I went through a devastating break-up a few years ago and wrote my way through it. That album, 3 AM, comes out June 10, 2016. This series is about how I got through that break up and the songs that came out of it. If you’re somewhere in the middle, hope this helps. Chin up.
When we made the video for 3 AM, the title track of my new record, we decided to use the imagery of memories as an inescapable prison – which is pretty much what that feels like at 3 in the fucking morning.
There is a point in every break-up when sleep just laughs at you. Instead you are blessed with that inevitable and horrible memory spiral that happens in the middle of the night. You’d much prefer being pissed at the person who broke your heart, but you’re missing them instead. Cuz that’s lovely… :/
Aaaaand cue whiskey and journal. (Or just journal if you’re not down with the amber liquid.) Forrealz, y’all. Write it down. A lot of mess comes out at 3 in the morning when you’re sleep deprived, but so does some serious damn ass truth. You may get your title track outta that shit. Even if you don’t, I’ve got one for your soundtrack. Lean in. Feel it. I know it blows, but the only way out is through. You’ll make it.
Don’t write songs? Write a poem. Write prose. Write a blog. Write 6 words on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror. Take a picture of that mofo, put it on Instagram. Write a bunch of nonsense first…. Write down all the stuff you miss about that person. Then when you’re feeling stronger - put it down the garbage disposal. Or have a purging burn party in the fire pit in your neighbor’s yard like I did. Whatever.
But if you’re finding yourself still trapped in the tunnel of “if only” (if only I’d said X / done Y / hadn’t blahblahblah’d), I’m going to share something simple yet totally profound that someone blew my mind with once. And it has light saber-like potential to short circuit the “if only” spiral. Ready? Say this out loud: “it couldn’t have gone that way, because it didn’t.” Let that sink in for a moment. Say it again: “it couldn’t have gone that way….BECAUSE IT DIDN’T.” The “if only” spiral is really fucking hard to escape from, especially at 3 in the morning, I know. But trying to figure out how you could have changed something that happened in the past is as futile as resistance to the Borg. I’m blatantly mixing sci-fi references here, but unless you have some ability to alter the space time continuum there is NO WAY TO CHANGE THE PAST. And that’s what this is: the past.
So try to get some sleep. If that ain’t happening, Netflix has all 7 seasons of Star Trek Next Generation if you need some non rom-com shit to distract you for a while. Sleep will find you eventually. Then take a deep breath, make some coffee, and say it again: “it couldn’t have gone that way because it didn’t.” Do what there is to do today. Cuz that’s where you are right now. Hang in there. It gets better. Promise.
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