In a post not long ago I wrote about your first love and how hard it is to get over that one person that changed life as you knew it.
The person that you saw yourself with the rest of your life. The person that no matter what happened, you knew they had your back. The person that you would have risked your own life for. It was that kind of butterflies, passionate, innocent, no walled, give-it-everything-you-got kind of love. You had created a different reality with this person, a reality that was like the best fiction novel.
Sometimes life happens and you are quickly shaken and stirred and awake from this dreamy reality to find that person no longer there. You are left in a hangover. A love hangover.
The hangover makes you see life through a filter too but it’s no longer what I like to call the “Walt Disney Filter” is now void of color. There is no life in what you see. You had invested so much into that one person that now, without them, you feel like 1/2 a person (anyone ever seen Halloween Town? Remember the grey spell?).
Eventually, you slowly start to get your life together and color starts to magically come back in, not all at once, but little pops. It then gets to the point that you see full color and can think about that person without going into a tailspin of sadness and what-ifs. However, in your head you may still think that if you had the opportunity to re-kindle what you had, you might just do it, despite any problems the two of you had you still might be willing to look past them and try again. Your still in the love hangover.
In my experience and in talking to others this can last for years, depending on how long your relationship with that person was, how serious it was, how mature you were and how the split occurred. All of these each important factors in determining how bad that hangover is.
Is like the full sha-bang, with the light sensitivity, noise-sensitivity, throbbing headache, still feel drunk/ nauseated or is it the slightly nauseated can still go about my day just feel kinda under the weather but ill be better before the afternoon kinda hangover?
In my case it was the full sha-bang. Even though I was the one who ended it. I ended because I knew it wasn’t healthy anymore. We both had become toxic to each other. I spent the next few years playing scenarios in my head of how I could have saved it. I was hurt, bad. I walled up my heart and soldiered on but couldn’t help but think about the what-if.
I dated, found a new boyfriend, but in the back my mind I always wondered about the old one. I used to have dreams that we would get back together and I felt complete again BUT I always woke up and realized that i wasn’t complete and that part of me was still missing.
Lately, I have been dating and most of my dreams have been about the new man that i have been seeing or the dreams have been about work or silly meaningless things that have little to no relevance. I truly believe however, that we have dreams that can tell us something about ourselves or others, that we need to see/hear and if only we would listen we would waken with new eyes and a new outlook on life.
Not long ago I asked God to start helping me shape my life. I knew I couldn’t do alone anymore. I was damaged and beyond repair (at least beyond self-repair). I asked God to lead me in my career path, I asked God to help me find the person that was right for me (even though I was already in a relationship, sad I know), I asked God to give me strength in my friendships, my health and my emotions, and most of all help me get my heart healthy (emotionally). Help me to be open and let go of my past, particularly him. We had a true heart-to-heart and I gave it all to God.
As soon as I did that doors started open. I found the strength to leave my 2-year boyfriend that I had after my “walt disney” filter true love” ex mainly because I didn’t want to waste my new boyfriend’s time or my time, it wasn’t fair to either of us for me to pretend that he was all I needed and that I could see a future with him, because I truthfully couldn’t. I couldn’t fully give my heart to him and I knew deep inside he wasn’t the one. And I somehow mustered up the strength to let him go, even though it hurt him. God also listened to my request about my career path. I got all my acceptance letters to these amazing ivy league grad schools and got the offer to my dream job all within the same week.
You know how people say things happen when you least expect it? Isn’t it the truth. Sometimes I think we need verification to fully accept and express what our head and heart have finally agreed upon. Sometimes your head is smarter than your heart and they remain at a discord, causing you the love hangover, until the two can finally agree.
Mine (head and heart) have finally reached agreement. I had a dream last night about him, that first “true love” that created my hangover. We were happy again. In fact we were getting married. In my dream I would see him smile and I would smile back, loving the feeling of seeing him again but it was different this time. My heart didn’t hurt or skip a beat like it used to. Throughout the whole dream I kept saying “I cannot go through with this wedding.” In the dream I told my mom, ” I love him but I am not in love with him. He does not have my heart anymore, this isn’t right. I cannot do this to him. I cannot do this to myself. I deserve more. I cannot settle mom, I cant do that.” Like the typical me my dream self tried to make it fit. I tried to continue to go through with the wedding knowing that my heart and head said no. I didn’t want to disappoint his family, who in real life, to this day,m I love very much, and I didn’t want to hurt him.
