I have been single for what feels like forever now. I started this blog part way through last year on the heels of an unexpected, traumatic breakup. Half a year might not seem that long, but it’s honestly the longest I have been single, single; not even crushing on a boy or chatting to a boy or dating. Since the age of 18 I have barely been a month without having a boyfriend, dating someone or lusting after some babe. Or on and off again toying with my ex… (facepalm)
It has taken these six months or so of total singledom for me to truly get to grips with some underlying mental issues and just generally learn to love myself. I am so harsh on myself, being a total perfectionist, that I never let myself relax and just BE. In all honesty it has taken going through depression, anxiety and losing the very essence of who I am to truly discover who I am and who I can be. I needed to be alone to do that.
When I fall for a guy, I fall HARD. I absorb myself into their life, I want so desperately to know everything about them and to share everything with them that I forget who I am. I throw myself into the relationship trying to make it perfect. I do the same thing with my studies and my creative work, sacrificing my health in order to create perfection. In the course of last year I started to falter as I had thrown my entire self into my university when I then met a boy with whom I started a fast, intense relationship very quickly. I lost my already lost self.
Coming out of that relationship and into the toughest semester of university was near impossible and I was drowning. I barely remember the end of last year. I was so numb to everyone and everything around me. I didn’t care about myself or my health. I stopped caring about what I looked like, I filled the holes in my heart with food and days upon days in bed.
Then I started to show myself some love. I reached out and I got help. I started putting effort into going to bed early and waking up early. I took time to relax. I took time to eat well and exercise. I started writing a journal. I learnt to listen to others and share wholeheartedly. I have found that I am a much calmer, less intense person than I thought I was. I have this amazing ability to be heard, but I don’t need to force it down people’s throats. I am quieter now. I have slowed down.
I now look in the mirror and I see a pretty, energetic, bright girl. I don’t need a man to tell me that I am sexy because I truly believe that I am sexy. I exude confidence. I am exercising every day and I am improving every day. I am happy in my own company. It has taken me a long time to finally realise that I am not just OK on my own, I am great. I love who I am at this stage of my life.
I don’t need no man.
Sometimes we need to take the time to get lost to discover who we are. Sometimes we need to experience aching loneliness to realise that being alone does not have to equal grief, it can equal growth. We need to smile, laugh, eat well, move, dance around the house, live in the moment, present ourselves well, speak out, learn to listen, create, relax and most importantly, be true to who we are.
We need to learn to love ourselves.