I was waiting for the camera crews to come out from the shadows when my very serious of a boyfriend decided to inform me he was no longer ‘sexually attracted’ to me. First, I was in shock. Then I was mostly grateful that my fight or flight was impaired at that moment. Any normal girl would have taken a dagger to the asshole who was deciding to tell his girlfriend, on her BIRTHDAY, yes, on my birthday, that he couldn’t do this anymore.
As I watched his lips move up and down, I zoned out into another dimension. In my brain I was thinking, isn’t attraction the first thing that happens in a relationship? So why now was this epiphany just coming to him? Confusion ran through my mind. Confusion ran through my mind like wildfire.
The abundant amount of support and endless encouragement I gave him when it came to what was important to him—those so-called Ironmans and a close call with an almost job loss, I was there. I was always there to lift him up every day. I was there to help build up those confidence blocks when he needed an extra boost of encouragement. I praised him, complimented him, and yes, I even cleaned out his damn wounds when he fell off his bike competing in those Ironmans. I was there. I was there for all of this and I was there while I was studying for my boards, working a full-time job and I still made time for him to give him the love I thought he deserved. I did not ask for anything from him except just a little bit of his heart and attention in return. I never understood why he couldn’t have just given just a little of himself…
Looking back on it, I now understood why he couldn’t support me the way I supported him. In addition to his salary-earning full-time job, he had another full-time job catering to the 40 year-old spinning instructor, the 35 year-old Ironman girl and the 32 year-old aspiring country singer. They were introduced to me as ‘friends’. I was so naive—I actually believed a good-looking man could have female friends. After all, I’m an attractive female and I have plenty of male friends who are truly just friends. Well, I may have been naive but I’m not stupid. My girl radar was up on high alert after a few rounds of questioning him about his friends. I was truly just asking about what they did and he turned it around to make me feel as if I was the crazy one. He said ‘all my questions’ reflected my own insecurities (no, asswipe, I truly was interested in who they were, what they did, etc.) He tried very hard to deflect and make me feel as if I was some crazy, psycho bitch. He filled my head with his lies.
Back to my birthday… I felt so sad and lonely and never had I felt such humiliation. His words cut me to the core of my being. It took him this long to determine he wasn’t attracted to me?
Fortunately, with the help of others, I was able to see it was HIS own toxic insecurities that he had projected onto me. He was doing his best to destroy me—until there was nothing left. I had almost allowed him to win with his sick mind games. I had almost let him win by stripping me of my heart and soul.
I slowly learned to pray less for the removal of him and the aching memories and more for the art of getting through the pain. Somewhere along learning how to get through the pain I realized that each day and I made a promise to myself to rebuild myself into the woman I once was before I had met him.
I knew I needed help and what helped become my first aid kit into getting over him was the joy I took in running. Running became a necessity for me, you know, like food and water.
Running was my very special escape and became my daily therapy session when I couldn’t stop those hurtful words echoing throughout my mind. Running helped me find my own voice.
I needed to run. I needed to run every day. I needed to run for my own sanity. I’m not sure if it is because of the endorphins that are released but running became my drug of choice when dealing with the pain.
I relate running to being the best antidepressant anyone can take. Running takes strength and physical endurance. Running helped my body physically and mentally. Physically, running helped improve my much-lost sleep at night caused by the haunting, painful memories. Mentally, running helped me to think clearly and to rebuild my self-esteem and ego—which had been stripped to absolutely nothing.
Running wasn’t just about distance and mileage for me. I set goals mentally. Each run, I promised myself to keep running till the pain and panic of his toxic memories became less and less and his voice became silent. I promised myself with each run I would tackle the fears he had placed on me.
Running taught me something about life in general. Some days will be better than others. Some days you’ll have the absolute best run of your life and some days you’ll barely find the fuel to keep your legs going. Just like some days with him I could barely take the pain and others I was totally invincible.
Running was my cure-all and my coping mechanism for getting back in control with my life. So, I encourage you to go ahead and get sweaty, open up that first aid kit that includes sneakers and a cute outfit. Run until the pain becomes less and less and your strength overcomes all his negativity.