The Breakup Manual
After a breakup, the last thing you have is control over your emotions or your actions. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get it, and your happiness, back.
It's so hard for me to write because I don't like to think about what I'm going through. I guess now's the time to write so that I can deal—since it's what all these psychologists keep recommending anyway. I miss him so very much. I miss everything about him. But I know that I can't talk to him or see him. I think of him all the time. It's just so painful because I feel as if my memories—all those years I devoted to him made up such a big part of who I am, and now I have to let go of not just him but of all my memories. Our relationship is over and I feel like my life support system has been taken away. I am now just one half of the person I used to be. I don't even know if I know myself anymore because a large part of who I am was tied up with loving him.
A few months ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. I knew it was coming, but that didn't prepare me for the sleepless nights, the puffy red eyes, the unrivaled pain, and the nagging self-doubt. What I did to keep sane was hound my friends for support, drink in magazine articles on how to deal, and numb my brain with as many cartoons as possible. Although that worked, I still kept bugging my friends 24/7 about what to do when it came to him. Can I call him? Can I invite him to a movie? Can I talk to him everyday? If they could have printed out their answers and tacked them on my bulletin board (and probably bathroom mirror, too!), they would have. So as a tribute to my friends (my pillars of patience!), to getting over my pain, and to all of us who deserve to be happy again, I have put together a breakup manual. Hopefully, it can make things easier—and maybe even less painful.
One Foot In Front of the Other
The words to that stupid song about how the sun can go on shining when it's the end of the world suddenly become so poignant after he leaves you. (Eew!) But the best thing to do is just get on with your day one step at a time.
- Don't Break Routine. It's so easy to stay in bed when you're physically ill, but when you're emotionally battered, you can't ask your mom for an excuse letter saying you need to stay home because your relationship just ended. Stick to your schedule. You are feeling lost and confused, so following your daily routine will give you a sense of order and even a distraction from thinking about him.
- Get Tons of Rest. Have you noticed that it's easier for you to catch a cold when you're stressed? This is why you need lots of rest. You're emotionally weak, and your body needs to recover. It's so tempting to party all night and come home at dawn every weekend, but you don't want to break down. Your emotions need to rest too.
- Eat Normally. Make sure you eat healthy. Don't crash diet and do not use food to comfort you either. Chocolates can only make you feel better for a while—they, or any kind of food for that matter, cannot and will not fill that void he left.
- Flex Those Muscles! We've all heard it somewhere—exercise releases endorphins in your system, which somehow lift your spirits (we just aren't sure how, but we know it works!) That should be reason enough to get moving! But another great reason to exercise is because you feel stronger after. And when your body gets pumped, your heart does too!
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When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.
You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.
You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?
I always thought of life, like a bead where each piece makes it worth sewing together with other piece of beads to make a stronger bond and to create a beautiful result. Today, how do we bond well with different people especially this difficult time? As this day challenges us to a new normal, may we continue to bead along positively with our life.