- You will want to die. Maybe not literally but you’ll wish you could just fast forward six months later when you’ll already be over it(ish) and potentially hooking up with someone else. If this isn’t your first time being dumped, you know that it can take forever to feel okay again but you will eventually be fine — it’s not like when you were 17 and thought you were actually going to never recover. No, you know this grief won’t last, which makes it almost more annoying in a way. Since you’re aware that it’s temporary, you’ll be thinking, “Can I just have a fast forward button so I can be over feeling crappy? Chop chop, grief. I have stuff to do!”
- Your friends hate you. Not at first, of course. In the beginning, they’re loving and supportive and do all the things friends are supposed to do during a break up. They let you sit there and tell them things like, “And when I look at the sky, I think of my ex because he LOVED skies.” But then there’ll be a period of time when they can no longer console you. Their patience and understanding has run out and then they just want to wring your neck and scream, “I love you but I don’t love this. BYE!” Don’t feel bad about this. It’s just what happens.
- Your internet history will be in a really #dark place. Besides having Google searches such as, “What does it sound like when doves cry?” and “Voodoo love spells for the brokenhearted,” you’ll also be lurking them from every social networking corner possible. Twitter: Check. Facebook: Check. Their LinkedIn? Um, check. In the absence of their warm body, this is all you have left of them. You have photo albums, Facebook comments, and tweets. You will hold on to them for as long as humanly possible before you’ve sufficiently creeped yourself out.
- Every bad thing you’ve ever thought about yourself will be brought up to the surface for further examination. You’ll be looking for clues as to why you’re so damn unlovable, things that will explain why this person left you behind on their life path. The self-loathing and self-doubt will reach radioactive levels of shame and you just have to come to the realization that it’s hopeless. You’ll never find an explanation that will satisfy you, so save the self-hatred and just accept that it’s over.
- You’ll be convinced that your ex is living la vida loca while you’re in bed wearing a Forever Lazy. They’re having the best time of their lives, dressed impeccably and having group orgies every night. They’re over it completely. What relationship? Meanwhile, you’re making sexy eyes at the delivery guy and reacquainting yourself with your hand.
- People aren’t always what they seem to be. This might come across as obvious but you don’t really learn it until you have to, until someone you love betrays you so completely that it makes you question if you ever knew them at all. You don’t actually know that people are crappy until you fall in love with a crappy person. And then you’re like, “Oh. I liked it better when I thought everyone had my best interests at heart.”
- The next person you date will be dating two versions of you: The person you were before the break up and the person after. They’ll get the essence of “you” and they’ll get the “you” that was totally screwed over and will never be the same again. That’s okay though. In a way, you can do more healing while you’re in a relationship than when you’re single because you can have someone there who is showing you that you can be loved again, that you’re worth loving. You can tell this to yourself 10 times a day. You can write it on a post-it and stick it to your mirror like the grieving freak that you are. But you don’t fully know it until someone is going through the emotional wreckage with you.
- You will never be the same each time. You’re irrevocably changed after each break up. This is neither good or bad — it just is. Things are changing you in small important ways each day. Why would the dissolution of a relationship be any different?
- You will fantasize about your ex, sometimes while with a new partner, and that’s okay. You’re not a freak. Consider it the consolation prize after getting dumped. You get to masturbate to them forever!
- You can’t give the break-up more power than it deserves. On the other hand, you also can’t minimize it. People are either downplaying their sadness after getting dumped or wallowing in it, neither of which are particularly healthy. Instead, you need to get to a place where you’re letting yourself grieve, where you’re letting yourself acknowledge that it hurts without running away screaming from any new potential intimacy.
Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.
“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino
Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.