There were 4 things that got me through my break up. Beyonce, strip clubs, pole dancing and weight lifting. Step by step I will walk you through my process. From the complete and utter bottoms into the parts where found myself again with some nuggets of wisdom along the way.
Step 1: Cry. And cry and cry and cry.
Step 2: Listen to sad music. My recommendations include: Jhene Aiko’s-Eternal Sunshine. Beyonce’s-Me Myself and I, If I Were a Boy, and Sorry. Kehlani’s-24/7. Kelis’ I Hate You So Much Right Now. La Roux (Nero Remix) I’m Not Your Toy.
Step 3: Cry some more.
Step 4: Find someone to commiserate with. Someone who is also going through break up is ideal! Obvi.
And talk all the shit you want darlin’. Get that toxic shit out of you.
Step 5: Cry again.
[photo by: Maud Fenhout-What Real Men Cry Like]
Step 6: Keep yourself busy. Go someplace you’ve never been before! For me that was a strip club and I personally feel 100% better after looking at boobs.
Step 7: At this point you may be hitting the angry stage. This is the best time to use your energy physically. Can you say endorphins?
Lift weights, jump rope, go on runs.
For the more masochistic folks, go ahead and try that Bikram class you’ve been thinking about. If you enjoy the kind of heat that makes you sweat so much you’re not sure if you’re sweating or pissing out of your crotch then get your butt in that 105 degree room.
For me pumping iron and making gains was one of my happy places.
Step 7: Put on your stripper heels, grab your friend and feel sexy while getting a killer workout. I visited Kiska, a body positive pole dance studio. It quickly has become my happy place!
Step 8: Avoid at all costs calling/texting/contacting them and get the hell off of their social media-Look it’s your call but if your mission is to torture yourself then go right ahead. Click on their instagram, peep on their facebook page and be nosey but I guarantee you, you’re not going to like what you’ll find.
Let yourself heal before opening up a line of communication with your ex. I learned this the hard way. Nothing is that important to risk setting yourself up for hurt feelings or you hurting them.
Step 9: Go someplace you’ve never been to before. Be spontaneous and plan nothing. Hit some nature or a park. Walk down a street you’ve never been down. Go for a long drive or ride the bus aimlessly listening to your favorite songs.
Step 10: Visit your local witch doctor-Connect with Spirit
When I don’t know what direction to go in I know to hit my knees and pray. I’ll meditate on my bedroom floor. I sit in silence and let the feelings pass. When I sit on the ground I will quite literally feel more grounded.
I got this candle from Seagrape from the wonderful shop owner Maria. She listens to plants and everything in her store has a special energy to it. I knew she would be able to put together a magical break up kit for me. I picked up some juniper to burn, a tincture to put in my tea for protection, and this candle, Letta, Faire Saint of Letting Go.
Step 11: Don’t beat yourself up if you still think of them. Don’t beat yourself up for missing them. You don’t have to pretend to be anything other than who you are. No need to front my friend. There is no deadline for how you’re supposed to feel.
Step 12: Remember how badass you are? Did you forget? Well get with it and remind yourself. You’re pretty much a fucking catch. So act like it! Fake it until you make it honey.
Step 13: Take time to be by yourself. It’s not so bad. In fact it’s kind of fun isn’t it? Celebrate yourself by going out or taking a night in and doing something luxurious.
My break up was hard. Incredibly hard. At times I still experience days where it’s hard. I’ve learned that the process is anything but linear. It absolutely still stings for me at certain moments but hey, the stings remind me that I’m alive.
I know how to do excitement.
I know how to do anxiety.
I know how to do optimism.
But sadness, damn… sadness is one cave that I hold myself captive in. The rabbit hole I fall deeper and deeper into. The endless sad strings of sonnets. And yet, sadness is a place that gives us so much power.
You will get through it as long as you survive your feelings, as long as you survive yourself.
If you’re anything like me and insist on plowing through your feelings I have one suggestion: don’t.
If you’re sad, be sad. If you avoid your sadness it will catch up with you in other subtle or not so subtle ways.
However this time when I let myself feel my sadness I found new places within myself. I began to discover new musicians. I suppose sadness redirected my attention. I started listening to music that matched my mood. I become obsessed with Jhene Aiko during this time. I felt like I had unlocked a door of creative flow I hadn’t seen behind yet.
I began writing again. I needed to. I had no choice but utilize it as an outlet. I wrote everything I didn’t want to say outloud. The more I wrote the closer I got to creating a story that actually is in the works of becoming a zine.
I wanted to be alone, not to isolate, but to process. I was rediscovering what I like and what I like to do. I started cooking again. I made myself epic colorful meals. I baked cookies and ate as many as I wanted to.
My dreams became more clear and I remembered some goals I had forgotten about. I remembered my dream of converting a van into a living space. My dreams of dancing again. My dreams of creating zines. It was all coming back…. myself… I came back into myself.
This is the moment you get to rediscover yourself.