, confiding in my mum for the first time in a really, really long time — I think I fell apart a bit.
I saw Anberlin last night, with James. It was wonderful. James was the one who introduced me to the band from their beginnings, and we would listen to their music together and watch the band grow over the years. There would be songs we liked, and didn’t like, and others we had connections to. I would have bought a VIP ticket to meet the band, because it would have meant a lot to me, but it also meant a lot to me that James was willing to come along in the first place. I remember feeling very emotional when they played The Unwinding Cable Car as James held me for a little while.
Recently, I have been shutting myself away from people. I wanted to be strong and I wanted to help myself with my own problems instead of relying on other people. For so many years I have felt betrayed by people, often hurt, found myself opening up to people far too quickly, far too easily. I ended up getting heartbroken most of the time, especially when I cared so much for those people, only to have them walk away or not be there in my time of need. I looked back on my past as upsetting, as sad, and as terrifying. I was so scared of the past happening again.
I made people worry about me. I made my friends worry about me. And for some reason, I trusted people less. It was a shitty thing to do. I only realised in the past week how miserable it was making me.
Ever since coming out of depression, I have been able to feel. Instead of feeling sad all the time I actually have varying degrees of happiness and sadness and everything in between, everything I have not been able to feel before. And I think that the emotions have really overwhelmed me. So I poured my heart out to my mum, I talked to her and confided in her, and I cried and clung to her until I couldn’t breathe much more. I appreciate my mum so, so much, but I have never been able to show her because I never let her in. I never showed that I appreciated her concern and her care for me, because I was so defiant. I pushed her away when she asked if I was alright and when she gave me advice, thinking myself piss weak. But it’s never weak to reach out to someone.
My mum said I was stressed. I refused. She told me to look at myself and that even though I said I wasn’t, it was clear that I was. She made me take a day off work on Friday because I had barely done my university stuff, and it was obvious I had idiot eyebags (I just say idiot eyebags when I’ve got puffy eyes from crying). James and I had argued, and I was feeling unsure about our relationship.
For years I have been caught up in trying to be awesome. I have thrived off the comments I hear from everyone about how I must not sleep and that I manage to do so many things. That I’m superwoman, I’m amazing, and I inspire people. And I was a bit of a narcissist. I enjoyed hearing those comments so I kept trying and forcing myself and pushing myself and trying to do everything imaginable. I would get ashamed when I didn’t reach a goal, or do something I planned to do. I felt awful admitting defeat, and I felt disappointed in myself. And the worst part was not that I was doing it to please others — it was that I was doing it for myself. Just to feel good about myself, after believing so hard that I could do it.
Dylan told me that I seem to love torturing myself and stressing myself, it’s like I live off burning myself out, and I need to stop.
This week I just began to doubt everything. My motivation. My feelings. My abilities. My willpower. I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to be in a relationship. I didn’t want to study. I didn’t want to do anything that made me happy.
I wanted to start over again. I wanted to just drop everything in my life, and start anew, just be a completely different person. It was the first time I had ever felt like that. I was talking to Tristan and I couldn’t bear to look at him because I knew I was going to cry.
Tristan means so much more to me than I can say. I have never had someone who I could get along with so well, who hasn’t judged me once they know more about me, someone I could care about and be cared for in return. Someone who wanted to help me. I actually might have fallen for him a little.
I didn’t even really know what the main thing was that was bothering me. I think everything just hit me in the face all at once.
At one moment, he said, “Sometimes I wish we could just… drive away.”
It almost made me cry, because it made me realise that maybe that’s how I really felt about everything, if I wanted to start all over again. Maybe everything was so terrible I just wanted to run.
“Sometimes, I think…” I said, “If I had the chance to go over every thing that happened in my life, or every decision that came to it, if I knew what was going to happen and if I could change my mind and choose again… I would do it exactly the same way.”
All these feelings and emotions made me feel like I was on fire. It felt like I had been playing with it, until I set myself alight, and the pain was honestly kind of awesome and really shit at the same time. And it was like I was falling down a hill with no control over where I was going or when I would stop. I was doing that, while I was on fire, and I was enjoying all the thrills of being burned but having the impact from the fire lessened by rolling down the hill. Occasionally I’d get bumped around which would still be shit, but I was still getting that ride as I rolled down the hill.
It became oddly comforting to feel those feelings at the same time: being burned, but letting go of everything. Then it became even worse because I wasn’t stopping and I was still rolling down this hill while I was on fire, and I had no idea where I was going.
I overestimated myself.
The pain sucked.
But honestly, given the chance, I would totally do everything the same way. I don’t care about all the hurt, all the pain, all the feelings I had to drag myself through, in all my years of living. I learned so much from them. I learned so much that I wouldn’t have learned any other way. I would do that all over again if I had to.
I listened to Jack Carty’s album, Break Your Own Heart. The relevance was surprising. Zack told me that sometimes most people are responsible for breaking their own hearts anyway. I saw Jack play live on Friday because I was also assigned to photograph his show. I really, truly, honestly missed that kind of folk-pop music. Hearing it pulled my heartstrings. I met Jack after the show and he signed a CD for me, and gave me another one for free. It was lovely meeting him, we had a little chat about my photography and how I came across his music, and how he saw me mention him on Twitter earlier. He said he hoped to see me at another show. But I left that night, and thought, well, maybe I wasn’t confused.
As I opened up to my friends a little more, I realised that it wasn’t healthy shutting people out, and that sometimes you need people. That’s what friends are for. It was wonderful to be able to talk to my mum again. And you argue even with people you love. James and I were fine — we were really okay. We worked it out, as we usually do. And I guess I hadn’t fallen in love. I just wanted to prove that I had feelings, just because I could.
But you can be wrong. And it’s okay to be wrong. And it’s okay to cry. And it’s okay to disappoint people, to not meet their expectations. It’s okay to fail, and to fall, because everything will be okay.
I guess it was a little fun breaking my own heart after all.
I’ve stopped rolling down the hill, and there doesn’t look like much here. I’m not on fire anymore, and I’m not falling. But maybe I’ll sit down for a bit before I even bother try climbing back up the hill again. Maybe I’ll sit here and write the story of how I found myself.