Full circle (the anatomy of a heart break)

They say there are five stages of grief… First there is denial. Everything slows down to an almost imperceptible crawl, leaving you with the numbness of disbelief and a full blown Fariku Singularity. You replay that final scene in your head again and again until it is etched in your mind like an indelible tattoo. You deconstruct the words hoping to find an iota of comfort; and when the lads ask you about her, you pretend the phone lines garbled that bit of speech, or mutter various incomprehensible answers.

After a while reality bites, and Anger rears its head. You want to do something to hurt, something that will somehow in your mind atone for the loss, even if it is irrational. You delete phone numbers, wipe out emails, cut off social connections and add details to block lists. It is all to no avail, like a giant worm chewing away at the insides of your mind, the dull ache of her name – and her face –  remain, never mind the fact that you have dialled the numbers and emailed back and forth so much so that you know the details by heart.

In a rare moment of lucidity, you decide that Bargaining is an option after all. You convince yourself that you both had so much invested that at least one more punt – however unlikely it is to succeed – is warranted. You fire off the first salvo, it takes all of six days for a reply to come back. When it does, it is cryptic, impersonal and reads like something spat out from an automated answering machine. When you finally get to talk, it is clear there is still a mental connection, only the original issues remain and time apart has deepened the chasm.

Then depression comes in swingingly wildly; self-loathing hits you in the solar plexus and like a bag of potatoes suddenly cut loose from the weighing string you crumble. You mope around for days on end, make sloppy mistakes at work and even get pulled up by the boss. You go over all the events again, playing various what-ifs and what-mights in your head: if you hadn’t forgotten the birthday, if you had braved the odds and flown over for a face-to-face, if snow and work hadn’t conspired to pare 14 days down to barely six, if playful conversations about wanting only one child hadn’t taken on an unintended palor of seriousness, if…. if… if…   It doesn’t help that normal life continues, and the odd lad still brings her name up in conversations. Each night, in the bits of solitude that the minutiae of the life she once shared excitedly used to fill, there are alternate overpowering urges: to call her, to cry, to kick a door in, to overdose on cokes, to just do something. In those unguarded moments when you lie awake till the wee hours of the morning tossing and turning, you wonder what it is she is up to, if she still thinks about you and if she’s moved on to another bloke.

In midst of it all, there’s you, and the one bloke who can relate, he of the listening ear who has walked these self same paths before. You talk, and cry, and finally find the release that unloading the hurt brings. You let go of the hurt and accept it wasn’t meant to be, and that only time can ease this pain. In the detached clarity of your new found pragmatism, you recognise the differences were always going to be an issue – red herring or not, and that there is no way back now.

Life’s finally come full circle, and with it a semblance of normalcy, the only reminders of the season of heart break are the holidays you never took and the sense of de ja vu – you’ve been here before and you survived,  even back in 2009.

32 thoughts on “Full circle (the anatomy of a heart break)

    1. Takes two to reach a compromise though.. I might never have been able to lay that 'what-if' to bed if I didn't give it one last punt… (at least that was how I rationalised it)..


  1. Hi RustGeek, first time visitor on this blog. Good read, I will follow up by clicking on thwe hyperlinks embedded in the story.

    In other news, I can't relate to heartbreaks. I don't know how to. Honest.


    1. Detached clarity is a two edged sword though.. Big risk of turning into a stone hearted grinch.. But then perhaps every one needs to be a hard nosed pragmatist after all..


  2. sigh** can relate with all 5 stages even though it's been years
    (hugs) bro .. ( guess you can do with one after coming full circle )


  3. Wow. Powerful piece bro, I can totally relate. What I have learnt is that the best cure is time and immersing yourself in other pursuits. Eventually the feeling of loss goes but the memories will still remain.


  4. I am with Kiah. I dont bargain. If you say its over its over; if i say its over… It is over. I will cry, I will mourn the relationship for the longest time but i will NEVER reconsider. I assume that you made your decisions with clarity of mind (sorry i dont believe in jazz!) i have accepted it with all clarity too. no means no


    1. Me the pragmatist needed to rule out the 'what-if-I-tried-to-find-a-common-ground' scenario, plus ostensibly there was one sticking point only… So it made sense to try to find a middle ground…


  5. I absolutely love this post. I've been here too many times. Loss calls me by first name:) I have come to understand it very well…one must go through the phases to truly and completely feel the pain. Then accept and let go


  6. Love this, big hugs. Thanks for the transparency. I identify with every part, but it makes me laugh too. My favorite part in the process is the reality bit, when you see that both of u had issues and that u cud both do better. Im a major optimist and feel like every thing can be worked out, but once i get to the reality bit I'm thinking "mmmm, what could i add on my wish list?" and the world is new and full of opportunities again 🙂


  7. I just read this now and it scared me that two years later you still have such vivid memories; now I am lost to wondering if I can ever really forget – if I can bury certain memories in the abyss of my past. Your words bother me 'cos I'm afraid I may never recover fully.

    Now, I need to go and do some push-ups and pound a wall . . .


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