It was one in the morning.
I could feel the tears building around my eyes as I tilted my head back, trying my best to blink them away. I couldn't believe I was crying -- after months of focusing on getting to a better place, I couldn't believe I was crying. I thought I had put everything behind me-- allowed myself the appropriate amount of time to heal and move on.
And I feel as though I have.
Moved on, that is. Healed, too.
I was blindsided by my own emotions. I wanted to immediately text a friend and ask for advice, but it was 1 a.m. and I figured I should wait until morning.
Instead, I waited two days-- hoped the feeling would subside and when it didn't, I reached out to the one person I knew would understand. And she did.
But her response? Her response was a forwarded email chain between the two of us from four months ago. Her response was a response she had already given me... one that I had forgotten about.
Which, to say the least, is incredibly unlike me.
She wasn't upset that I had forgotten our conversation. And she helped talk me through it again.
Last year swallowed me whole. I look in the mirror and I can see that. I can see what stress does to the body; where it sinks into your skin and never quite lets go. Stress steals my appetite and makes me edgy. It causes a knot to form in my stomach that can last for hours.
When faced with fight or flight, stress makes me want to run.
But my memory... to forget that entire exchange with a friend whose words mean so much to me? I don't know what that was.
I joked that I had repressed it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that's exactly what happened. I lost months trying to make a relationship work, and when it didn't, I lost more time trying to forget what had happened.
Last night, on the way home from the grocery store, I cried.
Mostly, I cried because I don't want to feel sad anymore. I don't want to feel scared. I don't want to feel like someone took something from me that can't be replaced.
But I also cried because I know better than to let someone do that to me again. I know better to ignore the warning signs-- my gut telling me to pay attention, to ask questions, to protect myself.
I cried at the price I had to pay to know my worth.
I cried because I have amazing friends who have helped in more ways than they realize. I could have texted her at 1 a.m. and she might have answered or she might not have-- that's not the point.
The point is I have someone I can talk to. The point is that I know when I need help.
Life is strange and ever changing. An ebb and flow of your own emotions mixed with those of others.
And I'm trying my best to learn when to hold on and when to let go.