Just a feelingBy Joanna Cayanan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
So this is how it feels. I’ve seen my friends go through it. I thought I could feel their pain just listening to them and seeing them hurt, sad and confused. I was wrong. It hurts so much you can’t describe it.
There were days when I walked around aimlessly, my head down, ashamed that people would see that something was wrong. I lost my appetite; I lived on biscuits for almost two days. I smoked stick after stick after stick. I cried, stared into space. I tried to think of what to do next, but could think only of my pain. I cried some more.
My friends usually ran to me when they had a problem, especially if it concerned love. I had no experience in this field, but they took my advice. I must say that I gave some damn good advice, but none of it helped me. Talk about the irony of “helping other people but unable to help yourself.”
I asked my now-happy-in-a-new-relationship friends how they had coped. What did they do to forget? How did they move on? How did they endure the pain? I thought maybe I could get an idea from them what to do.
Everyone kept saying I’d be fine. But I wasn’t optimistic. They said: You’re strong, you’ll get through this. But I stopped caring. I stopped helping myself. I shut down and drowned myself in pain and sorrow. I celebrated New Year’s Eve by drinking a bottle of liquor and smoking “by the bay,” asking God to talk to me and answer all my questions. I stayed in a cheap hotel, where I drank another bottle of liquor and welcomed 2013 by watching a Chinese film on TV and exchanging text messages with my ex-boyfriend.
He was my first love, my first boyfriend, my first relationship. And after almost two years of a noncommitted relationship and three months of a committed relationship, it’s over. It was actually an OK breakup (for lack of a better word to describe it). No shouting, no exchange of harsh words, no hatred. We just decided to save the only thing we had: our 3-year friendship. But the pain of breaking up seethed through me.
Almost three weeks later, I was still hurting. One weekend I found myself listening to Up Dharma Down’s new album, and the melancholic “Feelings” started to play. These lines struck me: It’s just a feeling/What are you crying for?/God knows you can get through this.
I felt like the song slapped me, to wake me up. It seemed to tell me: Pain is a feeling you choose to feel for as long as you want. God won’t let it happen to you if He knew you won’t get through it. So stop crying and move on. I cried for the first few times that I listened to the song. But now, listening to it as I write this, it has become my strength.
I’m now figuring out what to do. I’m trying to think positively again, always reminding myself that “Happiness is a choice” and that “There is more to life than love” (thank you, Mr. Ramon Bautista, for that one).
It’s too early to declare I’m OK, but I’m in the process. It won’t be easy. God knows I can get through this, so I won’t let Him down. I won’t let anyone who believes in me down. Most especially, I won’t let myself down.
Joanna Cayanan, 26, is a senior writer at Viva Communications Inc.
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