Tag Archives: exboyfriend

Putting my heart back together

28 Dec

I haven’t blogged in a long time.

My apologies, but I needed a bit of a blogcation. In truth, I’m not sure whether I should continue to write here on Pizza of Doom, or set up some new place to post all my ramblings. Not because I don’t love what I’ve created here – I do. But because my life is finally moving on.

This week it will be 17 months since the man I loved – the man I thought I was going to marry and have beautiful children with – ate half a pizza and told me he had never been in love with me. What followed was nothing short of hell. I didn’t know true heartbreak before this happened. I didn’t understand trauma, or depression, or myself.

I remember when, five years ago, a friend of mine had her engagement called off. Her boyfriend of five years had met someone else. That first week after it happened, I reassured her, and I told her, “I promise it will never feel as bad as it does right now.” I should never have said that, because I realise now that she was still in shock. She was still processing things. Her pain would come to a sharp climax sometime later, and then linger for months that turned to years. I want you to know that this friend got married (to someone else) just before Christmas. She has a baby girl. She’s very happy now.

I think my pain was at its worst for the duration of the first six months following the Pizza of Doom. Oh, you can read that pain right here on my blog. But, what scared me, was when a year later – even over a year later – the pain was still here. I thought it would never go away.

Then, all of a sudden, something shifted. Funny how it happens. One day I thought to myself, “Hmmm, you haven’t cried in like two weeks – weird.”

There’s a passage in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hussein that explains how it works with my eloquence than I ever could:

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

Now, I’m not sure that I’ve quite reached forgiveness. But I’ve reached contentment.

I refuse to feel sorry for myself that I’m still single at 32. Yes, the world is f***ed up for the fact that nobody celebrates you past graduation unless you’re getting married or having kids. But I don’t need to let that drag me down. I’m lucky. I can travel. I can buy things. I can live and create the life I want. And, if someone comes along, fantastic. But I can’t just sit here waiting.

I’ve started making changes. I’ve booked a trip to Japan. I’ve cut my hair (which I hadn’t had cut in nine years). I’m swimming and doing yoga and making sure that I celebrate things for myself – because nobody else will.

And, here’s something, I’m going to Japan on my own. It makes me slightly anxious, but it doesn’t scare me. Before, it would have. Before him. While we were together. Immediately after. I wouldn’t have had the confidence or the guts to pack up and head to the other side of the world for a month. Now, I do.

You see, this experience has changed me. It has totally changed me. All for the better. I am more sure of myself and comfortable in my skin than I have ever been. I’m resilient. I’m empathetic. I like myself a lot. If I do meet someone, if I do one day get to be a parent, I’ll be all the better at it for this experience. I guess it’s our darkest moments that test what we’re made of. Here are some Ted Talks to illustrate my point.

So I need to make a decision as to what to do with my blog. It will be here forever in cyberspace, hoping to offer comfort and advice and reassurance to poor broken hearts who Google points my way.

But I’ve finally put my own heart back together.

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Timing

2 Nov

Oh, hello, November.

How the hell did that happen? The year is nearly over, which of course means my brain starts doing gymnastics – going back over 2014. And it all comes down to this: I thought I’d feel better by now.

Last year I went on holiday in November. It had been a bit of a focus to just keep going, just keep breathing, just keeping working, just keep above water, for three months after the Pizza of Doom, safe in the knowledge that I could collapse on a beach for two weeks. And I was shocked to find myself on that beautiful beach, tears streaming, feeling totally depressed and still hurting like f*** over the man who broke my heart.

A year on, I’m about to go on holiday again, and – again – I’m shocked that I still feel heartbroken. Of course, I’m a lot better than I was last year. And, honestly, looking back over my year it hasn’t been so bad. I’ve achieved quite a lot. I’ve changed. I’ve refocused. But it still hurts. A lot.

It’s been fifteen months since that fateful evening when the man I thought I was going to marry ate half a pizza and then told me he’d never been in love with me. Why don’t I feel better?

I think a lot of it stems from the fact I haven’t met anyone else. At this stage, I figure the chances of me meeting someone and having kids are slim, very slim. That’s a tough pill to swallow on its own. But, then, if I’d met someone before now, I don’t think I would have been ready. I’m a very different person now.

It’s like this. Imagine you’ve made a cake. A beautiful cake. Delicious sponge. Sweet, swirly icing. It looks stunning. And then the man you think you’re going to marry comes along and smashes the cake up. There’s crumbs everywhere. It’s a sugar massacre.

And you still want cake.

So do you mash something together from what’s left? Or do you take some time to throw away the remains, wipe down all your worksurfaces, go and buy new ingredients, and start from scratch?

