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Breakup Prescription

November 10, 2011

You may have been wondering where I’ve been …

First, I was really busy at work. Including a company retreat with a white water rafting trip where I got soaking wet had a blast.

Then I got sick (probably from being soaking wet outside in October). I was on the porch of death, I was so sick. During my week off of work. Fail. I got better, just in time to go back to work, only to get sick again. Which is the current state of affairs.

Of course, then I was a zombie. That condition usually isn’t reversible, but it was in my case.

When you fancy yourself a writer, a potential writer, a hack-hoping-to-someday-be-a writer…

You feel kind of crappy when you don’t write.

Like a failure.

Feeling like a failure makes me feel even less like writing. (As does the ABC app on my iPad that enables me to watch every ABC show at my convenience. Revenge. Pan-Am. Modern Family. Happy Endings. That amount of TV is not conducive to works of creative literary genius.)

Because that’s what I’m doing here. Works of creative literary genius. Obviously.

I don’t know if you guys are trying to tell me something, but the funny thing is, I’ve gotten more new subscribers not writing than when I do. Hello, all 600 of you!

Like what I did there? I made you think that I recently got 600 new subscribers. Yeah, that’d be pretty awesome. I’m saying hello to my total email subscribers. (And I love each and every one of you!)

I was really in not writing mode when a reader emailed me about his breakup and my blog. He said, and I quote, “I liken your blog to Adele’s album (if you know it, 21 it is called) … Shit hurts, but then it will get better. My friends tell me this, but I don’t listen, yet when I hear (read) a complete stranger blog about it, I know it will be alright.”

Nicest. Email. Ever.

Have I told you lately how I feel about Adele? About 21? Obsessed. Really. I could rewrite both my breakup song lists (here and here) and make them all Adele songs. She is incredibly talented and her songs perfectly complement a tough breakup. If I were a breakup doctor, and had a breakup prescription, her album would be part of it. Along with:

  • The book It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken.
  • Ice cream or pizza (depending on whether you like sweet or savory). Fat kid and like both? Try ice cream, pizza and macaroni & cheese. Just for good measure.
  • Wine. Lots of it. (Or beer, if you must.)
  • Aspirin following said beer/wine, along with the wise decision to not drown your sorrows in alcohol. We all have to learn the hard way.
  • Girlfriends (if you are a girl) to drink with and watch romantic comedies to remind you how much love sucks (because the women in the movies find the one and you have no one and will likely die alone). Guy friends (if you are a guy) to drink with and watch strippers to remind yourself that hot girls with daddy issues are a dime a dozen. Okay, that’s an unfair stereotype. Strippers aren’t really necessary for the healing process. What is necessary is that you lean on your friends and share your feelings. They may not know exactly what to say, but you need to talk about what you are going through.
  • A hobby to keep your mind off everything. [Fine print: Hobbies cannot include stalking his/her Facebook page, driving by their house, eating from a chocolate fondue fountain by yourself in your apartment, starting a blog about cancelling your wedding or other crazy behavior.)
  • Felicity. All four seasons. Seriously, can you guys just trust me on this, already? I wouldn’t lead you wrong.

    advice booth psychiatrist

    Maybe I should consider my own advice booth? Photo courtesy of Robert Ashworth

  • Some good advice (if you are ready). And if you are really having a rough time, there’s no harm in seeing a therapist. If you are uncomfortable with the premise of seeing a shrink, just tell everyone you are seeing a life coach. Life coaches are so hot right now.
  • Reckless flirting. Notice I said flirting – not dating. Right after a breakup, you need to spend some time being single. Trust me. But a little confidence boost is just what the doctor ordered.
  • Reflection. You are going to be pretty busy, with the new hobby, drinking, bonding with friends and all. But you really need to spend some time reflecting on the relationship, and feeling the pain of the breakup. If you don’t spend time mourning your loss, you’ll never be able to move on.
  • Follow @Dear_John on Twitter. And not just because I freelance tweet for this account. And I get a small bonus if I hit 1,000 followers. Because it’s a good account to follow while going through a breakup. Hint, hint.

