Another Day to Start Appreciating Yourself

It’s like the numb version of me has to be reminded that once I actually felt feelings. Once upon a time I was excited and loved – not numb. It feels strange that people who met me, after you, don’t recognise me like that. It feels strange that I no longer like myself. – 2017

Heartbreak is a process. We have all heard it before and it will be said over and over again. When I wrote this passage in 2017 I had been going through two Valentine’s Days as single, after a fairly long relationship. It’s a long time since now, but I still think that the feeling I was feeling was somehow accurate. 

It feels strange that I no longer like myself.

Leaving a relationship changes you. Most of all, it changes the picture you have of yourself. I doubt that none of the new friends I made thought I was so sad or lonely as I described it, but back then, it took me weeks just to put my feet on the floor each morning without feeling like I tried to move mountains. It took even longer to be able to think of him without becoming sad, and most of all it took years to realise that even though that relationship failed, I didn’t necessarily fail. 

What strikes me now is that every word I was writing defined me through what I had lost – us. It’s like I didn’t even see me as a person, because that would have required to feel things that were too hard to process. It’s tragic to say, but I needed two more horrible heartbreaks and a few years to stop feeling numb. I needed to go through all the holidays in a year at least once to realise that Valentine’s is no more than a normal day. It’s another day like any other that you should go through appreciating yourself.

Still, I keep falling for that sadness sometimes. New breakups always get me. They make me feel horrible. They make everyone feel horrible. And when they’re over the feeling of loss and remembrance and missing your former love, all melt together into pain. I’ve always thought that I miss who I become when I’m loved, but I just didn’t realise that I’m still the same. 

Yes, I look fondly back at what I had in that relationship, but the passage I wrote is not beautiful. For years I thought that describing it like that was my way of missing him, while in fact, it was a desperate, silent call for help. Warning alarms should go off everywhere when you start to despise yourself.

Disregarding if you’re in a relationship or not, my advice to all of you for this Valentine’s Day is to make a promise to truly start checking in with yourself. The chances are big that you haven’t done that in a while and everyone deserves happiness – Today, on holidays, or any other day for that matter. 

Published by Clara Fors Wisbyse

- A 22-year-old Swedish journalist student living in Stirling, Scotland. - One of the two founders and editors of the online magazine In Full Bloom

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