Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Counting from Nine

If you've been following along here, you know now that my relationship lasted just one year shy of a decade, nine years. It ended on February 16, 2009. On that day, the life I had lived for nine years ended too and that's when I began starting over.

Each day after February 16th that I woke up, got out of bed, took a shower, got dressed, worked my job, ate food at various intervals, and then retreated to my room at night, was an accomplishment.

I remember the end of the first day at my parents house (where I moved to after I moved out of the apartment I shared with my ex), I was sitting in bed and I thought, "Okay, I got through the first day, this was Day 1, and I made it." Each day that passed was one day further away from the breakup, one day further from the end of that 9th year, and so I started counting from nine.

But the idea of counting off the days goes a little deeper. It began shortly before my break up.

One night, while I was still living with my ex and we were in the thick of the breakup negotiations, I was in a panic (per usual) and my mind was swirling with emotions, images, questions and dread and I knew I had to get all of those feelings out of my head and somewhere else. So I picked up my laptop, opened a blank page, and starting typing up my stream of consciousness. When I was done, I typed the date at the top of the page, February 3, 2009. After I dated it, I read it. The words were sad and painful and it was all there, on the screen and out of my head. When I read those words over again and I looked at the date, I thought:

"This is how I feel today, but someday it isn't going to be today anymore. I won't feel this way forever. Tomorrow it won't be February 3rd anymore."

Just thinking that made me feel a little better. I realized that what I was going through that night was going to be in the past and that the next day would be, perhaps, a small percentage easier. In my mind there was an inkling that time was going to pass and someday enough time would pass where I would feel better again, and not so fractured. That's when I started to think about recovery, the passing of time, and documenting what I was going through.

A few weeks after I moved out, I started this blog. The phrase "time heals all wounds" was something that I clinged to then and so I began counting down the days, then the months. I documented almost every month like an anniversary. I was documenting the passing of time and the changes that came with it.

I also had a sense that I needed to try my hardest to not dwell on what happened, because I could very easily argue with myself about who said what and who was wrong or right, but if I was going to get past it then I had to focus on how I perceived what happened to me, and to us, how I was going to deal with the ramifications of it, and what I was going to do in my life to change things and make my life better. And so that's what I've tried to do here. I also felt like there must be other people going through the same thing and I wanted to connect to them, which I have, and this has been one of the greatest outcomes of this blog.

Recently, I read what I wrote on February 3, 2009, and it was painful to read. It feels unbelievably raw and personal to post it here, so I won't. I'll keep it to myself, but I will say that I realized then that what was happening to me was heartbreaking, but I also knew what was best for me. I knew something had to change and when I shined a spotlight on the mess we had made, we both knew what had to happen. It was very difficult and we loved each other right up until the end. It was only after I moved out that I started to get angry. Angry at him for not giving me what I gave and angry at myself for not voicing more of what I needed, and so I wrote about it here. Writing these posts has helped me work through so much and, in a way, continues to help me find a voice that I felt I lost.

I realize that I may never know what he thinks of our breakup or me. And in the end, getting him to understand me or getting me to understand him wasn't the goal of the breakup. It isn't even why I started this blog. I did this for other reasons. I did this to help me and make my life better, and that's all I have control over; and not him or his perception of me.

So this is how Nine was born. This how I came to the conclusion that I had to recover somehow and I had to connect to other people in the same boat. Meeting you, Dear Followers and Readers, has been a hugely supportive part of this process. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and for encouraging me and listening to me.

Today is February 3, 2010. It has been one year from the night where I discovered that words were going to help me recover. Thank you, Dear Followers and Readers of my humble blog, for reading them.

And I can say today, beaming with pride, that tommorrow it won't be February 3rd anymore.


  1. An awesome post.

    For what it's worth, reading your words has also helped me (and I'm sure others), just as writing them has helped you.

    And thank you, likewise, for the words you've contributed in response to my own blog posts. I'm finding that by connecting with others who are going through (or have gone through) the process of break-up really does help.

    Here's to a better tomorrow... and a better rest of our lives.

    Hey, look! It's not February 3rd any more!

  2. For some reason it seems completely wrong and yet completely right to say "Happy Anniversary". Beginning the process of change and starting the road to your own personal happiness is one of the hardest things to do- and you did it! It is one road that has a beginning but no end. Keep on it! We are right here with you!

  3. Le Bonheur,

    You wrote:

    " Recently, I read what I wrote on February 3, 2009, and it was painful to read. It feels unbelievably raw and personal to post it here, so I won't."

    Have you heard of the concept of "Dark Night"?

    According to Wikipedia: "Dark night of the soul is a metaphor used to describe a phase in a person's spiritual life, marked by a sense of loneliness and desolation. It is referenced by spiritual traditions throughout the world, but in particular by Christianity."

    Entire discussion here:

    You describe your experience as an incredibly raw experience. This is a sign of growth during this period of pain. This past year has been your "Dark Night".

    The Dark Night means different things to different people. Questioning you faith for example (classic example, the elder nun in the Movie Doubt and her statement at the end " I have doubt". That was the beginning of her Dark night). Some would say that our constant struggle for finding our path in life is the Dark Night.

    Some uphold the belief that unless we have been deeply wounded, we have not come in touch with our true humanity. It makes us humble, and kind, and makes us appreciate what we have (job, relatives, lovers, life!). Perhaps we are not completely adults until we have been wounded. In your case Love caused this wound.

    Brida, the main character in Paulo Coelho's Novel of the same title, says of the Dark Night:

    "I learned that the search for God is a Dark Night. That Faith is a Dark Night. And that's hardly a surprise really; because none of us knows what might happen even the next minute, and yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith."

    This may sound too new age, but again the concept is almost universal through the world's major religions.

    To me it comes to a simple fact. When we are tested in life, it is through inner strength and spiritual growth (faith) that we overcome the obstacles and hard times.

    You did it by yourself. You may not have heard from him because he has been enduring a similar journey, and hist journey may not be as complete as yours. You both needed to experience that sense of "loneliness and desolation" to be yourselves again.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and publishing to the world. I am sure it has helped many and inspired others, like me, to at least try to help with comments.



  4. I feel like I should be able to give you a chip. A nice big gold one-year chip. It really is an achievement - congratulations! And thank you for all the inspiration you've given people like me!

  5. Thank you Itneverrains. Thanks for reading and thank you for the encouragement. Reading your posts has helped me too. I think your blog is so honest and insightful. I'll toast to a better rest of our lives too!

  6. Thanks for your comment, sunspot. Thanks for reading and being there with me. Don't forget, I'm here for you too!

  7. Thanks Santaslil. Your comment was as insightful as ever. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate you following along.

  8. Hi Rules! Thanks for reading. One day I'll be able to give you your gold one-year chip too! And thanks for the wonderful blog posts you've been writing. It's been so great to get to know you.

  9. hi le bonheur... i stumbled upon your blog a few days ago when i was searching for help, answers, and somewhat comfort. that day, was my version of "february 3rd". i'm new to this "getting over a breakup" and i feel like my world is falling apart these days. nothing is good nor funny. everything tastes so bitter. reading your blogs, however, really gives me hope that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. that tomorrow will be better than today, the pain is somewhat less than yesterday - i hope.
    so, thank you so much for sharing! it really helps me go through some hard days. you have come so far with everything, what an achievement! congratulations.

  10. And thank you for writing this blog and sharing your feelings and thoughts. You never think that your experience will be what others need. WHen we are in a sad mopey state we just look for those words that help us... but in return you have helped me!

    You have a very peaceful positive energy; I love it!



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