I want to start from scratch.

Maybe that takes 15 months, or more.

My first boyfriends

26 Oct

When I was nine, I fell in love for the first time. Well, “fell in love” as much as you can at the age of nine. I officially became the girlfriend of a boy in my class, who I’d been hanging out with for weeks. We both went to “Zoo Club” on Saturday mornings (it only strikes me as weird 23 years later that my school took us to Glasgow Zoo on Saturdays). We were also both really into Lego. I can’t remember how long we were officially together. I know that we broke up before my tenth birthday, when I was home (sick with tonsillitis) and he refused to sign my birthday/get well card from my class. What an asshole. Anyway, that guy got married yesterday.

My second boyfriend became one of my best friends towards the end of high school, and then we both went to study at the same university. It was during first year of uni that we officially got together. It was all very dramatic. I think we were more in love with the idea of being in love than we were with each other. We’d fight and then make up with the choreography and hyperbole of a season of 90210. To this day I’m sad that it ruined an otherwise lovely friendship. I broke up with him about a month before our end-of-year exams. Shortly afterwards he started dating a girl we’d gone to school with. Two weeks ago, they got married.

Incidentally, both of these guys have the same first name as my ex.

I guess he’s next.

Still here

22 Oct

Oh, hello again.

In the past 48 hours I’ve had four readers ask me why I’m not blogging anymore. Man. I felt bad.

My dear buddies, I am still here.

Truth be told, as well as being busy at work, I’ve felt a bit like I’ve let you all down.

Because I’ve been feeling a bit sad.

Day to day, I’m fine. I’m doing enough yoga to turn me into elastic. Work is going well. Pumpkin spice lattes are back (yay!). But I feel like there’s a sadness under my skin that won’t shift.

Dear God, I’m so embarrassed to say it, but here we go: I’m not over him. Nearly 15 months on, I still cry over my ex. Is that at all normal? Probably not.

I’m ashamed to write any more sad little posts rambling about my heartbreak.

So, starting tomorrow, I’m making a shift here on Pizza of Doom. I’m going to try and be more empowering. Although I’m mad at myself for still being sad, I’m also stunned at myself for how far I’ve come in the past year. So that’s the side I’m focusing on.

You all know I’m a heartbroken cat. But from now on this is my space to talk about everything I can do in spite of feeling sad. And, of course, moan about the absolute horror of being single in my thirties.

I’ll do you proud, buddies.

Promise.

Sometimes I wonder

26 Sep

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel normal again.

It’s over a year since the Pizza of Doom. I’m a different person now. I actually think I’m more confident, more resilient, more empathetic. I know I’m stronger than I realised. I know I’m wiser now. But I think, deep down, there’s lasting damage. There are depths of sadness which I never thought I’d reach – and which I hope I never fall to again – but that scare me still.

Last night I went on a date.

The guy was really lovely. He has a great job, he lives quite near me and has his own flat, he has lovely manners. But I found myself picking away at him inside my head. Too nice. Too thin. Too boring.

He insisted on paying for dinner. Which, I’ll admit, felt nice. It’s been a long time since a boy bought me dinner. But then when he asked to see me again I felt I had to say yes.

So we’re meeting up on Sunday for a walk and lunch.

Which should feel nice, whether or not I end up fancying him and wanting to see him again. He’s a nice guy. It will be a nice afternoon.

Yet I found myself crying as I walked home from work tonight. Because he’s not my ex. He never will be. And I will never have my ex back.

I don’t think I’ll ever feel the way I felt about him ever again.

Which means I might be destined to be alone. Forever.

The good news days

7 Sep

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I’ve moaned a lot recently about how tough it is living alone. How punishing it is to get through a stressful day, get a bunch of bad news, and go home alone to let it all marinade in your own brain with nobody to talk to. 

Well, today I’m mixing it up. Today I’m taking about the other side of things: the good news days. 

I’ve been quite down this weekend despite keeping busy swimming, walking, clearing my flat, and learning how to make origami animals (I’m getting particularly good at penguins). Today I had made my mind up: I was going to step things up a bit and go to a grown-up yoga class.

I’ve been going to the same yoga studio since May now. It’s very chilled out. The teachers are great. But I’ve been sticking with beginners’ classes. And the schedule just doesn’t have that many beginners’ classes that I can go to. For example, there are none at all on Sundays. (I guess they assume those of us less committed to yoga are busy partying and being hungover at weekends. Which is funny. Because I didn’t even speak to anyone yesterday except a man who stopped to help me when my swipe card wouldn’t work at the pool.) So, yes, back to the point in hand. I decided to go to one of the classes that are explicitly “not for beginners”.

