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

May 20, 2011 at 1:02pm | Leave a comment


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.
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