Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Heartbreak, (insert modern day Anime drawing of a dismembered heart with lets say snakes or knives or chainsaws wrapped around both jagged halves and maybe blood oozing and of course…fallen unicorn horns) sometimes like an uncontrollable silent fart at a closed shoe, Red Wine shindig, or similar to a Lord of the Flies passage at a grocery store where a child has shazam’d a Captain Crunch cereal box, made it a conch and yells in the direction of shoppers who haven’t had much personal experience with the species called, toddler. Heartbreak temper tantrums and throws glass bottles inside your chest. You want to stop this pain by sshhing it with sweet things, impossible promises, numbing it—or ridiculous trade offs.
Having recovered from a midlife beat down (the kind where you take your kids, leave your partner and completely start over at 40) in the Heartbreak Hotel lobby and finally getting up from the ground (sometimes you can be such a heartbreak pro no one even knows it’s happening!) here I am, dusty backpack, one million colorful hairstyles, memoir poems, two mammogram scares, two surgeries, semi-ashy knees and all.  Guess what? It would be great if I never said the word heartbreak again or if the remedy and get-over-it-time was as simple as the 1979 easy-bake-oven. It’s not! But I pinky promise if my highest self suspects similar heartbreak symptoms she will sound off an alarm (think Breakfast Princess meets Siri) saying, Self turn right. Self wake up and exit. Self this is not a healthy situation. Rerouting, rerouting! Self-preservation is not a want but a need. Self this is not the jam! Self, grab your coffee, magic wand, journals and go!!!
As part of my promise to myself to blog more frequently and also healthy procrastinating while I am arguing with myself over what I want to work on at the Ragdale residency, this is the first installment of what I hope to be at least three blog posts this summer about coming in, getting through and coming out.(I know summer is almost over).
Here we go! Lessons, confessions, warnings, revelations and suggestions concerning heartbreak:
1.    Heartbreak will nag the shit out of you and when you think you are all done with it, it stalks on back to serenade you at the strangest times like when you are at a writing residency, pumping gas, stuck in traffic, pooping or trying on a pair of heels (you don't even wear heels!)
Come up with a heartbreak mantra that you say/chant/sing as soon as you feel the ouchy thoughts arriving inside your head and heart. One that acknowledges the pain but also refocuses your thoughts and energy. For example: I am well, all is well, heartbreak, heartbreak go to hell. J Try to stay away from song lyrics like don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me etc., etc.

2.   Heartbreak will strongly urge you (come on girrrlllll!) to explore retail therapy or offer you bags and bags of Cheetos and salty chips, some days it will coerce you to eat air, pick your face or best case scenario you’ll heave yourself so deep in all your creative work that your friends will think you are mad prolific. You will say, YES I AM!!! And you will be… while typing through green memory snot when no one is looking. 
Ask yourself, as you are moving about in the world:
Does not eating make sense?
Is your health suffering?
Is it overboard?
Is face picking really a good nightly ritual? What about all the blood and post scars?
Are there negative consequences after?
Do you really need a bag of chips in every room?
How about one or two pairs of shoes as opposed to 4 or 5 (on sale)

  3.  Heartbreak will make you become obsessed with yoga. You will stop in the middle of the hallway at work and do a downward dog or be in the line at the PCC and strike a child’s pose. You will become so super obsessed with yoga you will want all things yoga and for 6 months straight wear yoga pants, yoga shirts, yoga tank tops, yoga headbands…if you cannot afford ____________you will start to launder yoga pants on delicate so they can appear shiny and new looking. You will obtain hoodies of all kinds and the yoga instructor will take you aside to say that you really only need to come maybe twice a week. You’ll Namaste her and show up again the next day. You will want to tell her you n e e d yoga or you might shank somebody and you know that is not the way of the yoga people. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or teary eyed you will revert to your yoga voice especially with animals, children or other people with road rage. (When you have road rage you will forget all about yoga.) In the car you will do the kind of breathing in and out where you stick your tongue far out and make fierce noises on the exhale. You will spend your workdays longing for shavasana. When heartbreak comes to visit during shavasana, at least you know you can lay in peace to cry and no one will stare at you or ask you a million questions (don’t you hate it when it’s obvious you are sobbing and someone asks you if you are crying? It’s like do you see onions around, yes I am crying!) The good thing is nobody has time to comfort your during their own shavasana time.