Another reason I haven’t written is because I’ve been busy with this new hobby I have, which is giving strangers in the grocery store advice on what kind of ice cream to buy.

I know. I’ve lost my ever loving mind.

You, see, it wasn’t until last Friday night that I realized it was a full-blown hobby. A little advice here or there, not a big deal, I thought. “If you like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream,” I told one lady in Martin’s the other day. “You really should get the Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough. The chocolate chips are actually like shaved chocolate – so much better than traditional chips, don’t you think?”

You would think I would have realized I had a problem when I spent a good 20 minutes talking to Chef’s parents about ice cream. I’d ask their favorite flavor, and then inform them the best brand/place to get it.

What? I didn’t tell you I met Chef’s parents?! Approximately one year after Chef met my parents, I finally mustered up the courage to meet his. I’ve been commitment-phobic and scared and have basically refused to meet his parents until I was ready. When I told Chef I was finally ready, he gave me several weeks before he brought me over there. Maybe he thought I’d take it back. I’m shocked he would think that about me. It’s not like I told him I loved him and took it back, or anything.

But I was ready and excited to meet them. Date was scheduled. Outfit was picked out. Conversations were brainstormed. Game on.

To be continued…

Okay, don’t be annoyed. I’m not trying to go all Days of Our Lives cliff-hangery on you, but this story was just too long for one post. Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story!

In the meantime, what would you add to my breakup prescription? I know many of you have been through some serious heartbreak, so share your advice in the comments!

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

53 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    November 10, 2011 8:46 am

    I love this, so far I’ve followed your prescription exactly apart from Felicity and following Dear John,but they are next! I would like to add some form of exercise to the break up prescription…I’ve taken up Yoga and Zumba in the two months since my break up and it’s done wonders for my self confidence so I whole heartedly recommend it. Even if it’s just a workout in the gym a couple of times a week it works, but joining a class puts you out there to meet new people which is exactly what one needs after being dumped. As a matter of fact, you never know when a cute guy might join yoga, as happened to me last week, it makes a change from the usual women and old men! Great post, as usual!

    • November 12, 2011 7:10 pm

      That is a wonderful suggestion! One of my first breakups I actually over indulged in the gym… sort of became an unhealthy obsession for a bit… so I’ve never really had it on my list. But I know it can really help when it’s done in moderation and paying attention to your health can be such an empowering thing! I’m glad you added something that I hadn’t really thought about because it didn’t play a large part in my recovery.

      • Jessica permalink
        April 16, 2012 6:34 pm

        Great suggestion Karen! Catherine, I love your breakup guide. I just wanted to add in a bit. Since my first big heart break, I have loved exercising. However, when I began to read Karen’s post I rolled my eyes after the word “gym” (no offense…). As an introvert, I find being in a room of people, especially working out, just adds to my frustrations. So to all of the introverts, don’t just shrug it off and say “that’s not for me”. I began walking my dog around town, through the woods, by the river. Oh, the adventures we have had! And it’s been highly therapeutic. This also allows for the combo of reflecting on the relationship. 🙂 Even if you don’t have a dog.

        • April 25, 2012 10:12 pm

          Great suggestion, Jessica! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Lori permalink
    November 10, 2011 8:53 am

    No WANTING to be a writer…you are THERE…

    And each and every time, you touch the heart of your followers…you make us feel as though you are reading our minds…knowing JUST what we need to hear at the MOMENT that we need to hear it…as for me, I’m not going through a breakup, but I’m trying to get back to ME…what makes ME happy, what I need, what I want, being secure enough in myself to admit those things first to myself and then to others, being courageous enough to take the steps to make them a reality…and to be honest, I don’t know that I am because any decision I make…it alters the course of the lives of others and is that selfish? Or would we all be better for it? I”m still thinking through it all…BUT this I KNOW…it can be done, you have shown us it can be done and it may be scary, but it all turns out ok…better than we can ever imagine…and now this girl, she’s crying because it’s all just so overwhelming…

    The point in all that rambling is that I secretly want to be as strong as you (though I guess the cat is out of the bag now, huh?!?)

