5 Steps To Overcoming Heartbreak

It’s hard to write about heartbreak when you are actively heartbroken. You know, like watching the waiter march to your table with a bowl of piping hot oatmeal when you’re hung over.With that said it’s taken me almost all of 2018 to put together how to be more put together when all you want to do is pour some accelerator and light the match.

Aw yes, that balance between knowing you’re a human being with feelings and wishing you just fucking weren’t for five minutes (shout out to my dog who I constantly call a shit-head and she knows none the wiser)

It’s not easy, but it’s doable…

Below, I give you: the five steps I’ve personally taken to help me overcome that overwhelming feeling that someone has essentially rung you out to dry; but like…in the rain

1. First of all, why can’t I ever have a step one without thinking about who’s responsible for cutting the hole in the box?

1B. Know what hurts.

Ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s just ignorance.

It’s funny, cause when I was a kid and I’d try to express my feelings to my father in a snot-filled-traumatic-mumble-tantrum, he used to verbally face palm me with the same question every time: “uhhhhh, your what hurts?” Great question, I HAVE NO CLUE. It was such a vague and blanketed response to my belligerency that it actually made me stop and try to figure out who my real father was what was causing my pain so that I was more equipped to not only explain it, but ease it. Science has proven that both heartache and grief are both legitimate forms of measurable physical pain. Which means painkillers as simple as Aspirin are actually equally recommended for the heart as they are the head. For the record, I mentioned over the counter aspirin, so don’t go buck wild on prescription opioids cause Tommy from Tinder ghosted you after he asked you to be his arm candy at this years company Christmas party. Or do. Natural selection.

2. Be present.

I have a habit of extremes. The power of living (or not living) in the here and now is no exemption. I am either extremely engulfed in a moment to the point of full acceptance OR, I fly so far off the handle about future anxieties that it’s almost like you are all invited to the opening of my new theatric production of “I Am Nothing Without Him”. Solid soundtrack. The cast is a little iffy. I used to think that the first step was just admitting it, right?

Wrong, the first step is taking a deep breath and remembering that if the future seems like it’s already overwhelmingly hard, how’s right now going for you? I imagine if you aren’t starting by being really good at today, there’s no hope for tomorrow. You’re cheating on today’s happiness with tomorrow’s what if’s and frankly everyone loses. Except the guy who broke your heart and sent you into this uncomfortable spiral. He’s winning all the chips.

3. Distract.

If we’re all being honest with ourselves, there’s no easier way to get over heart ache than with a distraction. We have a scientifically studied part of the brain called the reward system that often is directly linked to the biological effects of rejection whilst being in love. When that reward system is unmanaged, it’s addictive patterns appreciate a diversion from pain and explore a more sought after feeling of pleasure.I imagine there will be backlash with how I achieve this step, and to that I say…get a hobby. Even if his name is Jared. As much as I’d like to suggest picking up a a new interest in a less taboo subject like hot yoga to “decompress and center yourself”, investing time into getting to know someone new has always effectively kept me from running back to the fire and placing my hand directly in it. Can’t say the same for the Child’s Pose.Maybe that’s a reflection of how much I see the good in people, even the bad ones. But if it takes me diving into a whole new batch of potential-bullshit just so I don’t skip back to confirmed-bullshit…let us all be stoked to be dealt another hand.

4. Be reflective, not reactive.

For the longest time, whenever I got ghosted (I say ghosted because dumped would mean the man who stopped talking to me would have to tell me why he stopped talking to me, and frankly I’m 0/456) I IMMEDIATELY rack my brain for what I could have possibly done wrong. And then I need to know what exactly I did/said, how it made all parties feel, what I could have done differently, AND how I fix not only it but world hunger, the California water shortage, the war on drugs…EVERYTHING. I NEED TO FIX EVERYTHING, IMMEDIATELY. Basically, I react so hard I don’t even have the energy to reflect. And when I found this out about myself, I made it one of the steps in not only overcoming heartbreak, but honestly eliminating the length of time before you’re at peace with the situation.

Reactions are quick, take less thought, and are…come to think of it synonymous with defining most of my past relationships. However, reflections are how I further more chose to handle any future heartache. We don’t need to know why someone chooses not to like love tolerate us. All we need is to handle rejection with grace and selflessness which will in turn outline our character and keep us on a path to who and what we deserve.

5. Surround Yourself With Love

Endorphins are the gateway drug guys. You feel love one time and it’s hard to want to be in a state of anything less. Heartache is, in my opinion, the epitome of pain because it’s not just superficial. It’s mental AND it’s physical. Your legs are weak, your brain is foggy, and your eyes are swollen from hours of both of those things colliding, making it hard to want to do anything more than replay what you’ve lost and sulk about how hard it might be to regain.

