Day 313. The Pain of Great Goodbyes

We’ve all had ’em, but man, can they sting!

All this meditation is supposed to teach you to live in the present, but more and more, as my final departure from the U.S. approaches, I find myself overcome by waves of nostalgia and sadness, which the Buddhists would say stem from clinging and an inability to let go. 

Yeah, well it’s easier to let go when you’re all alone in your meditation cave.

I’ve moved between countries essentially all my life. I was born in Nepal, grew up in Vietnam, lived in Paris for 10 years before leaving for the U.S.A. on my own at age 27-ish. My parents met abroad. Half of my siblings live abroad. We’re a scattered family, who, though we are mostly scaredy cats, still love to explore new places. That means there’s been a lot of goodbyes over the years. The hardest for my family was leaving Vietnam in 1999. I remember crying and begging my parents to let us stay, and my mother crying too, saying we had to go back to France. 

Today, as an adult who (no matter how much I feel like a giant baby, and despite the complete lack of visibility in the near future) is independent and knows how to take care of herself on her own (growing up in an alcoholic household will teach you that), I am struggling to say goodbye to the life I made here. The life I ended up getting used to, though I HATED it for the first 3 years [Now I can see that what I really hated was myself]. Isn’t it crazy how the inner lives of humans change like the wind? A few years ago ALL I wanted was to get out of this horrid PhD program, out of this city, out of this country and go “home”, back to my French boyfriend, and my sweet, sweet French vegetables that actually taste good. And here I am, after a few years of self-care, hanging on to the familiarity and comfort of the nest I made on this other continent, reluctant to loosen my grasp. 

I don’t know where my home is anymore.

My current American boyfriend-friend and I are getting along well these days. How ironic. Or should I say, classic. I’m stuck in that cognitive bias where you only see the good sides of the person/world and completely brush off the things that drove you crazy just a few weeks before. Now I’m the one crying and wondering how I can leave such a precious perfect gorgeous human being behind, just like that. We realized last night that we’ve been glued together for the last two years.

Like, literally seeing each other everyday, like a pair of siamese twins. There have been wonderful ups and (way too numerous) downs and saying goodbye is going to be heartbreaking. And that’s ok.

I’ve had my heart broken many times before, and I know that it’s not the end of the world – that hearts have an infinite ability to heal and replenish and that they are never really completely broken – just very tender – and that when they’re hurting, it’s a beautiful opportunity to love yourself and the whole universe, and that that pain also has its insane beauty. I know that what awaits me in the next few months will be painful, but I know it will also be a return to myself, my home country, my future life. The one that now, thanks to sobriety and the last few years of working on myself, I finally feel capable of bringing into existence. On the good days (on the other days I let anxiety unravel her negative thoughts and almost every scenario ends with me dying alone and childless, eaten by my cats). 

This week I have to buy my plane ticket. I tried yesterday, but couldn’t. It was too real. I messaged my parents (very un-Anne-like) telling them it was hard, emotionally. My dad responded “we understand”. My mom didn’t respond. 

I guess it has begun. The great Goodbye. I know that most of the pain is due to fear of fear, fear of pain. I know the antidote is to be here, now. 

Still, I am feeling vulnerable, tender, and melancholic. I know that the antidote is to remember that that’s ok too. 

Xxx

❤ 

Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

11 thoughts on “Day 313. The Pain of Great Goodbyes

  1. It is absolutely ok. It’s 100% normal to feel like this and some pain you just have to go through. If I wrote this post, what would you tell me???

    I find goodbyes and letting go sooooo tough. It’s emotionally one of the most difficult things to do. That’s why I cling on to things that really should be put away. Situations and people who, in truth, are not helpful or good for me. I just don’t want to say goodbye!! But my lovely Anne, sometimes after the anxiety of anticipation and then the pain of letting go comes a calm and peace. You can return should you wish to. It’s not a closed door. Your future is beginning and I see a brilliant one for you (not dying alone, childless and eaten by your cats!! … seriously I’m sorry but I lol then!!). I see lots of love, fun and joy because you are now in a place to accept and welcome it.

    Because as you said to me …. spoiler alert … YOU ARE AWESOME ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. All of what Claire said! Especially the open door part. You must continue blogging and filling is in on your journey. I’m excited to see where life takes you! In the meantime, feel all the feels as they come and go. Wishing you the very best you awesome woman! 💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Collette 🙂 I definitely plan on keeping up the blogging. it’s feel strange to write in English from France, but it’ll be a nice reminder that home is where the heart lies (or home is wherever you go? I forget). xxxx ❤ Anne

      Like

  3. “hearts have an infinite ability to heal and replenish” – so well put, so true. As I get older and see people go through more awful things, I am amazed at the amount of resilience. Going through so much unknown, huge life changes is hard, but you seem to be in a good head space. Best of luck Anne!

    Like

    1. Awwww thank you so much for commenting, Sober Veg Mama 🙂 It means a lot 🙂 and yes, absolutely – humans are so resilient, I’m amazed every time I see it around me xxx Anne

      Like

  4. A really touching post Anne, I think the only way I can respond to such a moving post is to make a crass comment so here goes: at least you’ll be nearer the UK so when we have our next booze free meet up you will have to be there!
    Does France know what’s about to hit it! 😉 Jim X

    Liked by 1 person

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