Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well.
The other day, I watched Vicky Pattison The Break Up, and was completely in awe of her bravery and honesty. Break ups are a form of grieving, and whilst most of us get to play out this life changing event in private, Vicky changed her documentary from what was meant to be wedding themed, to one surrounding her break up. She showed on camera the completely reality of what a break up is.
It’s easy to think that if someone’s a celebrity, that they deal with a break up differently to how you would; even someone you went to school with, a mutual friend or a blogger you follow, it’s normal to assume that you’re the odd one out, because they’re going through a break up and seem to be perfectly fine. If you don’t think I’ve laid sobbing in bed listening to Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U, in a pile of my own snot and Malteaser wrappers many a time, then you are sorely mistaken my friend.
When I get asked for breakup advice on my Instagram Q&A’s etc, my responses have to be short and sweet, and it almost seems like I’ve breezed through all of mine.
I can categorically assure you the reality is the total opposite, and each and every one of my breakups in adulthood have nearly killed me off; and there’s no shame in that. People think it’s embarrassing to say how devastated you are, and how you’re struggling, and to cry, but really there is no shame.
I’ve had a fair few break ups in my time (so thoughtful); some seemed earth shattering at the time, like my first boyfriend aged 12, and some actually were earth shattering. They changed the course of my life, and of what I had planned, and the route I thought I was taking. Obviously a lot of those routes were probably going to be me ending up in prison/dead/severely unhappy and wasting my life judging by the men I was with, and so I’m glad the path took a swift detour, but some aren’t quite so simple.
Nothing prepares you for the rollercoaster of emotions during the aftermath of a relationship breaking down; debilitating lows, and surprising highs when after days of pain, you find yourself managing to do something like laugh or eat a full meal.
In my longest relationship, when we split up (this wasn’t actually the final break up of the relationship, but it was worse than our final one), I remember arming myself with a bottle of Night Nurse and just drinking it straight from the bottle, waiting for it to knock me out, then doing the exact same everytime I was roused from my heartbroken slumber again. I would wake up, and forget the reality of what was happening, and then like a fucking tsunami it would hit me again, I would break down sobbing to the point where I couldn’t breathe, and wait for the next hit of sleeping medication to take affect again.
Maybe to some people that seems dramatic, but the physical and emotional pain you feel after a breakup is second to none. It is so acute, so absolutely soul destroying, that sometimes all you can do is sleep.
I’m not recommending necking Night Nurse on any level; it’s dangerous, it tastes disgusting, and it solved nothing except making me feel exceptionally groggy and at risk of fucking my internal organs up. Not the one. What I am saying, is that we all go through breakups and we all feel like shit.
This was many moons ago, and I’ve since changed the way I deal with breakups; I’m not in a position where I can just let everything go to shit, as much as I wish I could, and so getting up and getting on with it is really the only choice. This makes things easier and harder; it’s a good distraction, but at the same time, going to a meeting or doing your weekly food shop in Sainsburys whilst feeling like the world is closing in on you is not in my Top 5 Situations I’d Love To Be In.
Every breakup I’ve had, and may have in the future (hopefully bloody not though, please Jesus), have made me, and will make me, into who I am. I’ve learnt something about myself through each and every one. They’ve made me realise what I do and don’t want, who I am, and as cringe as it sounds, what I’m capable of. Making it through a breakup is something to be admired and proud of, because when you’re in that serious low point, you genuinely cannot see a way out of it.
Breakups are crippling. They turn your world upside down and make you question everything you’ve known. You’re left in a state of disarray, and wondering how the hell you go on and continue. It doesn’t seem like it when you’re going through it, but things do get better. ‘Time is a healer’ is the worst thing to be told when you’re in the midst of the shit storm, because you don’t want fucking time, you just want them back or you want to feel better and you can’t feel like this for much longer, but honestly, it really is. There’s not much time can’t sort out. You just need to hang on in there.
You learn so much about yourself when you’re going through a breakup, and especially afterwards; mainly I’ve learnt what an ugly crier I am, and how when I’m dossing about in Primark farmyard animal print pyjamas with no bra I genuinely look like a 12 year old boy, but that’s fine. You also learn that pain and upset is temporary, and on the same note, so is happiness; every emotion and state is short lived and can change in an instant, so whilst you equally shouldn’t take happiness for granted, you should also not get too hung up on the shit times, because they too shall pass. Alright, Gandalf, chill out hun.
Not every breakup is clean cut and simple; there’s emotions involved, obviously, but also day to day adult shit, like kids and marriages and shared homes. There’s belongings flung into supermarket Bags For Life in a state of fury, angry Whatsapps, words you wish you could unsay, shared bank accounts, all inclusive holidays requiring a swift cancellation, regret, tears and lost appetites.
Some breakups, most in fact, are ones you will look back on in years to come and laugh at. You will wonder how on Earth you ever wasted so many tears on that person and that situation, and you won’t be able to remember how you once felt, even if you stretch far enough back into your memory. The odd breakup may stay with you for a very long time, if not forever, and it may always be a sore subject. You don’t have to hate everyone you used to be with, with a fiery passion; some breakups can just make you feel sad and a bit shit whenever you think about them. It will lessen though, and you will feel happiness again, in whatever that may be.
Breakups are complex and one is never the same. As you get older, you may deal with them differently, and you may present yourself differently on the outside than you did when you were 17, but that doesn’t make them any easier, and it doesn’t lesser the emotions.
It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to feel like shit, and it’s okay to think that life will never be the same again without that person. We’ve truly all been there, but you must never think this is a permanent feeling.
If you’re in the middle of one right now…I feel ya. I know advice from a total stranger may not count for much, and I don’t know the circumstances of your breakup, but things will and do get better. Life works in mysterious ways, and after handing you a plate of shit, it can hand you a seriously good deck soon after. Just be patient.
There really is life after a breakup.
All my love BGP xx