Google, “heartbreak” and “how to deal with heartbreak” on the internet and you’ll find a wide spectrum of advice columns on the subject matter. Some are particularly encouraging and motivating and suggest doing things like taking up yoga (wait, I did actually do this) or volunteering in your community (that too) to feel better and others are negative and basically state that not only will you experience again (and most likely worse), but it most likely happened to you this time around because you’re a terrible person (so ok, I’m exaggerating just a tad).
I take everything with a grain of salt these days. There is no easy “fix” to heartbreak and everyone is different. There is no sound proof recipe to follow. Everyone’s relationships are different, the reasons behind why those relationships failed, the people in them and the reasons why they started in the first place are all different. Maybe one person’s way to get through heartbreak is to jump out of a plane, while someone else’s might be to throw themselves into work (not recommended for me).
If there’s anything that I’ve discovered about myself over the past six weeks or so is that no amount of yoga or skydiving is going to “fix me”. I have to essentially find ways to self-reflect and readjust my energy (and attitude) to focus on more positive areas of my life like my friends, family and even acquiring a new skill. It’s been going ok so far. I still don’t sleep particularly well at night, but I’m working on it.
Recently, I’ve found myself diving into skills that my ex either did or we did together. In a strange round about way, it’s therapeutic to me to accomplish these things on my own. it’s almost my way of proving that I can do it and in some cases do it better than he did (of course, he wasn’t great at EVERYTHING, but he mastered A LOT of really cool skills well. I of course mastered smearing makeup on his pillow cases, falling asleep on him while watching almost ANYTHING on netflix, never being able to finish whatever portion of food he made for me and unintentionally becoming inebriated after one glass of bourbon–where is my cookie for this outstanding craftsmanship?!). I did this with Kayaking while visiting the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago (kayaking was not one of these things that I was better at–but I managed to do it and didn’t die in the process). Will I ever do it again? Maybe…perhaps in a lake on a non-windy day.
Cooking is another thing I’ve started to focus more energy on. I’ve never considered myself a bad cook, just lazy. My ex however, was a marvelous cook and regularly made these masterpieces for us to share just because he wanted to. I never cooked anything for him, because again I’m lazy, but I DID bake for him a few times and he seemed to be appreciative of that. On our second date, he invited me over to his place where we made homemade pizza together (we’re both pizza snobs) while
drinking sipping bourbon neat (which I’m learning to appreciate). This was not only a fun activity to share, but a knowledgeable one as well.
I’ll never forget coming home after being away on business for a week. He invited me over for dinner the following night where he made this elaborate moroccan dish with like 500 ingredients (so ok, I’m exaggerating–but it was at least 50–because I SEENT IT…most of them were seasonings, herbs and spices I couldn’t spell or pronounce), including one spice that tops out at $20 a jar (was this gold dust? He was probably flexin–why would anyone spend $20 alone on a spice? By the way, it was called, “Saffron”).
The dish took him an entire day to “prep” and nearly 2 hours to actively “cook” and god know how long to shop for all of the ingredients (this most certainly was love). While I didn’t really help with this one (I did stir, brown the chicken and introduce him to merlot!), it really motivated me to be more creative in my “masterpieces” in the kitchen. Like bloody hell, why am I not prepping for an entire day and buying exotic spices? I’m happy to report that while I didn’t recreate this specific dish (girl, bye), I have managed to do my thing in the kitchen with a few elaborate meals. I’ve even used cast iron (his prefered method of making said masterpieces) as well as teaching myself how to season, clean and maintain the skillet (doable, but labor intensive and I’m still lazy).
(Actual moroccan dish he made AND the merlot that I so graciously provided-full of NOMs–I flexed FOR him on the ‘gram)
Another Check. Difficulty level, 2 (scale of 1-5).
In a bizarre way, accomplishing the things I mentioned as well as running, picking up a new sport to get into, hanging out with friends/family, volunteering/learning how to make/bottle bourbon (and others I’m too lazy to type out), it makes me feel better and more at peace. It’s almost as if it allows me to take him off of a pedestal and remove the notion that I need him there (of course there are some very specific things that he did quite well (QUITE with a capital “Q”) that I’m not physically able to do (at least on my own)–ha, but that’s not for a public post.
I’ve still been keeping up my goal of not being in contact with him for a little while and I’m happy to report that I’ve done well. Tomorrow makes two solid weeks. While we haven’t communicated via text or verbally, I’ve seen him here and there (in traffic) around our side of town. In living ten minutes from one another and knowing each other’s routines and shopping habits, that’s bound to happen (I just really hope we don’t run into each other in Walmart). For instance, he was at an intersection I passed early last Saturday morning. He’s a fan of grocery shopping once a week on Saturday mornings.
My emotions still kind of shift and level out from day to day, but the fluctuations are becoming less and less frequent and my moods are starting to remain a little more consistent. I have moments of sadness, but not nearly as many. I notice that as long as I try not to sit idle for too long, not read texts from him, peruse through photos of him (or us) and actually stay on top of taking my anxiety medication, I am ok.
I’ve also come to realization that this particular breakup hit me hardest of all because I
was on the verge of being in love(d) with him and he loved me too. He treated me far better than any other guy, even right up towards the end. It took this relationship for me to realize that I’ve probably never truly been in love in the way I thought I was (even with another ex who was emotionally unavailable and is STILL a terrible friend to this damn day). Strong like, yes….even strong toleration (see above), absolutely, but never true love.
I’ve read that our brains really treat heartbreak like an illness. Your body goes through all of these periods of attempting to “fight it off” and you’re basically out of sorts with yourself for a little bit…even the one who initiated the break up. It’s just a weird period of time. I like to think my ex WENT or is going through this, but outside of saying he was a little sad, drowning himself in work on purpose, not sleeping and looking like death warmed over, I’m not sure. It’s not my place to ask. I hope he’s able to eventually heal/mend too.
So there you go, I’ve officially experienced true heartbreak and I’m still standing (queue Elton John’s, “I’m still standing” with some shimmies, glitter and body rolls–YASSSSSS). I am also proud to admit that I honestly don’t resent my ex and have found no true reason to “hate him” (and I shamefully DID try to find a reason a few weeks ago). He’s a good person with a huge heart and while it didn’t work out between us, I still wish him well with his life. I just appreciate that we were able to do this peacefully.