Diary of a Heartbroken Girl: Stage 7 – Consuming Emptiness and Withdrawal

Me at the pool
This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Heartbroken & Healing Series

Emptiness sucks, there are no better words to describe it. This is part 7 of the Heartbroken Girl series. Read the previous post here: Diary of a Heartbroken Girl: Stage 6 – Being at Rock Bottom and The Enlightening Realisation.

Disclaimer: This is written from my point of view. Every relationship has two people and every story has two sides. I am writing this hoping that one day a person going through what I went through will read and be encouraged and know that it gets better. It did for me (Sorry I gave away the ending😂).

2021 Easter weekend or as I call it, my rock bottom weekend, came and went.

In the days and weeks that followed, I was sitting in the aftermath of the darkest day of my life.

In my previous article, I said that the beauty of rock bottom is that there is nowhere to go but up. While this was true, unfortunately for me, I did not have the motivation or the strength to get up.

In that first week of April, I really tried to stay afloat and look on the bright side of life. I decided to concentrate on the small wins in my life. I had just completed a 365-day streak on Duolingo for Spanish, finished my 1-month vegetarian diet and I also decided to share my blog for the first time ever with anyone other than my ex.

Sharing my blog was a huge achievement, after nearly 4 years of having it and never telling anyone else. Now that I look back, I don’t know what I was so afraid of.

That next weekend I also went to Mombasa to visit a friend from high school. It was a great distraction from the emptiness that was spreading inside. I visited Fort Jesus and Haller Park for the first time ever.

Unfortunately, I was still very unfocused and joyless. It was a painful awareness. I was slowly getting to a point where I missed my relationship and the comfort it had offered me all those years. I even missed my ex.

missing you
Missing You

The reality is that for those 7 years my relationship was awesome and had become my solid rock. Whenever I found myself in a tough situation, I could easily hide in the comfort of it all, which in most circumstances was directly in my ex’s arms. This means that even my subconsciousness was used to leaning onto something/someone whenever the going got tough. But here I was, at probably the toughest point in my life, yet I had no one. Wouldn’t you miss it too if it were you?

It also happened that I was in a situation where I barely knew who I was anymore. I could hardly believe the kind of stuff I was thinking about or feeling. Each day I looked into the mirror, trying to understand who that girl staring back at me was. Who she had become.

I often wondered how I ended up in that position. How was I the one left broken? In all honesty, at the risk of sounding cocky, I always thought I was too strong and too independent to ever be a mess over a breakup. So how did I end up here?

I still had residue questions that I had no answer to. The only thing they achieved was to add to the emptiness that was enveloping me.

I thought about my ex pretty much every waking moment. About how we started on Campus with nothing, how we built each other until the people we are now. I thought about all those unspoken promises and jokes we had about what our future held. A future that I now knew was no more, yet somehow I couldn’t see any future without him.

I thought of how he never really let me down since he had never promised me anything. Neither had I. I guess we always assumed we would be together through it all.

I reasoned with him a lot, in my head, obviously. Trying to make sense of what happened and how I was feeling.

The more I thought of these things the emptier it got. At this point I adopted the slogan, it is okay not to be okay, and I even created a playlist with songs to remind me of that. I called it Pick me ups

I used to lose sleep at around 5 am and would toss and turn until the sun rose. After a while, I would give up and wake up. On run days, I would run on the street and along the beach still feeling no joy at all. I would work for the rest of the day and have online meetings, spotting a fake smile. In the evenings, I would either exercise or go swimming in the pool, and afterwards watch TV.

The one thing all these days had in common was they were all totally JOYLESS, TASTELESS and entirely UNFULFILING. Plagued with EMPTINESS I had no idea I could feel. HOPELESSNESS and all other words that rhyme.

I was stuck between wishing I had a time machine that would take me back to a time where I could fix my relationship and I could fast forward to a time where losing it did not matter to me or control everything I felt.

A pic I posted to WhatsApp
A pic I posted to WhatsApp

The thing is, I was okay during the weekdays for the most part. Above all else, I could look forward to doing the job I loved. Attending daily stand-ups and the weekly company meeting took away some of my emptiness for a moment. And so from Monday morning to Friday afternoon, I had a relatively sane time.

Trouble came on Friday evening when I could not avoid feeling the emptiness with my entire being. There was nothing forcing my brain to sleep since I knew I did not have work on Saturday. And no sleep would come. My mind would attempt to go to that familiar dark place but I held on with all my might.

The weeks started to repeat themselves. From Monday morning until Friday afternoon I would cope. On Friday evening I would get really lonely and would most likely cry myself to sleep. On Saturday, I would spend the day staring blankly at the TV deriving no joy whatsoever from what I was watching. In the evening I would sleep uneasy. On Sunday I would be a little better knowing that Monday was coming, Monday meant working and talking to my colleagues’ faces on the screen, the closest I came to face to face contact.

I will be forever grateful that I had my job to keep me going. It gave me something to do from Monday to Friday. Unfortunately, no matter how awesome it was, the distraction it offered would fade off fast, on Friday afternoons.

On one weekend, I think I had reached the peak of emptiness. That Friday evening, I was so fed up with being alone, that I could not form a coherent thought. I just started crying out of the blue and couldn’t stop. The entire night I was watching sad videos on youtube, videos about people who felt the same as I did. I listened to a lot of sad music and sad poetry.

Due to Youtube’s recommendation algorithm, the more sad stuff I watched, the sadder the next ones were. One of the videos that stuck with me was called The Morning After I killed Myself. While at this point I had no such thoughts at all, it was comforting to listen to people who had been there. In a weird way, it kept me from going deeper into the darkness when I focused on other people’s pain.

