Broken on an Autumn Day

Photo courtesy of Suzann Rodgers Hallman

Photo courtesy of Suzann Rodgers Hallman

It is an almost absurdly beautiful fall day. I stepped out of my car to head into Starbucks (to get a drink with a RED CUP!! …I have no idea why this is such a big deal to people, but apparently it is) and a big slap of delicious autumn air punched me in the face while jolly mister sun poked me gleefully in both eyeballs. It’s cliche, but everything in autumn is so fucking CRISP!

And my very first thought, standing there in the light and the air and the crisp, was, “It’s far too beautiful a day to feel so broken.”

A relationship I was in ended recently and, while it wasn’t particularly long-lived, it was meaningful to me.  It’s not abysmally bad, but it has been difficult.  I did the usual grieving routine over the past two weeks (it was almost comical how textbook the process was, actually), and now I just feel a kind of soreness, like my heart went back to the gym for the first time in a few years and decided it could, like, totally bench 250, bro. Which, in a sense, is pretty much what happened.

So I’ve been feeling broken…until it occurred to me that, no.  Just no.

Heartache, confusion and sorrow are all natural, healthy reactions to loss.  They’re just as normal as the excitement about what may come next and the tiny twinges of relief (because, let’s face it, being in a relationship where you actually allow yourself to be vulnerable can be exhausting, and it can be nice to step back from that for a moment).  I spent a huge chunk of my life avoiding the act of feeling my feelings, and if I didn’t feel pain now, it would mean I was right back to suppressing the part of myself that’s able to feel.

Pain doesn’t mean I am broken.  Hacking off big parts of who I am so I didn’t have to hurt?  That was broken.  Pain means I am whole.


2 thoughts on “Broken on an Autumn Day

  1. Great post. I feel like just acknowledging the fact that the pain is there to be dealt with in some way is a huge step forward. I hope you felt some of the reward that comes with it. Sounds like maybe you did.

    • I always tend to judge my feelings. I can acknowledge the pain is there, but I tend to just get mad at it and tell it why it oughtn’t exist. Accepting that pain is a GOOD sign — evidence that I’m on the right track in my journey, evidence that I’m living life and being human and experiencing it fully — is a big step for me. It feels sort-of amazing. And it strangely eases the pain, quite a lot.

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