Haven't we all been this guy. Except maybe without the fancy painting. Lol.
I have a friend who just broke up.
Well. Haven’t we all been there. But here’s what’s interesting; pretty much all of us have been there, but none of us can tell other people exactly how to go through it. It is a deep, dark hole, and how deep the hole is will depend on how strongly we felt about that significant other. If it was just a few dates that didn’t turn out well, maybe a weekend watching Friends will do. If it involves the guy, well draw down the curtains and alert Oprah. It’s going to be a long, winding road of emotional rehab.
I did some research on the stages of grief. There are five, which are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I tried applying this concept to my previous experiences, and they fit like a puzzle.
Denial – I would associate this as the feeling of shock. Especially if you’re the one getting dumped. It doesn’t last very long, but most of the people I know exhibited the same symptoms; they would feel nothing, and try a lot of things to make it still work. But alas, like a really worn out car, sometimes it just can’t be fixed.
Anger – Now this I can vividly recall. You can be the happiest person on the planet, but this phase will make you want to punch a baby. You’re angry at yourself for being a fool, you’re angry at the person who hurt you, and this is the time where people who give generic useless advice like ‘It’s going to be okay’ or ‘It’s all for the best’ makes you envision getting on a truck and running them over to death. I find that this part of recovery makes me the most irrational. I would be resentful with pretty much everything. Other happy people. That homeless guy who’s been sitting around the train station for years, but today it bothers you. Your boss who are nice are just too nice that you want to strangle him. That clock is ticking and oh my God why is it so loud that’s just annoying as shit.
Bargaining – Strange hobbies or a change of lifestyle will surface, all in the spirit of compensating for what is lost. The brain doesn’t want to think about the sadness so it finds other ways to cope. I have a friend who took a month off work and traveled. Escapism is not a solution to life’s problems, but for this part of recovery it will do. I once picked up art and painting. I bought a sketch book, crayons and paint. I drew a single picture of a horse, which ended up looking like a mutated cow, and never touched it again. Once this phase passes, the revolting hobbies go with it too.
Depression – This part requires only one word. Sadness. It is the pit of that deep dark hole. It isn’t a continuous feeling. Rather, it comes in waves. Some days you hardly ever think about it. Other days, you find yourself sitting there for hours and thinking about the past, why things happen the way they do and the what could’ve been-s. At this checkpoint, you can have the most amazing support system and still feel completely alone. I understand that in life, bad things happen and one day you’ll look back and this might even be amusing. I think most of us are rational enough to know that. But at this point, sometimes even the best of words can’t pick you up. It’s a sad part of your life, and you’re allowed to be.
Acceptance – In a cartoon, this is where the light shone from the sky right onto your forehead. If you have a strong spiritual belief, you’ll get to this part quicker than others. Acceptance comes in many forms. Some people find that one day, they woke up in the morning and realized that they haven’t thought about it for weeks. Some of us would now want to give ourselves another go at it. The rest of us would accidentally meet that person in the middle of the road, and this time, we don’t feel like fainting/hiding behind the person walking in front/turning around and use the long way instead/having a cardiac arrest. Congratulations. You have climbed and crawled out of that hole, bruised and battered, but still in one piece.
So you see, the process is the same for everyone, but the ways of going through it is never the same. Billions of people before you have gone through it, and you’d think there should be a really good manual out there somewhere by now. But nope, there isn’t.