This week, I finally finished reading It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. My friend Angie recommended it a few months ago when the separation became clearly a pre-divorce. As I thumbed through the book in Barnes & Noble, it became clear that it was both humorously helpful AND also covered divorce under the “breakup” heading. Basically, it’s for women coming out of any “significant relationship.” The writers speak about their breakup experiences, both including failed marriages, and also draw from surveys, submitted “psycho confessionals” to give you perspective, and bunches more.
What’s funny is that I started reading it possibly a few months too late. It might’ve been more helpful to read it right after the split, when I was wallowing in misery, self-doubt, heartache, and depression. However, it was cool reading it now, because I got to see all the things I did right by instinct (or really good friendly and family advice) and also got some help on how to turn this breakup into a “breakover.” (Cause breakup + makeover = breakover!)
There were also some things in there that were helpful, even though I’m feeling more positive, healthy, and hopeful now. Since I still have a bad sweet tooth, it was good to read the practical advice that s/he’s “not at the bottom of that pint of ice cream.” Also, no matter how much you may want to, “you can’t sleep through a breakup.” Which means I joined the “Tame Your Sweet Tooth” challenge on SparkPeople, and have started going to the Y. 5 times this week!
Another favorite was “messy bed, messy head,” which I’ve blogged about before, but never have never seen it put quite so succinctly. So I started making my bed. With the awesome quilt I adore and the pretty new sheets I got at Dirt Cheap. And I’ve made it for two days in a row so far. And it feels pretty good to see a neatly made bed when I come into my room.
The premise of the book makes a good point.
“It’s called a breakup because it’s broken…And starting today, you’re not the kind of woman who settles for broken or hangs on to damaged goods, be it a radio, a pair of shoes, or a relationship. Your life is not a yard sale. It’s time to get rid of all the broken stuff that you’ve been lugging around for days, months, and maybe even years, and make the bold decision to start looking for stuff that works. The bright, clean, simple, easy, runs-so-smoothly-I-don’t-even-have-to-think-about-it kind of works.”
I also fervently loved the sentiment that “real love doesn’t require a strategy – but getting on with your life does.”
One of the strategies that I want to adopt is to “decide that [I am] going to do something every day that makes [me] feel stronger, better, and gets [me] out into the world. Make a list of places to go, things to do, people to see, errands to run, art exhibits to attend, rock shows and movies you want to check out, or go dancing or take a cooking, knitting, or tae kwon do class. Then pick one every day and do it.”
So that’s what I’m doing. Running errands, exercising, babysitting, doing dishes and laundry, eating better, looking for a job, reading, staying in touch with friends and family, and just generally trying to “burst through this experience with dignity, grave, strength, and a whole new set of windows.”