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  • All breakups, all tear-jerking stories of heartbreak are all the same in thinking they're different. Boy leaves girl, girl leaves boy, girl leaves girl, boy leaves boy... the details change but the underlying story stays the same, it's a very simple case of asymmetry. Due to external pressure or internal struggle, one person feels more strongly than the other. A relationship dissolves and someone is left in the midst of the settling dust and rubble, trying to cope. There are five stages of grief according to the widely-accepted Kübler-Ross model. Although originally developed to reason about dealing with death, it's also applicable to "loss"--for whatever definition of that word.

    So, when I say that this breakup is different, I say it with the full awareness of how cliche and unoriginal it really is. What's different about it is that I've grown, I've crossed over from rationally understanding what it's like to be on the other side of the asymmetry to learning what it feels like.

    The last stage of grief is acceptance. It's difficult to accept that someone whom you love more than you thought you were ever capable of loving doesn't love you back. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes self-reflection and discovery. It takes energy. It takes a whole lot out of you, to the point where you feel drained and empty and serene, like the sky right after sunset. But it brings you peace. And that peace becomes a million sharp shards shattering through the wall of butterflies in your stomach when you tell him that he doesn't care and all he says is "that's not true." Words are cheap. Peace is priceless.
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