In the aftermath of a break up its good to tell yourself that the emotional and sometimes physical pain (like the pain of my now misshapen hand after I my broke it on his face) is only temporary.
I can’t say I whole heartedly believe that quite yet, it really fucking hurts, but I live in hope.
However, there is an absolution that no matter how you break up and with whom, never changes. This absolution is the inevitable ‘break-up stages’. For years I have referred to these in times of woe and it’s become somewhat of a joke between me and my friends.
Alas here I am giving myself the same advice and it’s a bitter pill to swallow. No matter what you do or how unique you think your situation is you are undoubtedly, going to experience the following 4 stages post break up:
Immediate devastation followed by shock and total denial.
This helps you function and get through the bare necessities like going to work or in my case moving out of your joint home.
I now look back on this as an impossible task. How I didn’t fling myself from our little love pad on the 8th floor whilst living alone in there for 2 months is an achievement in itself. Kudos must go out to my friends who ensured I didn’t stay alone for more than a few nights, helped me move and stood by ( and back) as I smashed every, single, smashable piece of kitchenware. *I realise this is the first step towards being committed but it was satisfying and what’s a brief mental breakdown in front friends?
Realisation of new freedom and a surge in the consumption of alcohol coupled with acts of irrational and irresponsible behaviour. You do not realise you are in stage 2 you simply think this is the ‘new single’ you.
Now this is the stage I believe I’ve started to come screaming out of. The moment of clarification signalling that I was somewhat out of control came recently when I woke up in my own vomit. Now this is not an exaggeration and it’s fairly tragic to admit but I have to be honest.
‘Hello, my name is Holly and last weekend I woke up, face down, in a pile of my own sick. I am in stage 2.’
That morning whilst indulging in a 2 hour shower I suddenly had flash backs of the night before and could unfortunately document each stage of drunkenness as I read through each text id sent. (Lesson learnt: When it gets to tequila time and only being able to open one eye it does NOT mean text boys, it means GO HOME!)
It took me a few weeks to get over the vomiting incident but instead of moving on to stage 3 I just decided not to drink tequila again, good compromise? I am now in the mist of dating/snogging highly inappropriate men. It’s a pretty straightforward affair. My brain quickly scans the potential snoggee and asks ‘are you smaller than me? Are you skint? Will kissing you get me into a web of trouble? ’ if the answer is yes…..you’re on!
Acting completely selfishly and indulging impulsively in anything that makes you feel good whilst swearing off relationships for life (until stage 4)
Basically, this stage is all about looking after yourself (for example perhaps starting to eat again) and licking your wounds. I haven’t reached this stage yet but after counting the 18 bottles of empty wine in my kitchen I hope, for the sake of my health, it’s not too far away. However, because I’m so bloody organised even in my current mental state, I have started studying Buddhism and booked a holiday to Bali in preparation of this self indulgent ‘find yourself’ phase. (*note to friends: do NOT let me get a tragic tattoo, or at least make sure it is grammatically correct)
You’re fixed emotionally; you no longer start rants about how you hate men as soon as you smell a glass of wine. You have accepted that some men are idiots but some women are too.