The things you believe you’re incapable of doing after breakup
By Guillermo Quijano
I know you believe the world is coming to an end. That you will never love, you won’t get married again (everybody says that shit) that you will never have a normal life again, that you were hoping to “grow old” with this person that literally fucked your life completely up but now you’ll die alone in a bus, and that you are basically going to become a blob of humanity sitting in a chair mourning someone that disrespected you and betrayed you.
OK – whatever. None of that is going to happen. Believe me, I thought all of it was true and it was just a filthy lie that my mind was feeding me. What you are experiencing is rage and anger and jealousy and abandonment – how could you not! After all, in your mind “they are probably fucking someone else right this very moment! They are not – and if they are, let them!
But I am here to tell you – STOP IT! And to give you two lists. One is the list of the shit you should not do after him/her basically told you to go fuck yourself by “throwing it all away” and left your relationship carelessly and cruelly. The other, is a list of the stuff that you will have in a short, once you go through the pain of healing and getting some therapy to heal yourself and find your self -respect and self-love again and some answers that will explain many things – about yourself.
Think about the whole thing as if you broke your femur – the biggest bone in your body. You snapped that thing right in half and you have three options: Option one is to heal it yourself – bad idea, you probably won’t walk again. Option two is to let it heal itself – even worse an idea – you have never had a broken femur, you don’t know the first thing about it. Option three is to have a professional heal it and another professional and your mental strength heal it right. Which option are you going to choose?
I am sure that people that break their femur always have a first thought of: “Fuck I am never gonna walk again!” How could you not? But it is your mind in panic lying to you! I had the same thought when I broke my arm at 13 – “Shit! I will never masturbate again!” – and look at me now!
The list I am about to give you contains things that I am sure you have heard before – no doubt, but here they are, CLEARLY outlined TO HELP YOU ease your trip to hell and back and then TO GIVE YOU HOPE that this shit is totally temporary.
First of all realize, that the reason you think you need to keep thinking about whoever broke your heart is, because they left you so abruptly and so callously that you still are used to having them around – you are addicted to them, obsessed with them – it is a sickness and you want them even if it is through pain. Soon you will ask yourself how you could have been “so fucking blind”
With that out of the way – here we go.
The first two things you should do right off the bat are these – if you do them (to the letter), everything will be SO MUCH EASIER!
- If someone asks you for a divorce, or a separation or they say they want to see other people, or just be friends, or they pacify you not to hurt you (but end up hurting you) or they wanna break up or they give you any indication that “they’re just not into you” – TAKE THEM UP ON IT IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT ask any questions, do not ask for reasons or explanations – get up and walk away.
You know how people are always saying: “If I only knew then what I know now”? This is me telling you “what I know now”!
2. Once you do that – once you save your pride and you get up and leave them sitting there with their stupid jaw dropped down to the ground – IMMEDIATELY STOP contacting them or the memories – through any means, friends, messenger, Facebook, drive by, middle of the night “Hey there” text messages, futile nice gestures like: “I hope you are well”, Instagram or their family. They left you! Or you had to leave them because they were cheaters, or gas-lighters, or narcissists, or selfish, or insensitive or abusive! Contacting them will lead to certain and excruciating pain and disappointment! And you would be relinquishing the tiny crumb of control you may have had until then. So, please stop. It is so hard – I know. But you must. An important part of this item is DO NOT – use your children as weapons or as spite or involve them on sending messages between you. This also include stop revisiting the memories in your head as much as you can – there is no scenario where this doesn’t end up in more pain for you.
OK – if you manage to do those two things you are doing better than 99.999999% of the people out there that just WON’T. We think they will make the other person mad, or that they will forget about you. Believe me neither will happen. IF nothing else, it may be your very last fighting chance. But you need to adapt the “fuck-you-good-bye” attitude.
Now, here are the rest of the things I am telling you TRY AND DO! Please listen to me!
- Talk as little as possible about the issue – help your brain purge those thoughts. If bread makes you sick every time you eat it, guess what will not make you sick anymore… So, you can still eat “some” bread, but maybe change they type of bread to something healthier.
