1. “Wow, people are really good at lying to me.” This is probably the first water-in-the-face moment you get when someone just ups and stops loving you. Your brain is suddenly thrown into first while still rolling backwards at a brisk pace and you’re just like, “No, why, person who said that they would love me forever? You are not allowed to leave me. This does not make sense.” And the thing is, it never will. The fact that they told you what you wanted to hear and dragged it out just to avoid the pain of saying goodbye, if that’s what they did, is never not going to sting. People who love you can lie to you, and they can do it incredibly well.
2. “I underestimated the pain my friends were going through when they got dumped.” When someone else is going through it, you’re just like “Come on, get over it, they dumped you four whole days ago and we have a concert to attend! Buck up!” And then it happens to you, and you’re living in your room with the blackout curtains drawn until someone comes through the window with the jaws of life and forces you out to take a shower. Funny how that happens.
3. “I already hate their new partner, and I don’t even know them.” No one wants to think that they are the kind of person who would viciously hate-stalk a total stranger just because they happen to be dating a certain person. And yet, that person lives within all of us, a spindly emotional Gollum just waiting to burst forth and demonstrate how incredibly creepy you are capable of being.
4. “People can just stop feeling things for no reason.” And isn’t that just the worst thing you can ever realize? Like, everything can be going incredibly well for an extended period of time, bouncing along in a blissful, almost comatose happiness, and then all of a sudden someone can be like “Nope, never mind, I don’t actually love you. I think I have no feeling left for you whatsoever actually, and you’re about to understand just how much more painful indifference can be than outright hatred. Whoops.”
5. “There’s no amount I can hate myself to make it feel better.” You will ask yourself about literally everything you could have done wrong, criticize every single aspect of your body and personality and sexual output, and then realize that none of it matters. They’re not coming back, and you’re not feeling any more closure. You’re just beating yourself up because you are the closest target.
6. “Begging someone only makes things worse on all sides.” Often, when someone is leaving us, we will go into that sort of Horrified Emotional Panic Mode where we go through every step of degrading ourselves in an attempt to win back their affections. But the truth is groveling to someone only further assures them that they were right for leaving you. No one wants to be with someone who has thrown away all of their pride.
7. “Caring about someone can be so humiliating.” Is there anything more acutely embarrassing than having to admit, in the face of someone leaving, “I care about you a whole lot, and I can’t pretend that I don’t. This is going to hurt, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”? It seems like the most embarrassing thing possible. You want to be cool, but you’re just so, so not cool at all. At all.
8. “Waiting for time to pass is the worst part.” It’s like you’re a prisoner, marking time on your sentence on the wall as you do bicep curls with a rolled-up mattress and smoke rolled contraband cigarettes. There’s nothing you can do but watch that clock tick, and hope every day will feel better, and you realize in that moment that having to wait out your pain is the worst aspect of it all. It kills you with its tedium.
9. “I have to get rid of the stuff I torture myself with.” There’s only so long you can read those old text messages and cry over how in love you used to be. There’s only so much emotional damage you can inflict on yourself before you realize that hurting more isn’t going to cleanse the pain away, it’s only going to drive it in further.
10. “Things will always manage to feel normal again.” One day, a completely normal day that you would have never expected anything of, you will wake up and not feel like you want to stay in bed all day. You will laugh at something without thinking about it, you will want to go meet up with friends, and you will spend an entire afternoon where their name doesn’t make you cringe out of nowhere. That day will be awesome, and though it won’t be the end of the journey, it will remind you that every wound heals eventually, even the ones you can’t stop picking at.
11. “I would be totally lost without my friends.” Whether they are coming over for an impromptu cheer up/put-the-Haagen-Dazs-down-for-a-while session, or there to support you when you finally start feeling like you again, friends are a crucial part of the breakup equation. Without them, you would still be back in bed, yelling at Rachel McAdams while you watch The Notebook and doing shots of whipped cream out of the can. Big ups to friends, they definitely deserve it.