The truth

There are moments when being on your own is excruciating.

I have been on my own for seven years. The first half of that I couldn’t contemplate being with another man — how could I, when my whole heart and head was still attached to another? Bereavement is a difficult beast, a space where you experience the past as if it were the present, when every memory is relived — every conversation, every argument, every moment, is examined as if it were happening now. I grieved for years. I relived every moment of our relationship. I relived the flaws and the magic; I felt ALL OF IT. And then I moved through it. I found work that meant something to me; I found a way to live through the pain — to accept it — to process my loss and find a place for it. I found my way to the other shore.

I survived.

And here I am, on that other shore, filled with hope and expectation and the small tentative belief that if I just let myself be seen, if I let another SEE ME, I will find love again. And it scares the shit out of me. Even now I find it so hard to believe that all I have to offer — all that I am — will be accepted by another man. That I can be loved. That I am loveable. That I am worthy of love.

And so I took a chance. I took that first wobbly step out into the world. I knew it had been too long — I knew I was still bruised, still so full of doubts. But I did it — I reached out. I took the training wheels off and rode out into the world of dating. And then, when I least expected, I was shot down. And it’s so curious to be sitting here now, with the heavy weight of disappointment pressing me to the floor. Because it’s not just me. There’s another person who’s dealing with their own shit, their own confusion, their own fucked up head. And I can’t help them—i am not the person they need. And that’s a hard one to sit with, because I’m so used to being the healer, the one who makes sense of it all. But when they look you in the eye and tell you they can’t do it, all you can do is smile, and nod, and say yes, you understand. Because in some strange, unexpected way, I do understand. I get it. But it doesn’t stop the disappointment.

I know this is just another chapter in the book of my life. I know this is just the beginning of the future path I have stepped onto.

But, fucking hell, it hurts.

This is my truth tonight.

69 responses
  1. lisa field-elliot

    i love you. 3am is a perfectly reasonable time over here. always.

  2. Cora

    So sorry to read that Susannah -even if you did write about it very beautifully! It IS a jungle out there but it seems to me you are being very brave, honest and aware – and that MUST bring you to the right place (the right heart, the right arms) eventually!
    If there were comfort to be taken from this evening maybe it is that you now are very clear and know in your essence what works for you. Please don’t be discouraged or loose heart. Keep walking on towards it – it’s out there for you. Besides it’s not just you in this you know … we’re all rooting for you AND getting hope and encouragement from your courage – so keep your chin up and your chest out – for us and for you X Sending love and light your way X

  3. Dani Combs

    Oh dearheart. I am so sorry to hear of your disappointment. But, you seem absolutely lovely…smart, creative, caring, passionate…and more…and at some point, the right guy will come along and all of the wait and the hope and the disappointment…it will all have been worth it! ((HUGS))

  4. Hannah Marcotti

    Just complete and utter love to you. In my own version of some fucking hell it hurts. I just keep saying, it is totally ok to hurt when it hurts.

  5. Marianne

    So wise, and deep-seeing and true. And still it hurts. Love you.

  6. nat (painted & patched)

    beautiful: writing, spirit, heart, everything. You will find a gentle heart to share it all with <3

  7. Christine

    How brave of you to step out and open yourself up to the possibilities. You are worthy of being loved and the universe will respond as it always does. Just received my This I Know book. so looking forward to digging in.
    Hang in There

  8. Debra

    Our stories are similar in emotions, if not details. Sending love and hugs.

  9. deb taylor

    I have followed you for years.
    Learned and listened.
    I applaud your honesty.
    And continue to uplift and admire your winged heart.

    love and light, Deb

  10. bettye rainwater

    sigh. long. drawn. out. very. heavy. SIGH.

    i wish i could say something to help you feel better. i wish i could say something to help ME feel better. relationships….the starts, the ends…the MIDDLES….are SO fucking hard.

    so many disappointments….so many hopes that never pan out…and hope, man…hope is a killer.

    i am not an optimistic person…not for myself…but for other people…i think their hopes MIGHT come true…they MIGHT find love with That Just Right Person. I *do* know that the only way TO find that person that will make all the rest of it Worth It…is to just keep putting yourself out there. Even with the overwhelming opportunity for disappointment. Keep opening your heart. I can’t say it will pay off in the end, but if you *don’t*, it definitely never will.

    So…brush yourself off, “bear the disappointment” (my motto as of late), and do something nice for yourself. Then just move along.

