Caution: A bit of naughty language ahead.
Time moves slowly through a heart broken, let alone a heart broken in winter.
The winter in Colorado is particularly tedious, reflective of a collective consciousness I have been observing these past few weeks. People think in circles.
Their blood seems to coagulate thickly, gradually.
They cannot see their ends.
They fail to appreciate the beauty surrounding them, because they fail to appreciate themselves. The result: relationships have been dying all around me like mayflies in summer. This includes the ending of my own relationship.
In pursuit of some cathartic release, I wrote a hopeful list of ways to soothe my calloused spirit through these cold and plodding days—days that begin in my head and end in my heart. I began to send this list to my fellow disseminated friends, and found that they could rest easy in the lessons.
This list belongs to the slow in movement, the lonely ones, and especially to the broken-hearted. I hope these notes on my recovery will bring warmth, nourishment and comfort.
1. Write constant babble and make spelling mistakes.
2. Paint for hours. Paint over the paint. Use the colors you want to use.
3. Drink so much caffeine that you’re shaking and then eat something toasted.
a. On second thought, whatever.
b. Eat what you want.
4. Try to work out.
a. And then realize the only way you’ll ever feel good about yourself is if you accept the body that was given to you.
5. Do not be ashamed of anything you’ve done in the past.
6. Every mistake has led you to this moment, and this moment will serve you fully if you let it.
7. Imagine your ex with everyone you love and hate. Imaging them falling in love with those people and spending the rest of their lives together. Give them that, even though you don’t think they deserve it right now.
8. Be completely unapologetic.
9. Do not be afraid to fall asleep in the face of dreaming about them.
10. Respect the fact that you have also destroyed and hurt and broken people.
a. Remember what it felt like.
11. Talk to your friends until you realize that it isn’t helping anymore.
12. There is a time for grief and a time for remembering, and the best part about it is you have enough willpower to decide when those times end.
13. In other words, there is literally no point in dwelling on the way that they looked at you that second night when your hair was pinned to the side and you wore your favorite black dress.
14. There will be 5,000 other memories that consist of your hair pinned to the side and your favorite black dress and a beautiful person looking at you from across the room.
15. Please remember that you are young, and small, and the world is still a terrifying place so grasping on to any form of safety and comfort available is completely understandable.
16. Also, please remember that you are young and small and the world is still a terrifying place because it is expanding all around you, creating infinite possibilities and memories and suffering, and that in a year this will be a funny speck of dust.
17. Remember the infinite possibilities and memories and sufferings that have made you into the person you are today.
a. and that will also bring you to the point
b. that in a year this will be a funny speck of dust.
18. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to masturbate. This is not a joke. This is what self-care actually looks like.
19. The mornings have since gotten easier and will continue to get easier.
20. Meditate in the mornings, drink tea in the mornings, read in the mornings. Do it alone.
21. Alone is the scariest and most frequented word in your vocabulary. Allow this.
22. Solitude wants to be your friend. Allow this.
23. When the thought of their warmth fills your head, remember that it wasn’t meant to be.
24. When the amazing sex you had fills your head, remember that it wasn’t meant to be.
25. When the times they held you and claimed you and made you feel safe fill your head, remember that it wasn’t meant to be.
26. Pretend you are strong until you discover that strength was within you this entire time.
27. Do not pretend to be happy if you are not happy.
28. Allow room for your emotion, but do not let it control you.
29. Treat yourself as you would your child.
30. Protect yourself.
31. Protect your heart. Let it callous again and again until you find someone who is ready to peel the layers off.
32. Expel the poisonous people from your life.
33. Replace them with people who give a shit.
34. Be very gentle with yourself.
35. Go back home and watch a movie with your father.
36. Read tragedy and gain perspective.
37. Do not ever think that you are alone.
Author: Gabriella Reamer
Volunteer Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Travis May
Artwork: Zoie Reamer, Mixed Media