This is a piggyback on distractions, but it deserves its own step. There are people who love and adore you who have been placed on life’s back burner while you danced to the beat of falling for another sucker. They rooted for you knowing this day might come. So keep them close enough to remember what it’s like to be unconditionally supported, and bring them closer when your heart isn’t sure what that feels like anymore. There are probably a plethora of additional steps that we as individuals practice on a heartbreak to heartbreak basis, but these five above really drill home the attempt at a quick turn around for me personally. This is coming from the girl who is just happy to be alive enough to feel, even the bad shit.

Youtoo

Youtoo

Bravery is contagious. And not contagious in a someone-sneezed-on-the-office-coffee-pot-again-cause-they-forget-that-some-of-us used all of our PTO in January catch-everything type way.

The thing is, the nature of the events of this week’s Ford-Kavanaugh hearing are a he-said-she-said ping pong match that ends in someone’s life ‘potentially being ruined’ and that other person being Christine Blasey Ford. She doesn’t get to fear the potential, because she’s already lived it. Maybe all of the revisited events were just moments he ‘cant remember’, but at the end of the day they are also memories she ‘can’t forget’.

Rape stories will be prevalent until rape is no longer minimalized to irrelevance. Sadly, we put people away longer for crimes of graffiti than we do sexual assault and people still wonder why it’s trending. Anything that bares little to no repercussion without a grand jury review is bound to be a trend in my book. Instilling the fear of potential consequences is barely a way to keep crimes off the street, but at least it’s not contrarily telling it’s offenders “we support your lack of moral compass”.

Even more sad are the statistics associated with said rising assaults. To a degree, some would say the rise of admission is to blame for the rise in percentage, but why is that even a rebuttal? Just because the story is new to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t haunted it’s victim for decades. With that said, I more recently googled just how many of my friends and neighbors might be holding on to an untold secret, and 1 in 5 women have or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One finger on each of my hands is a symbol for the reality of the proximity of these casualties.

When I say it’s hard being female, I mean it. Sure, we have a laundry list of societal standards; a basic biological clock constantly ticking inside a highly emotionally charged hormone filled body, but we also have the immediate danger of becoming a statistic 15 times faster than if we had been born a male. And for that exact reason, I write this article.

If I had the choice, I wouldn’t choose to hold my keys between my fingers as I walk to my car at night. I didn’t wake up this specific gender to be told that I couldn’t wear a skirt on a summer day because of how it made other people feel about my body. And I most certainly never expected that I’d ever have my own story.

A man drove me home after a night of drinking and as he walked inside the gas station to get me a bottle of water, I quickly racked me brain for how it was I was sitting in a truck of a total stranger feeling completely taken advantage of. I immediately placed blame on myself for tequila shot number five. For not knowing how to get myself home safely. For trusting someone I had only just met (that’s how all great love stories start though, right? Wrong.) and as he got back in the car to a more silent version of my previous self he jokingly looked me directly in the eyes and said “You only said no twice.” To which I shrugged and said “Cool, that should hold up in court”. Its safe to say I think that I’m the wittiest, when I’m absolutely shattered inside.

And that was the last thing I said to someone I would never see again. Someone who would never know how uncomfortable I was because the lack of consent and humility turned him on and blinded him from the basic human concern of another person’s needs. He laughed at my expense as he handed me the water bottle- making sure I was hydrated while ironically dismantling me inside.

We don’t want to admit that abusers are our friends. That our friends are victims. That this world is filled with people who are selfish dishonest and cowardly. But, even if it doesn’t happen to you, it’s happening to people who you love and care about so by default it’s happening to all of us. I have to ask… if it’s happening to all of us, why are we still so afraid to believe the women of the metoo movement? Because of false reports?Because of political bullshit? Because publicly reliving criminal events in regards to sexual assault is sooooo uncomfortable….boo fucking hoo.

For the record falsely reported cases are so low in percentage that they aren’t even given a number.  Unlike the 20% of the people in whatever room you’re in right now suffering the pain of being an undeniable statistic of factual reports that will damage them for the rest of their lives. And politicians? They can go fuck themselves. Just don’t expect them to ask for consent when they do. 

Christine ford is the definition of bravery. I hold faith that her story was brought to the public eye not to haunt an already wounded supreme court justice nominee, but to remind the voiceless that although some may not believe you, enough people care and only in untold stories and silence, we may have never known. I believe these women because I have to believe that you would believe me too. And that is the entire basis behind the appropriately named movement that is bound to make history.

You down with BPD, yea you know me

You down with BPD, yea you know me

I hated the work books my therapist would have me add to my Amazon cart. They always came equipped with an “also purchased” display of herbal sleeping pills. Because people like me were insomniacs. They ate anti depressants in their cereal and kept a journal of poetry about their suicidal tendencies. They were also my friends and my family; people I’d never know weren’t firing on all cylinders. 

For a couple of years there I wanted everyone to walk around with a Hello My Name Is: Manic-Depressive sticker. Or Hello My Name was…is…used to be: Acute Stress Disorder, Body Dysmorphia Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Like the dumb little avatar Sims characters or everyone’s mom at their first PTA meeting. Something, anything to feel less alone. 

