How to Survive Christmas (After a Break Up)

I woke up feeling strong on Christmas morning. I had spent Christmas Eve surrounded by my family while we drank wine, wrapped gifts and caught up with each other’s busy lives. Christmas Day started off great, I woke up to an unexpected surprise from good friends and thereafter many other wonderful Christmas memories.   I also received an unexpected text, the polite “Merry Christmas” text from him. I had sworn to myself that I was NOT going to text him. I thought that I should even though we weren’t really speaking, I was going to be the first because I never thought that he would be the one to text me first. That’s the problem with breakups, you obsess over the little, insignificant details or actions and tend to mistake them for having meant something more. I wanted nothing more than to believe that his text indicated that deep down inside that he missed me. Or maybe he just felt guilty… who knows.

 

The holidays are all about spending time with the ones you love. You want to be around the people you love and care for the most, which makes a recent break up during Christmas even harder. Because you can’t be around the person that you still love the most in this world. It makes that bitter pill even harder to swallow.

 

It’s probably best not to divulge in too much alcohol. At least for me it was, too much alcohol didn’t alleviate my pain here lately. Actually, it typically made me feel much worse. So I stuck to a limit of a couple mimosas and a glass or two of wine. My appetite still hasn’t returned, just like the pain it comes in waves and so I ate what I could but didn’t force myself.

 

If your family is anything like mine, then being around them is both a gift and a curse. It’s nice being around people that love you, a big group of silly kids that don’t even know what you are going through, but it’s also a reminder of what you had and lost.   I look at my cousins with their husbands and wives and beautiful kids and think to myself “why can’t that be me?”

 

It’s over. Christmas is over for another year and I can say that I survived it but towards the end of the day, I wasn’t left with any more distractions. So I had to take a Xanax. I mistakenly started reading old text messages from September. I started to cry while sitting in my grandmother’s recliner, only to realize this is where I had sat on his lap and took a mini nap after having one too many glasses of wine at Thanksgiving. This was the last time we had a good night together, no fighting, just enjoying each other’s company. He held me tightly all night long. Realizing that it’s been almost a month baffles me. I don’t understand how I lost it all in only a month’s time. As much as I want to look forward to everything that 2015 has to offer, my heart still feels unglued and I constantly feel like I am unraveling as a person. It’s a very unsettling feeling.

 

What are your tips to surviving the holidays after a break up? Is there anything in particular that helped you? Or like me, is this just a pain that you’ve come to learn how to live with…

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My Break Up Story: “The Hit and Run Coward”

 I almost didn’t even go on our first date.  In fact I got really drunk off margaritas while I was waiting for said date to show up (he showed up at the right restaruant, wrong location).  This was yet another Tinder date.  Before him I had been on a few Tinder dates, some of them sweet but the majority of them just salty and boring.  I was reluctant about dating again after my last relationship which ended horribly, not that he broke my heart it was one of those slowly dying sort of breakups.  The one where you know what you want but you’re hesitate to go for it because you already invested so much of yourself. After months of focusing on myself and enjoying my singledom, I was ready to date.  I never thought to myself that I would be ready and willing to embark on another serious relationship. But he was super good looking, ambitious, charasmatic, well-spoken and had a killer smile. If I am being honest, things picked up quickly in our relationship.  For starters I deleted the Tinder app after our third date. I had never had such ridiculous chemistry with another person, he just really “got me.”  We started dating officially after a few short weeks.  We were texting everyday, hanging out almost everyday and honestly we just couldn’t get enough of eachother.  He wasn’t like any other guy I had met before. He had all of those characteristics I truly wanted in a partner.  We made an excellent team together, always on the same page and always willing to find a compromise if we were in a disagreement.  I fell in love with him really quickly and I fell hard.  He made it easy to though, he was constantly assuring me that the feelings were mutual, that he felt even stronger than I did.  So I let my walls come down.  Fast forward 7 months later and I was still blissfully happy and more in love than when I first met him.   Literally in one weeks time we went from happy to broken up.  We were fighting more, well I had started to initiate fights because he suddenly seemed uninterested in things.  Good friends of ours were getting engaged and he seemed more interested in staying at work than witnessing this momentous occasion. I would try to be intimate and he shoved me aside like an annoyance.  You can see why I started fights, I wanted to know why he was suddenly pushing me away. He told me that he had dealt with bouts of depression in the past, when I would confront him about things he would tell me that it was because he hadn’t been to the gym or because he wasn’t getting enough sleep or eating healthy.  He told me that he would figure out what was going on with him and make the effort to get back into better, healthier habits.  If you can’t tell already, I am a pushy person. I am the type of person that when something is wrong or bothersome I want to take every effort to ‘fix’ the situation.  In an effort to understand what my boyfriend was going through with this depression, I did what any smart girl would do! I consulted Google.  I searched through site after site that explained depression, typical mannerisms and change in a person who is depressed and even read up on a couple blogs that specifically dealt with relationships and depression.  It hurt me to see my boyfriend, who was once enthusiastic, confident and overall happy suddenly turn into a shell of himself. He told me he needed some space and time away from me to clear his head. As hard as it was I respected his space and just assured him that I was there whenever he was ready to talk to me.   It had been three days since I had seen him last and we had not left things on the best note in my opinion so I was more than eager to see him and talk things through.  I came over after sitting in traffic for an hour and a half because I had to go to the university to drop of my last assignment in person.  When I got to his house, he didn’t look excited to see me, he honestly didn’t even show interest in the fact that I was there.  Instead he huddled up in his study composing thank you notes for the job interview he had that day.  After his roomate cleared the kitchen, I fixed us dinner and we sat and ate in silence.  The worst part was that he was fully, excitedly engaged in conversation with his roomate and said roommate’s girlfriend. It hurt.  It hurt a lot to feel like the fourth wheel in that conversation.  I remember I didn’t just feel ignored, I felt personally rejected.  I was hoping after dinner we would finally have the opportunity to spend time together and just talk but he chose to spend the entire evening in the study, writing four personal thank you notes. This took him over four hours.  I tried going in the study, tried to just talk to him. I honestly just wanted to be around him. I missed him.  But he asked me to leave so he could have his privacy.  When he finally came to bed, we didn’t talk, he wasn’t even affectionate like he normally was—he was distant, I was lying with my head on his chest and I had never felt further from him.   I tried my best to go to sleep but it was hard coping with everything on my mind, all the thoughts going through my head and besides…  he tossed and turned the entire night.

