Recent break up. Need advice.

Needing advice.. Long read. Questions at the bottom.

I was with my girlfriend for 3.5 years, the first year she was at university 2 hours away, whilst I was working elsewhere. I was 27 when we met, and she was 21. 6 years difference, however she is very grown up for her age.

We would see each other every 2 weeks or so at the weekend. Always off doing something fun. I used to plan awesome dates, like a picnic at the beach, trips out. It was exciting. When we met I was care free, fun and confident. When she would stress, I would make her laugh.
During this time I had to have an operation on my hip and she was a big support during this time.
We moved in together after 1 year, due to logistics. We both had an hour commute in different directions to work.
I had no social life, as I had no friends near by.
A few months in to living together I got ill.
I was off work for 6 months and end up having an operation on my stomach.
That along with the steroids I was taking left me mentally in a very bad place. I was depressed. I pushed her away and shut down, this resulted in my not talking to her for 3 days. She left in a mood (understandable) to her mums.
Whilst she was away that weekend, my cousin died. I got really drunk and called her very emotional. She came back on the Sunday, she had been talking to her mum about it all, and she said that she should dump me. Her mum went through a marriage with someone who suffered from depression and didnít want her daughter to go through that. I donít blame her for telling her to end things.

We had a heart to heart, I wrote a letter explaining everything I felt and that I wanted to work through things with her. I came from a place of desperation Ė I was not in a good place.
She agreed to this, however we moved out from living together, so we could both be closes to our jobs. We had a week away from each other, where we didnít talk as she wanted space. We met up and had a fun date at the weekend.
For 6 months after that we lived separately, just seeing each other at the weekends and going out and doing something fun. We spoke during the week with the odd text and phone call. But everything was fun again. I had a social life of my own for the first time in over a year, as did she.

My landlord then asked me and the other girl who was renting a room there to move out, as they wanted to move back in.
Instead of looking for somewhere else to rent near work, my girlfriend and I had a discussion and I moved in with her, where she was living.
This meant I had a larger commute to work, I was also in a job I did not like, the owner was the worst kind of person I have ever met. He was racist, sexist, and just rude to everyone who worked for him.
I ended up handing my notice in, then telling my girlfriend. She was not happy but supported me. I found a new temp job, which had the potential to go permanent. After 2 days working there, I got ill again. Both my knees blew up, suspected arthritis.
It went down over time, I never got fully sorted out as I had moved around a lot and missed hospital appointments.

We lived in a house which I did not like, due to there being no central heating. Very cold during winter. It was also not in a very nice location, I did not go out to meet people as I did not want to put roots down there.
We ticked over for about 6-8 months, we didnít really do much besides the normal day to day stuff.
During this time my Grandad died, third death in just under 2 years. I did a reading at the funeral, then went and got very drunk. Me and my girlfriend had an argument.
She was angry with me the day after, I understand why. But she did not cut me any sympathy. Getting drunk and being emotional was how I dealt with my feeling. Not healthy I know.
I then got problems with my hip again and had to have an injection to be able to walk. I am going to be looking at having a replacement hip in the near future. This has been on my mind a lot.
I was off work for 1 month with this, during this time I could hardly do anything. I couldnít go out for walks, I struggled just getting around the house. My mental wellbeing was dipping again. We argued a lot during this time.
We were both getting frustrated, as we wanted to be able to go out and do normal couple things.
I was also starting to suffer more servery from anxiety. I had changed completely from who I was at the start of the relationship.
I finally made it back to work after the hip calmed down, after 2 days back at work I started having trouble with my hands.
My hands and fingers were painful, I could not type and got sent home from work. I went to the doctors and she referred me to see specialists.
I had never had a problem with my hands before and it scared me. I got home and put myself to bed, to keep warm, and when Iím feeling down or like shit I tend to put myself to bed. It is my safe place.
She has a stressful job, and I have tried to be there for her, but I barely had enough to be able to keep myself going. I had stopped being fun, my role in the relationship was about having fun and going and doing stuff. Planning dates, etc. She never planned any. We barely had sex in the last few weeks/months. I stopped looking after myself, was always in tracksuit bottoms, I can see I became very unattractive.
I havenít drunk any alcohol so far this year, I donít think it really agrees with me. My dad used to have a problem with alcohol too.
She came home after a bad day and saw me in bed. I must have looked pathetic. I was telling her what was happening and how I was feeling, then she said one thing that made me lose it.
She said she doesnít have any more sympathy for me. In the moment it was the last thing I needed to hear. I could barely move my hands, we had an argument. I packed a bag and drove the 2 hours to my mumís house.
My hands were so bad after the drive, I really shouldnít have done it. I just wanted out of the situation.
We didnít speak for 2 days, she went to her mums the following weekend, her mum and never really forgiving me for the previous situation when we lived together and I got depressed.

On the Saturday I sent her the following text: Just checking youíre okay. I love you and want to see you. I got no answer.
Sunday, she phoned me.
I knew straight away what was going to happen. She started crying saying she couldnít do this anymore. That she still loved me, but things havenít been right for a while. I was emotional, we both were. I said to her I understand why she wants to break up. I did not beg, or try and convince her to change her mind.
We spoke for about 30 minutes, arranging the logistics of me moving my stuff out. She said she still wanted to be friends. I explained to her that I was not interested in being friends, I am only interested in being together romantically or not all.