    And of course…LOVE Adele, absolutely canNOT get enough of her, her words, her emotion…

    That drink…it’s becoming more and more of a necessity 🙂

    • November 12, 2011 7:08 pm

      You are too sweet Lori! I never imagined I could impact anyone the way you say I have you. I really appreciate your kind words and you definitely make me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile here 🙂 Looking forward to the drink… or the cake, actually! 🙂

  3. November 10, 2011 9:00 am

    Wow, this list is seriously CRAZY to me because it is probably the exact same thing I would write!!! So far I have:

    -Read the breakup book on the list (And “Why Men Love Bitches” and “He’s Just Not That Into You”)
    -Endulged in lots of wine, pizza, and Coldstone
    Started a hobby of going to the gym and doing yoga and Zumba classes (Down side: I may need to pick different times to go because I go to the same gym as the him…)
    – Had lots and lots of talks with girlfriends for hours and hours
    – Went out and flirted and tried to avoid even THINKING about dating

    Its funny that my best friend had just started watching the seasons of Felicity within the past month and I swear, she has sent me a Felicity quote at least once a week! She has been telling me how much I need to watch the show, so now, after another person recommending it, it looks like I HAVE to start.

    A BIG thing for me that is important to add to the list is MUSIC (Yes, of course Adele). Its something that gets me through anything and I absolutely love finding new bands and songs! One band that has seriously helped me through my breakup is Young the Giant. They are amazingly awesome AND they are even better live. The lead singer sounds like an angel. I would highly recommend.

    Anyway, thanks for the Breakup Prescription list- I definitely agree with it.
    Also just bought another book that I’m not sure you have heard of called “Mr Unavailable and the Fallback girl”. Got it from the blog, Baggage Reclaim- which by the way is another AMAZING blog with great advice.

    • November 12, 2011 7:06 pm

      Glad to hear my prescription actually works! And… to any doubters out there… TOLD YOU SO about Felicity. Haha 🙂 I hope you watch it and enjoy it! Tell your best friend she has good taste! 🙂

      Thanks for the band, book and blog recommendations! Great additions!

  4. November 10, 2011 9:03 am

    I would add travel to the breakup prescription. When I broke up with my most recent boyfriend, he and I had been planning a wonderful mountain vacation together which obviously didn’t happen. So at the last minute I was able to join a group of friends on a dirt-cheap trip to Cuba, and it was a wonderful thing. Sometimes just getting away from one’s normal environment (and drinking on a beach) is a very healing thing.

    • November 12, 2011 7:03 pm

      Solitary Diner,
      Great addition! I never thought about how travel could help. I think a change of scenery is exactly what you need when going through a breakup. There’s a reason so many people move after they go through particularly tough heart break. (I really want to go to the beach now, but the way, but Hawaii is almost here!)

  5. Karyl permalink
    November 10, 2011 9:12 am

    I stumbled upon your blog looking for break up songs. I wanted the empowering ones because my college love (love of my life to date) announced on my birthday he was engaged to his high school sweet heart (or should I say one of his twenty high school sweet hearts). This of course came as a shock to me after we had coached each through mutual divorces from crazy abusive exes and agreed “to see where things might lead as adults”. To date being adults means he stomped on my heart again (not broken, but hopefully not terminally bruised).
    I mentioned I hate my birthday right?
    In this break up journey I have used Adele’s 21 as my barometer. If I can make it through “Someone Like You” without bawling my eyes out like a over dramatic cheerleader I know its a good day.
    FYI, the number of those days where I don’t cry outnumber the days I do. It gets better. 🙂

    • November 12, 2011 7:02 pm

      Wow, Someone Like You would definitely be a good barameter. For me, though, I wouldn’t want to put myself through that song unless I felt compelled to hear it. That one is a tough one! A year and half out of my breakup, and sometimes I just know I’m in no place to hear that song and have to press skip – it’s intense.
      I’m sorry to hear everything you’ve been going through, by the way. That sounds awful. Just keep up your hope, take care of yourself, and know that these things happen for a reason. Take care of yourself. Because you are right, it does get better.

