I had seen the different posts on social media preaching self love and self-care. To be honest, I thought it was the ‘fake deep’ committee at it again.
As all relationships start, I got butterflies from day 1. He was kind, gentle and had a weird meekness to him. I believed that I had found the one; I mean, he couldn’t hurt a fly or so I thought.
How we met…
I was getting into the Keke (tuk-tuk/tricycle) when someone lightly brushed my shoulder. Ready to punch this unknown person in the face (I’m not violent but, I had suffered at the hands of pick-pocketers so you can’t blame me too much for being wary), I looked back and there he was. This well-scented, young, clean shaven man. He was motioning for me to speak to him for a second and he would call me an Uber to wherever I was heading to. I stayed back not only because he was good-looking but my destination was quite far out and the sun was scorching. An Uber would be heaven at the time.
As he nudged me to have lunch with him at a nearby eatery, I followed not believing my luck as I dreaded having to utilise public transport on such a hot day. It ended up being a really drawn out conversation as we seemed to connect on a strangely personal level. As it turned out, we had similar interests, hobbies, culture and even attended the same church. We exchanged phone numbers, he called me an Uber and I was on my way.
I was strangely excited and nearly jumped out of my skin like a giddy school girl when I received a phone call and saw his name appear on the phone. This happened every time for a straight year where we ended up dating. This was it. This was my last bus-stop.
The heart break…
It wasn’t another girl, it wasn’t that he was married or even another man. He just got tired of the relationship. Actually let me rephrase that, he didn’t want to be engaged anymore. It wasn’t anything I had done or didn’t do, he explained as I watched his lips move, completely numb. It was just… he didn’t want to be linked to anyone right now. He just wasn’t in the space for a relationship this serious but he had been in the moment and everyone had told him how good we had seemed together and time wasn’t on his side. At 35, he felt it was the decent thing to do to ask me to marry him and he loved that it made me happy. He however, just wasn’t and he didn’t want to lie to me anymore.
My world stopped. I couldn’t breathe or think or anything really. All I wanted to do was crawl up in bed and never speak to anyone ever. If the ground would have swallowed me, I would have taken up that option so quickly. I really was broken and wished to die.
Luckily, I was pretty private so, only close friends and relatives knew about our engagement. That part, thankfully, wasn’t too bad. Now, If I had thought I had been broken, I wasn’t ready for what was to happen exactly 9 months after.
How I truly lost it…
I had been coming in from work when I received a phone call from my best friend. She had some news for me and needed to know I was in an area where I could sit and not do anything crazy (She knows me pretty well). I informed her that I had just gotten home from work and was able to talk. I wasn’t worried, in fact, I was more curious than worried as I believe that this was probably hot gossip. Then, she said it. ‘Kiks’, she said, ‘he did his intro yesterday’. ‘Who?’ I asked completely oblivious of who she had been referring to. She said his name and my whole world came crashing down. The same man who claimed that he just wasn’t in the space for a relationship was getting married?
In that moment, my life as I knew it never remained the same again. I did some digging on his partner and discovered that she was from a wealthy home, drove a nice car and worked for a tidy multi-national. Before this happened, I had always been very comfortable in my own skin but this was the game changer! I developed an eating disorder (Bulimia). I lost over 20kg in the space of 3weeks because I believed I was overweight even for my 5ft10 frame. I was demotivated at the office and constantly depressed to the point where I was told to take some time off as I just wasn’t myself. I kept playing around with the what-ifs: What If I had been born into a wealthier family? Maybe I just wasn’t beautiful enough? What if I had a better paying job? I toyed with these questions in my head and struggled with my eating disorder until I collapsed whilst taking a shower in my home.
Rushed to the hospital, the doctor took one glance at me and recommended a therapist I was to see once a week. I was given multivitamins, passed a drip and encouraged to eat.
Therapy, I have to admit, wasn’t of much help. In fact, I believe I was more her therapist than she was mine. She seemed to want to talk about herself and her issues in most of our sessions and I let her. Not too long after being hospitalised, I started doing some much-needed retrospection. It suddenly hit me on one such days that I had nearly lost my life because of a man who didn’t even love me enough to do life with me.
If I was going to get better, I would have to accept that this was life. Life had just happened and I needed to let that sink in. It wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do. No matter how skinny I would have gotten, I would never have been chosen by this man because he just wasn’t that into me after all. He had gone on to find someone he would spend the rest of his life with and that person just wasn’t me.
I also realised how badly I needed to find my happy. I needed to get to a place where my self-worth was never determined by anyone’s opinion of me but on the assurance of myself and my worth. I needed to start living life on my own terms and It hit me that if I was being honest, I wasn’t sure I had even known him either. I was looking for happy and I thought my happiness had found a way to nest in him. Maybe, that was in itself, a main problem.
I started doing some work on myself: I wrote out mantras every week.
I unfollowed everyone from social media who made me feel bad about my life either intentionally or unintentionally.
Instead of post-it notes that only included tasks I needed to accomplish through out my day; I penned down some bible verses that would speak to me during the day, I called them, ‘God’s message to me for the day’. I only read blogs that empowered and inspired me. I also spent some time socialising with friends and family from whom I had drifted away due to my insecurities. I started feeling better about myself and everything I brought to the table.
I saw the quote come up again just the other day, as I scrolled through my time line and this time, it resonated deeply with my spirit. This time, it wasn’t some ‘fake deep quote’ someone had conjured to make themselves look smart; it really had become a phrase that would always hold some depth for me.
Life will happen, but you don’t have to break. You are enough.