I just got married. So naturally now is the perfect time to launch a blog series about getting over a break up, right? To be clear – things between me and my über-wonderful new husband are solid as Ashford & Simpson’s rock (if you’re too young to get that reference, here – you’re welcome... ).
But a few years ago I went through a whopper of a break-up that spun me around. I’m talking a full-on Charlie Brown ass-over-tea-kettle-after-Lucy-yanks-the-football-WTF-just-happened spin. I worked my way through it, wrote a record in the process, and came out shining. This series will be all about how I did just that.
Profound sadness, abject terror, bone-chilling loneliness, longing, seething anger, apathy, empathy, hope, grace, forgiveness… sometimes they’d occur all at once. THAT was superawesome… I cried a lot. I refused to harden my heart. I took a step back, looked at the big picture, and saw the enormous gift the whole thing was. And somewhere in the middle of it all I fell in love again. I wasn’t done processing what I’d been through, but I also wasn’t done being alive and open. So I consciously allowed room for them both to occur at the same time. My wiring didn’t allow me to lock myself in a room until my shit was sorted and I’d written an album about it all. (which is why my epic break-up album drops a month AFTER my wedding – LOLZ!) But what I did do from Day 1 – and what was the key to navigating my way through the whole long-play rollercoaster ride - was I journaled like crazy.
I’m a pretty regular journaler, but when I got Charlie Brown punked I upped my output significantly out of pure necessity. Something about putting pen to paper has always helped me sort through whatever I was feeling. Granted, this episode required more frequent and intense scribbling sessions, but the result was the same – I found words where I’d only had tears or screams or the fetal position – and those words gave me forward motion – or at least a place to start.
So I recommend you grab a notebook or a fancy journal or the back of a junk mail envelope and just start spilling out all your thoughts. Don’t worry if it’s repetitive screamy nonsense – that’s valid and you’ve gotta get it out. (A lot of my journal entries came out like letters I never sent. Pretty cathartic, actually.) Besides – once you write damnyoudamnyoudamnyoudamnyou about 40 times something else is bound to pop out that just might be illuminating. It’ll probably hurt, but not anymore than getting dumped. And it just might help you heal a bit too, in that “the only way out is through” kind of way. All of the songs on my record sprouted from seeds that planted themselves in my journal pages. Be grateful for your journal – it’s your safe space and it’ll probably teach you some shit.
Want to keep hearing about how I survived my break up? Pull up a seat at the bar and I'll tell you the story.