    I wish you well. I wish *us* well.


  11. Life with Kaishon

    Oh no. I’m sorry it didn’t have a storybook ending.

  12. Stephinie

    Fuck Yes! It does. It eats a hole into the depths of your soul. But somehow through the magic of the internet I have grown to love the woman that you are. So much that I could tell all my blog readers, THIS is the woman worth your time and money. She has something amazing and brilliant to offer you. She is MAGIC. Susannah you are a beautiful soul. One I am glad to know. You will find that prince one day and he will be worth the wait. Much love to you.

  13. Amanda Chea

    Thank you for sharing your truth. It hurts and it feels like utter bullshit at the time. Just know that you have a huge, wide group of souls near and far surrounding you with their love.

  14. Jill



    There’s nothing I can say that wouldn’t sound like utter bullshit in the face of feeling so crappy, nothing I say can make it better, more workable.

    All I can offer is that I see you, I hear you, and I have been where you are, I know how hard that is, how awful it feels.


  15. Lianne

    You are so loveable. I love you right now.

    I just sent out this poem to my list the other day – it reminds me of your journey and how you are holding life like a face again. And it ain’t easy.

    The Thing Is
    to love life, to love it even
    when you have no stomach for it
    and everything you’ve held dear
    crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
    your throat filled with the silt of it.
    When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
    thickening the air, heavy as water
    more fit for gills than lungs;
    when grief weights you like your own flesh
    only more of it, an obesity of grief,
    you think, How can a body withstand this?
    Then you hold life like a face
    between your palms, a plain face,
    no charming smile, no violet eyes,
    and you say, yes, I will take you
    I will love you, again.

    — Ellen Bass

  16. pen

    You raw and bare truth is so unbelievably beautiful.
    Just want to sit with you here x

  17. becky


  18. Suzie Lambert

    Oh sweetie, you have to set over these ones to get to your one!
    I promise.
    It took me 16 years to get back to the one that I should have been with all along. But now I think, if we had gotten married 16 years ago, it may not have worked as well as it is working now.

    Look at me giving corny advice…. who would have thought that!

    Now, repeat after me – “Next!”


  19. tara thayer

    i sort of feel – knowing i haven’t been through the grief you have – that this is universal,this crap shoot, gamble, leap of faith. and of course, it hurts.
    but you are beautiful inside & out, and just knowing this all makes you brilliant.

  20. Suzie Lambert

    Crap, I meant “step” over…. Not “set” geeeesh!

  21. Aggie

    love you, you brave beautiful soul.
    thank you for baring yourself tonight. xo

  22. Helene

    Oh Susannah! It is a jungle indeed and the disappointment is inevitable if you put yourself out there and connect easily to others, like I do and it seems, you do too. It’s like riding a bicycle again. Falling, falling, falling, until, suddenly…
    Much love,

  23. LeAnne

    I am there with you and know your pain. I also know nothing but time heals the hurt so there are no words of wisdom to offer. Just holding you in my thoughts and sending you a wish for peace.

  24. jane

    i am sad that you are hurting
    i am sad that he missed out on you
    sucky and stink and beaming you love

  25. Heather

    Yes. To echo others- holding sacred space for your heart and spirit, Susannah.

  26. Kyra

    Thank you for sharing your truth. You are an amazing and beautiful woman! xo

  27. Roxanne Galpin

    This is raw. This is beautiful. This is one step of your journey on that other shore. Know that you are loved.

  28. Toni

    Love you, for being you xo

  29. Belle

    I am so very sorry for you that you are hurting. I am so sorry for him that he is going to miss out on wonderful you.

  30. Lindsay Drya

    Aww sweety :( You know what the problem is? You are so fantastic, no guy can compare right now. Really! You will meet someone later on and then you will realize why the Universe have let you feel disappointed right now… there is someone better waiting! The Universe knows better then us, even if we don’t want to see that. And when you will meet this one guy, you will smile and think: Oh! NOW I get it!

    Just be patient and you’ll see. The good guys always take a lot of time to arrive. :)

    Big hug!

  31. Vanessa

    I’m really sorry to hear about this crappiness, Susannah x

  32. Adam

    Dating is such a weird and wonderful and difficult world. I’ve decided its just not for me but I’m sending lots of love in your direction!!

