Eleven Pairs of Shoes and a Bag (Or Three)

The break up is new and fresh and it hurts. You feel like it’s the end of the world. You feel helpless and restless and can’t think of anything else. You go shopping and spend your entire savings in a few hours on whatever fits well and looks good to ease the pain, the hurt, the heartbreak. You feel traumatized, like you’re in a never-ending abyss of emotional torment and you don’t know if you will ever manage to crawl out. Irrational thoughts of ways to salvage things take over your mind and hold you hostage as each day creeps by at a snail’s pace only to prolong your suffering. You begin to dread the night for even when you sleep your subconscious is hard at work, reminding you through your dreams of what could have been, filling these dreams with scenarios that didn’t exist and never will. It only deepens your misery to have, in your sleep, the love and the life you crave because you must wake up to reality without it. Such despair, such anguish could not exist if it was not real love that had been lost, you think.

Days pass. Maybe even a week does. One morning you wake up and you feel happy. You aren’t sad anymore, you aren’t filled with unreasonable wants and desires, and your dreams aren’t haunting you anymore. A wave of relief sweeps over you even though at first you are not quite sure why this is. Slowly it begins to sink in: You are over the relationship and the break up. You are overjoyed by this. Then it unnerves you. If it took you only a few days to let go of the feelings how strong were they in the first place? And what the hell were they? What if you hadn’t broken up? How long would you have been together on the basis of these feelings, whatever they were? You try to steer clear of the scary thought that’s becoming obvious but it never stops nagging you. How will you ever know if it’s really love?

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