4.  Heartbreak will make you repeatedly lecture your children or roommates about the need to be better human beings even when they are already pretty damned great. It will make you point out the flaws of certain human beings to them when you are watching Netflix together or walking in the park. You will make them promise to never, ever, ever, be bad people by hurting, lying or betraying the people they love. Unfortunately they are smart and know you are heartbroken, therefore they will agree to everything you say and distract you with new up-to-date music or funny stories. Heartbreak will make you remind them again even after the funny story. It will make you find one person from their story to make the bad person (try not to do that.)

5. Heartbreak will make you distrust everyone including strangers and people who have no reason to deceive you. You might be walking out of the bank when a stranger holds the door open for you and asks you about your day. Your gut reaction may be to say why do you care about my day? I know you don’t care about my day fucker or me. Why would you even ask me such a ridiculous question? How’s my day? Really? Really? How’s my day? What do you really want? Is someone making you hold this door open for me? Oh wait, it’s because you feel sorry for me. Well don’t! But…instead you will say something like great, thanks and keep walking. Heartbreak will remain as you are saying great, thanks and follow you to the gas station. (See number one.)
Although you have been through a horrible, horrible heartbreak situation try your best not to think the entire world is out to get you or hurt you. This may be a good time for your heartbreak mantra. Try not to make up reasons the people you have grown to love and trust would betray you—this will be very difficult considering all you’ve been through. Trusting again…baby steps.

6. Heartbreak will give you insomnia. You will stay not just up, but way up. You will recap a badrillion reasons why your heart is broken. You will categorize them and place them in imaginary folders by order, as in when every single infraction occurred as well as the level of disappointment. During this recap you will think of all the ways you should have known (better), should have moved on (sooner), might have improved, or made situations worse or better. In the end at about 4:33 am you will finally get sleepy and you might cry (the boo-hoo-make-your-whole-body cry that comes all the way from a place inside you can’t talk about). You will be just awake enough to be angry that you are crying and have to get up in less than two hours. For that reason you will feel exhausted, hurt and angry. Beware, in the early phases of heartbreak you may want to reach out to the person who broke your heart and ask them what in the fuck happened…or something like that (don’t do that. Do. Not. Do. It.)
Try your best not to torture yourself with nightly recaps and folders. You cannot change anything that has happened in the past. Because you know heartbreaks ass will keep you up, stay away from caffeine, sweets and spicy food after 8:00pm. This may help you get to sleep by at least 2:00am instead of 4:33am.

7.  Heartbreak might give you couples envy. I’m talking all couples. You might see two cats grooming each other and say to yourself I wan’t that kind of love! You may see a seasoned couple walking in the rain kissing and swear you will never experience the kind of love that is long lasting and is patient. Heartbreak will stick its tongue out at you and tell you that you aren’t worthy of any kind of love that you want or desire. It will even make up a story explicitly telling you all the ways you are not fit for healthy romantic love.  You may begin to feel love-out-of-shape. Heartbreak will tell you that it will never happen to you. (There comes a time when every once in awhile you have to say fuck you heartache/heartbreak!)
Just when you think you can’t take anymore, make a list! That's right, make a list of all the qualities and traits you desire in a mate then write a love letter to YOURSELF. As corny and too much work as this sounds, heartbreak hates it and it will work wonders!

8. Heartbreak will tell you (all dressed up and going to a heartbreak party) that you are in such bad shape you need to just lay down, be comatose and hang around yourself only. It will make you feel left out and rejected/ejected/. Heartbreak will tell you there is no need to be social or be around friends or loved ones. It will tell you your only friends are___________ or _____________ or _______________ and none of those are humans or animals. It will make excuses for you and before you know it not only do you feel heartbroken or rejected but then suddenly your loneliness is magnified. If you are not careful you’ll exhaust yourself with every sad song your can think of and go on wild Spotify searches like, sad songs from breaking up and it wasn’t your fault or heartbreak and blood, classical piano.
Soul-searching and self-care is an absolute must but please, please, oh please don’t isolate yourself. Pick at least three people that you can talk to. One who will just listen, one who will give advice and one who might do a combination of one and two plus cook for you and not be weirded out by tears and yelling. When you are alone, take some time to write heartbreak a series of letters. Tape them on your wall to remind you of your progress. It will take time (For some a whole year or more) you will write a letter something like this:

Dear Heartbreak,

Its been real. You can go now.