  33. sas

    you are loved, loveable, brave, brilliant. the big love is all ahead of you xxx

  34. Alison at Brocantehome

    Oh Susannah, I’ve been right there. Right where you are now. Spilling my pain into Brocante in the middle of the night and crawling into bed feeling a tiny bit better for it. I have so been there. Go back through my archives and you will find yourself there: reaching out and falling apart. And here’s the thing: you just have to wake up and put your authentic self right back out there – bruised and battered, but brave and true all the same.
    Because you are, brave and true. And this is just one rubbishy night you have to endure before the good ones start to roll…
    I promise.x

  35. scamp (aka Shirley)

    What I admire so much about you, Susannah, is that you know you want this love again, and you know it will come, and you are willing to go through the pain and disappointments as well as the joy that come with being open and honest and true as you move forward into this new adventure.
    So many would not be so brave. xoxo

  36. Ellen Bulterman

    My heart so aches for you, Susannah. I’ve been there and it just plain hurts. Wrapping you in huge hugs and sending much love your way.

  37. Michelle Park

    You lovely, wobbly, lovable person, you.

  38. rain

    i am so, so sorry that this happened to you and i’m glad you’re allowing yourself space to feel through this experience and let it run it’s course. i wrote something recently that i wanted to share in hopes that it will bring a bit of life-stirring:

    we are all soul-creatures made to be seen;
    we are created to be tenderly cradled and adored.
    (and yet we tremble at the thought of it.)

    but may our tremblings, beloved,
    become the raw rhythms of our sojourn;
    may our fearful quakings thrust us into movement,
    and may those first, halting,
    ignite energy for our feet,
    for our life-dance,
    for our story.
    let us take old, painful memories,
    those hurtful moments
    which wrap us like a shroud,
    tight, immovable, bound
    and cast them into a great fire.
    with this flame we will light our way.
    let us awaken! let us say yes! to life …
    not merely to living,
    but to becoming alive.

  39. Claire Penn

    I’ve been there and it’s fucking destroying at times – I stuck with it for a few months, then had a break, then went back to it. All in all I did internet dating for 18 months on and off. Then I reached breaking point. No more. After 8 months a friend asked me to do it again because she was. I signed up for 1 final month and I had an email the next day from my now husband. The time wasn’t right until then. Be patient. You truly deserve love, it’s who deserves yours that matters. You can do this… you really can. xxxxx

  40. Debra

    Oh sweets, I am RIGHT THERE with you, except I couldn’t bring myself to write about my own disappointment, especially not as beautifully as this. This is our truth today, and it does fucking suck in a huge way, but we forge on to whatever truth tomorrow brings us, hopefully and with optimism.
    Much love, xoxo D.

  41. Michele

    Thank you for your openness, and sharing your truth with us. I will hold it tenderly.

  42. Bella

    Sending you love and hugs as you sit with these new feelings. xo

  43. shilpa

    You are such a brave and beautiful soul. It is so great that you are using this experience to further understand yourself, others and move forward.

    shilpa xo

  44. Vicki

    I have been in your shoes, ok well not your exact shoes :) 3.5 years ago. It took me many years to get back out there. And truthfully it was hard, my heart got hurt but in the end I learned about what I really wanted and what I didn’t want. I learned that it was better to wait and explore than to have my heart filled with junk food, I learned that I needed real nourishment not just a place holder to displace the loneliness, because in the end that wouldn’t be to my benefit. Hang tight, breathe deep and stand straight. You are lovely and there is someone out there looking for you. You were hidden away before so he couldn’t find you, now your door is open – in time he will come.

  45. Meghan @ Life Refocused

    Sending you love. xoxo

  46. Alexandra

    Thank you Susannah.

    I don’t know how I stumbled on this but it was exactly what I needed right now… i’m going through the exact same thing and need to remember that it’s not me. That it wasn’t my truth. I hope the pain goes away soon.

  47. AnaLisa

    Sending love to you! thank you for sharing your heart with us. Love & Grace, AnaLisa

  48. Micala

    Big hugs courageous girl. How hard it is when two worlds collide.

    I am reading your book at the moment. It is like a best friend who knows all the right words, who makes me think deeply and inspires me at the same time. From the bottom of my heart, thank you xx

  49. lisa

    Sending love to you Sweetheart.

  50. Lauren

    Sending you lots of love. I wish you lived here so I could take you out and hook you up with a genuine and awesome guy. Or just give you a hug.

