Managing Recurring Hurt

Completely healing from hurt, heartbreak or any form of disappointment is honestly a thing of the past. Social media and this new digital age brings the concept of “recurring hurt” into fruition.

Before, when someone broke your heart, you could let that person go and if you wished, never see them again. You were given a chance for your neurological pathways to form new associations over things and moments that used to remind you of them. You were allowed time to form new memories with new people,and shift your focus onto your own story and the continuation of your path. You gave your heart a chance to actually come to terms with what it had been dealt, but not only that,you gave it a chance to find peace with it.

I go through weeks, maybe even months feeling like I had finally laid to rest the heartache, disappointment or resentment of past relationships or people. I feel empowered, driven and focused on my own journey and my own walk in life. But then, cruel Insta stories pop up. And yes you can try as hard as you like but the clever algorithms will prevail in the end, because all social media is is a long, long list of mutual friends. It’s a small world after all. Everyone knows everyone and everyone is Facebook friends with someone. So I can go months feeling like Queen B, thinking I had done so well with my growth and my resilience in the cruel face of heartache. In the end, all it will take is a simple friend of a friend of the person who’s name we shall not mention to bring you right back down to earth.

You scroll through their smiling faces as they show off their refreshing and lethal double cocktail against the multi-colored backdrop of some fun club, and there, tingling all your curious instincts is that person’s face. Next to someone else. Oh what cruel irony. Because by all accounts, I’m really happy for my friend, and for the friend of the friend. They look like they having a really bang up time. But why? Why did that archive of fun times have to unearth all of those stinging feelings that I had worked so hard to let go of? What’s worse about those feelings being unearthed, is that a small pinch of fresh agony is served on the side.

Now. I know what you may be thinking. Wow Mel, bitter much? And I have no issue with saying that in some ways, yes, yes I am bitter. However, I’m working on it. Now if you can even relate to what I’m saying in any way, then I am deeply sorry. I wish I had the answer, the answer to how this can be avoided. I have a few hypothesis , but nothing concrete.

  1. Avoid every single form of social media feed. No friend of a friend party pics equals no unearthing. Right? Wrong. Because then how will good old Nana send you all those wonderful Christmas clips of the cat singing Silent Night in a Christmas sweater? How will you watch Trump’s new questionable, yet hilarious speech? How will you see your dearest cousin’s engagement announcement? Safe to say, we can do all that we can to try and minimize the fallout, but we can’t be full-proof.
  2. I questioned going to the gym, again. Perhaps pounding out all of those “I’m going to stab him in the head” thoughts on the treadmill would help me avoid doing hard prison time. But the ache in my legs after a more mentally stable workout that morning made me second guess that option.
  3. Crisps? Ice cream? CAKE?!….sigh, the only thing red velvet cake would change about the situation is that I would be seething, only now, with a bloated belly.

So here I am, with verbal diarrhea. Vomiting all of these thoughts out onto a page for all of you gorgeous people to read. That is, if you’ve even managed to endure this much of the page without rolling your eyes severely. The only thing that I’ve succeeded to come up with that will keep me out of cuffs and also free of regret, is to just ride it out. To stop scrolling and searching the photos for an hint or clue of if I’m even still an afterthought in their life, and to put the phone down. To sit and feel hurt, jealous and angry . To just feel it. Then I take a deep sigh and try find something else to do to occupy my hands and a bit of my brain space. I carry on with what I need to do, I clean, I write and heck maybe even work a little, all the while still feeling. But then something or someone is bound to intercede at some point. Usually it might be that my sister has a really blonde moment and I laugh, and then hurt is replaced with contempt. I’ll go pick up my hedgehog, and look how her cute little nose twitches back and forth, jealousy is replaced with manageable longing. And so it slowly gets better.

Those unearthing moments will undoubtedly continue, sporadically, but they’ll be there. The only thing that I can do is to just try and respond in a healthier way each and every time. Maybe at some point when I see that person’s face, it will just be a face and not a face I’d like to print on a target.

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