Monday, August 04, 2008

I’m [less] sad.

Lately I haven’t blogged much. At first I wasn’t blogging much because I was spending a lot of time with a guy, and lately I haven’t blogged at all because I’ve been sad about how things ended. (I don’t really like blogging about sad things or really personal things, but this has kind of permeated my life lately, and when I told Jess I was thinking of writing this she said I should do.)

Basically, when things really ended, I still liked the guy a lot. My heart hurt. A lot. I wanted to cut it out. I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to change his mind. I texted him like nothing had changed. But it had. I wanted to become a crack addict and never feel anything again. After a few days, I was tired of it hurting. I ate one of those SKOR chocolate bars and a bunch of Twizzler bits, even though I’m mostly eating healthy stuff these days. I cried a little bit, too, but not a lot because I’m not a big crier. I wished I could cry more.

Today, my heart still hurts, but quite a bit less than it did. Here are the things that I’ve been doing, which have made a big difference for me over the past week:

- I stopped texting him.

- When things seem really overwhelming, I take a 12 second deep breath. I fill my lungs over a slow count to four. I hold it for a couple seconds (which are not part of the twelve…hmmmm…wait a minute…). And then I exhale over a slow count to eight. Even though I remember that lungs have a resting capacity (which we studied in my high school anatomy class) I try to squeeze all of the air out of my body. I repeat this a couple times, until I feel calmer. Doing some certain number of 12 second breathers every day adds up the same as like an hour of yoga, or something, but I don’t remember what, because I learned awhile ago that it’s good to breathe deeply, I don’t usually think about it.

- I’ve been listening to some specific music. Three songs that I have really liked over the past week are: “This is such a pity” (Weezer) (which is really not about boy stuff, but I like it anyway), “Happy Hearts” (Okkervil River), and “Miss You” (The Feeling).

- A few weeks ago I went to a really fancy place in Salt Lake (okay, I don't really know what to link to for them...sad.) to have my hair cut. I desperately needed to rid myself of split ends. But then, I couldn’t stand being somewhere so fancy and just getting a tiny trim, so I had my girl color my hair too. She weaved in blondish caramel highlights and also reddish brownish ones. It came out perfectly. This has helped me twofold: first, even though I’m sad, I feel awesome when I look in the mirror because I am still very pleased with my hair. Second, my girl had tons of personality and something she said has stuck with me. She talked about how she had pretty recently broken up with this guy she’d lived with for eight years. At first it was really rough, and she drank a lot. She was past that, though. Every so often as she was doing my hair, and as we were talking, she’d sing the little phrase that kept her going: “Just gotta keep on keepin’ on.” So now I’m singing it too, to no particular tune, and I like it.

- On Thursday, I found a neat book at my school bookstore. It’s called The Bounce Back Book, and it’s by Karen Salmansohn. The subtitle is “how to thrive in the face of adversity, setbacks, and losses”. I almost didn’t buy it, because I wasn’t raped, I didn’t divorce anyone, I haven’t lost my job, etc, but I really liked the parts I read while at the bookstore. It seemed like it would maybe help me feel better and it has. Tip #4 says “Feeling means you’re dealing means you’re healing.” I read that when my heart hurt a lot, and I kind of resented it, but now when I start to hurt I think that, and to me it means that the more it hurts, the sooner it will hurt less, and that’s comforting. There are also a bunch of other good “tips”. I’m glad I bought the book.

- On Saturday I spun a bunch of yarn. When I first started my spinning class, our instructor said that spinning would be relaxing. It wasn’t. It was hard. I had to really concentrate to get it to work at all, and never had yarn that was even. I’ve been spinning for a year and a half now, though, and now I don’t have to think about it. Instead of having to focus to have it come out even, I usually watch movies while I spin, and I sit back on the couch, relaxed. My feet move the treadle, and the wool floats from my fingers to the spool, and it feels like a cloud.

- Friday I visited UffishThought; I hadn’t seen her for awhile. I’m always happy to see her, actually. Friday was possibly my worst day, and Uffish helped me feel better. She gave me a hug. She shared Dr. Horrible with me, and also reminded me that I need to watch Pushing Dasies, which Optimistic had told me to watch a few times already (and I’d promptly forgotten). She told me all about Heroes, too. And I saw her garden, which I’ve wanted to see for awhile. My roommates have been very helpful through this too.

- This weekend I got a lot of sleep. When I started spending time with the guy, I stopped sleeping as much as I needed to. Getting more rest has really helped me think more clearly about all of this, and worry less.

- Also on Saturday, I finally went back to the gym. Before the guy, I had been going to the gym most days, following a rigorous training plan. I had been doing well for like 5 weeks, and I was so happy. When I became interested in the guy, though, I started attending ward functions most days, plus I was always tired, and things just always seemed to make my gym time impossible. Going back felt SO GOOD. Also, I bought a fantastic pair of like, stretchy fitted running/gym long shorts (that sounds ugly, but they’re really cute), which I’ve wanted for a long time. They make me happy too.

- Something else that has kind of helped my heart hurt less is thinking of reasons why it’s better this way. I think about the different trade-offs I would have had to make if I had seriously dated or married the guy. Obviously there were a lot of things about him that made me really happy, otherwise I wouldn’t feel awful. But thinking about the other things makes me hurt less. For example, knowing him didn’t make me want to be any better than I am, and that’s something that is kind of important to me. Similarly, I’ve tried to put things into perspective and look for the good. I haven’t really dated anyone since my mission, and the stuff with this guy will make it easier for me to have relationships with guys up in Salt Lake after I move. Good. Also, I gained a friend who understands some stuff from my life that nobody else really does, and that’s good.

- And then finally, I’ve noticed that I’m praying more than I had been before, and I think that’s helping. Also, this week I plan on attending the temple, which I haven’t lately, and I think I’ll feel even more peace after that.

Anyway, that’s where I am right now. I’m still sad, but I’m feeling a lot better than I did a few days ago. Things will be okay.


Optimistic. said...

Man, that's 15 kinds of sucky. I'm sorry for you, but also glad that you're feeling better.

And totally watch Pushing Daisies. It's such a wonderful show.

LJ said...

Call me, will you? I saw I missed your call all those days ago, but I didn't get the notice 'til it was way too late to call back. Call me.

erin said...

You should come work in the temple with me.

Oh wait. You're moving. Nevermind. :(

kira lee said...

i just randomly found your blog and stopped at this post!!! this very same thing just happened to me...well probably not identical...but similair! thanks for sharing what you've done to make things easier! I will have to try some of the things on your list!