Cutting cords: Break-up survival guide

Lesbian break-up survival guideBY BETHANY FRAZIER

I remember the first time I met her. It was magical. I felt like I had come home.

Two years into our blissful long-distance relationship, I U-Hauled my love-infested self over 1,300 miles from Houston to Richmond, Va., to be with the woman with whom I would spend my life.

For five years, my girlfriend and I combined our two different lives into one. We made a home in the suburbs (not my choice, but I compromised), adopted two dogs that instantly became our children, and celebrated life events together, including career changes, a new niece and my brother’s battle and remission from cancer. We even looked at engagement rings.

Over the past year and a half, things shifted. As with any relationship, people grow.

For us, we grew, but in the most opposite directions and with neglect for one another. She didn’t let me in on her growth. I exhausted myself, trying to put us back together, but I couldn’t. I lost myself in her disassociation and it left me bitter and lonely. In turn, she couldn’t understand my desires and needs.

Of course, there’s more to the story of the breakdown in our once love-drenched relationship. There’s always more. Everyone’s own breakup deserves a novel. It’s a spiritual event so complicated, raw, and deep that it transforms one’s life on every level.

Terminating a relationship is going through the emotions of a death. It is the most underrated kind of pain, you know, the I-feel-fucking-crazy-then-what-kind-of-mistake-did-I-make kind of pain.

However, with lots of time, the right mindset and support, you will discover that it gets better. While immersing myself in YouTube self-help videos, articles and meditation, I’ve come across advice and words slightly easing this crazy pain. I find it worth sharing for other ladies going through this heartache and eventually a rebirth of a new you.

Feel it all and let it out
Cry, write crazy shit in your journal, get angry, eat or not eat. Feel what you feel and be OK about it. Own your emotions. I became visibly upset in the middle of the grocery store on my first single-person-grocery trip in my new neighborhood and I embraced it. Yeah, I probably looked mentally unstable, but that’s OK.

Give yourself a break
You combined your energy, body and life with another human being and the sudden change is mind-boggling.

Take baby steps
There’s nothing wrong with your Tegan and Sara-infested cry nights.

Be kind to your mind
You might have a case of the coulda, woulda, shouldas. For example, “I could’ve been more accepting about her fill-in-the-blank, then maybe this would’ve worked.” No. This is one of the most agonizing ways of thinking and can torture your mind for hours and even make you physically ill.

Forgive yourself
Let go of blame. Realize you are a good person, a great person, in fact.

Shift your focus
When these overwhelming thoughts surface, focus your energy on a something else. Clean your place, call a friend or go on a walk. These are toxic thoughts that deserve no attention.

Separate yourself
Your broken heart and confused mind cannot start to the road to any phase of recovery when you’re still living together, texting or having multiple bouts of breakup sex (oh-so good, but so confusing). For some, this might be clean and swift for others, this can be a lengthy back and forth process.

Hide her status
Social media plays a big role detaching ladies. Now is the time to unfollow, unfriend or take a nice hiatus from it all. No matter how much you want to see what she is doing. Why go through hurt you can prevent?

Make an agreement about the pets
If you shared animals, this part is hard. Decide how to split your pets or establish some kind of joint custody arrangement. Unfortunately, no one really wins here.

Detach what was once attached
Train yourself how to release mental attachments, from the future you thought you would have together to trying to control her reactions (or her reactionless reactions). You might feel the urge to send emotion-filled texts, get even by having a one-night stand or con your ex into feeling guilty about the breakdown in your relationship. I assure you, none of this will move you forward.

Buddhist teachings consider releasing attachments to outcomes (past, present or future) will lead to a more peaceful existence. Your relationship coming apart is the cause of something coming together for your future. Exciting thought, isn’t it?

Find your groove
Always wanted to try spinning? Did she hate Chinese food or your group of friends? Do the things you’ve wanted to do, maybe even the things that caused problems between you and her. Experience and find love for yourself again through things you enjoy.

Finding your thing doesn’t mean finding a hook up either, this will only be depressing since they won’t look at you or touch you the way she did. Time for that will come later, heal yourself first then the world will find you someone else again, all with time.

Surround yourself
Rely on your friends and family for support. See a counselor. Discover or hone in on your hobbies, work or volunteering. Be busy, but don’t use it as a cover up to distract yourself from your reality and emotions. Go through the ups and downs, but channel them productively.

Avoid alcohol in excess
Also, drowning your sorrows in massive amounts of alcohol should be avoided. It’s the toxic catalyst that sends that drunk “I miisss u. do u miss me?” text at 1am that will send you 10 steps back.

Embrace your journey
Slowly, things will get better. Celebrate those moments when you don’t lose it when someone mentions her favorite restaurant or you take up running and loose a couple of pounds, sexy you.

A lyric of a Stars song (which has nudged me along my own journey) says it all: “Live through this, and you won’t look back.”

“If you love yourself, you will let her go”
This is something I tell myself when I’m woken to a dream about her not wanting me anymore, when I hear that Rolling Stones song we loved, or thinking about how I’ll never get to kiss her again.

Through your own up and down battle with your mind, unpredictable future, and broken past, remind yourself that you’re a good person and likely your ex was also a good person, but that doesn’t mean you were good together.

Born a true Texas girl, Bethany U-Hauled to the beautiful, history-drenched city of Richmond, Virginia, for long distance love that eventually ended. In addition to obsessing and writing about Richmond’s food scene (restaurants, festivals, and trends), she’s a connoisseur of painting, aromatherapy, indie music and English accents. Find her stuff at Grub Like A Girl and One Check Or Two.

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