how to survive a breakup

1. Waterproof eye makeup. Facing the world with a teary face is demeaning. Use waterproof eyeliner to waterline (covers up the tell-tale red) and then smudge thickly around the outside to disguise puffiness. Waterproof mascara on upper lashes only. When you cry, don't touch your eyes at all, and everything will stay put just fine.

2. Go dancing. Specifically tango. It's physical exercise, so the endorphins will improve your mood. The embrace is essentially a nine to twelve minute hug. It is a happy distraction.

3. Read Emotional Intelligence. Learn the science behind why you feel like shit. Feel slightly better.

4. Tell small numbers of people at a time. Avoid telling work colleagues if you can. Choose small pockets of friends. That way you can retreat to people who know - or people who don't know - depending on your mood. Also, providing even the briefest of explanations several times over in a short amount of time is extremely draining, so it's much better to avoid it if you can.

5. Dress up. Often. Even for going to bed. This is in line with the waterproof makeup trick: if you look like shit, you're going to feel even worse. Looking good on the outside calms some of the storm on the inside.

6. Use your blog for cathartic but very obscure references to the situation. The whole point of having a blog - even if it's a less personal one like mine - is to be able to provide your commentary on the world. Don't embarrass yourself, don't violate anonymity, don't try to offend anyone, and shrug it off if people decide to get offended anyway.

7. Apply for a promotion. Get it. Be grateful that you made good decisions and have a job you love.

8. Retreat into the arms of people who love you. Lean on them. Love your kid, love the cat, love your friends, and lean on the ones who can support you. Discover that you have more people to lean on than you thought. Be grateful.

9. Go dancing more.

10. Keep boxes of tissues in every corner of the house. And in your purse. And your car. This avoids the frustration that comes with having to hunt for several minutes to find something to get the snot off your face.

11. Be empathetic. You don't have it as bad as other people. Your world feels like it is ending; someone else's does, too. Listen carefully to those problems and yours will recede into the background, at least temporarily. This works, surprisingly, even if the problems being described are part of the situation that is making you miserable too.

12. Learn from other people's experiences; commiserate with those going through the same thing at the same time. Tiny Hands and toot's tree pose, for example, have been fantastic inspiration. It is comforting to know that you are not the only one going through a horrific breakup, and good to see that life can, in fact, continue and improve once the breakup is over.

13. Keep a few pregnancy tests handy. You don't need to add to your stress by worrying that your missed period is due to something other than grief.

14. Don't refill your contact prescription. Tears have a tendency to float your contacts out of your eyes, and they make already irritated eyes more irritated. And sometimes even just the slight distance provided by seeing the world through glass is comforting.

15. Find out the truth, whatever it is, at whatever cost. The most destructive thing on this planet is a lie, whether it's one you tell yourself or one someone is telling you. It clouds your judgement. It keeps you from healing. It makes you behave in ways that are not appropriate for the actuality of the situation. The truth, no matter how much it hurts, is the only thing worth having. Find it.


  1. I sure you'll pull through, Nadi. I know you're an incredibly strong woman and you'll come out even stronger after the storm.

    My best thoughts are with you. :)

  2. I volunteer to be someone in number four (known or unknown--whichever you prefer) and be available for number nine if you want company.

  3. sending hugs from someone who doesn't know what's going on... but cares about you. HUGS.

  4. I have an.addition to your list. If you don't have a cat, consider getting one. Coming home to a mostly self reliant animal is comforting, plus purring calms the nerves and the tears.

  5. I have been planning on it. Just recently realized that I can't until my two trainings are over with, which won't be until mid-July. =/


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