Posts Tagged 'heartbreak'

Guys’ Night

There is one quarter of a pound of 100% prime black angus fighting its way out of my stomach.

Guys’ Night!

Jungle Cat is in B-town, which means a get-together is in order. Guys’ Night! I’m talking Jungle Cat, who is on a professional guy business trip, and Hot Lunch, who recently got delivered two simultaneous issues of Men’s Health… these guys are ALL GUY. So I am full-on prepared to guy it up. I suggest the Ram, where we can drink brewskis and watch sports. Guys’ Night! I instigate “Chicks, man” conversations such as “Chicks, man, they’re so unpredictable with their emotions.” Guys’ Night! And, “Chicks, man, why don’t they treat their cars better… would you leave old Burger King wrappers in your living room?” GUYS’  NIGHT! And, “Chicks, man. They pretend to be happy wives and mothers for 16 years and then suddenly start acting like teenagers and sleeping with random losers and playing the victim when you’re not totally ok with it.”

Guys’? Night?

Man, serious undertones and elephants in the room can really bring down Guys’ Night. Take two guys who were recently screwed over in the exact same way by their now ex-wives and add to it that one of them happens to be the guy who months ago tore my heart out and put it back in and tore it out again and put it back and– To battle the mindgame of talking about broken hearts with mine sitting right there next to me, I did what any guy would do on Guys’ Night. I stepped up my drinking.

Guys’ Night!

Guys’ Night ends at 9pm when Hot Lunch has to go relieve the babysitter and Jungle Cat has an early morning conference to prepare for and I’m tottering back to the car between them, confusing my words and talking loudly about personal things. Our waiter says more than once pointedly, “Have a safe night.” At the time I was confused as to why he was warning us about drunk driving when I was clearly the only one inebriated. Now, looking back on it I feel scandalized that maybe he was referring to the fact that I was the only one inebriated. Just drunk little old me in my silk dress and two guy friends and no panties. (Nothing ruins Guys’ Night like VPL.)

Guys’… Night?

Don’t worry, waiter, I choose my friends carefully. Even the dipshits like Hot Lunch are good guys. We dropped Jungle Cat off at his hotel and me off at my apartment, where I very calmly told Hot Lunch, “Not having you around has left a huge gaping hole in my life… …Welp, good night,” and then refused to let him walk me to my door. He still tried to walk me to my door (some nonsense about it being so DARK out) and so we ended up doing this awkward thing with me doing a fast drunk walk to try to leave him behind and him following along like a really sheepish predator.

Guys’ Night.

Sometimes, you just gotta be a guy and do those guy things, like eating meat and talking about titties and watching ball-related activities in HD and passing out from booze and sobbing at about 10:15pm, then waking up at 2 am too disoriented to know anything except that a large amount of alcohol-and-stress-soaked free-range beef is making up its mind which is the fastest route out of your body. You know, guy stuff.

Two rounds of Alka-Seltzer and a huge deuce is the Guys’ Night cure, according to Men’s Health. Then the hot, angry beer and burger bomb in your stomach might finally ease down enough from code red for you to fall back to sleep for a couple hours before you have to get up and go back to your job.


and you are reminded that your heart is absolutely indestructible

Susan Piver is at it again with great heartbreak advice like “stepping off the self-improvement treadmill” and instead “developing methods of extreme self-care.”

Making self-care sound like a sport that requires wearing protective gear made out of neoprene and PVC makes it even more engaging for me. But what is extreme self-care? One example is “allowing your feelings to be just as they are without attaching a narrative to them.” Feeling brokenhearted? Open to yourself and listen to those feelings without necessarily rising to action to DO anything about them or explain them away. Feeling fragile? Susan says to “accept yourself on the spot.” Do it over and over as you navigate the unpredictable waves of emotions that come even for months after a broken heart. According to Susan, opening to yourself and accepting yourself and your feelings is a “gesture of gentleness” that can lead to great wisdom. Give it a try. It’s totally true.

I woke up feeling fragile this morning. Why? I’m sick to death of working out my worries and feelings about Hot Lunch ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT FOR MOST OF THE LAST DAMN YEAR. I feel like I’m doing awesome with the healing thing during the day, but I have no control over what my mind does when I’m asleep. Boo.

I guess this heartbreak is another thing that isn’t done with me yet. So I’d better quit tuning it out and listen some more. And suddenly I find myself grateful for the open door heartbreak represents. A broken heart is an invitation to touch the real, deep things in life and in yourself and to stop living on the surface of things.

This morning, I’m diving in with this meditation. Care to join me?

who knew there were so many books about orangutans

i opened outlook at work today to find an email from the library (specifically from the circulation department right over my head) saying that there was a book on hold for me that i’ve never heard of, much less ordered for myself.

this happens a lot. librarians like to order books, movies and cds that made them think of a particular fellow librarian. and they have no qualms about going into that fellow librarian’s account and ordering it in his/her name. after a while you get used to the lack of privacy and just decide to feel special that someone was thinking of you.

of course, in the days of Hot Lunch, it was a method of guerrilla warfare, putting sexually explicit material on hold for each other. it started innocently with a bunch of books about orangutans. like book after book of those goofy-looking orange guys showing up all week for Mrs. H. then it quickly escalated into dating guides (He’s Just Not That Into You), self-help works on emotional disorders (Stop Hating Yourself Now),  improving your bedroom technique (The Guide to Getting It On), improving your bedroom technique (The Photographic Kama Sutra) and improving your bedroom technique (The Joy of Gay Sex).