  6. November 10, 2011 10:25 am

    Glad to see you’re back in writing mode Catherine!! When I took my 2 month break, I felt horrible too. The curse of being an aspiring writer.

    Also, it’s funny that you bring that book up…it was the same book I saw on Sabrina’s desk a couple of years ago. I definitely think she followed a few of those…..I know she wrote a pros and cons list about me at some point…hmmm

    Great post! 🙂

    • November 12, 2011 6:59 pm

      Ha, Jimmy… If she read that book, no wonder she tried to move on! It’s a very empowering book. I’m not sure I remember a pros and cons list in it though – she may have done that on her own devices 🙂
      Thanks for commenting.

  7. Jes permalink
    November 10, 2011 11:02 am

    Ok, a couple people have already mentioned it: but i strongly recommend YOGA on the Break up list.. My last breakup was sooo much drama, and it was sooo hard to not think about and cry about. But every time I walked into the yoga studio onto my mat, it gave me a whole 90 minutes to not think about anything. It gave me a chance to focus all my energy on how strong I can be, and how to breath through the pain, which translated into knowing I was strong, and breathing through the pain of my life outside of yoga as well. I think I seriously would have gone off my rocker if it weren’t for yoga: plus it’s cheaper than therapy!!
    Also, reading your blog helped me ton.  Make sure you put that on the list!!

    • November 12, 2011 6:58 pm

      Aww, thank you Jes! I hear such good things about yoga, and I’ve only tried it a few times and never really got into it. Your comment makes me want to give it another shot. I can totally see why it would be good when going through a breakup, thanks for the addition.

  8. November 10, 2011 11:37 am

    More than anything I hope your feeling better. Getting ill on holiday sucks. Good list. Hope I won’t need it

    • November 12, 2011 6:56 pm

      Hope you don’t either 🙂 I am starting to feel better, thanks.

  9. annie permalink
    November 10, 2011 12:25 pm

    I found that I still wasn’t quite ready for the world outside my apartment after all four seasons of Felicity, so I had to watch all of Sex and the City too. I literally did nothing but stay in my PJ’s, eat bad food, drink wine, and watch those two shows for about two weeks. I think it helped 🙂

    • November 12, 2011 6:55 pm

      Haha, I hope it helped, or you are never getting those two weeks back! haha 🙂 How’d you like Felicity? I know it’s stupid, but I think that’s my all time favorite show!

  10. November 10, 2011 12:38 pm

    “I spent a good 20 minutes talking to Chef’s parents about ice cream.”—I don’t see any problem with this. I think it just makes you awesome.

    Feel better!

    • November 12, 2011 6:55 pm

      Haha. They seemed to enjoy the conversation, anyway, so I guess it could be worse! Thanks, I think I’m finally getting better.

  11. November 10, 2011 12:51 pm

    Hi Catherine! 🙂 Glad to hear from you again! Totally understand how you feel about not being able to write for a while.. Lord knows, due to my hectic schedule, I’m not able to write as often as I could– makes me feel really bad inside.

    I definitely did a couple of the things you did.. Mostly with the whole drinking part, and hung out with my girl and guy friends.. But I think what really helped me in my situation was writing about what I was going through. A couple of hours my ex and I broke up, I immediately started a blog and have been actively trying to post a new one when time permits. Another would be following people like you who have gone through loss, separation of a partner, and basically getting heartbroken. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that there is always hope for people who love and believe in love. 🙂

    Thanks for your posts! You seriously help so many people! Feel better soon 🙂

    • November 10, 2011 5:16 pm

      Yup, that’s the one thing I would have added to the list.

