Last night, after rating my top 5 heartbreak songs, I was transported to a time when those songs were my lifeline—when every time I heard them I felt as though they were about me specifically.
However now, with enough time and space between the present and that particular chapter of my past, I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. And I got to thinking as bad as heartbreak is… what was worse (at least for me) was that numbness that comes after the pain finally wears off. It’s that point where the pain has worn off, but the memory of the pain is still fresh enough to keep you from putting yourself back out there.
It’s that stage where you feel as though you’re just going through the motions—not just in love, but in life. The pain is gone, but there’s no joy or happiness. It’s a nondescript numbness, like after you go swimming and you still have water stuck in your ears. The whole world just seems muted to you. The sounds are flatter, the colors are grayer, the smells and tastes are even a bit duller.
It only hurts when you’re still alive. It’s that lead weight on your heart feeling, the world muffled, you know that feeling where you’re just going through the motions? That’s where you were at.
Somehow you managed to get past the intense hurt where every love song on the radio sounded as if it were mocking you. You’ve done the hurt, the self-pity, and heck even the bitter pill of anger has worn off.
And as bad as all of that was, it would be a welcome respite from what comes after. This head underwater feeling you’re now stuck with—no pain, but no joy either. You’re stuck in the purgatory of the human heart. The wounds may not be fresh any more, but the memory of them is enough to keep you from putting yourself back out there. So, what do you do next? You start living your life on a treadmill.
If you're one of the lucky ones, when you stop trying, stop looking for it one day love finds you. It can be stubborn that way. No matter how much you close yourself off to it, no matter how big a shield you put up-- it can get through. But it also plays hard to get. If you try to hard, it'll be a no show.
For some though, the treadmill becomes more than just a way to live, it becomes a security blanket. You know you won't get hurt if the most you ever give the world is merely showing up. So there you are, just walking in place... and somehow time gets away from you, and you wake up one day and realize at some point you stopped living and spent most of your life merely existing.
I'll admit I was one of the lucky ones, and I count my blessings for that because I could just as easily have stayed on that treadmill, I could have continued going through the motions. But I left that door open and I didn't force it. Somewhere along the way, love snuck in the door-- a door I never fully closed... and the love that snuck in and snuck up on me has grown into something that exceeds even my wildest imagination.
Now playing: Chicago - Remember The Feeling