Then ended the phone call. It really hurt me, that after 3.5 years together, she was ending it over the phone. It still hurts me know, although I understand why she did it. She wouldnít have been able to break up with me in person. She needed to do it, plus her mum would have been telling her too.

If she hadnít broke up with me, I wouldnít be where I am now, trying to fix myself.
I sent her a text later that evening to confirm I was going to move my stuff out during the week whilst she was at work. Explaining again, that I did not want to be friends. And that the door would be open for us romantically should she choose to reach out. I said regardless of what happens we both need time and space to make ourselves happy. I was expecting this to be the last text.

However due to logistics, my friends and family could not help me move my stuff out till the weekend.
I text her two days later, just saying that I will get my stuff at the weekend and hoped that was okay.
She replied saying: it was fine, that she would probably be there when we got there, and that she wanted to say bye in person if that was okay. She said she would not stay for all of it as it would be too painful.
I replied, saying it is your house, I canít force you not to be there. It will be nice to say bye in person. Have a good week.
I then deleted her number, I did not want to risk contacting her when I felt weak.

So, we got to the weekend. Me, my mum, step-dad and one of my good friends all drove down to collect my stuff. When we arrived, I could see she was in, I went in first and we ended up having a 20-minute chat. She handed me a letter and asked me not to read whilst she was there. I put it in my pocket.
She was upset and crying. I managed to keep myself together. I had bought new clothes and made sure I looked good and acted positive. Even if I did not feel it inside. She commented on how I already looked better and sheís happy I understand why it had to end. She then got frustrated that only now was I starting to sort myself out. (The motivation of a break up, eh?)
We both acknowledged that we wish it had turned out differently. We discussed the stuff we had bought together, I said she could keep it all. I did not want any of it. She offered to pay me some money for it, I declined. She said by to my family and I walked her to her car.
She was crying and I gave her a hug, opened her door for her. As she got in, she looked at me and tried to say: I love you. But the words caught in her mouth and she couldnít say them. I looked her in the eyes, I said: That I loved her too, I donít have it in me to be angry at her. She had done more for me than she ever had to do. I also said, drive safely as she was going to a friend till I finished moving my stuff out. I closed her car door and walked back in to the house. I was okay, I was focused on just getting all my stuff packed and out of the house.
We moved all my stuff to my parents, I then went out for a walk with my friend and we just kept busy doing things. He does not live near me, so we just went out having fun, keeping my mind busy.

In the evening, after we all went to bed I opened her note when I was by myself.
She had written a two page letter. It was beautiful, she said how amazing I am and that I have good friends and family around me. She said that she had loved me with all of her heart and still did deeply. She reference the song by Rudimental and Jess Glynne ĒThese daysĒ. Hoping that one day we will see each other a laugh about these days.
At the end of the letter, she said: I promise, if you do. That in future after some space and time, if one us wants to reach out, and it feels right that we will do so. I read it three times, then put it on the fire. I would have kept reading it otherwise.
I was driving down to see my dad and was passing where she lived. I posted a note through her door saying the following:
Thank you for your note, it was amazing.
I have made my feelings clear, you know what I want.
If you want to meet up and go do something fun, let me know.
Make yourself happy, I will be focusing on making myself happy too.
Donít cry because its over, smile because it happened.
Every time I hear that song, I will smile and remember the good times we had.
I promise too. (Was this a mistake? Ė Should I not have responded to this?)
Since then we have been in not contact, 2 weeks have passed. I havenít message her, she hasnít messaged me. I am paying to go private and get my health sorted once and for all. This is still ongoing. I am signed off work for the arthritis and depression. Even though I still do not feel positive, I hope I have left a positive impression of her, new clothes, and I managed to seem okay. I truly want her to be happy, with me or as painful as it is to think about with someone else.
On top of seeing specialists for my health issues, I am seeing a local psychotherapist. Emotionally I am up and down, being off work currently gives me a lot of time to myself. I am processing everything. Making plans on what I need to do to get myself better. I havenít had to delete her off any social media as I am not on anything. I donít have facebook, snapchat, etc. She is still friends with my family and friends on facebook, I am okay with that.
I want to get my head sorted, I have suffered with depression and anxiety for too long. I am making myself better for me. Also, for anyone who I will be involved with in the future. The film limitless is what I use as motivation, although I donít have a magic pill, I just have a lot of hard work to do.
I have a long way to go, I feel I am only at 30%.
I want to know what you think I should do.
-Do I just focus on myself, try to move on from the relationship and wait to see if she makes contact?
-What do I do if she reaches out and I donít feel ready?
-What do I do if she reaches out and I feel I am ready?
-Or once I feel I am better (Which will be a few months!!), do I reach out to her?
It has been so long since I felt truly happy and will be working on doing that.
Sorry for the essay, I really appreciate your feedback and advice on this. I feel I did an okay job at firefighting, but never really addressed the underlying issues. I love her, but I donít know if we should try and reconnect. I donít know if I was just in an unhappy place, or if she was part of it.
I need to decide if I want to go back to my job, that I donít really care about, but would still leave the door open to us reconnecting. Or moving away and starting a fresh, I have a lot of options of friends and family that would like me to move near to them.
I donít feel we ever got a fair chance at the relationship.

Do i contact her when I feel I have got myself sorted (will be a few months, or do I wait and see if she contacts me?
What do I do if she reaches out to me, but I don't feel ready?


Sorry for essay, appreciate any and all feedback.
-V