getting over boys 101

Had you come to me in search of an answer on how to get over a boy in prior years, I would have had one succinct response: find a new one.

Find a new boy, dive head-first into a relationship that you likely are not remotely close to ready for, nor in any mental state to properly assess. Mask any and all negative feelings with the all-encompassing emotion of lust, feverishly drown out any questions your silly little brain is trying to force your conscious to face with glass after glass of wine, and whatever you do, DON’T LISTEN TO ANY OF THE RATIONAL ADVICE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE RUDELY TRYING TO FORCE UPON YOU.

Got it?

I had, I thought, perfected the art of getting over a boy. I would proudly state that I had “never had my heart broken since I was 16 years old!” and honestly, didn’t have much empathy for those going through a breakup, because I couldn’t understand the point on letting yourself wallow in heartbreak.

However, in recent months, Murphy and his stupid law finally caught up with me and my smug self.

After dragging a relationship not born in the healthiest of environments through the mud for a few months longer than it deserved to be dragged, I found myself mentally battered and bruised, my sunny disposition constantly being threatened by the dark shadow that was my relationship. I was short-tempered, I was defensive, and my emotions were more out of wack than even I (an emotional Jedi, according to my dad) could handle.

So, finally, after obsessively reading article after article on love addiction, co-dependency and the dangers of unhealthy relationships, and after numerous failed attempts and empty threats to “end it for good!”, I finally ended it for good. And it fucking hurt.

I found myself in a bit of a sticky situation, somewhere I had never been before. I didn’t want this breakup, I didn’t want to leave this person, but eventually, I recognized that I had to, for both of our sake. For someone who thrives on order, routine and control, this new and scary space was unbearable. I was splashed in the face with the freezing cold reality that I simply did not know how to be sad. And who the eff doesn’t know how to be sad?

I had to take it day by day. While my sadness felt crushing, I recognized that this was something people dealt with all the time. It wasn’t an insurmountable situation, it was just a new situation. I was going to have to teach myself how to navigate this landscape littered with tears, emotional breakdowns and the incessant insecurity  that had recently infiltrated my thoughts, that “I would never find anyone right!” Despite feeling like the weakest, most pathetic little girl on the planet, boo-hoo-ing over a boy, I knew inside of me was a strong woman. I could do this, I could move passed this situation, I just needed to figure out how to do it my way.

So, I did what I knew I needed to start with. I grabbed my notebook, and shakily scrawled “Step 1”.

Step 1:

Get up and go to the gym. It took me by surprise to me how paralyzing this whole “being sad” business was. For once, going to workout seemed like the most unappealing thing ever. But, knowing intellectually that getting that sweat-sesh in would lift my spirits both mentally AND physically, I knew I had to go. And I did. And it worked! Not only did I sweat out some angst, I also was able to forget for a second what I was trying to do. And that relief, albeit fleeting, was a welcome and necessary moment.

Step 2:

Clean my house. Like, really clean. And if you know me, I probably know what you’re thinking. “You think CLEANING is going to make YOU feel better?” And my answer is this: cleaning actually is cleansing to me. Going through old clothes, getting rid of as much unnecessary crap as I possibly can is the best feeling. If I am spending an extended period of time somewhere (minus my car, everyone shut up 🙂 ), I prefer it to be as uncluttered as possible.

Step 3:

Get to the grocery store. Don’t even bother with the ice-cream and treats bullshit. I know myself. I know eating like crap will make me feel even more depressed, make me feel down on myself, and will only negatively effect my thought-process. Eat good to feel good, and I know exactly how to properly set myself up for that: food prep and planning. Plus, I have all the time in the world in my new, single, existence to do all these things!

Step 4:

Even though I feel like a miserable, gloomy bag of wet sand, and felt badly that anyone should have to spend an extended period of time around me, I needed to call in the troops: my girlfriends. I always, ALWAYS forget how much they make me laugh.  I also forgot how easily my laugh comes, how lucky I am to have a “happiness baseline” as high as it is, and how true it is that my spirit is meant to go through life full of joy. Sad-panda life is just NOT the life for me.

Step 5:

Spoil myself – with my passions. I’ve been dreaming of having my own blog for years. As my relationship disintegrated over the past few months, I had already thrown myself headfirst into making my goal a reality. Post-breakup, instead of putting the extra time I have on my hands towards drinking, partying or obsessively man-hunting, I am focussing on making my blogging dreams a reality and learning the ins-and-outs, and dos-and-don’ts of running a successful blog – no boyfriend guilt holding me back.

Step 6:

SHOP! But wait – it’s not what you guys think! I’m not talking about going all-out, as I might have previously. It feels so much better to figure out my budget for the month, and give myself a little extra to treat myself. Am I going to go nuts? No. I know that kind of foolish spending and instant gratification will only make me feel good for a few short hours. When I spend an afternoon thoughtfully shopping, keeping in mind a specific, low budget, I find myself being more mindful in what I buy. It is just a little extra, nothing excessive, but enough to lift my spirits a little bit.

So, I did my first set six steps once,  in an almost robotic fashion. And you know what? I wasn’t magically healed. But you know what does have magical healing powers? Time. And with the repetition of my steps, three days go by, and then a week goes by, and then two weeks. And as the time passes, as cliche as it is, the pain truly does lessen. I get used to this new normal, without him. Learn to be Morgan again, instead of Morgan and….

And I remember: I like Morgan. Morgan is a whole person, who can stand on her own and who doesn’t need a boyfriend to be happy. That memo may be inherent to you, but it certainly wasn’t to me.

These days, you can find me still repeating my steps, but clutching on to them with a little less desperation. With time, I’ve found that just like I don’t need that boyfriend, I also don’t need the structure of the steps. Life goes on, and let me tell you, it is trending upwards.

 

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