I woke up the next morning expecting him to still be lying next to me, hoping even praying that he would want to talk to me. He didn’t bother waking me up. Instead he got up himself and decided to get ready.  Like an asshole, he hogged the only bathroom and as a result I had to hurriedly get ready.  He avoided being in his bedroom the entire time I was getting ready, who am I kidding, he just avoided me.  Well I thought to myself, “he can’t ignore me while I am sitting in his passenger seat for the hour and half drive.”  I finally had some hope that we would be able to talk, that we would be able to work things through.  Sadly no.  I took two deep breaths in the car to calm myself down, I could tell that I was already starting to get upset.  He noticed and used it as an “out”.  We were leaving the post office so he could drop off his precious thank you notes and he told me that “ it wasn’t the best idea that I go with him.” He insisted that he needed to go by himself today.  I didn’t initally overreact, but when he kept refusing to let me go. I kinda lost it. No I take that back I didn’t “kinda lose”, I lost my temper and before I knew it I was crying uncontrollably again and yelling and screaming at him.  This is when he first indicated to me that he was contemplating that it was me, it was our relationship that was making him feel so depressed.  He even said that he could feel the depression coming on, but because of our relationship, the fact that we had been fighting so much lately, he just “gave in.”   I tried to reassure him that this was just the depression talking and that it wasn’t “us”, I assured him that I loved him, he loved me and that we would survive this.  When he got back he escorted me into his house so that I could get my stuff together and leave.  He hugged me and kissed me (reluctantly) and then I got makeup on his shirt so he had to rush inside to change… I was left alone, devestated, broken, confused, sad, hurt, baffled, shocked and the only person that answered the phone was my dad.  I have to confess, I have never cried harder in my life.  I am convinced I’ve never been that upset in my life.  I was crying so hard, it was hard to breathe and it felt like I was suffocating.  The next evening he was willing to talk to me finally, I spent more than an hour talking to him on the phone but he wasn’t really making sense.  He took back everything he said before, he told me that he wasn’t depressed that I was mistaken and it was our relationship – me – that was making him unhappy. He continued to talk to me and dote on everything wrong I had ever done in our relationship.  He explained that I was constantly criticizing him and everything he did. He told me that he hated the way that I talked down to him.  (Sidenote: I am not sure how you would define talking down to someone but to be perfectly honest I am critical like when you say we had flounder and it was actually salmon, I’m going to correct you, but I never once “talked down” meaning I never said something out of anger or venting that was meant to make him feel less of a person or to maliciously hurt him.  I had never even called him an asshole until after we had already broken up, let’s be real here).  That week dragged on for what felt like enternity. The pain was sharp and unbearable, I had become sullen and exhausted.  In spite of everything, I was ready to stick by him through all of it.  I was more than ready to be the brute of his bad mood and his condescending attitude.  But he wouldn’t let me be there for him, he had turned the switch off.  I should’ve picked up on this but I didn’t. I was still foolishly holding out hope that he would eventually be willing to talk to me about things.  I didn’t text him all day that Saturday.  I was determined to give him his space and to stop looking so freaking pathetic.  So when he texted me while I was at a concert with some friends I interpreted it as a beacon of hope! He still loves me, he’s thinking about me, he wishes he was here – all of these happy thoughts were running through my head.  Those feelings of returned security and being loved were a huge sigh of relief and the hope I had in our relationship was restored. Well it was restored only to be hit by a car on the side of the road and left for dead.

Since he was texting me, I decided to call him to talk on the drive home from the concert.  I only faintly remember having this conversation with him.  I only remember the end of it, he told me that he was ending the relationship, that I was the cause of his unhappiness and he wanted out.  When he said those words to me all of my sanity left my body. Literally, I temporarily lost my mind. And like a bad Lifetime movie, I screamed at him that if he was going to destroy me then I was going to go kill myself and then turned off my phone. And I did, or well I tried.

In a fit of unconsolable rage/anger/hurt/drunkeness/exhaustion I drove my car off the road.  The fear crept in and I slowed down, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to actually hurt myself or physically drive my car into a tree so I did the next best thing.  I wanted to disappear.  Like all the fights I had stared in an effort to get a reaction out of him, this was yet another attempt.  In my head I was ready to disappear completely without a trace and then he would finally see that he was confused, mistaken and depressed and all of it would’ve been a bad dream.  Looking back, all this did was create an even bigger mess. But none of that mattered right then because all I was truly searching for was a way to numb the pain.  Clearly, I am in a better place now or I probably am not in any position to be offering up advice about dealing with breakups.  1st piece of advice, don’t follow my example. Learn from my mistakes and understand that there are better ways of coping with the loss of a relationship.  I eventually learned that but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t immediate. It’s true that time heals all wounds but some wounds take A LOT longer to heal than others.  This blog is my healing process. As a writer, this is how I plan to get over this jackass.  This is my way of making my heartbreak serve some purpose.