You’re going through a gut wrenching breakup where you didn’t get any closure and all you can think about is how much you miss him, what he’s doing, who he’s doing, why he hasn’t reached out, who that chick is that he keeps posting photos with (he posted 1 photo with you in your entire relationship and in the last week alone, he’s posted 3 with her), and when you’re ever going to feel like yourself again. You’re exhausted from obsessing but you can’t help it. He was a jerk? Who cares at this point! You just want some little shred of proof that he’s hurting as badly as you are. You want to know that you meant something to him, that your relationship mattered and that he’s remorseful for the pain he’s caused and you wish that you could get the answers to all of the questions that he left unanswered.
You need to know that you’re not as forgettable as him “forgetting” you has made you feel.
You’re proud of yourself for staying on the white horse, maintaining your dignity post-breakup and not reaching out but you miss him and it’s been really hard. Basically you feel like sh*t, but you’re somehow getting by.
Then one day, your girlfriends insist on taking you out that night. You’re felling yourself and want to have a drink to feel even better and at first, you do. Pain? What pain?! HA! This is great! You’re dancing and flirting and actually having fun. Then all of a sudden, you miss him and you think to yourself that he really wasn’t THAT bad…. OR the flip side, you get even more hurt and angry and you just want to know why the hell he hasn’t reached out or even acknowledged your existence since the breakup. You think about how even after a few drinks, getting all dressed up, getting a few numbers and being out with the girls STILL makes you miss him (despite how he treated you) and you want to know why he hasn’t reached out to you when he’s gone out and had a few (and you know he has because at this stage, you’re a Jedi Master Insta-Creep).
How could he just forget you? How could he not miss you like you miss him? Didn’t you matter at all to him?
Your “fun night with the girls,” turns into you having to go to the bathroom which turns into an opportunity for you to
see what he’s up to stalk on social media. You get triggered even more, drink even more and then…
It doesn’t matter whether you decide to call him or if you see something that upsets you and you call one of his friends or another friend of yours or whether he picks up or you leave a message or you text him or some random chick picks up his phone or whatever.
Whether you make any kind of contact or not, you miss him and this is basically how the rest of it goes and exactly how you feel…
And there you have it. I get it, I’ve been there. I’ve been these so many times that reenacting it in these photos took me about 30 seconds. I’m a seasoned pro. One of the biggest concerns that I had after my first bad breakup was wondering how the hell I was ever going to go out again. I didn’t trust myself with even one drink and I was also worried that if I had a few and I saw my ex, I’d really lose it (I was in college at the time). It seemed like with going out, the very pain that I was trying to escape was not only still there, it became stronger and I had even less control over my emotions and ended up doing things that in hindsight, robbed me of my self esteem, my dignity and my strength.
The fastest way to lose your self respect is to translate through your actions to a guy that you have no control over your emotions or yourself and that you need him to tell you what you’re worth and to tell you who you are because you can’t tell yourself.
No matter what you have going on, drinking will ALWAYS capitalize and highlight your deepest issues while making you feel like you’re totally justified in the moment until the next morning when the self blame, the shame and the WTF’s start to creep in.
This can be even harder if he’s reached out to you and you’ve stayed strong by not engaging, building your boundaries and speaking with your actions and then just one bad decision after a few drinks and all of your hard work goes down the drain.
So, how do you get to a point where even if you’re hurting after a breakup, you can go and enjoy a night out, enjoy drinks with your friends and resist the urge to do everything that you’ve worked so damn hard to avoid (and in some cases, to feel)?
For me, when I was much younger, I used to need alcohol. I was far from an alcoholic, but I felt like I needed it to have a good time, I needed it to feel confident and I needed it so I could say and act how I really wanted to, but always have the alcohol to blame my words and actions on if needed. It was like an awesome insurance policy, a total win-win.
7 years ago, I stopped constituting alcohol with having an “epic night;” I stopped drinking. It was never this big production or anything, I had a health scare, a bad breakup and decided to get as healthy as I could. As I got emotionally and physically healthier, I noticed that my body would have a more adverse reaction to alcohol and as I felt my feelings, dealt with my pain and built my self love, alcohol didn’t seem as alluring, fancy or nearly as fun.
Now, I’ll have a drink or two a few times a year and I enjoy it. It adds to joy that’s already there instead of morphing me into some insane banshee that can’t get off the “look-at-me-I-just-did-the-splits-at-the-bar-I-can-do-sex-good” ferris wheel.
I’m not a big drinker because I don’t need it any longer. I don’t need to ever drink to that level anymore because it’s not fun for me. Yes, I love a good margarita just as much as the next person, but I’m more than okay with just one.