- “Sift through your thoughts” How many analogies, examples, metaphors or cute inspirational quotes from Facebook can you read come up with yourself to justify why you feel like shit? C’mon, they are all bullshit. Your own thinking is all that matters. Do this slowly – as the pain will be there to convince you not to. Make a list of new things to think about and think about them as often as you can – they can be Just nothing related to this person or to “the story!” – the god damn story! You know how we get sick of watching a great movie over and over ‘til we can’t stand it? That is a great movie – what you just went through is a shitty movie and you keep playing it over and over. Return it and don’t rewind!
Yes – there were wonderful things and laughter and you were (or at least you thought you were) “soulmates” – well, they just gave you permission to forget all of it. Take it.
- Watch mindless shows – Thinking about them is a subconscious reaction to have any contact with them – I know that. I must have watched every episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm 10 times – it helped. It made me happy for an hour or two – it turned down the background noise.
- Listen to guided meditation – Evenings are tough, especially when you get in bed. You wish they were there and you wonder where they are and what they are doing and with whom and why they did this to you. I would think of these lyrics from a famous Spanish song writer that said: “Your shadow still lays next to me in the darkness, between my pillow and my loneliness” (sounds better in Spanish) – but you get the point. It was torture. So I started to fall sleep to guided meditation on YouTube. Guided meditation for broken heart, or any other subject really. It helped tremendously. Sometimes we are so “sick” – that we literally refuse medicine as sacrifice or fear that we will learn to live without someone.
- DO NOT stay in bed – That first thought you have in the morning is a bitch! As soon as you have it – try to jump out of bed and change that thought right away. Into anything! I have to laundry or I have to pay bills or whatever it may be. If you stay in bed, your lack of activity will send you into a depressed state.
- Start talking to a therapist – I know, I know, it is the sadness not you right? It is the infidelity, or the lack of communication that got you, here right? I have news for you, those are just the things that ended your relationship – not the things that caused any of it to end. Once you find yourself, love yourself, you will find someone that can love you and that you can love back fairly. A therapist for the mind is no different than the femur therapist! Not different at all!
- Feed on the negativity you feel towards your perpetrator but do not harm them or threaten them in any way. Just use it for you to be able to become angry and take a stand! Scream out loud – and cry, tears cleanse your soul. Cry for your well being, for your broken and betrayed and abandoned heart – do not cry “over them”.
- Reject their fake calls to “become friends” – this is their way to pacify themselves and has nothing to do with you. They want to split the guilt and the harm they caused. If you want to be friends, it will have to be on your terms and when you decide – if ever. And when they tell you “I will always love you” – well, don’t believe them. Also reject any casual meetings to talk about your bills, or your dogs, or how they want that soft blanket back – they left that behind too and they can’t pick and choose what good things from your relationship to take and what shit to leave with the you! They bought the whole abandonment package.
- DO NOT do anything out of spite or play games – Do not threaten you’re moving away (just so they ask you to stay) don’t insinuate you will hurt yourself or do anything so they “realize” you love them and therefore they should love you. They have left! Be your own person.
- Have fortitude – “try” to be strong. Consciously try to take your next breath – don’t give up or think about moving to Alaska and disappear.
- Change things around in your home – I know you feel guilty and like you are giving them up. You are not, you are healing yourself! Make your own environment, hang new photos, get rid of memories and trinkets – throw them away, burn them, smash them. It’s over! Work on believing that!
- Change the locks – this will not make them mad. This will establish a boundary. They are not going to leave you again! They left – they don’t belong here anymore.
- ACCEPT they are gone – They left – how many ways do you have to hear it? They insulted you and debased you – whatever the reason, it is a fact and you need to deal with it sooner than later
- DO NOT listen to country music – or most music and try to think it came on the radio “for you” and that the lyrics are what needs to happen – it isn’t! Music is not your friend – not even “fuck you” music. It is designed to stimulate emotion – and emotion is the last thing you need right now.
- DO NOT feel sorry for yourself – not only will they lose all respect for you, but you will see an exodus of your close friends and family. Besides – you are a bad ass! What is there to feel sorry for?
