I haven’t had my heart broken in a long time, and I am really quite concerned about how I’m going to handle the sadness without sinking into debilitating depression. But I think I did okay with my first day by doing a couple of key things. This isn’t any endorsed program for how to manage extreme sadness, just some things that worked for me.
1. I told friends. I texted a few not long after it happened, and then I posted on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out all at once, rather than dragging it out over weeks and weeks as people would inevitably ask how things with the boy were going. Rip off the bandaid and enlist the power of social media. The people who are simply curious won’t say much, and the people who care, well, that leads me to my next point.
2. Answer the phone. Answer texts, respond to the social media posts, and accept every invitation you get. I was lucky. My friends—unknowingly, I’m sure–tag-teamed me the entire day. A friend called around 10, another texted at 11:30 and summoned me to school to hang out. More friends texted around 12:30. I came home and collapsed on my bed and slept, and still another friend called just before 3. By 7:30 I was with a group of friends playing pub trivia, and while I wasn’t the best company, they were supportive. Corollary: accept hugs. For someone like me who isn’t a fan of being touched, this was hard, but I needed them nonetheless.
4. Put on makeup and cute clothes.
5. Behave a bit like a newborn. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired. These feedings and sleepings may not be normal adult times. I lost my appetite almost immediately, but had flashes of hunger in which I did eat. Corollary: screw nutrition. Eat what you feel like. For me, that was a bagel, naan, a Twix ice cream bar, 3 baby dill pickles, a piece of cheese and a late night taco. It wasn’t much, and it lacked nutritional value, but it was fuel nonetheless. And as for the sleep, I didn’t sleep well the night we broke up, but the nap at 1 in the afternoon was actually beneficial.
6. And perhaps most important: don’t make any rash decisions. Don’t destroy any letters or delete emails or send back jewelry he gave you on your birthday 10 days earlier. Give it a little time.
How much time? I’ll let you know when I find out.