During these last few months from hell, I’ve had little bursts of energy where I felt really good about myself. Believe me, no one is more shocked by that statement than me. I was so shocked that I actually started taking note of those times so I can analyze them at a later date and figure out a common denominator. That’s how normal people think, right?
Anyway, that time has come and here’s what I got. PS, I challenge you to create a “Feel-Good List” and see what yours looks like.
My Feel-Good List:
- Made eggs and an English Muffin. Then ate breakfast in bed while watching one of my favorite shows.
- Listened to new music/podcasts while cleaning the apartment.
- Read on the balcony (not followed by a panic attack but you can read about that here).
- Watched YouTube videos on plant care (I’m trying so hard not to kill them all but we’ve lost one already).
- Bought Photoshop and watched tutorials on it (it’s hard btw).
- Bought new art pieces.
- Went to a bar. Inside. Like not outdoors version of inside. Actually inside. It was thrilling.
That’s it for now. I went through this list and I actually didn’t get it at first. Nothing here is that crazy or outrageous. Why was it such a big deal? Then, it hit me.
These are a bunch of little things that I have been wanting to do for a while, and I never did. My former relationship and Covid problems got in the way, and now I have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want (for the most part). It’s pretty liberating.
Now, this isn’t where you go “YASSS GIRL GO GET FUCKED UP AND PARTY YOU DESERVE IT!” I mean, I totally can and will do that sometimes, and I DO sure as shit deserve it, but it’s not really my end goal. That’s a little too escapist for me, and I’m someone who tends to feel worse after that kind of behavior, not better. Call me weird, I don’t care. Also hangover anxiety is super real and I try to avoid that whenever possible.
Here’s the thing with escapism: it’s just a distraction, and a temporary one at that. Video games, gambling, drugs, drinking…these are all forms of escapism. So unless you plan on committing to it and becoming a full blown alcoholic, it’s not actually helping you make the necessary changes in your life to move forward or face your problems. Also please don’t become an alcoholic, that was a joke. SARCASM IS MY THING WE’VE BEEN OVER THIS.
Anyway. There’s a difference between escapism and genuine progress. I’m still sad a lot of times because of the breakup, but I’m also making progress. It may be as small as “watch how to trim a plant on YouTube”, but baby steps are better than no steps. Not to mention these are the things I genuinely care about right now. I don’t care about finding a new hobby necessarily, I just care about finding things that make me feel a sense of achievement.
It reminds me of when I went through the breakup and some people gave me advice like “go for a run”. And I wanted to be like “bitch when was the last time you saw me run? 2018?” Literally, that was the last time. I have a bad knee and I had surgery in 2019. I haven’t been able to run since. Also, I never loved running to begin with. Now, I have the Peloton that my ex bf bought me and I think of him every time I’m on it. It’s…great.
My point is, I’m not going to go and find a new hobby on my own unless it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. The seed was most likely planted a while ago and now I have the option to finally water that shit. If I haven’t gone bungee jumping, it’s because I really don’t want to.
Find the things that mean something to you, and then do them. I love making breakfast every Thursday and eating breakfast in bed. I have no idea why this has been happening on Thursdays but it does. And ya know what? It just feels good. That’s the only justification I need to hear.
Thank you so much for posting this. I recently went through my own nightmare blindsided breakup and the timeline, our ages, aspects of the ex (down to never having been in a serious relationship before), moving in too fast due to COVID, and the manner of the dumping (and the post dumping lack of closure) are stunningly similar. Except add the additional ingredient that my ex starting losing his attraction to me after just a few months, and then tortured me with extremely long (up to 10 month) periods of sexlessness and multiple run away attempts, and fits where he would yell about never having sex with me again (which turned out to be a true prophecy), that slowly eroded my sanity and self esteem over the 2.5 years we were together.
We fought a lot more than you and your ex, but mine was highly avoidant, asexual, and could be emotionally abusive toward me when he drank, which brought out all of my worst traits in response. And for him, the relationship became all about my anger and tears over his shitty treatment of me.
It’s probably a good thing that we broke up; he’s a messed up, deeply selfish person and was a horrible romantic partner. But, weirdly, he was a good friend (and very successful and lavished me with nice gifts). and we also shared a peaceful and affectionate life together most of the time. And on the surface, it’s like he walked out of my sweetest dream. He looks like a lottery ticket of a man if you don’t know who he actually is.
Also, the terror of starting over at age 38 made me feel like I could tolerate the mediocre love and devotion I got from him, as long as I didn’t have to face the demoralizing slog of dating at this age. When I met my ex, I got a tidal wave of matches on Hinge; I was and still am a gorgeous woman! Now, I’m lucky if I get 5 matches after a week of really trying, and I X through 99.9% of men. And the few I match with usually peter out after a few texts. I feel like such a fool for wasting my potential with an unwilling and cowardly man.
I’m still in the stage where I feel good most of the day but have an emotional breakdown in the evening, and occasionally wake up and reach over and feel that he’s not there. Despite how fucked up he treated me, he would say he would always be there for me. For someone from a broken destitute family, hearing that was panacea for a lifetime of hurt and pain. I had no idea someone could say “you’ll never have to worry because I’ll always be there for you” and then break up with you a few days later. I don’t even know how to trust anyone who says that to me again.
I’m trying to convince myself that he’s a mentally damaged person (I saw plenty of evidence, unlike your case) who treated me poorly from the very start and used me. I wanted the possibility of having kids with my husband, and he lied to me and manipulated me to remain with him until I was almost 38 and he finally felt ready and financially comfortable to move out on his own. So he went to therapy and 2 months later, dumped me. All I can do now is tell myself that anyone never willing to speak to you or see you again is certainly not meant for you.
I’m sorry for word vomiting in your blog, but as you can see I’m going THROUGH IT and am in the early stages. My ex is even shittier than yours, so it’s a bit easier for me to see the breakup as a blessing in disguise, but the grief and dismay at being blindsided and forced to start over with few answers is the same.
I wish these avoidant cowards would realize how profoundly they damage people with their actions. But I doubt they will, and their therapists don’t seem to be doing a good job at getting them to see it either.
Thanks for reading, and if you are inclined, please write another post about the best techniques you found for recovering. Other than hating my ex and trying not to terrify myself that I’ll never be attracted to/fall in love with someone else again, I don’t really know what to do. I hit the gym, go out to do hobbies and meetups, made 2 new girlfriends last night in fact, doing well at work despite how devastating this was. All that’s missing is a gigantic piece of my heart that some asshole lit on fire and ran away from.