How to Navigate Rough Waters

Have you ever had an idea for post develop, and you get so excited about it. You know its genius. You talk your way through it in your head, know exactly what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to say it. And then you sit down in front of your computer, and, nothing. Absolutely nothing. You’ve lost it. Not the topic of course, but the ability to get the idea to flow out of your brain, down your arms to your finger tips, to type it out. That fantastic idea you had for a topic becomes nothing more than a mumbled jumbled mess of incoherentness.

It happens to me all of the time. Perhaps I should do a better job of writing down my ideas as they come to me, but it seems its always at the most inopportune time. Or perhaps I’m not that great of a writer. Or maybe I put too much pressure on myself to make great things happen in less than a great amount of time. Either way, this post was one of those posts. But thats not going to stop me from spewing my thoughts in the most coherent way I can right now.

My friend Erin (name changed of course) is going through a really rough time right now. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, a guy I’m sure she thought she would marry someday. And even though she knows deep down that it was the right thing to do, she’s struggling with having walked away from the nearly finished house they were building together, and the life she thought she would have.

Whether the relationship lasted three weeks or three years, break ups are painful. They can leave you feeling lost, depressed, heart broken and physically ill. And you would think that given the fact that I have had my fair share of break ups, guy drama and disappointments, I’d be a pro at making it through the storm at this point. That I’d have some wonderful amount of wisdom to impart on my struggling friend.

The truth is that no matter how many times you go through it. How much experience you have at it. It doesn’t make it suck any less. It doesn’t make it any less painful. And it doesn’t really get any easier. And so while I’ve discovered that there is no magic formula for surviving the storm, I have learned a few things along the way.

– Drink all the wine. Its okay to numb the pain a little. Just don’t forget to turn off the phone. Getting the Drunken Texties will not make things better.

– Eat all the ice cream and junk food. You have to eat. And it may as well taste wonderful. I love me some Ben & Jerry’s at times like these. The whole pint and a spoon, screw the bowl.

– Stay in bed all day if you want to. You need to find comfort where you can.

– Don’t get dressed if you don’t feel like it.

– Watch all the tv and all the movies you want.

– Let yourself cry when you need to, it does not mean that you are weak. Holding it in makes it harder in those first few days.

– Scream and curse the world if it will bring you some relief.

– Don’t be embarrassed about your pain. You have a right to feel exactly how you’re feeling. Don’t feel bad about that.

– It’s okay to grieve. You’ve lost something. A person you cared about. The life you thought you’d have. Mourn that loss.

Sometimes we are not very kind to ourselves when we are going through heartbreak. We judge how strong we are being, how well we are coping. The number of days it takes us to be “normal” again. How many times we cry. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to “get over it,” to “move on,” to “bounce back,” in an “acceptable” amount of time. A lot of self-help articles will tell you to give yourself a shake, distract yourself, go for a run, spend time with friends, etc. And sure they’re all great ideas. And yes, there comes a point where you need to give yourself a bit of a kick in the ass to get back to reality, but its important to know that its okay to take a little time to feel your pain and try to come to terms with things.

Found on Flickr but its been removed.

Have you ever had a really tough break up? I’m sure you have. What did you do to make it through? How did you cope? Seriously, many pints of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked did you eat? Any advice for a girl who’s so great at break ups, she’ll probably see a few more?

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