[Getting Over a Break Up - A Step by Song Guide - Part 5 - "Costco Toilet Paper" ]

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.


Shit will remind you of shit when you’re not expecting it. Road signs, pens, TV commercials, photos, songs, air…and don’t go into the greeting card aisle at Walgreens, whatever you do. Gah! That place is a damn mine field. 

Made my grocery list this morning
And I looked down at the pen in my hand
It was from that hotel in Lake Tahoe
Where we made love and then made love again

How can you be gone and still surround me?
— "Stuttgart" - Kira Small "3AM"

A few months before he left, my ex was on tour in Europe and I flew to Stuttgart to join him for a while. It was the last time things were good. I had to drive to Texas for gigs two days after he left, and I passed a sign for Stuttgart, AR on the way. It was the first of many out of the blue reminders that punched me in the gut. 

I passed a sign for Stuttgart on a highway somewhere in Arkansas
It was two days since you’d left me and every bit of me was raw
Down the road a billboard ad for Pensacola – “starting soon, three flights a day”
I could see you kneeling by the water, offering a ring and promising you’d stay

Random reminders can be brutal, but they can also be illuminating and freeing. You’ll probably get flashes of some good times and that will sting like a bitch. But here’s the good news: you may also be blessed by the memory of some not-so-good stuff that you don’t have to put up with anymore. It’s kinda rad when one of those strikes. Breathe a sigh of relief, have a laugh and high five yourself. 

You may have to do some spring cleaning to get through the initial barrage of memories. I got rid of a metric shit ton of stuff in those early days and don’t regret it a bit. Clothing, jewelry, wedding gifts (my friend Amy jumped on the food processer in the “giveaway pile” like it was made of flippin’ platinum)…anything that held too many memories – even for seemingly stupid reasons - had to go. You need to make sure your environment is healthy and supports you. So don’t be afraid to purge. Clean out your house, throw shit away (this includes unhealthy thoughts – ditch those a-holes!!), hell - move if you have to. I did and it was a huge step in healing and reclaiming my life for myself.


It gets easier. Keep breathing. You will have the feels, but the feels will not kill you, despite what your brain may tell you in the moment. Feel ‘em. Breathe. Put one foot in front of the other and finish your grocery shopping. Be grateful you get to buy all the crap you like and nothing else. Hand to God, I did a happy dance in Costco when I realized I could go back to the toilet paper I liked and didn’t have to buy the kind he preferred anymore. Got some weird looks but I SO did not care. Find your joy, even if it’s in an 86-pack of Costco toilet paper. 

Have some out of the blue memory stories to share? Comment box is open…love to hear from you!