“Pull yourself together!” My mom scolded me, exasperatedly. I sobbed into my flip phone – barely able to enunciate my dramatic declarations of despair. There I sat: cowering in the corner of the living room, my chest heaving forward with every exaggerated breath I took. My head fell into my hands and for an instant I felt like a mangy mutt as I stroked my matted hair I’d neglected to wash for days. I surveyed the dimly lit room, strewn with old boxes of Chinese food, empty bottles of wine and ash trays filled to the brim with half-smoked cigarettes. My body felt hollow, lifeless and at the risk of sounding cliché, my heart hurt. I can remember how I felt so vividly, because the feelings were so powerful, so debilitating, so unshakable.
Day after day, I went through the motions: peeling myself out of bed in a cloudy haze, brushing my teeth in slow, lackadaisical motions whilst taking note of my weary face (illuminated by pale puffiness) in the mirror. I remember pushing myself into the shower, deliberately standing directly underneath the showerhead as it rained scalding water hot enough to boil a lobster. For me, the heat served an important purpose. It was a distraction. I welcomed the water as it fell onto me – it was in those moments I was able to escape from the emotional pain I felt every. second. of. every. day. I’d sit in my car in the parking lot during my lunch break and cry for a half an hour straight with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here blaring. Then I’d wipe away my tears, dab under-eye concealer onto my dark circles, go back into work only to fake it until I could make it to the end of the day when I could get home and drink copious amounts of wine straight from the bottle in an unsuccessful attempt to numb the pain.
Now that I’ve really
overshared gotten your attention and given myself massive anxiety about said overshare let’s get down to business, shall we? We’ve all been there (and if you haven’t then I am extremely jealous and don’t think it’s fair happy for you and respect your good fortune) and can probably remember our first break-up pretty clearly because it FUCKING SUCKED. Why? Because someone who was once a huge part of your life suddenly wasn’t. That’s tough to swallow. (That’s what she said. Also, I am 13.) My first break-up marks the time when I realized why there are so many corny songs out there about lost love and oh my god typing those words will give me nerd chills for the next fucking month. I can remember wondering to myself how in the world people got through divorces if I could barely get through this juvenile little collegiate break-up that at the time seemed like the fucking apocalypse. I look back and don’t recognize myself and how utterly sad I was for such a long period of time and OH MY GOD I hope my ex isn’t reading this. I was so desperate to find some kind of cure for my heartache, I’d ask anyone I knew with a pulse for advice, including the gas station attendant I saw weekly. I’ve gleaned some pretty useful ways to cope with a break-up through my research. Let’s begin:
1. Refrain from putting your ex on a pedestal. He/she isn’t fucking Ghandi and in fact, he/she probably sharts, uses the acronym LMFAO and can’t distinguish the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.
2. Let go of all hope that your broken relationship is fixable. There is a reason the ‘ship is dunzo and more often then not, once it’s over it’s not going to be repairable.
3. Try not to use a word coined by Kristin Cavallari in the 2nd season of Laguna Beach. Especially if you’re 31. (word in question: DUNZO)
4. Try not to drunkenly bang random people. It will just make you feel more empty inside. If you’re really yearning to be touched, go get a pedicure and ask for a happy ending. Or buy a vibrator. Just don’t hole yourself up in your room with it for days a la Charlotte from Sex and the City.
5. It’s fine to vent to friends about the break-up for the first
few years couple of days following the death of the relaysh but then move on. The more you talk about it the more you think about it so just stop it. Stop it right this minute! (Fuck, I just sounded like my mom.) Plus after awhile, you’ll begin to notice how disengaged your friends become especially when you’re on a plane with them venting about your ex for the 37563756th time and they begin to read the vomit bag.
6. Focus on other things. Keep yourself busy. Watch the news/buy a newspaper. Read up on the ol’ fiscal cliff or foreign policy or ObamaCare or whatever the fuck it is adults talk about at cocktail parties.
7. Smile and laugh like an asshole. I am a recruiter so it’s my job to constantly smile, fake-laugh, be friendly and act like an all around jolly pig in shit despite whatever I’m dealing with personally. Having to fake it actually makes me feel somewhat better. Rent Planes, Trains and Automobiles,
head to Dolores Park and purchase some happy chocolates, invite your friends over and giggle away. It’s no secret that laughter is the breast medicine and if you don’t believe me then I resent that I guess that’s okay and there’s not much I can do about it. Call me.
8. Let yourself be sad. Spend time alone with your thoughts. Allow yourself to experience the MANY FACES OF A BREAK-UP (but do remember to brush your hair and avoid the spray tanning place on Union Street) :
9. Join Tinder, match with the former Bachelor, go on date with said Bachelor, become nervous on said date, drink entirely too much, bid Bachelor farewell and go meet up with your friends who are just as drunk as you are and fill them in on details of awkward date. Subsequently vow not to go on date with guy who starred in your favorite reality TV show who you already know everything about (right down to mannerisms (touches left forearm often), favorite song (David Grey’s “This Years Love) and dog’s name (Scotch.)) My point? Go on dates – some may not go well but at least you’ll have
great material for your blog funny stories to share with your delinquent friends.
10. Reinvent yourself. Get a cool new haircut or bikini wax (you know you’ve always wanted a lightning bolt etched onto your nethers). Just make sure you find the right stylist and specify that you want them to “hold the orange”. I went to the salon last week and requested the “Gisele” balayage highlights and I walked out resembling carrot top. Thank Christ I’m not going through a break-up because my new ‘do would’ve made me feel so much shittier. I will share with you the before picture but not the after, because well, I’ve shared enough revealing information in this post. *I will be heading back into the salon this afternoon in an attempt to rectify the situation. I know you are riveted by this information.
11. Recognize all of your positive qualities. Jot them down into a list form so you can reaffirm your attributes any time you begin to feel unworthy. I constructed my list while I was in a meeting with my boss. I had everyone in the room fooled into thinking I was furiously taking notes on the subject of not losing the bathroom key. SUCKAS! (please click on picture for legibility purposes)
12. Realize that things could be worse.*
You could have lice.
I will leave you with a break-up sentiment from the movie Swingers. John Favreau’s character had fallen into a pit of despair on account of his girlfriend leaving him. His friend tells him, “I don’t know man. It’s like you wake up everyday and it hurts a little bit less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn’t hurt at all.” THIS is so true: when dealing with a break-up
alcohol or a dildo TIME is your best friend for sure. Tick tock.
And remember, if all else fails – you can always stay in bed all day surrounded my thousands of Haribo gummi bears – that always seems to make me happy when I’m sad.
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.