- DO NOT let your work or health suffer – In the five years I went through this heartbreak, I nearly destroyed my business and made many mistakes after an impeccable 12-year run. I also lost 40 unhealthy pounds, barely ate, started to smoke again after 20 years. I know -it is hard to concentrate and keep a smile on – but you must try hard to keep things going. If you add financial or health worry to this situation your troubles will double.
- Manual labor – Again, you just don’t want to. Sitting on that chair to think about how they are so happy without you seems so tempting – grab a leaf blower and go nuts! Rake until your fingers bleed! You will find a lot of peace and calm in it.
- Don’t “proclaim” – anything. Just take action. Do not say” I am going to take salsa lessons” or “I am going to get fit” or “I am taking a trip to Paraguay” – if you proclaim it or announce it you are doing it for their benefit, to get a reaction, to make them mand or jealous – remember, they no longer are in your life. JUST DO these things FOR YOU!
- BE SELFISH – give yourself some perks, treat yourself well and start thinking positive and almost arrogant thoughts about yourself. You are a great person! Be your best cheerleader.
- Start to get out there slowly – I was self employed so I didn’t have the advantage and great benefit of office events, new faces, conversation about work-related stuff. I sat at home alone all day thinking about this crap. Mingle – even if you don’t feel to, smile if you can’t.
Those are a few of my DO NOT items, probably the most important ones. Please try, I know it seems impossible, but they work and they will help you gain your confidence and self-appreciation.
AND NOW AS PROMISED – Here is the list of things that WILL happen to you also! Once the turmoil subsides, once you believe the world will not be over AND YOU WILL, This list is not a prayer, or hope or rainbows – this WILL happen to you!
You will find new friends – people will see your new attitude, they will notice you are strong, admire you for your journey and they will flock to you!
Your old friendships will be stronger than ever – Those that stuck by you and knew both sides of the story will respect you and truly love you
The thoughts of what happened and of your perpetrator will disappear almost completely – Once your new life is on its way, you will rarely think about the pain and when you do it will just be a lesson, not a torture.
You will find new lovers – what are you? Chopped liver? No! Now that your mind is right, your new self will find better and more “emotionally available” people that will be attracted to you. During this process you may find a couple of “rebound” lovers, but they will be extremely helpful and caring and fun and you will find in them support and self-worth (as they will in you) – they will help you believe in yourself again! But be careful to falsely believe that you are “in love” – you cannot even consider that – yet!
You will get out and allow yourself things to do – you will play tennis and golf again, you will walk your dogs, you will go out for a drink and have a blast. You will be that person you once loved so very much! I guarantee it!
You will be a blank canvas – you will be able to take all of the lessons of the past and write your own beautiful story – you will “create your life”, a custom-made life that fits you just right, free of walking on eggshells, void of doubt and anguish – alone, or with someone!
You will start doing things and finding hobbies like writing, or cooking, or camping and you will find peace and comfort from all of it.
You will be a better parent, and brother and friend and worker! You will have your ENTIRE BRAIN to use again! You will thrive and you will see the new vegetation come up from the soil of destruction and be majestic and inspiring.
And lastly – and for sure – someday – maybe soon, maybe in a few months or maybe in a few years, you will find someone “new” and exciting and amazing, because the world is full of them – not only assholes. This “someone” will all of a sudden appear and make you feel amazing things again, and you will laugh and have fun and feel the care they give you and the respect they provide and true reciprocity. And they will be also flawed like you, and fearful and cautious but now you will be ready to enjoy their company and their conversation – and to give yourself another chance. And maybe you will fall in love and maybe you won’t, but you will believe again and you will realize that all relationships are a natural cause of the universe and they have a cycle and a reason and they help you grow and be better – and now you will probably know that you don’t have to smother them to keep them nor beg them to stay.
You will seriously wonder how you were ever with that other person at all – and how you allowed so much pain to engulf such an amazing person as yourself and how you ever let them almost ruin what you have now.
You are a beautiful person – full of wonder and magic. You really are. I so hope you listen to me and KNOW that you will find all of this soon – but without rush, easily but with effort and mindfulness, painfully but without hurt, organically and naturally.