One Day At A Time

The process of heartbreak and renewal. What it means to find healing from a pain you thought you could never recover from, and learning to love again.
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Created by Francisca Umeh

Published on Jun 12, 2024
paper heart with bandaids on it
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One Day At A Time

Love makes you do stupid things; like staying up late in the middle of the night to write love letters that you know they'll probably never read, or just reply 'cool' to.

It makes you curl up in bed and fold listening to Billie Eilish and Adele. You feel like your whole world is crumbling, and wonder how this person can dare to breathe, while you're hyperventilating and scared that your heart is about to explode.

It makes you look for anything to distract you from the pain. Now, you're in the reckless mode. The 'I'll show him' mode. The 'he lost a baddie and sucks to be him' mode. The 'self-indulging all the demons in your head' mode—it does nothing, mind you. Except give you temporary relief.

Love makes you feel foolish: foolish when you cry. Foolish when you've blocked and unblocked him a million times. Foolish when you stalk his socials, and cry cause it seems like he's moved on faster than you have.

Then it starts to fade. You start to forget. The memories with him seem like a lifetime ago. You're more involved with life now. Many things take up space in your head, and you soon forget that it once felt like you were breathing underwater and felt your lungs collapsing.

Then you meet someone new. It's in a meeting, or maybe jogging in some sweatpants. It was most likely in an outing, or was he the friend you invited over and noticed for the first time how easy it was to breathe around him.

There is no pressure now. No butterflies even. You don't feel like you're flying, rather, it feels like the clouds have been made your permanent home. It's comfortable. It's wearing a bonnet and bathroom slippers, and him staring at you with hungry eyes, because you're the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.

It's him helping out with massages and cooking you dinner—and you're shocked because you were always told, "boys don't cook", but this one sure does. Incredulously so, even. 

You think it's an act. You're suspicious. You're alert. What is this? You question it.  Because love has found you, but it didn't come in a package you recognise.

You weep. It's not that you don't love this man, it's that you cannot love this man. Many heartbreaks, shattered hope and giving of yourself too many times, to too many unworthy lovers have left you too numb for anybody else.

Maybe if he had found you earlier. Maybe if he was boyfriend number six and not seven, at least then you still had some fighting spirit left. You tell him you probably cannot love him the way he ought to be loved, but it's okay. He says there is time and there's no rush. 

He tells you that in the meantime, he'd love you to bask in the fresh air, that is his love.

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