Acceptance is a Small Room

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For a few years after we were married, we exchanged presents on Valentine’s Day. Then we reached this cynical phase, when we didn’t believe in celebrating or observing a day, so we conveniently ignored it. I still wrote a couple of blogs about him, about us, with a dash of mushiness every year on February 14. Now — after the decade-long marriage plummeted, and we chose to travel on different roads — I miss basking in Valentine’s Day celebrations. Perhaps, that’s how human minds work. Pining for things that cannot be salvaged, being sucked in by the vortex of pleasant memories, and feeling shattered after realising that those are just memories and the reality is far removed from it.

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”
— Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It’s been six months since we separated, but I haven’t healed. My antidepressants are reduced, the therapist is positive about my progress, but I know I am still not myself. Maybe, I am reluctant to recognise the fact that I am a changed person now. I am not what I was when I was with him, and it’s unsettling to know that I can never again meet the person I was.

Heaps of memories are fading away, some words have disappeared from my vocabulary, our inside jokes sadden me, and I still fail to muster the courage to see our old pictures, visit our favourite places, and meet our common friends. My decision to walk out of the marriage could have been the most needed one, but the ripples it created haven’t died down yet.

The more I look forward to experiencing some stillness, I am bogged down by the scary thought of how much I have to cross more. There are so many demons — emptiness, loneliness, a sense of abandonment, anxiety, and guilt — which keep revisiting despite my brave battle. Every morning, when I wake up, it takes a while for me to understand that my world has changed, and a while more to prepare myself to live in tandem with the modified outlook.

“Amputees suffer pains, cramps, itches in the leg that is no longer there. That is how she felt without him, feeling his presence where he no longer was.”
— Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I have written about all of it so many times that I don’t say anything new about how I feel. But, something familiar happens, and I relapse, slip into the crack, and struggle hard to escape the never-ending spiral of toxic thoughts. This time, it was Valentine’s Day.

Generally, break-ups make one skeptical, empty one of love, and breathe anger and bitterness into one’s heart. Quite strangely, it has filled me with love. While I seem to carry so much love, I suffer from the inability to offer it, for there is no recipient. I am always advised not to bottle up negative emotions. And, I smirk when I hear that piece of advice. Because, I am bottling up love. All the love that could have made me feel better. All the love that could have been used for the greater good. All the love that could have been my ray of hope.

What do I do with that abundance of love? I am practising to be kind, and empathetic. I am practising to listen more. Above all, I am practising to be kind to myself. For the best part of our lives, we are work-in-progress, aren’t we?

“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
— Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

And, have a great Valentine’s Day. 🙂

PS: I am going to cheat. I am on #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. But, I am going to order Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love for obvious reasons. 🙂


31 thoughts on “Acceptance is a Small Room

  1. Maybe this will help, maybe it will not: You said you’re being kind to yourself. Maybe you could direct all that love that is bubbling inside you, to yourself? Instead of anyone else being the recipient of that love, you could make yourself the recipient of it for once. . .

    Sending you warm hugs.

    P.S. Oh, and imo we are ALWAYS a work-in-progress 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the quotes you’ve chosen here Deepika. They perfectly convey what I think you want to convey (if that makes sense). If you chose to leave the marriage, it was clearly for a good reason – so, go forth brave one with hope. You must surely find a new recipient when you are ready. In the meantime, as Juhi says, love yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can only echo what everyone else is saying, but I wanted to chime in anyway if only to offer a little bit of cyber-support – keep being kind to yourself and keep finding solace in your reading (beautiful quotes!). Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eat, Pray, Love is one of my favorite memoirs. I hope you will love it, and find some solace in it (even if you’re cheating on #Readyourowndamnbooks!) Gilbert is in a very dark emotional place in the beginning of the memoir, and look how far she’s come since then! Stay strong, and be kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Deepika, use that love for yourself, care about yourself and when you heal you’ll have still so much to give to others.
    P.S. its not cheating, I’m starting to think at least book a month is an absolute necessity 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautifully written, poignant post. Your honesty and heart shine throughout. I am glad that despite the pain, you have not given up on love.

    Your blog is so inviting! I admire the way you work such unique but apropos quotes into your writing, and your image invites me to step into your small room!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I am so sorry that you had to go through this but I hope one day, soon, you are able to look back at it and shrug it off. I know it will take time. I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day either – it may be the best day for some people but for others it is an over-commercialized reminder of how you are a loser for not having a lover / husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend / partner. Take care of yourself, Deepika – you know you have so much to discover and so much love to share. This may be the most trite thing to say – but you will be fine, you are a wonderful person!

    Liked by 1 person

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