The morning after I killed myself
I tried to unkill myself

During this whole time I was crying, my pillow had become too wet to use and my nose was clogged. My eyes were huge with bags, yet I couldn’t sleep.

I wanted to call someone, tell them what I was feeling but after scrolling through my contact list, I realised that it would not help. Calling my mom, my sister or any of my friends in the middle of the night wailing and crying would only have made two unhappy souls instead of just one. So instead I chose to cry alone.

At some point I couldn’t keep the sorrow inside, I wanted someone to comfort me. I wanted someone to know that I was fading.

I posted that video on my WhatsApp status. In all honesty, I hoped someone would see it and comfort me. After two minutes, however, I took the status down after realising that maybe it would do more harm than good if people saw such a video on my status. I shut down my phone and cried myself to sleep.

Early morning, I woke up with wet eyes and just took over where I left off. I checked my phone and saw a message from a friend with whom I hadn’t spoken for a while. This is what it said.

Warning; long post💪💞

Hey mama, checking in on you, I just want to let you know you got this, I won’t say I understand or I know how you feel cause we all feel our pains differently but for the time I have known you I believe in your strength to push through anything. I would be lying if I said its going to be easy but one thing I know for sure the end results will surprise you. You will realise how putting yourself first is rewarding.

You will see you be healing even when you think you ain’t, you’ll be healing, hurting and happy at the same time, something people will not understand. You’ll hate when the night falls cause its the only time you can cry out your anger, pains and hurts, those night falls seems endless and all you do is cry yourself to sleep and when dawn comes you wipe your tears and face the world like all is fine.

You will question God why you but then why not you, He gives people challenges He knows they will survive and since His word says He is omnipresent He is there right there walking this long path with you love. Healing is messy mama, but no matter what keep going and rush nothing, at the end you will be grateful for the incredible and super warrior you are 💪💕.I could be not the right person you hearing this from but just know people out here care about you.

Meanwhile listen to FIX YOU cover by cold play.

From a dear friend.

The moment I finished reading the message I started wailing again. It was comforting, but the tears never stopped. I called her up and asked her why she would send such a message. She told me she had one of those WhatsApp GB that allowed you to view deleted statuses. I cursed the app and thanked it at the same time. After thanking her for taking her time to reply when most people would have just shrugged it off, I hang up and continued with what I was doing, crying.

When I finally left the bed, I started watching a series I thought would be laid back enough not to trigger any emotions. It is a family-friendly drama called Heartland. As fate would have it, this particular season started with the death of one of the main characters. As the other characters mourned, I mourned with them. I cried uncontrollably as I ate ice cream. The only difference was that after a couple of episodes the characters had moved on and stopped crying, while I had not.

At around 4 pm, I decided to change my environment. I changed into my costume and went swimming. When I got into the water, I felt some cool relief, however, before I could reach the other end of my first lap, my eyes had started welling again. That is how I found myself crying in the pool. Yes I know, it was quite a sad sight.

I gave up swimming and laid on the pool chairs to dry off a little. Finally, I had done everything I could to stop crying and I simply couldn’t.

I realised that I was DONE. The emptiness was eating away at me. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. At this time I had spent almost 2 weeks without talking to a physical human being. I just wanted a physical hug, from someone who cared about me. Was that too much to ask for?

I had cried for 24 hours straight, I did not know I had so many tears in store. I came to realise later on that that weekend was my withdrawal phase. This phase has as many tears as the initial pain stages but instead of pain, you feel a much deeper emotion, an emotion that is hard to put into words. But usually, this emotion is one of the very last bad emotions in the journey. But as I was going through it, I had no idea what it was, all I knew was that my pillow and my couch cushions needed thorough washing at the end of that weekend.

As I was lying there, beside the pool, I recorded a video for myself, or for someone, honestly, I just wanted to say it out loud. I never thought this video would see the light of day, but in retrospect, I didn’t think I would ever have the courage to share most of what I have already shared. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it still, but my sister encouraged me to do it. So here it is.

Is this really me?

The emptiness was too much. I could never wish that feeling on anyone. A moment in your life where you question everything around you. Where even what you have starts to lose meaning. I could feel myself fading away and slipping into an abyss. Songs like heavy- Linkin park started to have way more meaning.

Every passing day of April got harder and harder. It became increasingly difficult to get out of bed, which was ironic because it also became harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. So in the mornings, I would just stay in bed sleepless, plagued with bad thoughts. The emptiness was consuming me every passing minute.

What made it harder was putting on a fake smile. It wasn’t intentional, but whenever someone called or I needed to get on a meeting, I would automatically put on a happy face. Telling people that I was fine and better when I was the opposite was taking a huge toll on me.

Whenever I would post a picture of me at the beach, a lot of people would reply saying I was living their dream life. Little did they know that I was barely living. I was an empty shell walking around, with an occasional fake smile to pretend I was okay.

That evening, after I left the swimming pool, I was back on my couch, lost in my emptiness. I had tried everything. My mind was now completely blank.

A single thought occurred to me: I should go to church tomorrow. It may seem like a small thing, but it wasn’t. For the last 8 years or so, I had not on my own, thought of going to church. Having been raised in the church, this is a very big deal.

On that Saturday, when I had no one else and nothing else, the thought of going to church rescued me from going down a dark path. A path I had been on only weeks earlier. And not only did this one though kick in a new stage, but it also ushered in a new chapter. The diary of a healing girl.

Facebook Comments
Series Navigation<< Diary of a Heartbroken Girl: Stage 6 – Being at Rock Bottom and The Enlightening RealisationDiary of a Healing Girl: Stage 1 – The First Step >>

You may also like...