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Breaking starts slow. There’s a tiny crack in your foundation, and over time it stretches across the surface of you. First it’s in your voice, in the way you speak. Then your hands, and how you clasp them tight instead of open them, place them behind your back in tender nervousness. From your hands the break travels to your chest, making the pieces unravel, the pain seep deep within you.
You learn this break, create a home for it around your tired heart. You become comfortable with the heaviness, let it lay on your back and push you to the ground, let it become your identity until you no longer remember who you were before.
You start to see yourself as unworthy, focus on the negative first. You allow the break to circle around and through you, make crevices in your foundation that cannot be easily repaired.
You focus on all that you’ve lost, all that you no longer have, or are. You let your heart lay open and bleeding. You forget how it feels to be whole.
Your days slip slowly, endlessly into one another. The ones you love try to pull you out, but you’re stubborn and afraid. You bury yourself within the pain, find comfort in the cracks until you’re unrecognizable.
And then, one day, you stare at your reflection in the mirror and realize you don’t want to live like this. You don’t want to be a bag of bones, heavy with the past. You don’t want to be dark-circled eyes, frail muscles, tired hands. You don’t want to be defined by the ones who left, by the souls who couldn’t love you. And so you stop.
You put glue along the cracks, speaking love and hope into yourself. You close your eyes and breathe deeply; you remember how you were before—before him, before her, before endings, before the nights you were afraid to sleep alone.
You wrap yourself in hugs and gratitude, thankful for being, for breathing, for surviving this far. You put bandages over the bruises, take one step at a time, walking forward, beginning again.
You focus on what’s next, what’s coming, rather than what’s behind. You listen to your intuition, your heart, which is still beating, even after all this time. You go forward. You believe in better days.
You begin to heal, but this process takes time, little one. It’s not supposed to be quick.
Every day you wake up and smile at your reflection, you put on clothes that you love, you think of something other than what he or she would be thinking, or whether he/she is missing you. You stop circling your mind over the breakup, over the mistake, over the failure that fills your past.
You heal—one piece, one fragment, one crack at a time—because you can, because you deserve to.
But you are patient with yourself as you go. You take careful steps, intentional breaths, surround yourself with hearts that will build yours, rather than destroy.
You become comfortable in your own skin, you learn to love the sound of your own voice, you appreciate your soul and you begin to live for yourself—not anyone else.
You heal, but this takes time.
And yet, every moment spent is so worth it.