h2>Dating : This is the Breakup Coping Method I Couldn’t Use the Last 2 Months
If you’ve been dating for a long time, chances are you’ve been through a few breakups.
Breakups are powerfully catalytic. You’re thrust into pain faster than you can rip a bandaid off.
Breakups are full of rejection and loss. These are feelings none of us are particularly welcome to.
Nico Ryan sums up how uncomfortable and disassociating a breakup can be.
“Under a certain light, a breakup can actually be more upsetting than a death: unlike a deceased person, an ex-lover is still ‘accessible’ — still out there living their life, pursuing their dreams, and impacting the world — but they have voluntarily decided to shut you out.” he writes.
Sitting with this is more difficult than I can put into words. The feeling that this human is in the world — perhaps happy, thriving, sad, devastated, numb, or anything at all — but you have no idea about it, is just a lot.
It’s not easy to process.
If I spend too much time thinking about it, I get trapped in a loop. Especially wondering in what light — positive, negative or both — they view me, is enough to stop me from breathing.
I feel utterly powerless. I can’t control the space or the silence. There’s nothing to do but to do nothing.
If you’re anything like me, that shit makes you uncomfortable. Like body uncomfortable.
- brain chemistry is out of whack
- dopamine and serotonin take a nose dive
- brain feels depressed, anxious, and addictive
- nervous system is overwhelmed with a panic to recover the loss
You’re in a storm.
The pain of a fresh breakup feels like a flood. To manage the high tide, it makes sense that we’ve developed strategies to get through the emotions.
*Recommended* coping strategies include:
“Take all the support you can get”
“Reach out to family and friends”
“Get a pet”
“Remember who you are”
“Get back to activities you love”
“Talk to a therapist”
These are great strategies and certainly ones I use.
*Less likely to be recommended* coping strategies include:
“Stalk them on social media”
“Ask friends what they’re up to”
“Get wasted and make out with a stranger”
“Pretend to be fine while getting high as fuck”
“Jump into a new relationship”
And my personal favourite, “run away”.
Breakup? Book a flight.
In breakup times, I like to run.
Get the fuck out of dodge.
Escape. Be elsewhere. Go away.
COVID-19 grounded flights and restricted travel. My desire to flee cannot be fulfilled.
Granted, I’d be fleeing back home (which makes it better, I think). I recently moved to a new city several time zones away. So the fleeing would have been beneficial, instead of solely an ‘avoid the pain’ strategy.
Fleeing would have been both “I don’t want to be in the city where my pain is” (avoidant) and “I get to see people that know me and love me” (healing).
I think I’m nailing a little from Column A, a little from Column B.
I had no choice but to stay very, very still.
I tried my best to create a safe bubble around my home and neighbourhood. I focused on every single day as it were the entirety of my life.
I kept repeating “this is where I live”. Like it wasn’t true before or something, repeating it and trying to “ground” felt like the best thing to do. I felt the need to remind myself that I am here until further notice.
“This is where I live”
“I am here”
It has been illuminatingly painful to remain put.
I’ve had to stay near the energy of the loss. When I go on walks, I know where the loss lives. I can see it from the park near my house. If I go downtown, I feel proof of its existence. I feel it surrounding me like a force field. If I look up, I see its barrier, but I can’t fly above it.
It has been hard. There have been no nights with my girlfriends from home. No visiting my aunt and uncle in the nearby city. No karaoke nights with my BFF. No spur of the moment vacations.
It has just been me. In this office, at this window.
Every day for the past (I took a long and deep inhale in while I calculated this) 10 weeks.
10 weeks ago there was a breakup. Three days later my city shut and we went into a government mandated #stayhome.
So stay home I did.
In these four walls, and with myself.
The only place I can never run away from.