      That and get lots of cuddles from your kids if you have some. If you don’t, borrow them from some neighbours or friends! 😉

      • November 12, 2011 6:47 pm

        Kid cuddles are definitely a good idea. Or maybe just hanging out with kids and having them make you laugh. I bet that would help. (If you are a kid person, that is.).

    • November 12, 2011 6:54 pm

      Your comment was so sweet, thank you! I think you’ve given great advice here. Writing helped me a lot too (I wonder how many people use writing to get through loss?). And, I also agree with following the stories of other people going through the same thing. I followed quite a few people that made me laugh and know that I was not alone. I’m so happy if my posts have helped anyone. I feel so lucky for all the help my readers have given me!!

  12. November 10, 2011 1:27 pm

    Strippers might not be a necessary component of the healing process, but then again, neither is ice cream. Doesn’t mean you don’t fancy a scoop or two when your heart is feeling broken.

    • November 12, 2011 6:51 pm

      Haha. This comment is why I love you. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face 🙂

  13. November 10, 2011 5:00 pm

    Hey, I just stumbled across your blog, which by the way is pretty neat. I would recommend that you add to your list by trying new things that you haven’t done before(not sure if it would fall under ‘Hobby’) and to enjoy being single–take it from a young, married woman, sometimes I miss being single because it was just much more simpler back then. <—I guess this comment should have gone under your 'Things I love About Being Single' post.

    • November 12, 2011 6:49 pm

      Hey and welcome! Thanks for commenting. These are great tips – doing things you haven’t done before is so empowering. It makes you feel like a whole new person. And you really should appreciate certain things about being single. It’s easy to get caught up in the sadness about being single – but when you are married with kids you are going to miss some of the alone time, freedom, etc!

  14. mom permalink
    November 10, 2011 5:21 pm

    Great post feel better….love

  15. November 11, 2011 8:53 am

    I am with Annie…I was not ready for the outside world or “real people” (anyone NOT heartbroken or in a relationship or who was healthy and happy being single)….my prescription was Grey’s Anatomy (LOVELOVELOVE that show), greasy chicken wings and chocolate.
    My advice would be geared to those who are emotionally unhealthy or who were unhealthy relationships (and simly becasue there was no physcial violence or abuse doesn’t mean the relationship was healthy): it IS going to take time. No instant gratification here…it’s a process but all the cliches you hear, all the good advice you get…hold onto them because it is ALL true and the healing will take place…even if you are fighting it every step of the way.

    • November 12, 2011 6:40 pm

      This is really great advice DC BBW. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s the hardest thing to hear sometimes, but time really does most of the work. You just have to give it time.
      And you know, I never got into Grey’s Anatomy. I bet I’d like it. Hmm… might have to make this happen 🙂

  16. Nick H. permalink
    November 11, 2011 12:40 pm

    I don’t think you quite understand the typical guy’s playbook for a breakup. Let me clue you in on some valuable insight. First, strippers are not the answer. After the age of about 21 they lose their novelty appeal. Now, it’s just sad. Getting drunk is usually the norm, but we don’t do this with our best friends and hope they will pat us on the back and tell us it’ll be ok. No, we do this at the bar with the most girls and ask one or five of them out. Nothing says over a breakup like a date the next week. By then, all is well, you are jealous and upper hand in the post relationship has been established. Plus we usually get a nice haircut, buy a new shirt and wax the car. Because we have to be on our game for the couple of first dates we have. And as for social media…nothing says over you like de-friending on Facebook. Now you can’t stalk, but we adjust our security settings just enough so that you can see our status updates about our dates. Maybe a photo too. All of what I have said is out the window if you love the girl though. Then you Google blogs about breakups.

