Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hitting a wall (9 months later)

There’s this thing that happens in endurance sports, like running a marathon, when someone's been exerting themselves for a long time, their energy reserves start to deplete and all of a sudden they feel like they can’t go any further, too tired to move, they stop dead in their tracks; it’s called “hitting a wall.”

Well I’ve been running for 9 months now, I'm exhausted, and just ran face first into a wall – never saw it coming.

Making it through a breakup and coming out on the other side a better person takes work. A lot of work. You have to put yourself through quite a bit of self-reflection and analysis. Maybe not everyone does this, but I needed to. I've had to think about what I need to be happy and not just why my relationship didn't work, but what parts both he and I played in not making it work. It takes two to do the crazy tango, you know?

And this takes effort. And recently, I just got so tired of it.

Somewhere around the 9 month mark I started to break down and for a few days I seemed to be right back at Day 1. I really felt like I hit a wall; I stopped dead in my tracks and all thoughts of happily moving on and going forward with my life came to a halt. All I wanted to do was stop, drive to his house, pound on the door and say, “Seriously? What the fuck is wrong with you?!” and then hear him say, “I’m sorry, I’ll change, I’ll make this work.” This whole wacky breakup thing seemed like one big, fleeting mistake.

Um, yeah. Insane, right?

But a phone call with my mom got me thinking. We talked for a while and she made me laugh, and then she said something really poignant, she said, "The thing that gets me is that he still has the power to upset you."

So I thought about that. How does he still have the power to upset me? That doesn't seem right at all. And then I remembered that (a) it's over and (b) he can't upset me anymore because he, in fact, is not around to do so. The only reason I was upset was because I allowed my thoughts of him to upset me. That's kind of ridiculous when you think about it. I don't need that shit. No thanks.

So maybe that's just how you deal with "hitting the wall." You sit down and rest for a minute and think about what is actually getting you down and if you need to, give yourself a break to feel sad for a minute. But don't feel sad for too long, pick yourself back up, remind yourself (however you can) why your relationship didn't work and keep moving on.

Because "hitting a wall" is just a temporary setback. It happens when you work really hard and, for whatever reason, you're just exhausted and maybe vulnerable to unpleasant thoughts. And on those days, I'm doing things that make me happy and keep me moving. I'm remembering all the reasons we are not together and talking about it. Because ultimately, it will pass; and when it does, I'll get up and I'll keeping moving forward with my life just as I've successfully done for a whole 9 months now.

So Dear Readers of my humble blog, have you hit the wall? If so, how did you get through it? I'd love to know because I know I'm not alone.

Photo by *Evelina*


  1. I was just wondering how you're doing yesterday and hoping you're okay. Sorry you've hit the wall but you have to do exactly what you say (and what I've had to do in the past with my running) - take some time out, be gentle with yourself, and then get back in the game. I had the worst time running around June this year and I ended up taking about a month out because I was hating every outing. When I got back to it, it felt better than ever before. I really hope your heart has the same thing happen.

  2. The wall you just hit its not just yours, but also his. You have endured nine months of emptiness and have hit rock bottom. This is good news.
    You have learned that in spite of all this you love him. This means you have genuine feelings for him.
    You know these feelings are not out of hurt, rejection, or just loneliness.

    When you broke up with him you were asking him to change, stop the suffering, and go find himself, change and grow much the same you have.
    You did with actions something far more powerful than just asking a question of whether he is serious or not about the relationship. What you should expect as an answer should be more than empty promises (like the one he will change and make it work). What you should expect him to do is to hit rock bottom like you have, grow, change, and if in the end, and of his own volition he finds he loves you to come to show it with actions (not tell you).

    Your role now? You wait until he does what you did (work on himself) until he figures out his feelings for you. As hard as it may be, you do nothing and wait until he tells you he is ready, but more importantly until you see he is because he has taken action. In the meantime you keep growing!

    So the wall of desperation and control loss is very real, because you have committed to let go of control, and allow free will to define your futures. That future may be together, or separate, but either way you will be fine. Hitting the wall is the beginning of that future.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. Hi Santaslil,
    Thanks for reading my blog and for sending me such a supportive comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to share.

    I feel like perhaps you misunderstood the tone of my post and I wanted to clarify. You wrote, "You have endured nine months of emptiness and have hit rock bottom." This might just be a miscommunication but I didn't see it that way. I think I've grown in these last nine months in ways that I could never have imagined. This whole process has been pretty amazing to witness and I'm really thankful for it.

    And the thing is, I don't expect anything from him at all. Not an answer or an explanation, nothing. I do hope that he does grow and change but that honestly isn't any of my business.

    And my role now? Well thats just to continue doing what I'm doing because it's working and I'm happy. The point I was trying to convey was that breakups can take work and sometimes you get tired. Its a normal thing to feel that way and I wanted to let my readers know that it's ok to have a bad day (or days, or however long it takes) but eventually you'll pick yourself and keep moving.

    Thank you again for all your support! And thanks for reading.

  4. Hi,

    I may have used words that hint of loneliness and despair. Emptiness and hitting rock bottom is just another way of saying that you came to term with your feelings alone, wihout anyone intefereing or influencing you. If done right, as you have, and you also grow like you have, you use that time to become a better version of your own self.

    At the end of the process, when you are stronger, you will be able to accept your feelings for what they are. I can accept for example, that I still love my ex, but there are things she will need to change about her, before a new relationship would ever be considered. In my mind meeting a new person and meeting the ex again are the same thing, in her case there is a history, and I have some requirements, if she want to date the new me. I am not sitting around waiting for her to call, or hoping she will. In fact, she has renewed contact and wants to be friends. I know that would not work and refused. She had to accept it and now she is fine with it. I do hope she grows, but I am not the one who will mentor her or check up of her progress either. You put it well, it is her life, and her business.

    I was trying to say that you are at this point of strenght, and probably past that, based on your response.

    This is indeed very good news for you. Sorry for the confusion.


  5. You are not alone. I have hit a wall... I have hit a number of walls, yet each one seems to be smaller and thinner and more managable than the one before it.

    Anonymous says it is now your role to wait for him to make the progress you did... to see things how you have, or inhis own new way... it is a process of waiting for the other person to grow—if you want to have them in your life that is. It is like meeting a 'new person' for the very first time.

    I think this is the hardest part. You want to share what you learned with them, but you cannot. They must learn their own lesson and grow in their own way... you aren't a team anymore. I hate that.

    Thank you for your blog. You are truely an inspiration and have provided all your readers with the comfort that they are 'not alone.'

    I am currently working on a book about my break-up and therefore have been reliving all the good, bad and in between times we had. It is hard and I find myself sitting in a book store, typing with tears streaming down my face but I was too lost in the memory to even notice. (How embarassing! ha)

    Thank you for your writing...



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