We have all been there right? Whether you’re a fur toting London honey, a sun soaking New Zealander or a Canadian snow bunny, we have all been broken hearted. Walking around like the Grim Reaper; haggard skin, heavy eye bags and a hollow look on your face that resembles the anti christ. This is what a breakup looks like. It’s full blown apocalyptic hell.
In fact, the intro of Instagram was transformative to breakups. It allowed Exes to crawl from their graves and haunt your social media like zombies. That means you can’t wallow with your grim reaper face on, no. You are forced to slap on a fake smile and plaster your instagram feed with bikini pictures that say;
“Hey, look at me, LOOK AT ME, it’s a ten second Instagram story of me in a bikini and I’m frolicking in the sea and how fucking cute am I and why don’t you love me anymore and DO YOU FUCKING MISS ME YET?”
Breakups are tough and with social media’s eyes on you at all times, how are you supposed to survive the apocalypse?
*Disclaimer, I’m not a registered therapist, and you should not take these words as sacred bible script, more like … guidelines.
1. Wallow and be a psychotic emotional wreck for a day
You become (for a day, maximum, is recommended) a tear-stained, emotionally drained beast on a Ben & Jerry’s brownie batter binge. You create a duvet-fort and recruit your friends as therapists.
Following the ice-cream Olympics is a session of playing emotional music (Khalid’s a goodie) while screaming the words naked in the bath, wine in hand. In your head you probably think you look gaunt and mesmerising like a tortured tumblr chick. Really you’re just a puffy eyed broken hearted whale.
2. Self-Sabotage, Block out your Ex with a Black out
You replace tears with tequila.Missions include going out regularly with your squad and drowning your sorrows with vodka, wine, whisky, cocktails, or all of the above.
Note to self: This doesn’t work. It’s like a tortured merry-go-round. Drink, blackout, headache, regret, self hate and REPEAT. Also somewhere in that sequence would be drunk texts to your Ex. Wouldn’t recommend self-sabotage for those that want to keep their sanity.
3. Revenge Bod
You get your booty in to gear and start working off the Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter. This stage can only occur when someone has pried the tequila from your hands, and you’ve stopped wallowing in the bath.
I’m a total advocate for catching fitness not feelings…pound all that heartbroken angry energy in to your abs.
You soften the break-up blow, by finding someone else to blow (Ha).
Whoever Mr Rebound is (probably an abstract artist who doesn’t speak English and has a tattoo of a dagger on his neck, or a deep house DJ who winked at you from his decks during your ‘self-sabotage black out’ stage), he is just your methadone. His sole purpose is to wean you off addictive relationship.
Rebounds get a bad rap, but you know what? If he is filling a hole (An emotional hole I mean) then enjoy the temporary crutch that is staving off the loneliness and boosting your ego. Never mind that you may break their heart with your emotional unavailability, nah, never mind. As long as you feel better boo.
So, let’s talk breakups. If you think fuck-boys and horrendous dating stories are exclusive to London, then you would be catastrophically wrong. Lets transport back in time, before life was all martinis and skyscrapers.
My boyfriend and I were living in British Colombia, Canada. Until I broke up with him. It was a blockbuster style breakup complete with arguments on the mountain top, a smashed laptop, threats of urinating on clothes, you know all the good stuff.
After a dramatic ending to a three year relationship, I needed validation. Everyone needs validation. Post-breakup it’s important to be reminded that you are sexy, funny, cute, desirable etc. Yeah, well. I was on the rebound but I learnt a very harsh lesson when while rebounding, I became the rebound. (You still with me?)
Stupidly, I assumed that living four hours from city civilisation would mean a lack of fuck-boys and troublemakers. Oh how naive. Even with a population 3,391 in the village they still magnetised to me like a dog to a bone.
It was much easier to dabble in mischief there, as Ski resorts are notorious for being able to get your hands dirty. You dive in to the ball pit and play, no judgement or questions asked. It’s nirvana for the emotionally unavailable.
While bartending, the Head Chef caught my eye and a hefty amount of my attention. Tattooed, broody and dark he was everything a rebound should be. Supposedly he was dating an older woman. A savage Scottish slayer, a woman who was rumoured to have once thrown a rowing oar at his head so hard it stuck steadfast in the wall.
So of course, I’m drawn like a moth to a fuck-boy flame. One day to my disbelief his Scottish gal stormed in to work and punched him in the face, breaking up with him (for reasons I don’t know). So from that point on one of us had a black eye, one had a broken laptop, but both of us were single.
We began catching eyes over the kitchen pass as he served meals. Sneaked glances became conversation, which became a spiced rum after closing up on a shift. One day, he snuck an entire stuffed mushroom aside for me to have as lunch. I knew I was in trouble. Shit. I was catching feelings. Double shit. When did this happen? Now he was bang on my radar all because of a fucking stuffed mushroom?
“I like him” I tell Holly, my colleague and housemate rolled in to one.
“Chels, this is bad news. He seems to have a lot of baggage” She stared me down.
“SO? Everyone has baggage”
“Yeah, but his is like twenty kg’s oversized.”
Did I listen to Hol? No. I did the opposite, I joined the Catering team as a bartender. This meant long hours, late nights, all working alongside Chef. Under the snowfall in the evenings, we would share a cigarette huddled below the chalet’s, before starting our shifts. The brisk Canadian air and the winter weddings were a perfect recipe for romance. Work became this dangerous affair where we stole kisses in the office.
“How did I end up with someone so sexy?” He hiked me up on his desk.
“This feels so illicit” I run my hands through his hair and lean back, gazing in to his dark eyes.
“I’ve wanted you for so long”
“Me too” I breathe in to his neck.
Well shit, I’m sold. The technical term, would be infatuated.
Lurking in the back of my mind was the feeling that he may be more trouble than he is worth. Still, I ignored it. I ignored it when a game of drinking jenga and an excessive amount of fireball shots in the chalet resulted in him tattooing my ankle with a tattoo gun he owned. I ignored it when he began to lose control on nights out, smashing his septum. I ignored it even when I discovered his side hustle, selling to the mountain folk. The last straw, and the moment I couldn’t ignore it anymore, was in Mexico.
Holly and I had travelled to Mexico for a girls getaway. We’re oiled up, baking on the sand of Tulum.
“This thing with Chef is getting serious I think, you know” I tell Holly with that gleam in my eye I get every time I meet a soulmate.
“Serious as in I’m with him all the time”
I run my hands through the sand, pursuing my lips as I imagine lying with him. It gives me a fizz throughout my body.
Five minutes later, Holly lets out a slight gasp. She then goes silent, her eyes darting to me and back to her phone.
“No, WHAT,” I sit up
There, smack bang on her instagram feed, is a picture of Chef and his Savage Scottish Ex having dinner.
The story eventually comes tumbling out via message from him.
I’m so sorry. I can’t message much or else she will read them. I had a stroke, and she has been taking care of me. It just happened.
The Chef, had blown his way to a severe overdose, suffering a stroke. While in hospital and while I was blissfully unaware in Mexico, his Ex had nursed him back to health and subsequently nursed his love back to health too. Well, fuck.
Okay, okay so I totally dodged a bullet. But did being a rebound feel kinda like a kick in the guts? Yes.
So what’s the lesson in all of this? I learned that rebounds are not the best fucking method to surviving a breakup apocalypse. You should choose your weapons wisely. Instead of stockpiling tequila and rebounds, arm yourself with a good personal trainer, girls with swag and a camera to start snapping those Instagram thirst traps. Sometimes the apocalypse is inevitable, but what you do with it is what matters.