Whenever someone posts a list, don’t we all just usually scroll through the opener anyway? I’ll save us both some time by skipping the usual pleasantries if you’ll do me a solid and read for more than just skimming the bold lines.
But first, I will say this one thing: I’m relying entirely on empirical evidence in this study. Now, there has been a relatively small sample size (just me), but my approach is similar to the argument that global warming can’t exist because I’m cold right now. If that’s good enough for Steven Colbert and congress, who am I to upend the entire scientific method?
1. Drink in moderation – Depending on what mental or physical health camp you fall into, you might disagree with this, but let me tell you from personal experience that not drinking doesn’t help. I’ve barely been drinking any water at all over the last three weeks, and I’ve noticed only a steady decline in my ability to function through this breakup. This protest of hydration is less by choice and more due to the fact that I can’t seem to bring myself to do basic household chores, such as changing my socks or washing dishes; therefore, all my usual coffee mugs for work still faintly smell like the wine I cuddled to bed last night. And let me just say that it is never the big spoon.Typical.
2. Reconnect with friends – Our society holds way too much pride in pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps and suffering silently. Not wanting to fall prey to this common blunder, 100% of participants in this study (again, just me) immediately texted not one, but two of their former boyfriends after their break up for support. Everyone knows picking at old scabs and using other people as your emotional scratching posts are the best ways to feel better about your current situation, but surprisingly, having sex with an old ex less than 24 hours after you were dumped and bursting into tears mid romp is not helpful. Anyone who gives you this advice is a quack and a sadist.
3. Cry it out – When you’re too dehydrated to produce tears, this is honestly just embarrassing more than anything. It’s like when a two year old throws a tantrum and is clearly not actually crying but is covering their face and peaking between fingers to see if they’ve convinced you that they’re upset yet. We get it. You don’t like this.
Now you could always try to listen to good, ol’ fashioned heartbreak songs 27 times in a row to coax out a good cry, but I’ve found that realizing that your roommate drank the last of your boyfriend’s beers that was in the back of the fridge, and now there’s no sign he was ever even here is a faster way to find yourself in a crumpled, dry eyed mess on the kitchen floor.
Pause–> All participants obviously forgave the roommate and are overall just grateful they haven’t changed the locks yet. (See #1 and #6) Play–>
4. Find a creative outlet – I’ll give credit where it’s due because at least this has proven to be the most effective of all the ways to mend a broken heart (just ask Sam Smith, Taylor Swift and Adele if you don’t believe that this works). You have to be careful though because sometimes you find yourself pandering to the interweb by writing list posts. You even go so far as to use phrases like “scientifcally proven” and potentially destroying all credibility as a writer. Are you turning your creative outlet into your new boyfriend? Do you find yourself changing who you are just to make them happy? I’m just saying that Hemingway never wrote lists. Actually, nevermind – Hemingway was known as a misogynist who loved to make martinis before noon, and I’m only guilty of one those thing, so I guess it kind of evens out.
5. Take advice from others who have been there – My good friends from How I Met Your Mother have all tried to give me some advice about how long I can expect to hurt like this.
Ted: Everyone has an opinion on how long it takes to recover from a breakup.
Lily: Half the length of the relationship.
Marshall: One week for every month you were together.
Robin: Exactly 10,000 drinks, however long that takes.
Barney: You can’t measure something like this in time; there’s a series of steps—from her bed to the front door. Bam! Out of there. Neeeeext!
Some of this has landed better than others.
6. Forgive – I’ve been holding it together on the outside really well… until today. Today I went to work for exactly one hour before I went full blown white girl and decided I LITERALLY CAN’T EVEN. I took the rest of the day off and went to the gas station to buy Parliaments, Flaming Hot Cheetos, and an unsweet tea. I stood in front of the beer section entirely too long considering it wasn’t even 9:00am, and I think the gas station attendant was proud of me when I walked away because my dehydrated, ashy lips made me look like a crack addict. While to him this appeared to be a triumph of the human spirit, he doesn’t know that I decided I’d rather drink the whiskey I already had at home.
On the way home I texted my roommate to see if we could break that whole “don’t smoke in beds” rule.
She said no. Good for her. Stay strong.
So I go outside with my robe over my work clothes that I didn’t bother to take off in order to chain smoke, eat Cheetos, drink whiskey, and dry cry to the songs he used to text me, and run into my neighbor. He’s clearly coming home from last night and isn’t in much better shape than I am but has the nerve to give me stank face.
I find this pretty hypocritical. It’s like running into your boss at the strip club. YOU’RE HERE TOO, MR. HOLLAND!!!
I forgive myself for this. But that forgiveness doesn’t give me back my PTO, $12.20, or the respect of any of the people who live in my apartment complex, now does it.
7. Remember: This too shall pass – Shut up. Just seriously shut the fuck up.