So, it has been quite a crazy 3-month period. This should be a good checkpoint since people often say that three months are enough for people to get over a heartbroken situation. In fact, one of my rules is that I should never start a new relationship within 03 months since the most recent break-up.
I got myself emotionally broken a while ago. The situation really got the worst out of me. Believe it or not, I would nominate this as the most terrible break-up I have been through and I have been through a few terrible and awkward breakups before. I think I have done almost all of the things that many people have been going through a situation like me normally do. So, I will present my experience and, also, some tips if you are unfortunately going through something similar.
- Alcohol phase
This phase should last around the first few days to a week. It is hard to accept the fact that you are dumped. If you are somewhat of an overthinker like me, you will go through a self-interrogation with hundreds of damaging questions like: what did I do wrong? Why can she/he do that to me (after all of the things I did for her/him)? Is this really happening? Is that because I am not good/pretty/rich enough?
I know, it sucks… big time. This destroys your self-confidence as harsh and quick as being hit by a train. You feel like your standing ground collapses, your solid beliefs seem vague and, all of sudden, you are left with the crazy loneliness. I think this is probably the reason that people keep saying “the first week is the hardest” when it comes to addiction treatment. Being pressured like that, people tend to rely on a number of measures, some are typical and straightforward while others can be pretty hardcore and, well, weird. I myself like to keep it at the basic level – an “appropriate” dose of alcohol.
So, yes, I started with alcohol. I am not particularly proud of this but, yes, I drank a lot just to get through the first week of the breakups. It did help somehow. If someone tells you that alcohol does not help anything during a breakup, they, while are reasonably right, probably have never really enjoyed alcohol. I mean, good or bad times, I still can enjoy a glass of martini or a pint of a good craft beer. Alcohol phrase is probably something I will always go through during this time.
My point is not that you should go straight away from the very last conversation (I hope it is truly the last one) to a pub/bar/club. I am saying that it is okay and super normal to feel and need a getaway from all the pain you are suffering. Alcohol, apparently, is a quick, cheap, easily accessible and arguably legal option for many people. Thus, for me during the first phase of a bad break-up, a wash-out shit-face drunk could be a good way to relieve the pain and taking a break from a post-break-up suffering.
Tips: Taking one of your bros/sisters, tell them that you are going through a bad breakup, demand them to let you enjoy and make them promise to take you home. I hope I don’t have to say that this but don’t drive.
Pro Tip: Lemonade with a lot of sugar can effectively cure a hangover.
2. Emotional breakdown phase
Now, you have accepted the fact that the break-up happened and you started facing your emotions. The first wave of emotion is probably anger, you can’t accept the reasons that person giving you, you are pissed with his/her behaviour and manner, you want to call tell him/her that she/he is wrong and stupid and unreasonable and the worst (they probably are!!!). Then, you feel lost. It may feel like regret or guilt but I would go with lost because you feel like you are losing something important. Like a kid watching her balloon flying up and up to the sky, you feel a piece of you is stolen and your heart is suddenly emptied. Absurdly, you start missing that person whom you are so upset about just a moment ago. You started feeling all of the love and affection that you used to have with that person but in a greyish and melancholy colour. At some point, you may even think that you cannot survive without him or her and if right now there is even the slightest chance that you could make that person change her/his mind, you gonna do it at all cost. Of course, as an adult, your logic and ration will come sooner and later and take over the controlling authority. Your rational mind will tell you and your emotional ass that nothing you can do about it and all these emotions should fuck off. And like a TV screen when you press turnoff, both rational and emotional parts of you will leave you with an immense loneliness and empty.
You may experience this phase in a different order or without some of the part I described or you probably experience some entire other emotion. However, you will agree with me that once you realize that the break-up happens, you will ride on an emotional roller coaster. This phase may last from a few weeks to a month depending on whether you are generally emotional or rational.
