Breaking Up: At a Glance

See it coming. Something’s gone missing. Its absence is inexplicable; like opening your wallet after a night of drinking and finding that it’s empty. Something was there yesterday, now it’s not. You don’t know where it is or who to blame. Feel robbed. You’ll question your soon-to-be-ex, but they won’t know what you’re talking about. You’re being paranoid. You’re being crazy.

A week later, have the “talk” that ends your relationship. This may not be a “talk” at all; but it will be the acknowledgement that for whatever unspoken reasons, you are now broken up. Alone. Realize you knew better; that you saw this coming. Hate yourself.

Go home and cry. Wonder if your roommates can hear you. Turn on the television and cry louder. Feel like a crumpled tissue in someone’s coat pocket, falling apart and greyed with snot. Fall asleep with all of your clothes on.

Wake up, remember what happened the day before, sob. Get in the shower and stand so that you’re facing the water. This will create the illusion that you’re not crying. Blow your nose into your hands. Talk aloud; giving unsolicited responses to questions that no one is asking you because your “talk” was unsatisfying. Say what you need to say.

Take a Xanax and go to work. Resolve that you will not be taking your sunglasses off when you arrive. Dread telling anyone what happened, but hope that your clearly fragile emotional state will be enough to provoke HR to send you home early. When you arrive, don’t verbally respond to anything or anyone except when people ask if you’re okay. When people ask if you’re okay, say, “No.”

Don’t do any work. Make plans for the weekend. Make plans for the week. Make sure all of your plans involve alcohol. When Boyz II Men shuffles on to your iTunes, leave it on. Think of that episode of The OC where Seth and Summer are in their respective rooms; simultaneously listening to End of the Road. Smile. (Momentarily.) Watch your ex sign on and off of Facebook chat every 30 minutes. Hold your breath while their icon is green. Exhale when it goes grey.

Leave work early. Sit in the park with your iPod on and skip any vaguely upbeat song in favor of something more… pathetic. Pick the songs you’re going to sing at karaoke later. Scowl at every couple that walks by and wonder why they cease their idle walking right in front of you in order to kiss and appreciate each other. Do this until it’s time to meet your friends for Ramen. When you see your friends, realize you don’t really want to talk about it. Realize you don’t actually know what happened. Order a drink.

Get a text from your ex while you’re both out drinking with your respective friends. Have a heartbreaking exchange. Communicate better than you had in the past month. Do not fail to see the irony. Feel much better and much worse. Cry (on the inside, you’re in public, asshole).

Go to karaoke and get a private room with your friends. Sing Nothing Compares 2 U and Total Eclipse of the Heart. When your private room goes silent, hear someone rattling off Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream in the next room. Hate yourself for relating. Wish you could delete that song from the mix CD you made your ex, days before you broke up. Wish you could erase the past year, really. Recall the time your first ex told you he’d cry and listen to the mix CD you made for him if you guys broke up. Wonder if he ever did that. Wonder if this ex will do that. Hope all of your exes are crying somewhere. Hope Katy Perry shuts the fuck up someday soon.

Observe the people around you and note that for the first time ever you are not interested in rebounding. Resent any comments made by friends that suggest you rebound. Resent anyone that tells you to cheer up. Do not resent when someone offers to buy you another drink.

Go home and sleep in your filth and desperation. Wake up and commit to a bender. Do this for a week. Get exhausted around Day 3, but know that if you slow down you’ll become aware of what you lost and that would hurt. Let your laundry pile up. Let half-empty glasses of stale water pile up. Quit shaving your legs. Know that no one will be confronted with your stale water or hairy legs so it doesn’t matter.

Have good moments. Have bad moments. Have weak moments. Have another drink. TC mark

image – 500 Days of Summer

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  • chelseafagan

    This is me up until me still not having a prescription for Xanax. Good article.

    • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      I'm sorry, no one should go through a break up without it. Thanks, Chelsea.

  • Drea

    i feel like this is what it would be like

  • Julie

    Sad, but true.

  • Rachel Butters Scotch

    Life is hard.

  • Jabulani

    Wow this hit home

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    I blow my nose in my hand every time I shower. Thats how much I care about the environment.

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    nice

  • ricky sccchitliyz

    yo if you let stale glasses of water bile up during your benders.. i'd hate to see what your straighters are like

    • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      lol i know right

  • GIRLFRAN

    Maybe don't rely on the alcohol so much. Feel your pain even if it hurts. You'll get over things faster, you will change yourself for the better.

    • GIRLFRAN

      Oh, but did I not say, 'nice piece'? How rude of me! I really do enjoy your writing

      • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

        hi girlfran, thank you for reading/liking, break ups are weird and unfortunately i think it's hard to determine how you will/won't handle it until it's happening. i have since learned how i would possibly approach things in the future.

  • SweetT

    Just a week?

  • laura

    almost exactly describes my last break up *sigh*. great piece, great writing

  • LDN

    i enjoyed the sethummer reference

  • elena

    “Watch your ex sign on and off of Facebook chat every 30 minutes. Hold your breath while their icon is green. Exhale when it goes grey.”

    This. so good.

  • http://twitter.com/sophiakiona Sophia Anderson

    “Watch your ex sign on and off of Facebook chat every 30 minutes. Hold your breath while their icon is green. Exhale when it goes grey.”

    Oh god, this part hit so close to home that it made me physically uncomfortable. Good job.

  • natural

    I'm just glad you used “momentarily” correctly.

    • http://stephgeorge.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      haha me too

  • Red Newsom

    perfect analysis

  • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

    sigh

  • Sullivan

    While I was reading this my dad came into my room to put away a wrench. then he goes “that would be a good name for a clothing brand – monkey wrench!” lol

  • Lylacbt

    Spot on! It eventually has to stop:(

  • Guest

    A time in my life when I was thankful that he didn’t have a facebook anymore. Had to delete it because his crazy OTHER ex girlfriend hacked it! Sheesh.

  • http://www.lizamae.com Liza Mae

    sounds all too familiar.  sighh

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