If I went to Vegas tonight and had multiple drinks and shots and ended up getting wasted, I’d be completely harmless. Yeah, I’d do and say some funny things but I’d never go swing off the chandelier, turn everything into my own personal stripper pole, dry hump everything in sight, simulate S&M sex on the dance floor, text my ex as I’m limping down the lobby or have a meltdown or feel insecure and need to go flirt with the strange, mysteriously rich guys from Dubai that have a table at the club or see how many numbers I could get just to feel special. I may have been there and done a few of those things, but now it would never happen.
The reason I wouldn’t do any of that stuff even if i was inebriated is because alcohol will only exemplify what deep down, is the truth. My truth is that I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I don’t need validation from anyone but myself. My truth is that I am happy and that I’m comfortable in my own skin. My truth is that I love and respect who I am and I’ve forgiven myself and others and achieved a state of indifference with the people I needed to. Yeah, of course I have my tough days where I get emotional and things don’t go right but I’m no longer controlled by the emotionally instability associated with feeling like I’ll never be good enough.
Part of the process of healing and dealing with a breakup is getting back out there and enjoying nights out with your friends. I’m telling you right now, if you drink and are dealing with heartbreak, you will miss your ex and you will get angry and sad. It’s like saying if you go surfing, you’ll get wet. It’s inevitable.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re going out fresh after a heartbreak and you know that drinks will be involved:
- My best advice is to refrain from drinking until you feel indifferent towards your ex, but I know that’s not always a possibility.
- Refrain from getting sloppy drunk. No one is attractive when they’ve gotten to the point where they’re walking barefoot down the street with their tampon hanging out and they’re so sweaty that their hair is sticking to their forehead and they need the entire pack of Listerine strips in their mouth just to talk to someone that’s 2 feet away.
- If you’re so concerned with missing your ex and wondering why he doesn’t miss you, make sure that you’re actually someone that you would personally miss. No one misses the sloppy, sad, mascara-running, validation-seeking inebriated girl that yells at them and cries and threatens them and texts their friends. Guys always miss the classy girl who spoke with her actions, knew when to fold, stuck with her decision, didn’t put up with the bs, didn’t engage in the drama and walked.
- When you do drink, make sure you have a friend that truly cares for you to keep you in check. You need someone that will keep your phone away from you if needed, someone that will keep an eye on you and that will listen to you when you get sad as opposed to allowing you to wander off and reach out to your ex.
- KNOW THAT IF YOU REACH OUT TO YOUR EX IN ANY WAY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE DRUNK, YOU ARE DOING NOTHING MORE THAN SAYING WITH YOUR ACTIONS “IT’S A GOOD THING THAT YOU BROKE UP WITH ME BECAUSE I HAVE NO SELF-RESPECT.” YOU ARE ALSO GIVING SOMEONE THAT’S FAR FROM DESERVING A GIANT EGO BOOST AND YOU ARE GIVING THEM ALL THE POWER. YOU’RE SAYING THAT YOUR BOUNDARIES CAN BE BARGAINED DOWN, THAT YOU’RE OKAY WITH BEING A PROFESSIONAL DOORMAT AND TRASH COLLECTOR. IT MAKES YOU LOOK PATHETIC AND DESPERATE.
- Remind yourself that no one is that special that they get the privilege of you missing them after they’ve been reckless with your heart.
- If for any reason, you run into him and you’ve had a few, don’t be overly nice and don’t be overly rude. Keep your cool. Remind yourself that if you can get through the pain of your breakup, you can get through a few awkward moments. I don’t care if you go to the bathroom and cry your eyes out right after. When you are around him, be cool. How do you “act cool?” Imagine you had your favorite celebrity or musician or whoever your ultimate guy is waiting for you at home, in your bed. If you knew Leo DiCaprio was waiting for you at home and you ran into your ex, I hope you’d be in a hurry. You’d be happy, you wouldn’t give a rats about your ex, his small time games and trying to “out nice” and “out mature” one another. You’d just be yourself without “a plan.” You’d be happy because you have Leo waiting at home, so you would just want to say hi and get it out asap. THAT’S how you have to be if you run into your ex.
- If you can keep your cool while being out and make the commitment to not get drunk and be mindful of the fragile state you’re in, you’ll start to build your self esteem and self respect back because you’ll start tapping into your strength again, the strength that you’ve put away for far too long. You’ve chosen to make a decision for you in light of the respect that you have for yourself.
And if you don’t reach out or do anything crazy but you just plain miss him and you’re heartbroken and feel like you’re going crazy on the inside… do this: Talk to a trusted friend. Write it down. Look in the mirror and remind yourself of the truth.
And most importantly, FEEL those feelings. Yes, feel every ounce of them and know that just like the buzz you’re feeling, they WILL pass.
You are so not alone.
I was debating whether or not to write about this, but I got so many requests because this subject matter is not really talked about.
What do you guys think?