"Be patient with yourself," the kinder of my friends tell me, when I wake up with the millionth sad dream and start asking for distractions and hugs.
The thing is, it takes effort
to be patient. If nothing else, it's hard to recognize that for all of the ways that you integrated someone or something into your life -- building a habit -- it's always much worse breaking a habit. That's just at the behavioral level.
At the emotional level, it's exhausting, constantly monitoring your thoughts for a slip and implementing the "exercise and go change the pace" regimen.
We have a set amount of energy to start the day with. I was reading this article on self-monitoring, and how it's a finite resource
. Changing things about yourself is hard because self-monitoring -- tracking your emotions and dealing with them in a healthy way -- takes energy, and we only have so much of it.
I know I sometimes say that it's not worth "wasting" energy on futile dreams that all of my logic says really don't stack up properly. But that's not the way emotions really work -- we fall into habits for our dreams, for who we love and what we love. We can't (realistically) unwalk our emotions without paying some sort of price for it; closeted emotions boil over in other ways.
So when I say silly things like, "it's not worth the emotional energy to deal with this," that's not what I mean. What I mean is, "I do not know how to deal with this/ I don't have the resources to monitor myself right now." Because it takes just as much emotional energy to not
deal with something.
I think that most of the time, when dealing with healing broken dreams, we manage to get things down to a nice, calm 10% of what they were by re-working new emotional tracks -- by doing new things. And it takes emotional energy to form all of those new tracks. (Though sometimes seeing friends and doing things temporarily gives me a boost of additional energy to do all that).
That's why people say healing is a slow process -- that's why you can't just "get over it" or "roll with the punches." It's because emotions and habits are one-way streets that you can't just undo, and it takes an incredible amount of energy to carve new dreams and habits on top of them. Being patient with yourself is not a passive thing. It is far more active than having fallen in love in the first place.