In every breakup there’s a hero and a villain, but what if you’re both? Whether it’s for the best, out of the blue, or you just have no choice but to do it, being the one to break up with someone else is never easy for either party. However, where there’s bad there is good and it’s important to find self love when going through such a journey.
It’s been about five months since breaking up with my boyfriend of five years and in just that short amount of time, it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all. There are a lot of lessons to be learned in heartbreak and breakups. Although every situation is different and there’s still more room to grow, this is what I learned about starting off as the villain.
From Villain To Hero
To start, breaking up is never just ripping off the band aid- that’s just the first step on the journey of self-love. After a lot of pacing back and forth (both literally and figuratively), venting to my bffs and putting in careful thought and consideration, ripping off the proverbial bandage was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Why? Because hurting someone you deeply care for is difficult, but even more so when you’re doing it in your own favor. But that’s the thing, doing something selfishly isn’t always a bad thing and I have recently come to accept that fact.
When you put your entire heart, soul and time into a person, you eventually start to put them before yourself- sometimes even before family and friends. Insane right? I wish I could say that the second step after ripping off the bandage is easy but it’s truly the ascent on a really high roller coaster. Or in simpler terms, the worst part. This is where you REALLY feel like the villain.
After countless sleepless nights full of texts and calls that state every awful thing about you and what you’ve done, you really start to believe you’re the worst person in the world. The nights I spent feeling awful about what I had done had eaten away at my soul and made me think I was incapable of loving ever again.
On top of the continuous verbal abuse from my ex, I was beating myself up over what I had done for months. I didn’t let myself really see the good that came out of breaking up. Every good experience or thought I had would be followed by my own criticism because I believed that as the villain, I didn’t deserve to feel happy. But, no matter what mistakes you’ve made, it is important to keep in mind that if you’re doing something for the right reason, it’s never going to be wrong.
After a month or two and much help from those closest to me, I started to feel less guilty and embrace the good that comes from break up. The third step, as cliche as it sounds, is accepting the selfish.
I realized it had been a very long time since I put myself, which included dreams, hobbies and aspirations, before anyone else. Once I broke up with my ex and started doing just that, it was such a foreign concept to me I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. But eventually I found my feeling: happy. Happy that I was one giant step closer to chasing my dreams, happy that I no longer had someone around to put me down and happy that my happiness did not depend on anyone else but myself.
Every Experience Is Different
Now I know everyone goes through break ups in their own way. Some take a very long time to get over their ex and/or guilt, and some just seem to blink their eyes and have already moved on. But what I do know is that everyone eventually feels complete independence. When you have no choice but to find comfort in yourself rather than someone that was once always at your side, you start to realize that you what you needed was yourself all along. Once I accepted this idea as unbelievably true, I couldn’t help but to feel shocked that I had let my true self be suppressed for so long.
Want to go to the music festival that would usually be turned down by your old s.o.? Go for it. Want to study abroad without the constant nagging about neglect? Do it. Want to go to a social event leave when and with who you want? By all means, it’s your life. It’s when you begin to think this way that you have truly found yourself, and can move on to the final step of loving yourself.
Step four: out of the darkness and into the light. Once the good starts to outweigh the bad, you will realize that you are the hero after all. After all the pain and guilt, you picked yourself up without the comfort of knowing that you weren’t the one who caused it. But in the end, when you find that your true happiness had been inside you all along and all you had to do was muster up the courage to finally take the leap of faith, you will finally thank yourself. You made changes, suffered and after all, as April showers bring May flowers, you blossomed. Being someone else’s villain made you your own hero.