What can you do about it? Well, not much. If you have been through this you will realize that no amount of work, talks (with your friends), or alcohol can truly take you out of all of this emotions. They will emerge whatever you do. Nevertheless, you can either sit at the corner of the room doing nothing and let those emotions take you or you can carry on your things. As a normal responsible adult, of course, my firm does not allow me to take a few days off just because I am going through a bad break-up. And, by saying the most commonly spoken phrase of a being-dumped person: “I will now focus on my career”, I actually mean and do it.
My advice is that you should take this chance to put a little more effort on your work, your body and your hobby. I know it’s not going to be easy to do stuff while your mind is full of the old memories. You need and will do your work anyway. All of this things-doing seem like some distractions but, then, you will start feeling the emotions less and less harsh. You do not enjoy their company but you are aware and neglect their presence because you have no other choice.
Tip: Sleeping is the ultimate cure for pain. Take a good sleep. Don’t overuse stimulants.
Pro tip: Cry.
3. The I-have-a-plan phase
You will eventually realize that break-up and sadness are generally troublesome, unproductive and very unhealthy. You will argue that all of the energy, which you are spending on missing that significant one or cry your eyes out or get wasted, should be used in other stuff. I mean this break-up could be a wake-up call. It’s time to work out more, learn something new, travel somewhere you always want, or start doing your job properly (haha). You don’t have to spend time on your boyfriend/girlfriend anymore anyway. So, you probably have more free time to spend now. Isn’t it just perfect to improve yourself, to become a better man/woman. Whatever it is, you are now a little more positive about this break-up and you are serious about changing your life. It’s like when you are at the 30th December of every single year, thinking to yourself: “This is it, this is my year, I will get my abs, my promotion, my realistic-but-not-practical goal”.
I will have to be honest with you. While this is a good opportunity to look deep into yourself and plan to improve yourself, it will not be so much of a pusher. It may be a trigger, but not a sustainable motivation. Because, at the end of the day, your main reason is still to become so much better that your significant one will regret leaving you. That thought may be reasonable but it will not last long because, at some point, you will eventually get over. In conclusion, I highly encourage the positive thoughts that you are having at this stage because it is the very first sign that you start moving on. However, if you achieve something, it is probably because you are already hard-working and determined and not because of a wake-up call from a bad break-up.
I, at the very beginning of this stage, decided to become a yes-man, a concept from a movie with the same name. I would say yes to every invitation, every hang-out events, and, any favours I was asked to do. Though it seems quite funny and entertaining for my friends and colleagues, it also did help me a lot. After the first few weeks, I have already been in a lot of outings, hang-outs with new people, and, even, trekking a mountain. All of these are super fun, to be honest. Once you have only one option of saying yes, you will not face the trouble deciding whether you should go or not. You will simply do it and, obviously, face any consequences if things go bad. Then, I realise that all of these are simply too much and forceful and start seriously planning my life more carefully. I start going to the gym (while not as often as I wish) and learning something new and, also, picking up a new hobby.
Tips: Talk to your friends as much as possible.
Pro tip: In fact, talk to as many people as possible. You may find out some new activities or skills that interested you.
4. The I-am-not-entirely-happy-but-I-am-okay phase
At this point, the breakup does not affect you much anymore. Sure, you still miss her/him now and then. But all of the emotion does not exhaust you anymore. Now, when you choose to do something, it is simply because you want to do it, the break-up cannot interfere with your decision making anymore. And, you are actually enjoying it. You even start considering going out again, maybe ask a girl out or tell your friend to set up with the cute guy from work. Generally, you are not fully recovered but you are okay.
I am at this stage now. I am sure that a lot of stuff still needs to be fixed and my emotionally unavailable state will last for a while. However, I truly believe things will get better. It must be.
Tip: write down something to mark the journey
Pro tip: don’t post it on your public blog. It is too cheesy.
5. Getting over phase
When I get there, I will tell you more about it.