The heartbreak that followed a particularly difficult breakup turned me into a shell of a person for a year and a half. Then, when I decided I had healed enough to get back onto the dating scene, I made a pact with myself to never be as vulnerable as I’d been with my ex. In my eyes, the reason I hadn’t felt joy for the last 18 months was because I’d let him occupy such a large part of my heart.
While this was partially true, I now know that my emptiness was mostly a product of my poor relationship with myself. I’d struggled with my own demons (perfectionism, eating disorders, depression and anxiety) for many years, which caused me to find self-worth externally through romantic relationships.