Breakup Manifesto -- How to Be Good To Yourself When Your Heart Feels Like Crap

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Three weeks after my partner left me (again. for good.) I really couldn't deal. I wrote this then. 

When the tidal wave of loss, shame, rejection, and anger hits, it feels like there are a million tiny spikes driving into my flesh and my heart was compressed so tightly that I sometimes feel like I can't breathe. There are mornings when I cry on the street when I'm walking my dog, the disappointment and loneliness is so intense. I feel mentally ill.

The last couple of breakups I really lost my shit, and this time around I'm doing only slightly better. I have a tendency to let my emotions overwhelm me. Upon my therapist's insistence I started taking some antidepressants (I refused to do anything unnatural, so she said I could try SAM-e + Folic Acid + B complex to see if it works, and it is). Also, I am consulting this handy manifesto I wrote for myself.I'm not going to lie and say I feel super strong and ready to move on because my desires are healthy and I deserve to be loved. No, right now I'd probably go back to that woman in a second, even though I wasn't valued as an equal in our relationship, and she admits she didn't want to make me/us a priority. Still, this manifesto is a statement of intent to myself and to the loved ones I've sent it to, and it helps steer me back to a semblance of functionality.

I will protect myself.I will not torment myself with music, food, clothing, smells, or places that remind me of her.I will not stalk her on facebook, gchat, gmail, ichat, skype, etc.I will not try to inject myself into her life under false pretenses.I will protect the dignity of our inherent affinity for each other.I will not trash talk her to my friends or family.I will not try to get her to have sex with me. (OK, except maybe one more time. NO.)I will not try to make her jealous.I will take care of myself.I will do my best to keep a regular sleeping schedule.

I will do my best to eat all my meals.

I will take showers as usual.

I will keep my living space tidy.

I will ask a friend to stand in for some of the rituals of coupledom she and I shared until I can bid them farewell (i.e., hello in the morning, a text saying I got home safe when out late at night, having a meal together).

I will let myself feel the loss, pain, anger and sadness, and seek out healthy sources of strength to support me with these emotions. Suggested activities:

  • meditating 
  • breathing exercises 
  • reading 
  • writing 
  • yoga, going for a walk, or other exercise 
  • spacing out on TV or watching a movie 
  • talking or hanging out with a good, kind friend or family member who has my best interests at heart 
  • spending time with a child or animal
  • organizing something 
  • giving myself a makeover 
  • tarot
  • playing a game

I will give us both some space.

I will not call and email her daily like we're used to.

I will not expect things of her now that we're supposed to just be "friends" that she couldn't give me in our relationship.

It's time to re-establish and strengthen my existing friendships.

I will be kind and gentle to myself.

I will tell myself I’m cute when I look in the mirror.

If I want to eat it, I'm going to.

If I want to just go to sleep, that's fine.

I will make a list of all the things I like about myself, and keep it handy.

Whatever I'm feeling is valid and legitimate.