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I won’t drunk text you for a shag. Pinky promise.
Well, shit. One day you’re in a relationship and the next you’re not. I tried to think of a clever, wittier way to open this post but to be honest, what’s the point? Time to be real here hun, you’re going through a break up. Grab a cuppa. Download Tinder. Let’s do this shit. Except, you don’t want to do this shit. You want to do that other shit – texting eachother about picking up bread, saying goodnight, Sunday afternoon delight. You want your normal back.
Breakups can entice a change in behaviour that’s as cliché as they come. Yet it knocks the wind out of you, as if you haven’t heard it a million times before in some doomed love song. You lose weight. You can’t sleep. Hermitic tendencies ensue, wrapping you in a forcefield of self-preservation. Friends quickly learn when to force entry armed with coconut milk lattes and when to sit on the sidelines. The words ‘order confirmation’ become synonymous with ‘break up’. Appetites — for food, for socializing, for life — are suppressed by something entirely different that fills your gut. While you could be tempted to find comfort in your banging break up bod, the quiet moments are there to remind you that you’re not out of the woods yet. Not even close.
Having spent years coaching my own friends through their messy breakups, I had no idea where to begin with my own. One thing I’d never accounted for when imparting my wisdom onto other broken hearts was the obvious — the searing pain felt when a heart has been broken. Not just an organ that pumps blood around the body, it becomes a vessel that holds a piece of someone else in everything it does. Without warning, mine had broken down and signed a DNR without my consent.
You start changing things. Recklessly, with no real plan. New clothes become new hobbies become new paint on the walls. You find yourself walking down the street looking at any man that passes thinking, what is my type? The thought of dating is about as painful as the break up itself. Then there’s the aftershock. What happens when you start to tell yourself that you’ll be fine without him, that maybe this was meant to be… then he asks you to lunch one day and he looks terrible, and before you know it you’re flirting via text and his toothbrush is back in your bathroom…or, our bathroom? What do you call a break up that never fully broke?
There comes a point (spoiler alert: it’s about 8 weeks later, sorry) where you see yourself differently. You’re not the girlfriend, or the breakup. You’re something entirely separate that you were the whole time. A person. Who is mind, body and soul entirely on her own. And whether this crazy thing called love works out or not, you can find comfort in knowing that there’s a best friend in there who’s got your back through all of it.