Inspired by a journalling prompt by Effy Wild, I want to speak to the question
How embodied am I feeling? What tension am I holding?
Right now, in this moment I feel quite embodied, which is not always the case for me. My tendency is to dissociate when I’m feeling anxious or depressed. But these days are generally good with little to worry about. I’ve just eaten (heads up: Skyr is frigging delicious ), I’ve been out in the sun, I’m watching youtube art videos. All that to say, my senses are engaged.
But I am carrying some tension, mostly in my chest — that place where you feel everything just tighten, that spot right between your ribs.
You see, my best friend has had quite an amazing year. She started a relationship where she is in love. She got to spend 3 months at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity uping her wardrobe game (she works in film and theatre) and got an amazing job touring the US and Canada with the We Will Rock You crew.
And while I’m insanely supportive, I’m also hurting and jealous. My life is fine, but it feels rather empty. I don’t have a romantic relationship, my job is shitty and there’s nothing on the horizon, finances are tight and I just feel kind of low about it all. I think I’d feel less low if more things were happening for me and not just her, but I can only hope my time will come.
So for the moment I am painting and writing and smoking a little THC to relax me and trying to be a more excellent best friend.
But it’s hard. So very hard.
But I am feeling it, sitting with it, and acknowledging it, and that is a good thing.
So every Monday Effy Wild posts a journaling prompt on Facebook. This week’s is “How full are my relationships feeling?” and I want to use it as a jumping off point.
So here’s the thing.
I have been in love with my straight best friend for many years. She knows. I told her ages ago. I also told her that my feelings were gone. And I thought they were, I really did. And then she got a boyfriend, and I discovered that Nope, they were definitely still hanging around.
A few weeks ago I asked her if she loved him (because I am stupid and a sucker for punishment), and she said “yes” and I honestly think my heart exploded in my chest. I was both surprised and devastated. It became abundantly clear to me that I was hurting on multiple levels. While I knew she would never love me that way I want to be loved, I guess my head and heart conspired to never even let me think about what would happen if she got into a relationship. For a while I was an extremely important person in her life, and now I felt replaced. Boyfriend would now be her #1 (as it should be), not me.
That, coupled with the realization that I may never be #1 to anyone really got to me. I mourned for weeks. And it was like I just woke up different one day. Every emotion felt, not numb, but less intense. All my life I have felt everything so very intensely. It used to worry my mother. But now, suddenly, everything had been slightly muted. Like my anti-depressants kicked in seven years after I began taking them.
I still care about her, but I don’t feel as hurt as I did just weeks ago. She’s going on tour with a musical from August – February and I’m not even bothered she’ll be gone. In the past that would have driven me to tears and depression. Now I’m just meeting that information with a shrug. “Ok then”.
Like I said, I’m not numb at all, I just feel so incredibly different than I ever have in my life. Like finally my emotions are regulated. It’s super weird. But I like it. I like not being sad and hurt and anxious all the time. And the only thing I can think of that changed is that I am no longer in love with her.
I fell in love slowly, over time, but fell out of love fairly quickly. She’s still my best friend, but I don’t have this co-dependent need to be with her and be important to her anymore.
I know she feels a loss, a distance from me, and is sad about it. But I am content. At peace, even.
And I like it.