In my head, we all suffer. And in my search engine, I wasn’t too far off. According to google there are over 200 classified mental illnesses ranging from more common to less wide spread. All of them being a label that none of us want to wear; none of which any of us can diagnose on our own. 

“Mild to severe disturbances in everyday thought processes” sounds like an easy equivalent to any of my Mondays. But it’s the literal definition of a term that gets more bad publicity than our own fucking president. Mental illness is exactly what it sounds like; an illness of the mind and you wouldn’t walk away from a cancer patient, so where’s your empathy for a schizophrenic? 

It takes a real champ to stand up to their own unwavering ego. The voice inside our head that speaks at a painful volume with little remorse. When I was considering treatment for the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (get this, it’s just a work book, some flash cards and a yoga membership) I toggled with the list trying to find one that sounded more concrete. Because BPD made me feel like I was labeling my ongoing incompetencies as a head cold and nobody would take me seriously; not even my own ego. 

Below are some of the signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder: 

* Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment 

* A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation) 

* Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self 

* Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating 

* Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days

* Chronic feelings of emptiness

* Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger

* Having stress-related paranoid thoughts

* Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality

Maybe you check off one of these, maybe you feel deeply about them all. Or maybe you think I’m completely insane for being any of them. (Wait until we outline pedophilia for that kind of judgement). You don’t have to be sick to understand crazy. You just have to be open minded to the fact that it’s not a choice to be ill. It’s a choice to be critical and unapologetically unhelpful. 

All I know in this life is that your mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s either working for you or against you. Those of us who are at war with ourselves have a never ending internal battle that should be externally acknowledged and offered a hand. Nobody fights a war alone, that would be silly. So is mental illness being more taboo than weed in the year twenty seventeen. 

You wouldn’t call the morbidly deteriorating leukemia victim “ugly”, so don’t call us crazy. Call us…more often. To break everyone of this stigma that mental health is a facade of a generation unable to express itself; an excuse to be absolutely out of control. Nobody chooses to wake up and be overwhelmed by their own existence. Your poorly chosen name calling and ignorance to mere science are triggers. 

Work smarter, not harder at how you speak to everyone you meet, know, and may already love. You never know which of the 200 are plaugung their thoughts daily. Or maybe it’s just me, and the rest of the world is perfect. Who am I kidding, that’s just my bpd speaking…

Shoo fly, don’t bother me.

Shoo fly, don’t bother me.

I’ll never understand revenge. I think about it. I’ve committed it. I’ve regretted it.

I’ve literally witnessed people sell their souls for a feel-good moment of karma, and you know who always wins? The asshole. Want to know why? Cause honey badgers don’t give a fuck. Like this. Tell me, what part of the brain is so incapable of forgiveness that it short circuits and violently unleashes a wrath of insanity upon unsuspecting patrons? Is it the synapse between needing to level the playing field and being socially inept?  Or is it at the base of the cerebral cortex where your insecurities run wild?

head explodes

I get it. Misery loves company. But, you know who loves company more? Happy people. Go do that. We’ve gotta stop stomping our immature feet with anger about situations we can’t control. Nobody in their right mind gives a shit about our sadness. The people we want to care are probably the same people who got us there. Your best bet is getting out of it with integrity intact and dodging any opportunities that might bring you back. Like, I dunno…finding yourself outside of their house, next to their car, with a carton of eggs, a packet of bologna and a face mask. (I’ve only been on the receiving end of a bologna paint peel once, and let me tell you, there’s no type of revenge quite like turning a brand new car into a twister mat). Anyways, don’t do that. None of that. Problem solved.

egging.gif

Comfort is arguably the true culprit. And it always brings us back to a place where we’re making the same mistakes but expecting different results; the true definition of insanity. I watch grown men and women fall back into routines that are literal set ups for retaliation. You know why? Because you can’t bring someone down, until you’ve brought them back up.  I can smell the premeditation as they strive for the upper hand. And when they fail, all they have left is revenge.

You can’t leave me, I have to leave you.

My heart hurts, I want yours to, too.

I have nothing, so you aren’t allowed to have anything.

It’s not always tit for tat in the game of love. You win some, you lose some. And at the end of the day, do what’s right and let the rest go peacefully. The biggest struggle this dating scene has ever presented me was coming to terms with unforeseen closure and not wanting to MURDER every person who selfishly didn’t give that to me. Those unanswered questions always brought me to a place of hatred, and where there was anger, there were words. When those words didn’t cut deep enough, there were actions. And so on. Revenge left me nowhere but at the crossroads of guilt and regret. When I didn’t get a response, not even a blink out of the administrator of my pain, I was farther behind on the journey to forgiveness than I’d ever thought possible. And he was light years ahead, dismissing of my mere existence. Had I chosen acceptance, I’d have chosen a much quicker road to satisfaction. But, as you all know acceptance is a tough pill to swallow. And frankly, I’m all out of water.