Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's called a Breakup...

I'm reading 'It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken' by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. (Greg also co-authored 'He's Just Not That Into You.')

Before you start judging me, I must confess that the had been sitting on my book shelf, dusty and unread for a long time. Ironically I bought it during my last relationship, while things were good. A sign of the inevitable perhaps, or maybe I just liked the cover design. Either way, it was a well invested $3.99. (Thanks Goodwill Store!)

The book is hilarious. It's not the standard "self-help book" that reaffirms one's sense of "I am good enough, strong enough...blah, blah, blah." Nope. The book is a  compilation of different breakup scenarios combined with well experienced advice from the authors. It's funny, and makes the whole lonely process universal.

What, you mean I'm not the only person that ever thought Mr. Guy was going to hit a wall and realize how much he loved me and that I am the one and only he ever wanted? I'm not the only one who has battled with my un-ringing phone, dying on the inside because he wasn't calling or texting me? ...I'm not the only one who has ever believed that all those love songs (i.e. Buckcherry's 'Sorry' or Bon Jovi's 'I'll Be There For You') were the soundtrack the the way he was going to feel one day? So you're telling me he actually likes the other girl, even though she's not me!? Oh. OK.

You get my point.

Over and over I see pieces of myself in every breakup I've ever had; from the guys I knew were never going to last in my life, to the one I thought was "it," the book covers the gamete of breakup woes and emotional instability. It's comforting and amusing.

I remember one breakup, probably the worst one I've ever been through when I was in my 20s, I thought I was literally going to die. (I know we all get that feeling when we get dumped, but this particular process of getting over him took FOREVER!) I remember planting myself on my couch, or in my bed for days, and just crying. Yep, that's all I did; cry. I didn't shower, I didn't wear makeup, and I didn't eat. I called in sick to work, because this breakup was like a terminal disease, and I had my friends over to talk about my heartache. Hell, I even burned some of the things he gave me one night over drinks while my friends cheered me on, probably hoping this pain would also go up in smoke. Sadly for them, that was only the beginning of the healing process.

Don't judge me, I was emotional and young.

In the years and relationships/breakups following, the process was always similar, but never quite the same. Each time my heart was broken, the same heavy emptiness washed over me, but unlike the time before I was a different person. In my most recent breakup, the process hurt just as badly as all the other times, but the confidence I never had in other of my other relationships seemed to be my saving grace. Once I finally learned the truth of the situation and of him, it became clear that he was the wrong one for me and that life would be fine, great even, without him.

(Note: That said, I will admit that I think poorly of some of the people I've dated, including the last guy. Some, including him, probably think poorly of me too. Doesn't matter really, that's the past.)

The bottom line is that if you want a good read, or are going through a breakup of your own, you should invest in this book. (Hell, if you're my friend or if we actually know each other, send me a message and I'll lend it to you.)

If you don't want to invest in this book, but are going through a rough time, I just have a couple of tidbits of advice for you:

1) Adele is awesome, but after a three day Adele bender (when you first breakup) turn that stuff off. She's so tormented in her music that even happy people in relationships feel her pain and anguish, you don't need anymore of that in your state. Stick to upbeat, happy tunes.

2) Friends who listen are the best therapists. Don't call or text the one who broke your heart. Lean on your friends, and make new ones. It's always surprising and heartwarming to see who steps up in your time of need. Appreciate it, because (in a different way) your breakup is hard on them too. They don't like to see you hurt, and they're trying really hard to make it better.

3) It'll take time to get over it, but that being said, you still need to go out and enjoy life (even if you don't enjoy anything at first.) The sad truth is that he is enjoying his life without you, so you need to do the same.

4) If he wronged you and you need to hate him, hate him. You need to go through those motions. However, even though you're probably thinking like an emotional maniac, make it your goal to move past the hate to indifference. Someone who hurts you isn't worth that type of emotion or thought process from you. Hate, revenge, regret, or holding onto someone who doesn't want you isn't in your best interest. Life is short.

5) Beware of airing your dirty laundry on social media sites, everyone you've ever met in your entire life doesn't need to know what's going on. It's awkward. (Hell, we've all done it. If you have, don't beat yourself up, just stop now.) Once you're over it you will probably feel silly for doing it. Your future self respect and dignity depend on this! The people who care already know everything anyway.

You'll be ok heartbroken warriors. Love yourself and you'll be surprised how quickly you bounce back. I'll leave you with a quote a friend of mine texted to me when I was entrapped in breakup-ville.


Shelley C. xo

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