When I first asked my ex to move out of our house, I did it alone. For the next few days I moped around in a huge purple dressing gown that made me look like a Telly Tubby.
I didn’t tell anyone what had happened, and it didn’t even occur to me to do so.
Then I went outside and happened to see my brother. (We lived next door to each other like an Italian family, except we’re atheist Jewish Catholics.) He said, ‘what’s up?’ in his measured yet concerned way.
His pregnant girlfriend gave me a big hug and brought me over to their house. ‘For fuck’s sake!’ she said. Why are you in there alone?’
The other day I sent my friend in Perth a crappy meme. She sent me a message asking to talk, and I knew something shit had happened.
Turns out, she’d broken up with her boyfriend of many years, and after a week, hadn’t really told that many people.
It got me thinking about how isolating a break up can be, especially if you’re one of those people who doesn’t naturally reach out and ask other people for help.
Grieve your way
I know everyone grieves differently, and I know there’s no right or wrong way to do it. I also know that I know fuck all about fuck all, so please take the rest of this brain dump with the credence of a Wikipedia page (or most blogs on the Internet).
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that reaching out to people didn’t feel normal to me, but the second and final time my ex left (’cause fuck knows it can take a few tries), I knew in my heart that I couldn’t do it alone. So I reached out to every fucker I felt would give me what I needed.
As a result of leaning on people, so many amazing things happened. I felt supported, and loved during one of the hardest times of my life.
I deepened friendships with people in my family, and with people whom I never expected. I suddenly had an epic menu of legends in my life, who are still around today.
Don’t lean on dickheads
I did make a few mistakes, like leaning on people who wanted to give me ‘tough love’. I am not about that, and it only makes me feel worse when I’m feeling like shit.
So after accidentally relying on someone who prefers that approach, I made the effort to embrace humans who gave me the love and nurturing I needed.
I am happy to say that now I can (hopefully) be a source of comfort for the friends who helped me so much. Shit comes and goes around.
Morals in stories fuck me off
This blog is heading dangerously in that direction, but fuck it. If you’re going through a break up, don’t be alone.
Tell your brother, your sister, your mate, your dog, whoever will give you the love and support you need.
If you’re not sure who to reach out to, follow your gut. You’ll be surprised how loved you are, and how much people want to be there for you.
Help a sister out
The digital world can also be a truly supportive place. Facebook groups like Help a Sister Out in Perth have beautiful communities of women who get what you’re going through, and will give you comfort in your time of need.
We have a Fuck off and die Facebook page that will, at the very least, make you laugh at a shitty meme. (Shitty memes are surprisingly great at distracting you from the fucked up pain of break ups.)
Don’t break up alone
One of the chapters in Fuck off and die is called ‘Your crew’. If you’re feeling alone, or just want to make yourself feel less shit, you might like to give the ‘activity’ a shot. (I fucking hate the word activity and if you know of a better one, please god tell me.)
But back to the activity.
Native Americans believe that every person has their ancestors standing behind them and supporting them. I love the image of this, as it just makes you feel so loved and grounded.
If you feel like it, write down all the people in your life who have ever been there for you.
They can be people who have passed on, current friends, or friends who used to be in your life, like awesome teachers or old mates you don’t speak with, but think of fondly.
Right down their names, and imagine them standing behind you. These people are your crew, and they’re on your side. (We are too fucker!) When you’re feeling alone, think of them.