Yesterday, of course, was Valentines Day, and as usual I didn’t have anyone with which to spend the day. While in previous years this meant I completely ignored the occasion and carried on with my day-to-day activities as normal – perhaps with a cynical comment or two about the superficialness of the day when I was feeling slightly more sour – this year felt different. The truth is, I’m falling for someone, and I’ll be honest: everyone is pretty sure he feels the same way.
After exchanging numbers a few nights ago, I spent most of yesterday on cloud nine, mulling over how I’ve never felt this way about somebody before and hoping for a text from him. Even though we’re not a couple, I was able to celebrate the day by seeking solace in the thought that for the first time in my life, perhaps true, reciprocated romance was on the cards. By the time the evening arrived, there was still no text, so I decided to text him instead, about something non-Valentines-related. Music, in fact, as he’s a musician too.
His response devastated me, for a reason which I’ve now realised I overreacted to: he referred to me by a pet name reserved for friends.
Absolutely torn up by this, I cried for about an hour solid. I was tempted to do something stupid, something harmful to punish myself for being foolish enough to believe that we ever had a chance together. I felt like I had been living in delusion. I was plunged back into the total darkness that I existed in before we met, beating myself up for being stupid enough to believe that he would ever want a mentally unstable mess like me, when all I ever really wanted we for someone special who would take care of me in my time of hopelessness and who I could share everything with.
But to my great relief, I managed to resist hurting myself. I went to Tesco instead, and bought some chocolate and a smoothie to cheer myself up with, which I later consumed while watching a comedy film. Despite my pledge of “no alcohol until Sunday 17th”, I eyed up the bottles of wine, spirits and cider with desire, tempted to drink away my heartache alone, but as I headed for the checkout with Kopparberg in hand, I took a step back from myself to observe. I realised it was the depression talking, luring me into drowning my pain – just another form of self-harm, really. I hastily put the bottle back and left the shop with my healthy smoothie instead.
And you know what? I had a wonderful evening, taking care of myself and focussing on mental positivity. I was immensely proud at my ability to fight back at the voices in my head, telling me I was unlovable and I deserved punishment. As I went to bed, I was comforted by the realisation that the pet name this guy had called me really had no significance over the fact that we can talk for hours, make each other laugh, wish each other a happy Valentines Day and sign our texts with kisses.
Really, Valentines Day shouldn’t just be about accepting love from others – it should be about accepting love from yourself as well.