There was a girl I dated back when I was in college. Let's called her Deepa. Deepa and I were like two peas in a pod. We loved the same kinds of music. We were both die-hard Martin Scorsese fans. And we both adored dogs. On most days, it felt like I had found my soul-mate.
Deepa swung from being madly in love to being confused about our relationship. She constantly second-guessed my intentions. Her mood-swings exhausted me emotionally. As perfect as I thought our relationship was, I constantly felt like crap. When it finally ended, one part of me felt liberated. The other part of me, however, felt like I had just been in a car crash. And in the months that followed, I spiralled into depression.
You probably know what that feels like. If you're like me, you’re probably also pretty confused. We were created and wired to love and to seek love. Wanting to be in a relationship is natural! So why do they hurt so much? Because we're seeing them, and ourselves, the wrong way. Here are three things I learnt from my journey:
1. You are more than your relationship
I never realised how much of my self-worth was bundled up in my relationship until we broke up. That was painful to deal with when the relationship ended but it's also a very unhealthy place to be in /while/ you're dating someone.
In my journey out of depression, God had to remind me that I wasn't just a half that needed another half to be whole. I was created whole. My partner doesn't define my identity or my value. They didn't create me! God did and He had to help me see myself the way He saw me: immeasurably valued and loved.
I don't know how I would got through depression if I didn't have people I could reach out to -- friends that listened to me endlessly and mentors that I drew strength from. Most importantly, I found comfort in knowing that I could always turn to God and pray. Open up to your close friends about what you're feeling. And before you say it: I know it's easier said than done. I've been there! It's hard but it's a very necessary step for your healing.
When I started focusing on myself and being whole, an interesting thing happened: I stopped obsessing about being in a relationship. I still wanted to find 'the one' and I still wanted to be in a relationship but it was a much healthier yearning.