The heart is a funny muscle. It's incredibly powerful, most definitely the strongest muscle in your body, yet can be easily broken, with some really sucky side effects. Did you know you can not only feel physical pain from a broken heart, but even have a real heart attack from one? Yikes. I'll skip that ride, thanks.
I'll admit, I'm a bit of a romantic. So, in my life I've been in love, been out of love, been crazy in love, and been hurt by love. Everything is about perspective, and if you are unlucky enough to have been hurt by love it really just means that you were lucky enough to be in love in the first place.
That's not really enough to make you feel better about it though. I've received a lot of emails about love and how to stay healthy when going through a break up, not letting it get the best of you and staying on your game through the process. So, I'm going to share how to handle a break up the right way -- by learning from not only my mistakes, but the ones society deems 'norm.'
Break ups seriously stink. They confuse you in all sorts of ways and make you feel a disconnect with not only your best friend (since your significant other really should be your best friend), but more importantly, yourself. Luckily, they happen in stages, and each stage can really make you better off -- if handled healthfully, that is. I've been through one heartbreaking break up, and this is what I learned.
The 'OMG WTF JUST HAPPENED' Stage
What I wanted to do: Bawl like a baby in yoga pants eating all the carbs and chocolate I can get my hands on, curled up in a ball watching anything and everything with Ryan Gosling telling a girl he loves her.
What I actually did: Bawled like a baby in yoga pants eating bread dipped in chocolate pudding (yep, you heard me), curled up in a ball watching The Bachelor.
Right after a breakup, at least in my opinion, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with letting it hit you in a horribly cliche, chocolate-filled manner. As long as this phase doesn't last more than 24 hours, there's nothing unhealthy about it. You need to cry. You need to carbo load. You need to get it all out there. Hit the bottom of how sad you're going to let yourself be, even if it's at the bottom of a tissue box.
The Pushing Forward Phase
What I wanted to do: Pull the covers over my head. Not eat anything. Whine/vent/cry about him to every one of my friends and family members until they start ignoring my calls. Not study or write, but just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling thinking 'OMG what if that was it and I'm never going to be okay again?!' Spend all day on their Facebook/Twitter/Insta/etc. Basically, dwell.
What I actually did: I chose two people (my sister and best friend Meagan) to share my feelings with. I didn't whine, I shared. I know they have my back no matter what and would be there for me to push me forward, not keep me dwelling in the past. I forced myself to go to every class (even the one less than 12 hours after!), and keep up with writing daily. I hustled and tried to focus on working and new projects to get excited about. I just put my head down and made moves. I also filled up on healthy fats and protein so that even if food wasn't on my mind, I was getting all the important nutrients I needed (that can't be found in chocolate pudding). I cut out all social media relationships (to the best of my abilities...man SM can really make modern break ups a bummer!). I let myself be sad, but limited it. I told myself, 'You can only be sad in the shower, but once it's over, you're done being sad for today.' I know the shower is weird, but it's a solid 10-15 minutes which is a good time to limit yourself to.
The 'Oh wait, I'm actually totally better off' Phase
What I wanted to do: Think about all the good times and sort of shield out all the negatives/reasons I broke up with him in the first place.
What I actually did: Any time I thought of a good thing about him or our relationship, I thought of a bad one. I focused on the reasons I broke up with him and realized that it really was for the best. By doing this, you can focus on yourself, your future, and what you want out of a relationship, not what has just become comfortable to you. You'll realize that they really weren't the best fit for you, and that you're going to not only be okay without them, but you're going to be fucking amazing.
The Actually Being Okay Phase
What I wanted to do: I'm sure some of you can relate to the feeling of wanting that closure. That nail in the coffin. Maybe an email? A phone call? Coffee? Something -- anything -- to share with them that you're okay. In my case I had two emails written: one saying a general 'hey thanks for all the good times, we're really better off, best of luck...' and the other beginning with a nice 'F you. I can't believe I wasted my time...'
What I actually did: Deleted the emails. Some things are better left unsaid. And you know what? If you really are great (which I am sure all you healthy, amazing babes will be), you have no need or reason to share it with them. It's your life now, and only yours. I'm a firm believer in unconditional love, so even if I'm not in love anymore, I'll always care deeply about and appreciate that person, as they were an integral part of making me who I am today (and actually a very big motivator for this brand and my writing!). However, they have no place in my life anymore, so there's nothing to do but close the book and start a new one.
Now, years later, I am incredibly happy and healthy. As are they, and we are healthy and happily friends.
I truly hope this helps you get through a tough time, and I can assure you that no matter what phase you're in, or no matter how hard it is, you will be 100% okay sooner than you think. It totally, totally sucks to be there, but it doesn't last forever. You're not going to be fine, you're going to be friggin' fantastic. Better than ever.