It did strike me as peculiar and drily funny when I decided to start my blog series with something as deadlocked as closure. Closure: Overrated, Overused and Objectified. If there was ever a popularity contest of words used by the emotionally self-conscious ones, closure would bag the prize (more often that it should).
And as someone who has been a curator of such contests (more often than I should), I can tell you how lack of closure has the potential to drive you absolutely mad.
Years of broken friendships, toxic relationships, switching of career paths, horrible bosses or simply my need for attention, led me to discovering my favourite game: Finding Closure. “I deserve a conversation, an explanation, or a peaceful mending of what was once a meaningful and loving relationship. If I have this conversation, I can move on” – I always convinced myself.
Playing and replaying the conversation in my head a million times and typing out texts that I never sent. At times I came eerily close to driving straight to their house and walking right in, demanding they finally talk to me. I’d imagine delivering the perfect monologue and it would land effortlessly, and they’d finally understand and tell me all of the things I needed to hear to free me of all my pain.
Sadly, it took me a long while to figure out how I suck at this game. (Or how this game sucks!)
Reflecting on my behavior in therapy got me wondering: What really is closure? Why does it mean so much to us?
Closure is like that last piece of cake or the best part of the sandwich that falls out of your hands just when you are about to eat it. Closure is when the cab radio finally plays your favorite song, but you have arrived at your destination. Closure is convincing yourself that you’ll sleep only for 5 more minutes. Closure is the epitome of being left on seen. Closure is Universe’s way of telling you that it has a mean sense of humor.
Some things are said, and a lot is left unsaid. You keep wishing for things to be different. You keep spinning scenarios about the coulds, woulds and the shoulds. There is a constant need to fix something outside of us. It’s really the oldest story in the book. We set up several conditions for our happiness and peace and when they aren’t met, we all know what follows next. You can practice all the subtle arts of not giving fucks, but not getting a closure haunts you at a different level.
So how do you get over things knowing that your chance to deliver the practiced monologue might just never come?
As someone who has been obsessed with finding closure and may have actually managed to achieve it, I failed to see the bigger picture then: Closure does not guarantee happiness.
I would not deny that the stuff that has happened in my life so far wasn’t traumatic or sitcom stuff. But when confrontations did happen, closure did not seem to bring the sort of wind-in-my-hair-as-I-walk-out-the-door feeling. If I am being honest, it rather felt worse. If anything, it always seemed the other person got more closure than I did.
Many years of playing this futile game and some time at therapy, I realized a few things:
- You cannot put a deadline to the entire process of closure and wake up one fine day to find that all the hurt and resentment has disappeared.
- Closure is totally overrated, and it is okay to be a mess. Nothing good ever came out of attaching yourself to the game.
- No one will go through it for you. It has to come from within.
For whatever its worth, maybe one day you will get better at playing this game. But even if you don’t, it’s enough—or at least it’s enough for you.
In a nutshell, it is what it is. Or as they say, “fuck it!”. All you can do is apply the lessons learnt from the past to your future. It may not be closure, but it works (I guess).
In conclusion, it is definitely peculiar and drily funny to start my blog series with something as deadlocked as closure. But I’ve realised, without learning to live with this monster, I could not possibly hope to face the rest of the Monsters under my bed.