Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm doing the best I can. I am "hanging in there," "putting one foot in front the other," and "living one day at a time."

I have been the grateful recipient of so much love. I've been overwhelmed by the visits, the flowers, the chocolate, the lotions and bath products, the invitations, the phone calls, the emails, the music, the love in general. Just before he closed the door (METAPHOR! METAPHOR!) he said: "I know you'll be fine. You have the largest network of friends and people who love you than anyone else I know."

I deleted his numbers from caller ID, put everything in a box (I made him watch me do a lot of that. Heh.), said goodbye to his family, took him off my Buddy List to keep me from obsessing. I'm writing in a Rebound Journal, which promises to help me "bounce back with style!"

I'm following all the advice. I cleaned my apartment, reclaimed my bed, and did the funny "Dear John" letter Mad Libs game. Twice. I bought a new journal. I had brunch with a new friend. I took a road trip. I saw a best friend. I reconnected with an old girlfriend and stayed up all night talking.

I'm wearing makeup every. damn. day. I bought new "come fuck me" boots and stomp-y galoshes. I have engaged in a bit of retail therapy, and I now have enough cute new outfits for Amanda's upcoming shower 1, shower 2, and rehearsal dinner. (If I get desperate and need to justify more purchases, I can, in theory, I can buy a bachelorette party outfit and a Post-Wedding Mothers' Day Brunch outfit.)

I bought comfort foods and ate them. I bought childhood foods and ate them while reading a Judy Blume book. I am now onto buying "healthy, nourishing" foods, but when the cashier at Stop n Shop pointed out that one of the apples was bruised and asked if I'd like to select another, I had to tell her that my new boots were killing my feet and the thought of walking back to the produce department was terrifying. I told her I'd cut out the mushy bit and put peanut butter over the missing part of the apple.

I bought new "single girl" skivvies. I bought new houseplants, repotted the old ones and planted seeds in little cups for an herb garden. I gathered up all the cracked pottery/dishes in my cupboards (supposedly bad to have around, according to the principles of feng shui). I got out the box of dishes/vases/ceramic bowls my pets have broken (Fred went through a one-week phase of kicking dishes off counters). After warning my neighbors and making sure the 11-year-old downstairs wasn't studying for a test or trying to memorize all the state capitals, I spent an hour breaking all the cracked, "broken in two" dishes in my bathtub. Then I broke the shards into small, "mosaic-able" pieces with a hammer. I highly recommend doing this, by the way.

I have re-committed myself to my job. I got a raise and a good performance review. Yesterday, (wait for it, wait for it) I photographed M@ya @ngelou speaking and reading poetry at a nearby college. I met her after, and I told her I had a broken heart, and "You are just what I needed." She squeezed my hands and said: "Thank you! Oh, God bless you, darlin.'"

But you know what? I lied. I said it, because I wanted it to be true. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to be moved an comforted and inspired. But you know what?


The first person I want to talk to after meeting a phenomenal woman and getting a raise? Him.

I am a fucking cliche.


Cindy W said...

You're in mourning, deal with it. You are allowed to grieve for a lost love, you do not have to bounce back in a week. In fact, if you *did* bounce back in a week, it would only show that either (a) you are a horribly cold, unfeeling person (which we obviously know isn't true), or (b) what you felt for him wasn't real (also untrue). So give yourself some time to cry and mope. Listen to good mopey break-up music: "Bare" by Annie Lennox, "Forever Blue" by Chris Isaak, or "Sea Change" by Beck (all of those albums, btw, were written by the artist after a divorce/break-up). Eat chocolate. Watch bad TV. Let yourself feel however you damn well want to feel. It's ok, the CFM boots and single-girl skivvies will wait for you.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

Aw, thanks Cindy. :) I know it will take time, of course I do. They say it takes half the time you dated to get other the person, in which case, 2008 is gonna be my year!

I guess part of what I'm grappling with is how unfair it feels. My sister really wants to give him a piece of her mind, mostly over how unexpected and sudden his choice was to me.

On the other hand, I've been there, done that, and it wasn't good. Ten years ago I was heart-broken about someone else. We had three months of conversations about "where this is all going" before we offically "broke up." Even then, we "stayed together" until he went back to college for spring semester, because we didn't want to be in the same town and not be a couple. We stayed friends through all of the messy aftermath, but I think it made getting over him last three times as long.

The other thing is, I've been deeply, clinically despressed before. The good news about my current sadness is that it feels manageable. At least now I can finish crying and use that wave of numbness to balance my checkbook, walk the dog and take a shower.

Still, though. It's really scary, when you've been as sick as I was, to feel extremely sad about something and know the sadness is going to be here for a while. It's a little better, because now I understand the cause of the sadness, which I couldn't AT ALL when I was sick. Letting yourself feel however you want to is much harder when you know just how low it's possible to sink to.

I think that's why I feel impatient about feeling better.

Alissa said...

someone (probably you, Ang) told me that thing about it taking half as long as you were with the person to get over them. And frankly, that scared the shit out of me when I heard it, because that meant I was also facing a 3-year mourning period if it turned out to be true. This past December would have been my "back to normal" time, and you know that wasn't the case. It did take a couple of months for the worst feelings to go away... and then another 6-9 months for most of the other stuff to go away (feeling that stabbing pain every time you heard/saw/smelled something you associated with that person, etc). And then pretty much one year into the whole thing, I was like "hey- I'm good to go. Look at that!"

It can be really scary not knowing how long it will take to stop feeling like this... but it won't be forever, and it's really unlikely that it will take 3 years, either. *And* it's not the same as a clinical depression, so don't be afraid to let yourself mourn the way you need to. We love you.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

I love you, too. I'm sorry if I was the one who told you the break-up half-time theory. The cashier at Stop n Shop (the one who pointed out my bruised apple) was the one who said it to me, but I know I've heard it before... Eek. Retroactive apology for scaring the shit out you. I hear you, though. You're my inspiration, Liss. (Cue Chicago song).

Mmm... ice cream sandwich....

Angela said...

Hey, thanks for sharing your experiences in such a personal and incidentally poigniant way. I feel the same way as you- I go do all these fantastic things like I am supposed to do after a break up and just want to run and tell HER about it afterwards... I guess you get so used to having someone share in all of your daily joys and pains... what do you do without them?

I was thinking on that whole 'half the time you've been going out' thing this morning, and realized I should be over it by the time summer rolls around. We were only together for a year and it's been nearly 6 months since we've broken up- why aren't I over this yet?? I feel ridiculous for still being at this stage... perhaps if my ex didn't insist on calling or emailing every other week or so this would be easier... I've asked her repeatedly not to but she can't seem to let things go, either... It was one of those horrible situations in which one person (me) was so indescribably happy and the other person (her) was suddenly convinced that life apart would be better, and then realized too late, whoops, shouldn't have let that go... and now we are both in limbo and unable to move on... thank God I haven't gotten weak enough to sleep with her again, at least I can pride myself on that...

Not sure why I told you and all of the world that bit of info. Perhaps I need to start my own blog and stop hogging yours. Regardless, thanks for sharing. I feel slightly less insane now. :-)