Yesterday, after a truly magnificent day of work, exercise and mommy stuff, I got thrown off my game and into an old habit that proved to be useless.
I was on my way to meet up with a guy I’ve been casually seeing for several months. He’s actually the first guy I’ve met since my breakup that has held my interest and we are at the point where two people need to acknowledge where they’re at and if they see their relationship moving forward or not. I instinctively knew that last night was the night this conversation was going to happen and was both excited and nervous because once it’s out there, there’s really no turning back. It’s either going to move forward into an attempt at greater intimacy and exclusivity or the cord really would need to be cut.
After nearly two years of loving someone and then having to say goodbye and let go, I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow that to happen again. Although I do like this guy, enjoy his company and would like to get to know him better, I know that he is not in a place in his life to really be in a relationship the way I require. And, after this conversation takes place, we will most likely need to stop seeing each other. So I was nervous, excited at the prospect of having clarity, but nervous to have to say goodbye.
On my way to meet him, I stopped at my local corner spot to say hi to my crew of friends. There was a woman there whom I’ve known for years who I’ve been casually friendly with, even though she has a reputation of being a catty mean-spirited individual. She had always been nice enough to me so I would engage with her when I saw her. Well, last night she unleashed her dark side on me when I sat down and started calling me names and saying mean things to me. I was thrown back to high school in the blink of an eye. I quickly picked up my bag and walked away without saying a word.
After this bizarre and disturbing berating, I got on my bike and headed downtown to meet up with the guy. We decided to meet for a drink, but a faux cosmo was not what I wanted or needed. I ordered a high-end scotch on the rocks and gently sipped it while pounding water. By the end of our talk, I had consumed about ¼ of what was in my glass. Our talk was sincere and honest and although we like each other a lot, there really is no hope for a future for us. Although we left things open as far as continuing to see each other, it will probably be the last time we ever spend time together — casual intimacies with a friend with no future is like drugs or scotch: it feels good in the moment, but there is no long-term good that can come from it. And I am looking for someone who fits into my life, all aspects of it, not just one aspect.
So I rode my bicycle home, got upstairs, checked on my kids and went into my room. And the monkey mind began a chorus of chastising and hopeless sad stories that screamed in my head all at once and I could feel the tears welling up behind my eyes. NO. I will not start crying again! I cried for months after my breakup and although I was sad about the guy from tonight, the deep river of tears I was fighting back went much deeper than him. And all the residual feelings I’ve been carrying but not giving credence to over my breakup started to surface. It was 10pm and there were many hours to face in the dark with my thoughts and my heart. So I reached for it. A sleep aid. A magic pill to shut my mind down and pass me out.
I slept about four hours. And then I was up and exhausted and my mind was still there. And in the morning I was still exhausted and my mind was still active, but it was time to make the babies breakfast, lunches and snacks.
So I moved through my day, avoiding the sadness, refusing to acknowledge the vulnerability. Moving forward, pushing on as I always do.
I made it to spin, I made it to work, I made it to S Factor for my pole dance class. And I was fine. Not great today, but fine. As I have to be. And then the second song of this two-hour class began. Sinead O’ Connor’s voice filled the room. And as she sang out, “It’s been seven hours and fifteen days, since you took your love away” I started to weep. And I wept and moved and wept and kept my body moving through the poses while it quivered and shuttered and convulsed as the tears and snot all poured down. And then to my left I heard another woman’s release as she wept. And together we cried and let go of our pain as we moved through the first hour of our class.
By the beginning of the second hour I felt like a completely different being. Today was pole week in class — no dancing, one straight hour of non-stop pole tricks. An hour earlier I had felt exhausted, dejected and concave. I now felt strong, open and expansive. I did tricks on the pole today that I have had trouble with in the past with great ease. I side-climbed to the top of the pole like I was a monkey on a tree and snaked down with no hands like it was nothing. By the end of class, my body was trembling and was exhausted, but I was exhilarated.
So I had a rough night last night. I tried medicating myself in ways that I have in the past and was unsuccessful at getting the relief that I needed. In the end I was forced to face some more of my feelings that were painful, and move through it in order to get the release I needed. I am grateful for this experience. The show must go on, as must the cleanse. As Kelly Clarkson says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Arul Goldman is the Founder and Director of SanaVita.