A few years ago, I was going through a heart-wrenching breakup while living at home in Indiana with my parents. Every day after work, my mom and I would go on a walk and, for the entire hour, I would cry and ask her: do you think he will come back?
Over and over. Every day.
Her patient response each time was my lifeline. It gave me a sense of calm and helped me take deep breaths again. Sometimes she'd encourage me, sometimes she'd make safe predictions, but every time she'd end with:
I know you will be OK if he doesn't.
Then I'd cry even more because I didn't believe her. I didn't believe I'd ever feel like myself again. I didn't think I'd ever laugh again and really mean it. Or be excited about a first date again. I didn't think anything could compare to what we'd had and my heart ached for what we once were.
A few months ago, I went on a walk with my dear friend Megan. She asked me if I ever still talked to that guy and I replied: No, I honestly don't even know where he lives.
She stopped on the sidewalk and replied: Isn't it amazing how, a few years ago, you would have said, "I don't even know where he lives!" between tears, as if it were a near death sentence. But today, it's a casual reply.
I thought about it recently when a friend of mine went through a bad breakup. I know that, in the thick of heartache, the promise that you'll someday be OK can feel empty and uncertain.
But, as someone who has been there - who has felt the ache of the lonely nights, the solo weddings and the haunting memories. From someone who has tortured herself with the stark contrast between who-I-thought-we'd-be and who-we-really-became: you will be OK.
It gets better. It gets easier. It gets less lonely. And, someday, you will be more than OK. You will laugh and mean it. You won't dread slow dances and bouquet tosses at weddings. You will be joyful and sure of yourself again. I know it can feel lonely when you're in the depths of it, but, I promise you are not alone.