  51. jane

    Man, I love your braveness to stand present in your pain, your disappointment, and truth. That totally sucks that it ended up like this. So many people around the world are holding you in love and it’s only a matter of time before the one who can stand bravely beside you will come into your life and stay.

  52. Karen

    The truth is I can’t understand why you haven’t been snapped up yet. Honestly. You are gorgeous, intelligent, self-sufficient, interesting, memorable, possess a sense of humour and have an enormous capacity for love. Come on single UK males, lift your game. Time-wasters need not apply!

  53. Fiona

    Your book arrived here today after a hard week. You’re dong some things marvellously and the others will come. Take good care of yourself, love.

  54. Francesca

    You are worth of love, of course you are. Didn’t expect to read this. Fuck.
    Love. You.

  55. angie


  56. Rachel Saldana

    i will always completely love your candor susannah.

  57. Sandie Cottee

    I love your braveness and honesty Susannah. The right man is out there waiting for you…. meanwhile I trust that everything that comes our way is for a reason, even if we don’t know it at the time. I know I have learned from my difficult experiences, so hold on tight and have faith that lifes journey is taking you in the right direction.

  58. Kim

    Feeling your truth, Susannah. And, someone else will read this and be going through the same thing and feel a kindred spirit.

    Your honesty and beauty requires one very special person. He just hasn’t appeared yet.

    Hang in there, dear.

  59. michelle gd

    holding your truth in my heart…

  60. Meg Manion Silliker

    trying to catch that spark is so absolutely hard – your heart is open and raw and lovely. it will come. this i know to be true. xo

  61. Pauline Leger

    …love such honesty…

    hug to your heart. xoxo

  62. Rhiannon

    What a brave and truthful post – and as many have said resonates with what lots of us have gone through at some point. Sending you best wishes that you will feel better soon and that the real Mr Photobird will show up pronto :)

  63. Jodes

    Your words are just so powerful in connecting to others and letting us all know that we are not alone.
    My last relationship ended 6 years ago next week; it was an amazing one that brought me hope after a disastrous marriage in my 20s. Its end broke my heart, broke my hope for new start, left me dissecting every aspect of the relationship between sobbing uncontrollably for 3 years. At 40 (but feeling a fantastic 33) it’s hard to be alone, when even all your single friends have found partners, had kids, changed their lives and all in the time you have merely managed to stop buying tissues in bulk, and dive into a career.

    Your authentic and vulnerable words have echoed what is in my own heart many times over the last 6 years and it always gives me untold comfort to check into your blog and see an amazing, brave, beautiful, talented, and infinitely inspiring woman mirror my own hopes and fears. I think of all the words of comfort that I want to say to you (that everyone above has covered wonderfully) and think that maybe I should be offering those words of love and support to myself too, maybe I am an amazing, brave, beautiful, and talented woman too, who is just too hard on herself.
    My last date was 4 years ago…I’ve just not been ready….but maybe soon?
    Thank you for leading the way.
    Hugs to you

  64. kristen

    i think the disappointments clear the path so that the love that is coming for you has nothing in its way. i know this for you susannah, i just do. xoxoxo

  65. Chloe

    You were brave to take those steps again…and I know how it hurts. My marriage ended badly over 10 years ago and I am only now embarking on a relationship. I know too the highs and lows of the online dating world ! Love will find you, don’t doubt it, because you are worthy and wonderful xxx

  66. LaShawn

    BIG HUG! I’m so sorry things didn’t work out the way you wanted. Think of it as a life lesson. And a lesson for when the real thing comes back around!

  67. Lee Anne Masin

    IT IS SO PAINFUL! I’ve been sitting here crying last night and today also. When will it get better? I’m feeling very low and feel your pain. Hugs and warm wishes for better days ahead!

  68. Marisa Anne

    i’m sorry lovely love.

  69. Meghan Oona

    Wow! Reading this was like looking into a mirror! I have the exact same story, only I was “flying solo” for 10 YEARS! Pretty impressive, yes?

    I found out there’s a reason they call it flying solo — it’s your time to learn to fly. To love yourself. To know how it feels to be happy and healthy.

    I have good news for you… after 10 years of healing from a rough relationship, dating a bunch of people in between to learn who NOT to settle for… Real love came my way. And it sure was worth the wait!

    Check out my message to people looking for love. It took years to figure out this simple wisdom. It sure feels like it shouldn’t be so hard, along the way, but once you’re through it, it all makes sense, somehow ;) Keep the faith!!!


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