Thursday, February 9, 2017

Being a Drama Queen Helped Me Survive My Break-Up



Being partnered is great, especially if it’s a long term relationship. It offers a sense of security (no matter how false), and consequently, affords us a degree of complacency. The feeling that somehow you can now breathe and relax because you already have someone who doesn’t care so much about whether or not you remembered to conceal your eye bags today, or munched on ten too many club crackers before bedtime, is very reassuring and frees your mind to focus on other more important worries…like the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 

However, there are times when I wake up from a dream where I’m still single
and completely angst-ridden and suddenly feel lost and a bit sad, not because of the dream, but because I realize I miss some of that drama, that sense of pining. Somehow I realize being single wasn’t bad at all. I’m brought back to those soul-enriching days where growth was just inevitable given the amount of emotional muck I was trying to swim out of. 

Nothing else (pre-parenthood) makes me think of emotional and spiritual growth than the time when my heart got broken to smithereens after a boyfriend/fiancĂ© broke up with me. It was pain I’ve never felt before which of course was to be expected given how deep and intense the relationship was. There were days when I honestly felt my heart had literally split into pieces, making my chest throb so heavily that I thought I’d stop breathing and drop dead. 

So how does someone like me who feels intensely and falls passionately survive a soul-shattering break-up?

I have one word for you: Cinemafy. I made the experience as Hollywood-like as I could. You know how in movies the heartbroken person first reaches rock-bottom before finding redemption? Aren’t there always scenes where she first falls into a coma-like state while feeding herself with nothing but junk food, feels crappy and looks unkempt, and then moves into self-discovery by walking all over town? (Yes, it’s always walking or running with great background music). That’s pretty much how I did it. 

I lived off of Pizza and Pepsi since I had no energy to cook. Cheetos also supplied me with all the sustenance and orange fingers I needed so I don't end up emailing or texting the ex.

I took long walks by my lonesome after work and dared myself to do this even at night. In retrospect, that might not have been the smartest decision since I could've gotten mugged. But at the time, it was as if all that mattered was for me to test my limits and push beyond my comfort zones. I was angry and broken and wanted to see if changing myself would also mean ridding my soul of the love I felt for my ex. 

I spent hours in bed looking at the ceiling while in a semi-catatonic state, rewinding events and conversations in my head to try to make sense of it all.

I watched Bridget Jones’ Diary over and over until I practically memorized the lines and spoke with a British accent. Heck, I WAS Bridget Jones! Remember that first scene where she was wearing her pajamas as she lip-synched to All By Myself? Yes, that was me. 

I also drank vodka but since I’m a wuss, I only drank it mixed.

I listened to Ella Fitzgerald until I felt completely wasted, not with alcohol, drugs or nicotine, but with grief and over-analysis. 

I wrote in my journal. A LOT. 

I cried and prayed and begged for everything I could beg for— for my fiance to come back, for my heart to heal, for amnesia, and even death. And then I slept.

I forced myself to go out with friends to have some distraction. It didn’t take long for me to realize that going out wasn’t always a great idea because I only ended up even more depressed and psychotic as I felt like attacking every couple I saw around me. The agony was worse if I saw interracial couples. (The ex is British). It could've easily turned into a scene of a deranged Michael Douglas from Falling Down. I knew I had to be very careful because out there was an emotional landmine. 

Finally, I figured I needed to leave the country for a short vacation and time abroad to further distract and convince myself that there’s so much out there to look forward to and discover about myself. (Don’t you think this was very Sabrina-ish?...the remake with Julia Ormond, not the Audrey Hepburn original?). Unfortunately, I ended up torturing my best friend, with whom I flew for approximately 20 hours, by talking about my ex and our intense love affair non-stop. I can imagine that she was probably thinking that it would’ve been far more pleasurable to jump off of the plane than hear one more bit of my reminiscing.

Indeed it was a cinema-worthy post-break-up journey and I don't regret any moment of it. I felt the depth of my pain while feeling like a movie star. I paid attention to my self-discovery and healing, while imagining that it was a magical and glamorous experience. You might as well have fun while you try to pick up and put together your heart's jagged shards. 

Create soundtracks, come up with cheesy lines and choose your inspiration characters. Most importantly, plan for a happy ending. Sometimes the main characters get back together, but sometimes they don't. But in any movie, the best and most memorable endings are those where the characters dared to go deeper into self-discovery, becoming more self-assured, enlightened and evolved. If you achieve that kind of ending, then you can really be proud of owning your title as Drama Queen. It would be so worth it!




This piece is an updated version of a previously published post on Catharsis entitled ‘The Art of Surviving a Break-Up’ (March 6, 2014). 

6 comments:

  1. You make it sound almost FUN! Well Done! :D

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  2. Hehehe, thank you, Bonnie! I can assure you I've had more than a decade to process all that.

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  3. You really made it Hollywood quality! I could imagine everything on screen!

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  4. I know just what you mean about missing the drama at times, Joy. My breakups followed in pretty quick succession - would have made a good TV serial! Thanks for the smiles.

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    1. What's better revenge than being a millionaire after heartbreak? Glad you enjoyed the read, Corinne! HVD xoxox

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