If you’re reading this, I want to start off by saying congratulations on opening your eyes today. Don’t worry, I’m not going to condescend by doing the whole “you’re strong and fierce and he/she/it wasn’t worth your time anyway! Girl power, amiright?!” thing. You are no doubt all of those adjectives on other days when your eyeliner is on point and your heart is functioning normally. Today, you are shaken to your core, in an unsexy depression, and haven’t put on pants because the thought of leg jail is inexcusable.
Welcome to your breakup.
I, your sensei/yoda/spirit guide/soul sister/a stranger, am here to guide you through this trying (read: horrendous) time in your life.
Step One: Turn off your phone and hide it. Do not open your computer. I don’t want to see you even glancing at a tablet. You are hereby banned from all access points to social media. You may, however, have the TV.
If you allow yourself, you will stalk. You won’t want to. You will hate. yourself. to. the. core. afterwards. But you will do it. Remove the temptation to keep tabs on both your most recent ex and every ex you’ve ever had ad nauseam, only to discover that guy you hooked up with that one time seven years ago is engaged and WHY CAN EVERYONE BE HAPPY BUT YOU.
Step Two: Arm yourself with the essentials (i.e. wine, ice cream, Doritos, self-pity), roll yourself into a comforter-burrito, and lay prone on the nearest flat surface. Yes, the floor is more than acceptable.
Some people are under the impression that ~doing things~ is good for you immediately after a breakup. Um, no. The immediate thing you’re going to want to do is have a good long cry and you should do that because wallowing is also healing. Remember Rory Gilmore? She refused to wallow and instead spent her DAB (day after breakup) waking up at 6:00 am and making lists to buy garden hoses. Be like Lorelai, cue up the saddest movie you can find, and just sob.
Step Three: Happily enter the denial phase of the program because you are just so totally fine, thanks Karen.
Denial is good. Denial is your friend. Denial allows you to get out of bed, do your hair (who am I kidding, this is a bun situation if I’ve ever seen one), brush your teeth, and leave the house without your literal security blanket or a certificate from the witness protection program, which is probably a real thing you can get.
Step Four: Reactivate your Bumble profile so you can peruse the “better options” available to you while drinking copious amounts of rosé.
Falling into a Bumble swiping hole is the best-worst way to spend the next six hours of your life. Get lost in a haze of overly white teeth, shirtless selfies, and gratuitous car pics. Turn off your brain and turn on those lady parts. Swipe with abandon. Get high on your liberation while also doing those dry hiccup sob-gasps because you’re on a roller coaster of emotion and cannot be held accountable.
Step Five: Turn on Taylor Swift, Charli XCX, and Queen of Queens Beyoncé for some serious positive momentum.
You don’t need a relationship, LOOK AT TAYLOR SHE IS SLAYING AT LIFE. No one knows more about breaking up and making up than Taylor Swift. She is your spirit animal. You and Taylor Swift are basically the same person right now.
Step Six: Try going to the gym because moving your body in more than a perfunctory way will become necessary at some point.
The gym is always the last place I want to be, but it also makes a great breakup recovery ward. No one cares if you’re sweaty, disheveled, and haven’t showered in three days (at least). You can hate-run your feelings out to a killer soundtrack while freely crying, as the tears will just blend in with the sweat pouring down your face. Plus, you’re going to need to detox from all that rosé.
Step Seven: Make a date with your most no-nonsense, takes-none-of-your-sh*t friend and emerge into the out of doors (wear sunglasses to hide your poor, tired, sad eyes).
There’s no one like a real friend to make you see the perspective in the madness. You are alive. Your heart is beating (albeit dully). You still have the ability to eat fries. Buck up, hold your head up, and recognize that you’re not out of the woods, but you are on the way to recovery. I promise. Don’t you trust me by now?
Step Eight: Try smiling, that weird thing you did with your mouth in your previous life.
You’ve made it this far. You can make it all the way. Get out of the house, buy yourself something new and frivolous, and treat yourself to the best of single life — you’re only responsible for yourself and your own happiness now. And that’s a beautiful thing.