So the worst thing that could probably ever have happened in the world EVER has just happened; you must change your Facebook status to ‘Single’. For whatever reason, your relationship is over. Perhaps you made the decision, or maybe you were the one who has been ‘dumped’, or better still it may have been what they refer to as ‘mutual’. Well, no matter what the terms of this hairy situation were, it is likely that you are feeling a little fragile, doubtful and maybe even *gasp* desperate! Well, don’t grab for the pills just yet. Give this a quick read and follow my top ten ways to get over ‘The One’.
1) Go cold turkey
This is the biggie, the one that no-one wants to hear, but trust you’re Auntie Gabbi; it’s for the best. Your time is precious, and the way you handle the next few days may be critical. The last thing you need it to be trying to juggle through the absolute mind-blag that is two people’s feelings. Being the first to get in touch after a break up when you really aren’t over it yet shows weakness. The guilt caused by your hyperventilation over the phone at four AM almost invites the other to ‘dangle the carrot’ and screw with your vulnerable mind; a danger which you need to avoid at all costs in your fragile state. What’s a relationship built on guilt anyway? Plus, even if you got back together, you would be constantly at the mercy of the other, which isn’t the way ‘love’ is supposed to be. It is difficult, but it will be worth it once the whole nightmare is over. You know I’m right. So turn off your cell phone already!
2) Organise your thoughts and just feel
So it sounds really sad and eighties to sit and write about how them coming back to you ‘is against the odds’ and that’s what you’ve ‘got to face’. However, I reckon Phil Collins had it right, because this really helps! Sit and type a letter. Just let the words flow without you really thinking about it, until you can’t think of anything more to say. Write down everything you want to other to know. Then save it. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT send them a copy of this letter for at least a week, by which point you will have had time to add to it, take away from it and in some cases, realise how pathetic it is. The great thing about doing all this is that no matter how messed up you have become during the ordeal, you will be able to make sense of your thoughts and learn some home truths. Nothing is going to change over-night, but perseverance is so worth it.
3) If you need to cry, cry
If you have to cry out loud and have mucus pouring all down your face with your make-up looking more smudged than one of those creepy clowns . . . then you have to go for it. Keeping it in is never going to help, although you must remember that your eyes aren’t like a bottle of vodka where once it is empty there’s none left. Fresh tears will creep up on your when you least expect it. They will come from your eyes, your heart, your head, your lungs, your stomach, everywhere. And this is why you need to embrace this and learn to control it after a while. There is one condition to this; set aside time to be upset, like you would with revision or exercise and don’t let it over-run. You have to take care of yourself and be practical. Don’t ‘let yourself go’.
4) Don’t alienate people who are trying their best
Why can’t your mom come up with anything more comforting that fish-related metaphors? What makes your work colleague think that ‘slutting it up’ is going to make the pain go away? And why doesn’t your best friend realise that the love you had is nothing like what she shared with an ugly chav when she was sixteen years old? Well, it’s hard to believe but they really are trying. Be patient, gracious and strong. Tell them that you will take their advice on board, and you’ll get in touch soon; keep conversations like this brief and to the point, in order to prevent the use of aggressive four letter words. When you are ready to talk to them, they will be there to listen, but for now, you need to learn to comfort yourself.
5) If you don’t want to eat or sleep, then don’t . . . for no longer than three days
This may sound like horrific advice, but I think it is genius. Something has epically changed in your life and you need to acknowledge this. Now, let me make this clear; if you are hungry, eat and if you fall asleep from the exhaustion of crying for the past 29 hours, then don’t beat yourself up over it. However, your body may feel so full of tears that you can’t physically stomach your breakfast cereal, and your mind might work on overdrive for so long that it’s time for work at 9am before you know it. You actually might not want to sleep because you are scared to wake up in the morning and realise that it wasn’t all a nightmare . . . and that is fine for a short period of time. Just make sure you are drinking a lot of fluids, and that you aren’t consciously denying yourself what you need. You’re body will usually automatically go into survival mode, explaining why you might not be hungry or sleepy. But this will not last forever, and even if after three days your appetite and sleep pattern have not returned to normal, you MUST force it. Slowly at first, drink soup and eat toast and close your eyes for a couple of hours at night. You have to take care of yourself; people will just think you are pathetic if you become an insomniac anorexic because of a break-up.
6) Remember that you are still as awesome as you were before
This is vital to your recovery! Remember that everything that was great about you when you were still ‘us’ still stands. Perhaps you have a great sense of humour, or you are intelligent or a great artist. Remind yourself that your ex didn’t give you these talents; you were born with them, so they cannot be taken away by mere heartbreak (although they may temporarily become invisible). So make a funny video by yourself, launch yourself into your studies or paint a pretty picture. Which leads me to my next point . . .
7) Have a new project
Find something which excites you! Try that pole-dancing class you’ve always wanted to go to, boost your CV with amazing work experience and volunteering, take up a new instrument, make yourself a reading list or even plan a holiday. The world is quite literally your oyster. We are young and fresh enough to be able to have dreams and achieve them, especially when you don’t have some un-ambitious loser dragging you down. Realise your potential, make goals and shoot for the stars. This will keep you busy, and hopefully give you a new skill and teach you some new lessons which you wouldn’t have learnt before.
8) Pamper your mind, body and spirit
So for the first few days, it is totally OK to think ‘I’m a fat, ugly pig, it’s no wonder my ex doesn’t want me . . . no-one else ever will’ and then begin with a fresh bout of tears all over again . . . But then . . . GET OVER IT! Remember a time when you have felt really beautiful, or when you’ve received a lovely compliment. Embrace how you felt when you got that and aim for it again. If you’re memory is feeling mellow and comfortable then try a yoga class. What if you felt your sexiest after a massage? Treat yourself; it’s only a one-off after all. Give yourself a facial, get some fresh air, dance around the room, spend an hour on your make-up and a million on a dress and just be! The best thing I can say, is an old cliché. Write a list of as many things as you can think of that you love about the way you look, love and think. You can write as long a list as you want, but it must have at least three items on it. Pin it up and repeat the items over and over to yourself whenever you are feeling sad or lonely. And learn to cuddle yourself!
9) Learn who you are and who you can be without your IN-significant other
You are your own person. If you want to move to New York and pursue a career as an artist, then do it. If you’ve always fancied charity work in Honduras, plan it and go. What if you’ve been dying to work in Disney World since you were twelve years old? Follow in my footsteps and freaking apply! You’ve quite literally got nothing to lose, and now is a time to realise your dreams before you get to an age where you have to support your own family in achieving theirs. I know that my readers have more potential than they could even imagine, and I love them for that humbleness. But now is the only time in your life when it is totally excusable to feel over-confident, unrealistic and reckless. Just take care of yourself, and learn who you can be without your ex. You will grow!
10) Take your time
This is the big one. You don’t want to go clubbing with your mates or on the pull with your colleagues and you can’t imagine being with anyone else. So don’t! No-one can force you to do anything you don’t want to do. This experience is all about you, and you are going to work through this in your own time at your own pace. So take it easy. Don’t rush into anything that you might later regret and be true to yourself.
And if all else fails . . .
Realise that you were sedouched once again, and make a list of all the things you hate about the other. Not as healthy as my previous options, but this is the alcohol of the break-up-recovery world. You’re heart will fix. I promise!
Until next time