until one day SOMEONE (Mrs. H) didn’t look carefully enough and put some helpful material on STDs on hold, not for “Hot C. Lunch” our smart ass coworker, but “Hot C. Lunch” the Perfect Stranger who happened to be in the fourth grade and who happened to have a humorless mother who happened to pick up his holds for him. i repeat, NO sense of humor. the era of i-got-you-back-now-everyone-thinks-you-have-genital-warts-ha-ha was over. we were just glad no one got fired.

the mystery book on hold for me this morning was The Wisdom of a Broken Heart by Susan Piver.

i know i’m easy to make cry these days, but it’s no less significant that my eyes teared up when i read this. i’m trying my best to put on a brave face at work and not make everything be about me and my drama (whereas everything FEELS like it’s about you when you’re heartbroken… it says so right on page 2 of the book, so i’m normal) and i informed so few people of the breakup because of the shame i felt at being ditched by the local celebrity that i don’t even know who knows but i do know that if they know, then they found out through whispered rumors. which feels as awkward and seventh grade as it sounds.

but someone out there knows. and was concerned enough to think of this book for me. and then my and Hot Lunch’s former coworkers and friends silently processed and shelved the book under my name. it feels like everyone knows, everyone feels bad, and everyone wants us both to feel better as soon as possible. and that means something big to me. even when i’m so alone, i’m not alone.

so far, the reviews and the introduction are super encouraging. i’m going to dig into chapter 1 before turning out the light tonight. i plan to have a pen, my journal, and plenty of kleenex available. it feels good to be DOING something instead of always FEELING something or trying NOT to feel something.

i’m so grateful i wish i knew who to order the orangutan books for.

snapshot: An evening at home, or Focusing on the good things

i’m in pajamas, sitting in Ugly Chair (the comfiest chair that ever gave a girl back problems), watching SNL, cruising the internet, drinking red wine, crying, and wearing the new shoes i bought tonight with Cupcake.

they are bronzish metallic Seychelles flats with pointy toes and bows that make my feet look like lovely presents.

it makes me even happier to know they will look even better when i’m wearing some pants.

I stand alone. And it’s actually kinda neat.

I am realizing for the first time how lonely heartbreak is. No one can help me. Friends can be nice to me, listen to me and give feedback, distract me, get me drunk. But none of these are solutions, they’re just creating a supportive environment in which for me to wrestle the monster alone.

Only I can fight the war in my head. I’m the one who has to choose to fight and choose whether today is a day I win it all over again or if it’s a day I let it take me under. I’m the only one there in the quiet moments deciding what to do with myself when everyone else is doing their thing and none of my usual things seem to hold any appeal for me anymore. I’m the one who has to get out of bed. Every morning. For another day I didn’t want or ask for.

The moments of sheer terror have been when I’m completely paralyzed by grief. Engulfed, immobile, and I’ve been sitting or lying that way for hours. And I realize I’m waiting for something to happen–something for me to react to, something to break that spell and start me in forward motion again.

And I realize that something can only be me. No one is coming to pull me out of it. Nothing is going to magically change in my head and make it easy. I have to just do it. Take that first step, get out of bed, just start going through the motions of life until actual life comes back into the motions.

It feels… colossally alone. But it feels increasingly strong. There are few moments so hard you can feel yourself grow up as you push through them, face them, take them on, do them and stop taking the easy way around them or letting them turn you back from your (better) future.

They’re the things no one can do for you, or even with you. Being an adult feels achingly lonely, but just for that moment. Because on the other side of that moment, as a reward for those who get there, being alone is suddenly not so bad. It’s stronger. Reliable. And finally free of fear. Fear of that particular hurdle, anyway.

I am stronger than the fear.

And the better I am alone, the better we are together, be it family, friends or lovers.

wisdom i found while staring into a toilet (and a naughty joke about liquids)

The other day my coworkers and I were in line at the deli when I clearly overheard this conversation going on at the nearest table:

“Once the vomiting has subsided… that’s all VOMITING, DRY HEAVING, and RETCHING… then you may start clear liquids, just a few sips at first…”

I thought maybe a doctor was giving orders over the phone. Or maybe a mother. But no, it was two women chatting animatedly over their turkey avocado wraps and talking in all caps about the technicolor yawn. The only thing i can think is: they’re nurses. (Growing up with a nurse, mealtime was always a perilous journey through shop talk featuring lots of “fluids.”)

As little as I wanted to think about driving the porcelain bus while downing my pilgrim on wheat, I had a realization. Having a broken heart feels a lot like flu. Bouts that come and go… you never know when to expect them and you can’t be sure when they’ll subside for good.

But there’s always a turning point with the flu, where you all of a sudden have a moment that’s completely free of nausea. Just when you’d almost forgotten what life was like without being on the verge of yarking, there it is! A blissful moment of freedom!

Every now and then I have a moment like that. Not just that sadness isn’t overwhelming me as often and coworkers are no longer discovering me crying over triangles of posterboard I’m cutting out for shark teeth… (more about random library tasks later) …no, this is a MOMENT when I realize that sadness isn’t even lurking just barely under the surface of everything I’m thinking, feeling, and doing. A moment when I forget I have any reason to be sad at all.

I know, I know, Deli Lady. The RETCHING and the HEAVING. As you were saying between bites of BLTA, it takes a while for them to fully go away. But I know those free moments are going to come around more and more frequently. And last longer and longer.

No guarantees on when I’ll be interested in liquids again, though. Clear or otherwise.