Happiness creeping back

When I deal with difficult things, I compartmentalise. I have these little drawers in my head, it is something like an enormous storage vault in there, with endless sets of these drawers, like an old library room, with shelves and ladders, all dark and musty, and I shove things like the pain from my break up in one of them way down the back, close it, and skirt around it for a while.

This compartmentalising prevents me from walking around in a haze of hurtliness (which I guess is how it is in the very beginning, because in the beginning, the hurt doesn’t really quite fit into the drawer, it is too big, it spills over, it bleeds out all over the floor).

After a while, though, I can choose when I go to the drawer and take the hurt out. In the beginning opening the drawer just a sliver is enough, almost more than I can bear. I just slide it open a little and the pain wafts out and hits me like a sledge hammer and I have to quickly slam it shut.

As time passes, I can open the drawer further and further, and then, at some stage I can take the hurt out, and hold it in my hands, like a beating heart, a living thing. I can cherish it and pet it and embrace it, let it surround me, I can wallow in it, I can leave it out and immerse myself in it.

Sometimes, a song, a word, an aroma sneaks by me and pries the drawer open when I am not paying attention, and I might be shocked by the hurt being let out and running loose, I might have a little cry before I can catch it, pick it up and put it back again.

For quite a while, I will go to the drawer every day, no matter what. Like an obsession, I will go down that dark corridor, steel myself, and open the drawer, each time hoping that it is a little smaller, each time it is a little smaller. It is part of healing.

One day, I will pull it out, that hurt, and it will be gentle and sweet and one day after that I will pull it out and I won’t feel anything (the thought of which is, paradoxically, terribly painful right now, letting go of it (of him, of it, of him…) is not easy, but it will come). Then, finally, one day I will open the drawer and it will be empty, and then the memories will live in a completely different drawer, all tender and warm and beautifully rendered.

Today is the third day that I haven’t gone to the drawer at all. Today is the third day that I have felt periods of happiness for no good reason. Today is the third day that I have felt like I am seeing the other side.

My happiness, slowly creeping back.

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12 Comments

  1. You have just beautifully put into words what I've been incapable of describing for the past 3 weeks or so. I've not stopped slamming that drawer shut yet, maybe I need to open it a little.

    Thanks

    V

  2. Her Majesty's Plaything: “Wow! What a beautiful post! I know exactly how that feels!”

    Thank you hmp. I had to open the drawer to write the post, which cut short my 3 day hiatus, but it was ok, really.

    Ferns

  3. Angel: “…I'm very happy that you're slowly feeling better!”

    Thank you, me too! I shared all the horrible things, I figure I should share the upswing as well.

    Ferns

  4. V: “You have just beautifully put into words what I've been incapable of describing for the past 3 weeks or so.”

    Oh V, I'm so sorry! It's awful isn't it?

    “I've not stopped slamming that drawer shut yet, maybe I need to open it a little.”

    3 weeks is such a short time… when you are ready to open the drawer a little, you will know it. I had some full on 'cry baby days' early on when I was brave enough to open the drawer, put the hurt on the table and leave it sitting there. If you aren't ready yet, you aren't.

    I am sending positive thoughts your way.

    Ferns

  5. Thank you for sharing that. I agree with the other posters that you have rendered a beautiful word painting that most, if not all of us can understand. It takes more than a little courage to put your feelings out there for all to see. It might also encourage someone, who has a similar drawer, to peak inside it and begin the healing process as well.

    “I shared all the horrible things, I figure I should share the upswing as well.”
    Just remember that we are all here to cheer you on, no matter which you choose to share.
    YAY Ferns! … See?

    I also liked the video

  6. slapshot: “Thank you for sharing that.”

    You are very welcome.

    “YAY Ferns! … See?”

    I *do* see… you're wearing a cheerleader outfit yes? Very cute!

    Ferns

  7. Positive thoughts right back at 'cha! ;)

    Btw, love reading your blog, so many things I could comment on where you have perfectly described my own feelings.

    V

  8. V: “Positive thoughts right back at 'cha!”

    Thanks, I can never have too many of those!

    “Btw, love reading your blog, so many things I could comment on where you have perfectly described my own feelings.”

    Oh, good, I am glad. I like it when other women go 'yeah, me too!!', it is like a kinship.

    Ferns

  9. For me, the drawer is still there, and it still has that sadness in it. And sometimes when I’m looking for something else, I make the mistake of opening the drawer. It happened again this morning. It’s been seven months, and I’ve gotten where I don’t think about her every day. But when I do think of her, I still miss her. I cried every day the first week or so. Since then, I’ve only cried twice, including just a few minutes ago. The drawer is just as full of sadness as it was in February. I miss her, I want to call her and ask her if she misses me too, I want to plead with her to hold me again, but I know it’s hopeless and I can’t do that to her. I love her still, I don’t want to love her anymore though, but I don’t regret loving her, I’ll never regret loving her.

    1. I’m so sorry for your heartbreak.

      It takes however long it takes to get over it. My last took shockingly long to get over. The previous to that was shockingly short.

      “I love her still, I don’t want to love her anymore though, but I don’t regret loving her, I’ll never regret loving her.”

      That is so terribly sad and I am so glad that you don’t regret it.

      I am sending you positive thoughts, Neophyte.

      Ferns

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