Apologising to my first love (and crying for hours)

So I did something really scary today.
I reached out to someone I hadn’t spoken to in over 3 years to apologise for the hurt that I had caused them in our relationship.
Hearing their voice again opened a floodgate of emotions.
Hearing them tell me I needn’t apologise a whole new sense of dejavu.
I was terrified to reach out, but am I glad I did it? Honestly, I don’t know.

There’s definitely a sense of closure. I would lie to say it didn’t feel validating to speak about the breakup, what led us there and where we have ended up. It felt good to be apologised to in return, and I’m glad we have cleared the air even more in case we run into each other in the future.
But as much as the ending is more polished now, the more I realised just how much I was still holding on to my hurt.
All this pain festering inside of me for years, and I was none the wiser?

I didn’t just decide by myself to subject myself to this for fun: it’s step 9 of the 12-step process to reach out to those we have harmed and make amends.
It’s meant to rid me of feelings of guilt that might lead me back to addiction.
It’s also meant to help those we’ve hurt move on and heal their own resentments.
Honestly in this case, I don’t think our apologies did anything, at least as far as I can tell.
Except for reminding me how much I loved and then hated this person, before I slowly came to forget about them. And that made me cry all the more.

I’ve been finding it hard to cry recently.
It comes easier to me when I’m out running, at the edge physically, suddenly finding myself welling up. Today’s run was very tear heavy.
I was crying for the girl who got her heart broken a few minutes after waking up to who she thought was the love of her live.
I was crying for the girl who six years ago got drunk and confessed her feelings to the boy, left his place the morning after and walked home on cloud nine.
I was crying for the girl who made someone else their home, and the utter desperation she felt when she came to rely on herself only.
Basically, a whole lot of crying.

Eventually, my tears of nostalgia and if-only’s dried up.
I wouldn’t change anything about our outcome.
The love I’ve known taught me how gentle joy can be, and the pain showed me just how much further I could grow.
I’m not sure I will ever forget my first love, but I know we have forgiven each other.
Now, we might meet at mutual friends, remember how we broke each other’s hearts, and smile at how young we used to be. Our hearts grew back together stronger than we could have ever imagined, and for that I will always be grateful.

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