28 August 2012

The one where I quote a Kelly Clarkson song.

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

I used to picture this song playing, as strong women box at the gym, sweat dripping off them, swollen jugulars. Determination. Hearts pounding. In recent weeks the song has taken on a new meaning for me. It's true. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Exactly a year ago, my heart was so broken that I thought it was unrecoverable. The grief, though abstract, made my body ache. When you love someone, worry about their safety and write countless words to tell them they're worth being here, it is devastating knowing you are so easily and quickly replaceable. I cried. I wondered why. I missed him. So much.

He said we'd still be friends. I don't think we are. I guess in the Facebook sense we are, but that's all. How can we be friends when...? An actual friend told me, "you wouldn't stay friends with someone who's broken your arm. So why stay friends with someone who has broken your heart?"

For a while I didn't think I would feel the same as I felt before I met him. I never thought I'd feel that much love for another man - maybe I won't. I felt used, cheapened and dependent. And he just didn't understand the reason for my sadness. It was hard seeing the man I loved was the happiest he's ever been because of someone else.

I burnt my hand the day after my heart broke. The combined pain was awful. I had to go to the hospital twice that day - once for a dermatology appointment and three hours later when I burnt my hand. I cried both times. A friend, Suz, came to my house to deliver me dinner because I was too sore and sad to cook. I told her this was the worst day of my life. It was the best lamb curry I have eaten. Last night my friend told me she can't believe it was a year ago, and that I did it! I got through!

Now I feel neutral. I still love him, I still miss him. But I no longer worry, and there's no residual anger. I once even spoke her name when talking to a friend. I can listen to Somebody That I Used To Know and Someone Like You without a rush of tears. I have almost stopped counting the months since.

Writing helped. I wrote a lot - published blog posts, left posts unpublished, and wrote unsent letters - so much I wanted to tell him but didn't. Your words of support helped. Thank you.

And now I am so happy with my life. This year has been amazing. I feel strong, independent and free. My other friend Kate said "the best way to recover is to live a brilliant life". And she is right.

Exactly a year ago I was so sad. And now I'm not. :)


  1. I'm so glad you're living a brilliant life and feeling stronger. These things are painful. I hear you on that.

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  3. I'm glad you're happy with your life Carly. In the face of the loss of love you found meaning and purpose in so many other ways and in doing so made a difference and took us all along for the ride.
    You truly are living a brillant life. Go you!xoxoxo

  4. "the best way to recover is to live a brilliant life"

    I love that :)

  5. I still hold that you can never truly appreciate love till you have experienced a broken heart. You need to know the shadow to really appreciate the light. I'm so happy that you are happy and I'm sure that a brilliant, sunshiny love is just around the corner for you.

  6. Time heals all wounds.... It really, really does. A-M xx

  7. I'm so happy to know that you are in such a good place. I never believed that time would help heal, but it most definitely does. And in another year, it will seem so, so long ago. xx

  8. Glad you have made it through the pain Carly, and I'm sure you will feel love even stronger to come.
    Love that Marilyn quote too x

  9. Congratulations on your brilliant life! Heartbreak is horrific, but you survived it and I love how you write about the whole experience with such a beautiful mix of gusto and finely tuned sensitivity.

  10. So pleased you're happy Carly - it really does shine through on meeting you. And you're doing better than me, I still refer to one of my husband's ex's as Voldemort ;)

  11. You are a pretty amazing person Carly. I love this post for many different treason but most of all I love it because I can hear you talking each word and you sound happy, really really happy. One day you will find a love that truely deserves you but until then don't settle for anything less. Fee xx

  12. This is an amazing post. It's incredible to see how far emotionally we can come in a year. A year ago, you didn't think you'd be happy again & I never imagined I'd be six months away from parenthood. I'm glad that you're not in so much pain anymore.

  13. Love the Marilyn quote! You are one strong, beautiful woman! His loss! :)

  14. You are happy and successful! I trust if more of us would view success in terms of how much we give instead of acquire, we would live in a different world! View a video about how this guy's one day with a Buddhist monk changed his life, helped him become a CEO and redefined his idea of success at:

  15. I am so happy you have had an Amazing year.Good on you Carly for working your way through your tough times.
    May things just keep falling together for you.Xx


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