I was a mess. I’d just lost my husband. I’d just lost my best friend. I’d just lost the person I’d (wrongly) expected would be thrilled to see me come home. The rug had been ripped out from under me. Rather, I’d ripped the rug out from underneath myself. In what feels like a never-ending blame game, it has been pointed out to me that I am the one who did this to myself.
It’s true, I did. But it’s also the best decision I ever made.
Anyhow. On this particular day, I sat on my friend’s couch clutching a bottle of tequila because who needs to dirty a glass when you are trying to drown a pain that feels insurmountable?
We sat there together. Him playing video games, me guzzling tequila like my life depended on it and drowning out the thoughts in my head with music because I still couldn’t formulate words of my own.
“The Dog Days are Over” by Florence the Machine came on.
The two of us were coping with heart break, and the dog days were far from over, as he so kindly pointed out.
Cue my guzzling more tequila.
I remember sitting there in that moment listening to the lyrics. “Happiness hit her, like a train on a track.”
I felt like I’d been hit by a train, but a train of pain and tears and an endless hangover.
I immediately started ugly crying because how on earth were the dog days supposed to be over? How was I supposed to put back the pieces of my life that I shattered with a sledgehammer? I remember wondering why I even did this to myself –why couldn’t I have just continued to suffer in silence? I still hadn’t realized I deserved far better, we both did.
I didn’t think there was any way I would possibly get through it. My dog days were just my life. They would be over when I was dead.
“One day, the dog days will be over, and we will sit here listening to this song and think about how ridiculous we both were.”
Mostly I think he just wanted me to stop crying, because I sat in that spot with a bottle of something or a pint of ice cream at least three times a week for a while. I stared keeping ice cream and tequila in his freezer so I could listen to Adele and cry with someone next to me.
If you’re reading this, and I haven’t thanked you recently for holding onto all my shattered pieces so I could put them back together and for being my safe place and for all the things, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
That moment has stuck with me. I think about it often. Usually when I’m drunk and confused, but more recently in a better light.
The song came on our playlist at work, and I immediately started singing along and jamming out while I was doing my little barista thing.
Then all of the sudden it hit me, like a train on a track.
The dog days are over.
The dog days are fucking over.
I’m happier now than I think I’ve ever been. Life isn’t without it’s struggles or stresses, obviously, but I’m so happy.
This move to Florida was good for me. It was without a doubt exactly what I needed to do. I’m writing more than I ever have. I’ve met people who have inspired me and pushed me and who believe in me.
I’ve healed relationships that have needed healing for a while. Life has just been an incredible whirlwind of good things lately, and more good things are coming.
The dog days are fucking over. I survived the worst thing I thought could ever happen. I lost everything I knew, everything I thought I wanted. I threw everything away because I knew I was miserable, and it wasn’t fair to anyone involved.
The dog days are fucking over, and I couldn’t be happier.