Ivengar yoga was at 1, which suited me just fine. I trotted along, feeling weirdly anxious about the whole situation. 

I needn’t have worried. First let me tell you that the people in the grown-up classes are so much friendlier than the beginners. I got talking to a few of them before class – all nice, all normal, and (I absolutely need to tell you) all with killer bodies. 

The teacher was totally understanding of my non-superwoman yoga abilities, offering a few tips and alternatives along the way. But I did the whole class. The whole 75 minutes. And I did everything just the same as everyone else. OK, I’m sure I looked more like a baby elephant than the graceful swans who they appeared to morph into, but I tried. I even finished up with a perfect shoulderstand. 

There is something so empowering and confidence-building about trying new things and learning that you can do them. 

After class the teacher told me I’d done great. Wow. I felt like I was back at school and had just come top in my class.

I left feeling like I was floating on a cloud, stopped for a fro yo, and walked all the way home with a huge Chesire cat smile on my face. 

Now, the thing is, it would be lovely to have someone to come home to. Someone who I could tell all about this achievement. Someone to get crazy excited with me looking at the yoga schedule for the next week and planning every class I want to go to now I’ve broken than glass ceiling into “not for beginner” territory. 

I don’t have that person. 

But, for some reason, it’s easier to deal with keeping good news to yourself than bad. 

And, you know what else? If I was still with my ex, the chances are I would never even have tried yoga. 

I had a similarly intimidating situation at work on Friday last week. I had to run a workshop for a client, had done very little preparation, and had never run one of these workshops before. It turned out great. I think treating them to a spread of cookies and M&Ms helped dramatically, but I managed to put everyone at ease, make them laugh, and get them excited about the creative process. 

Clients. Workshops. Yoga. Going through life alone.  

I guess sometimes the things that scare us the most are the most rewarding. 

Which is good to know. Because I find life pretty scary right now. 

 

How do you measure a year?

21 Aug

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I’m a sucker for a musical. Rent is a favourite. I always felt kind of special that there was someone in it called April (albeit the girlfriend who died of AIDS). Anyway, any fellow Rent fans will be only too familiar with the words of ‘Seasons of Love’.

So, how do you measure (pause for breath) measure a year?

It was one year ago today that I started Pizza of Doom.

Sitting in my old office, on a day that was far too hot for the air con to be broken, I started writing and writing and writing. Trying to get all the awful thoughts that had terrorised me for the previous two and a half weeks out of my head, package them up, and send them into cyberspace.

A year later, you know what, I’m getting there. I still feel heartbroken most days, but I know how to deal with it. I still cry every now and then, but I know it will pass. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. And I’m very proud of this blog. Not just because I can look back and actually read how much I’ve changed, but because I know I’ve been able to help other people too.

And other people have helped me.

I’ve made some great buddies through the world of WordPress. Many of whom I now consider friends in the real world. It’s funny that I can walk past a Starbucks sign that autumn coffees are on the way and think of a friend I’ve never met in Maine. It’s strange that I think about friends in Minnesota and North Carolina and wonder how you guys are doing. And I really miss the blog of a friend in Boston who’s turning her talents to other things now.

But isn’t that fabulous?

Although my real-world friends have been magnificent cats for the past year – and have put up with more than their fair share of miserable ramblings from me – my little online breakup community has been a real game changer.

So let me go back to my original question, how do you measure a year?

I think if I could chart my recovery from heartbreak it would be a weird and wonderful graph. Occasional highs, longs periods of lows, unexpected twists and turns and – finally – a gradual uphill climb. I think if I could add to that graph some of the conversations and advice I’ve had from buddies here on WordPress, I would see a direct correlation between the highs and the support that I’ve had.

And so on Pizza of Doom’s first birthday, I want to extend a huge, massive, ginormous “Thank you” to every single person who has taken the time to read my story, to comment, to help, to make me smile when nothing else did, and to give me something to wake up to in the morning.

As a way of saying thank you and having a little bit of a party in honour of my blog’s first birthday and all my lovely blogger buddies, for the next four weeks I’m going to run a little something that I’m calling, “Friday with Friends”.

Every Friday I shall be giving over my blog to one of the people who has been the greatest help to me, and become a true friend through this crazy world of WordPress.

Tomorrow we’re kicking off with Crystal, who I can always rely on to call my ex an ass, and stick up for me from thousands of miles away.

Until then… well.. I have a couple of days off work so I’m drinking coffee and watching Teen Mom 2 before heading into town to do some shopping, meet friends for lunch, and finally go for a massage this afternoon.

Then I might buy myself a cake.