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 I wrote a lot - published blog posts, left posts unpublished, and wrote unsent letters - so much I wanted to tell him but didn't. Your words of support helped.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