The point in the dream that made my dream self change my mind and call it off felt so real, it was like he was really right in front of me. We were exchanging wedding presents the morning of the wedding (I am not superstitious obviously), I was in pajamas and he was already in his tux. We were outside on this grotto with large green trees, long bladed grass, and a spanish type architecture that you would see in one of the best wineries in Napa Valley. Everything was green and vibrant. I could hear water fountains trickling and birds singing to a beautiful day. The sun’s rays were peeking through the trees attempting to reach it’s proper place in the sky as I walked toward him through the grotto, where in a few hours we we had planned to say our vows.
I walked up to him slowly. At first, all I could really see was the outline of his body. As I walked closer I could see his tux and his hands holding a small black velvet box but I couldn’t yet see his face. As the sun’s rays started to transfigure and adjust to my movements and distance, I was finally able to see his face. He looked back at me with the same deep passion, sincerity, vulnerability, and sincere love that we had all those years ago. His blue eyes sparkled with joy and happiness at the sight of my face. The happiness was so genuine it looked as though he was going to cry from sheer affection and joy.
Looking at his face, I felt like I was in slow motion. The dream slowed down, almost like a movie. Then he spoke. His words came out so gentle as he looked at me in adoration. “You are beautiful,” he said. I laughed, ” I am not even ready yet, I just woke up.” “I know,” he replied, “but that is my favorite look, I am the lucky one, I get to wake up next to you for the rest of my life. Forever and always.” Forever and always was the phrase we had always said to each other since 2006, when we truly believed we were each other’s forever and always. Even though it was only a dream, hearing those words come out of his mouth tugged at my heart so aggressively but not in the way that it should have.
It was at this point in the dream that my heart had finally reached the clarity that my brain had had about 6 months after our real life break up. My hangover was no more. My heart wasn’t hurting because I was still in love with him and longing for him, it was hurting because I realized he was no longer what I wanted and needed in my life and I knew I would have to break HIS heart by telling him that I could not go through with this and that I no longer felt the love, passion, devotion, and relentless affection that I once had for him. The dream was becoming real to me.
in the dream, I explained it gently but clearly. He looked down at me, touched my face by sliding his thumb down my cheek as he held up my chin with the rest of his hand. He then leaned over and kissed my forehead. No words.
My dream then fast-forwarded. The next thing I knew I was in the bridal suite packing my bags, feeling a sense of relief. In my dream he must of told me he would handle the guests, family and venue and that I could secretly leave without any confrontation from anybody because in my dream frame of mind I kept saying how sweet it was that he let me go unscathed, leaving no one to answer to. Facing family in that situation, even if it was a dream, would have been the hardest.
In real life I had always been the one who had to face our family, friends and acquaintances on his/our behalf if issues or problems would arise. I had to always stick up for him or fight our battles as he lay in the background, unscathed and unaffected by the hurt on their face or harsh words to my ears. I took the fall, always. I protected him.
In my dream he protected me this time. As I packed my bag in the bridal sweet, I stopped and looked at the ring. Why I had it, I don’t know. I took the box and set it on the coffee table as I turned around, I woke up.
In reality, I still have the real ring he proposed with, even though we never went through with our wedding. This dream was like the advil to my hangover headache. I could see so clearly again, almost to the point that I felt like I had never hurt. All the elements I need to tell myself that I had moved on and my heart is completely done were there.
It is amazing how one little dream can say so much.
I truly think God was showing me that it is okay to finally let go. That I can go on with my life and not feel guilty and not feel like I am not whole. My heart is full and ready to love again.
However, God is teaching me a new kind of love. A love that is patient.
The love that I thought was so perfect, was so flawed. I was angry. I was too prideful. I put him down and he emotionally mistreated me. I held grudges. I was selfish. We hid things from each other. Although my things we small, I still hid them. He hid bigger things (disorders, addictions, infidelities). We had no trust. We broke up because my head was telling me that there was no hope left in us. My heart just took a while to catch up.
I created this fantasy idea of this perfect love that we had but when I put it under the microscope it wasn’t perfect. I know I loved him, but not in the way that God had created love to be.
God is continuing to teach me how to love the right way. He is teaching me about a love that is selfless and triumphant. A love that is so much more mature than the love that I had once shared with who I believed was my everything. I am learning to accept and live the idea that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I am no longer longing, I am learning. I am open to what God has in store for me.
Never underestimate the power of a dream.