    • November 12, 2011 6:31 pm

      Wow Nick that is serious insight into the male mind. I feel like an idiot, but I never thought of unfriending someone but leaving the settings so that they can still stalk just a little. That’s smart thinking! Wow. And now I know what to expect should we break up… 🙂 If you EVER wax your car, I’m going to be suspicious. LOL

  17. Aunt Patty permalink
    November 11, 2011 7:03 pm

    rally all your friends, go to his/her house and key the car?

    • November 12, 2011 6:23 pm

      Hahahaha. Exactly what you should do. Thanks Aunt Patty 🙂

  18. 25lessons25years permalink
    November 13, 2011 6:29 pm

    I’d also add Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love or the movie which also provides ample time to reflect and cry. And Mumford and Sons. And finally, set a target goal of something (ex. a race, finishing a home improvement project, a work project, etc) – anything to put the focus and commitment back on yourself (because you deserve it too!).

    I’m on the fence about this one upon further reflection, but after my cancelled wedding, I cut and colored my hair. It wasn’t anything too drastic, but just enough of a metaphorical release of “excess baggage” and gave me a new look. Nurture yourself a bit in someway, whether it be an extra long spa pedicure or massage.

    • November 17, 2011 8:34 pm

      What great additions! I can’t tell you ho wmuch I agree with your target goal – it’s so important to feel like you can accomplish something you put your mind to (with or without your ex).
      Yeah, I’m not positive about the hair cut/dye either. I’m afraid to suggest that to people and have them end up with some jacked up hair, lol. I’m also so protective of my hair – I recently cut 4 inches off and I don’t like it at all now. I just need to keep it the same all the time to be happy :). But I can totally see how a mini makeover can make someone feel better and empowered!
      Thank for your comment 🙂

  19. November 16, 2011 10:18 pm

    SO glad you met the ‘rents. And, I’m thinking maybe you should be one of those ice cream flavor maker people.

    Think about it.

    • November 17, 2011 8:26 pm

      Way ahead of ya. Chef and I have already decided we are going to start an ice cream/dessert shop. Wouldn’t it be amazing to get a fresh baked brownie with some homemade ice cream on the side? We made our first batch of ice cream the other night. Delish. 🙂

  20. November 22, 2011 10:37 pm

    Hey Catherine. I really like this article. My girlfriend of almost 14 months just broke up with me yesterday, 11/21/11. The wound is still fresh, and what hurts the most is that I have to wake up EVERY MORNING for the REST OF MY HIGH SCHOOL LIFE and remember her exact words on why things weren’t good. I find that I’m not eating as much as I should. Do you think this is a problem? Also, do you have any advice to gove to a broken high schooler?

    • November 26, 2011 9:01 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about the breakup; losing someone you care about is tough not matter what age you are. I would just say to focus on spending time with your family/friends, focus on your schoolwork, and just know that things happen for a reason. You have a long life ahead of you and you will have other opportunities for love, I promise. And, take care of yourself. If you aren’t eating enough, you need to fix that. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one will 🙂

  21. February 16, 2012 1:25 am

    “because the women in the movies find the one and you have no one and will likely die alone.”
    You have no idea how many times I have said this! Instantly put a smile on my face after having a horrible night!

  22. March 28, 2012 10:24 pm

    Catherine, you have a new follower. I am so happy you have this blog and that I was able to find it. I need it!

    • March 31, 2012 9:58 pm

      That’s such a nice comment – thank you! I’m glad to help and thanks for reading 🙂

  23. Mel permalink
    May 23, 2014 12:32 pm

    Just found your blog! I called off my wedding 9 months ago and it’s comforting to know that I am not alone. Thank you!

  24. December 28, 2015 11:55 am

    It’s always good to keep looking forward, because looking back just makes you doubt how far you’ve come and whether what you have done was good at all. Myself, I try to paint, or go back to my family, and make some future plans for myself. Just to show that I can do these things, and that they are within my control.

  25. April 29, 2018 3:00 am

    Surviving a breakup is not an easy thing. It takes alot of strength to overcome the feelings. This article is very good. All the tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.


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