We’ve all been there. It comes in many forms – text message, conversation, Skype video call – but in one way or another, your relationship ended with immediacy. Your boyfriend/girlfriend is done, moving on, moving to another school, going to college, leaving for the military and/or is just not that into you anymore. Harsh as it might sound, the relationship is kaput and your future together hangs in the balance – either you remain on as friends, or you completely part ways and never speak to one another again. Your heart is broken. You play all of his/her favourite songs on your iPod. You watch soppy films. You listen to break-up music and share it on Facebook, “This is exactly how I feel. (insert sad face here)” Your friends comment with little Facebook hearts and post images of kittens on your wall. Tears escape from your eyes incessantly. The world seems so much bleaker than it did yesterday. The planet could be ripped apart by an asteroid and you wouldn’t feel anything. You’re numb. You’re very, very sad. Your cat doesn’t cheer you up anymore, nor does peanut butter. MTV falls by the wayside and school work becomes a distant thing of the past. You cry again. You watch a Bette Midler movie. You cry again. You speak to your best friend. She says you should smile. You can’t, so you cry again. The world stops revolving and Sylvia Plath becomes your only saving grace. We’ve all been there. We’re survivors of a break-up. All of us, including you.
A break-up, even for adults, is one of the most stressful events in life. In fact, a break-up is currently rated as the worst life event you could ever experience, ahead of grief, losing your job, pregnancy and studying for exams. Several of the greatest artists who had ever lived created their masterpieces from these familiar shards of sadness that became stuck in their hearts. Musicians have received record deals after their post break-up song recordings. Poets, writers and actors have all received accolades and critical acclaim for their post break-up work. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important life events anyone could ever experience. Be it your first, second or 50th break-up, each one is as significant and as painful as the last. How does one deal with these emotions? Does one hide away in a little corner and abandon all hope? Does one resort to “falling apart at the seams” and take your emotions out on the more devious aspects of life? Or, does one simply learn how to cope? Most respected sociologists, psychologists and grief counselors agree on one thing – take your time. This is extremely important for any healing process. You know when you accidently bashed your knee once and it was too painful to walk for a week? After about a month you completely forgot that you hurt your knee and you continued living your life like it never happened. This is exactly the same with any emotional life challenge. At this very moment, your life might feel like it is completely falling apart, but trust us, in about 10 years you’ll be a different person, with different ideals and a completely new and fascinating outlook on life. This is merely a bump in the long road of your existence and you too, like all of us, will weather this storm. Take your time, sit back, relax and don’t dwell on the regrets, rather dwell on what you learned from this experience and how you’ll be able to incorporate it into your daily life.
If you feel like everything is collapsing, make sure you’re around friends and keep your mind occupied with work and/or school. Get out, play with your dog in the park, stroke your cat in the garden, drink copious amounts of tea, drink a Slushy, eat chocolates, rent 5 movies and watch them back-to-back, go with your mom/dad on a shopping spree, smile, laugh and listen.
You’ll be okay. You know how we know this? We’re okay, even after a series of several horrible break-ups.