Monday, February 27, 2012

This One's For The Girls

If there is one thing that breaks my heart, it is seeing the amazing, intelligent, funny, successful, thoughtful, compassionate, wonderful women get their feelings trampled on by insensitive douchebags. 
Pardon my French.
It just really tears me up inside that there are some truly incredible girls out there that any man would be lucky to have. I'm not just saying that because these women are my friends. I'm saying that because for one reason or another, I am in AWE of each and every one of them. The paths they've carved out for themselves. The strength and confidence which helps them stand on their own two feet. The grace and poise with which they carry themselves. The hurts they've survived, the losses they've suffered, the friendships they've never turned their backs on. 
I'm not kidding when I say that the women in my life are a particular strain of resilient!
So when one of them is hurting, I want to kill the limey bastard who tossed her gentle heart into the trash. Since knee-capping is kind of illegal, I resort to the best revenge I know: helping his victim become stronger, smarter, and more secure than ever before.
Here is the response to an email from one such friend. Her boyfriend had broken up with her "out of nowhere" and ended their relationship with no explanation. She was asking me how I got through my break up with Kit, what I looked forward to every day, how I even got out of bed. I won't lie and say it was easy because you all know that it wasn't. BUT it does get easier with time, tears, and good girlfriends.

If you want to know a secret, I'm not 100% over Kit, despite what he did. My motto is "fake it til you make it." If you act like you're over him, one day you'll wake up and actually BE over him! 

#1--- The first thing you have to do is acknowledge whatever feelings you have for this guy. Admit them. They're real. Even if the relationship is over, we are women and we can't turn our emotions off overnight. That comes with time but they will diminish a little each day. Don't feel bad that you still care about him. Forgive yourself for it and just accept that it's part of who you are *right now* but the feelings, just like the pain of the break up, won't last forever. 

#2--- Next, I had to clear my mind. I spent the first three days in bed, sobbing my little heart out. First I didn't eat anything. Then I only ate junk food. I refused to get out of my pajamas and generally felt worse about myself. It was horrible. On the third day, I showered and texted back every single one of my girlfriends who had called an offered me something, anything. I spent 10 days visiting friends I hadn't seen in a while, sleeping in guest rooms, having normal dinners, showering (a new concept!) --- it gave me a reason to get out of bed every day. My friends wouldn't let me wallow. They comforted me but also knew when to kick my ass.

Important break up recovery tactic #3 is having a good support system. Like a buddy in AA! Lol every time I thought about calling Kit, I called my "sponsor" instead and told her how I was feeling. The road trip was perfect. It distracted me, cleared my head, got me OUT of the place I'd been sharing with Kit for 6 months and also surrounded me with strong women who totally understood what I was going through. 

The #4 thing I did was write it all down. Obviously the blog was super helpful as 39,000+ women read my heartbreak and were supportive. They've all been through it in one way or another but the really deep stuff I kept in my journal. It seems strange but I wrote down every awful, horrible, cutting down to the bone feeling I had. That way whenever I am tempted to go back to him (which insanely, I sometimes am) I re-read the awful way I felt when we broke up and that keeps me away! 

#5 - I shook up my look. Darkened my hair, got a free makeover at Mac, got my eyebrows threaded and bought a whole new wardrobe! The shopping spree felt good because I wasn't trying to look pretty for anyone but me. I loved feeling beautiful for myself and not for some boyfriend. The change in appearance gave me a change in attitude and boosted my confidence tremendously.

#6 would be focusing on me. I wanted to know the things that made ME happy - not the things WE liked or what made US have fun. I wrote a list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days! This gives me 3 years (more or less) to complete goals that are only important to ME!!! Being selfish - imagine that! I want to learn a new language so I'm teaching myself Italian on a website. I wanted to take a dance class so I signed up for salsa (alone! Gasp!) I bought a gorgeous new pair of heels (I have never splurged on shoes before.) My stunning new Prada mules were the fix my feet needed to feel fabulous! I am reading Jane Austen and writing letters to people I haven't gotten to really speak to in a while. I learned to make 3 new desserts, ate at a restaurant I've been dying to try, and spent a whole afternoon at a farmers market taking pictures of fruits and veg. This might not sound life altering but they all have 1 thing in common --- they've got nothing to do with Kit. It's MY list of things I want to do for no other reason than I want to do them! Who knows if I'll meet an amazing man at my next cooking class or roller skating but at least I'll have fun doing it!

#7 was to change my surroundings. I moved some furniture, redecorated a bit, and hung up pictures of people, places and sayings I love. I framed 22 postcards of Rome circa 1950. They're black and white and I found them up in an antique shop in Massachusetts. They're special and beautiful and a once in a lifetime find! I bought little plaques with various sayings like "believe in love" and "love is not who you live with, it's who you can't live without" and "we build our tomorrow by what we dream today" and "it's about learning to dance in the rain" and "coffee and love should both be served hot!" I got new bedding and cleaned up all those messy little piles of things that were nagging me. It just feels like being in a different apartment, one he didn't live with me in. 

#8 break up strategy is to do something out of your comfort zone, something that scares you. It sounds silly, but I was terrified of karaoke. After I got up there and sang (with a lot of help from French martini's) I felt amazing. Yes it was a tiny dive bar in rhode island on a rainy Wednesday night but I could've win the Olympics I was so damn proud 

#9 (((I do not condone this one))) They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else!!! 
That guy I met at the karaoke bar? I slept with him! I have to tell you it was the best sex of my life. I was sooooo nervous but he was great, totally relaxed me, and I felt comfortable enough to just enjoy it. We went all night and at first all I could think was "Kit never did this" or "Kit didn't pay attention to me like that" or "you know, in 6 months, Kit never gave me an orgasm as good as this one" but by the end, all I could think was "Kit who???" He didn't matter. I'd given myself to someone else who make me feel incredible in ways Kit never could and that made me miss him a whole lot less. 

#10 is simply believing in all those plaques, sayings, phrases and cliches. It's hard sometimes because they're the most obvious. But there's a line in Eat Pray Love where Liz has really been through the wringer and she thinks she's had enough. Richard (her friend) tells her simply "believe in love again." I do. Some days it's harder than others but I DO believe in love! I've had my heart trampled on and thrown back in my face but if we go with the "everything happens for a reason" platitude then this just wasn't meant to be. I don't know the reason you're hurting now but I know that someday you will look back and it will all make sense. Have faith. Let you heart bend but don't let it break. Stay strong. You're worth more than whoever he was or whatever he gave you. Listen to music that makes you feel powerful and don't let anyone treat you with less respect than you deserve. God is looking down at you right now and saying "I'm saving this girl for someone special!!!" 

Call me anytime. Oh, and read Eat Pray Love if you haven't already. Actually, read it twice! Then eat a pizza and go out with your girlfriends. Maybe even sing some karaoke :-)

*This blog is dedicated to D, A, S, and L who all deserve love more than I can possibly tell them.*

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