Getting Back to You After Losing Yourself in a Relationship

I spent nearly a decade in an on-again, off-again relationship with who I believed was the man of my dreams and here’s what I learned from it.

  • If you can save yourself for marriage, please do so. Mentally, I committed myself to a “marriage” && no one had asked my hand in marriage. I fulfilled wifely duties, fed his desires, even his fantasies and all I was left with was… “I’m sorry, bae. You know I love you.
  • If you think it’s wrong, it probably is. I struggled so much when we were on our “breaks”. I knew that I would have to face the day when my replacement would come along. I believed that I had convinced myself that it would be okay. It would smooth over fine. “Surely, you’ll have already moved on and you’ll have found a new love. You won’t even care.” This couldn’t be further from the truth and I knew it. I just wanted to believe that because he didn’t fix us the way I thought he should’ve, then I deserved different. I deserved better. But I loved him and I knew that when I stubbornly withheld my love. Sometimes, I would even cry about it. 
  • This leads me to my next point… if you love them, love them. Don’t convince yourself of believing that your love has to look a certain way. Everyone’s love looks very different. Your friends, your mama, or even your sister cannot tell you what’s best for you. 
  • If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. You can walk away with your head high knowing that you’ve experienced something most people spend their entire lives in search of. People stop fighting for love. They decide there’s something or someone more “fitting”, someone who’s “less complicated”, who provides them with a more relaxed, less “pressure-filled” environment. I believe that we must all live in our truths, unapologetically, and don’t apologize for what that might look like. 
  • Love yourself. There’s never a bond worth having that will call for you to lose the love you have for yourself. After contracting a virus from my ex, I struggled to love myself. I went through extreme measures: cutting my hair (several times), losing weight and adopting this crazy workout plan, forcing myself to love other people in hopes of receiving the love that I so desperately wanted from my ex from them. Nothing I did besides loving me actually mended the hurt that my heart was experiencing. I remember going to a counselor at the time of what felt like a complete mental breakdown and I screamed, “I am not my diagnosis”. Surely, I was getting somewhere when I said these words, but it doesn’t matter how much value they held if I didn’t actual believe them enough to love myself through my diagnosis. 
  • You are not defined by someone else’s inability to SEE YOU, FEEL YOU, & VALUE YOU. They’re just blind AF and that’s okay. I struggled so much, possibly because of my abandonment issues that date back to my toddler childhood age, to accept that he didn’t marry me. I found out he had gotten someone else pregnant and I immediately thought, “That was supposed to be me.” It wasn’t until several failed attempts and countless tears, that I realized, “Girl, if he wanted that to be you, then it would’ve been you.”

Everything will be okay. It’s all playing out for your good. You just feel like you’re dying. You’re not actually dying. You still have a purpose, that’s why you’re still breathing. 

Elle, A Grown Ass Black Woman

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