When you've had your heart cracked wide open after a breakup, it feels like you're walking around the earth with a missing limb.
It feels like someone has stripped you out of your skin, and you're nothing but raw nerve. Your chest feels hollow, like something that kept you alive is missing.
Because something is missing.
The person you meshed with, the person whose hormones linked up with your hormones, the person whose smell became intertwined with your smell, is suddenly GONE.
After a breakup, it feels like you're walking around missing a limb.
And there's nothing worse than the smug bitches who condescendingly pat you on the back and say, "You need to learn how to love yourself, baby."
In truth, those smug bitches are sort of right. You do need to learn how to love yourself, but days after your heart has been flung out of your chest, it's impossible to start that journey.
I mean, how can you love yourself when your heart is broken and bleeding on the kitchen floor?
So how do you deal with this heartbreak?
Well, I'm a firm believer that when you've just been dumped (or forced to dump someone you love because they were bad for you), you need to give yourself time to be a little bad before you start skipping down the path of "loving yourself again."
In fact, in the first week after a breakup, you need to be as self-indulgent as possible. It's one of the only times in your life you have a get-out-of-jail-free card for acting like an erratic head case.
"Oh, she's just had her heart broken," your friends will whisper to the bartender as you're caught stealing expensive bottle service off some frat boy's table.
And the bartender will look at you empathetically and let it slide. Because the bartender has been there, too, baby. We all have.
So here are seven self-indulgent things you need to do when you're hot off the tail of heartbreak:
1. Play up the drama in your wardrobe.
You're a woman who is going through some really deep shit right now, honey. So now is the time to dress the part of a sexy, mysterious woman gone terribly disturbed.
Remove all color from your wardrobe. Wear only black or washed-out tones that'll amplify your heartbroken complexion.
Smudge black eyeliner beneath your sunken eyes, so it looks like you've been crying (which you probably have been). Rip large, reckless holes your in stockings.
Wear only black or washed out tones that'll only amplify your heartbroken complexion.
The outcome of your dramatic wardrobe will be very effective: You'll have an air of that tragic '90s model, who might have broken up with her rocker boyfriend, but maybe she's just damaged.
I like to call this look "heartbreak chic." You feel like a walking drama, and you should let yourself look like one, too.
2. Shamelessly read self-help books on the subway.
Go to your local bookstore and buy all the embarrassing, post-breakup, self-help books. Shamelessly devour them on your subway ride, and read them with massive sunglasses over your swollen, puffy, breakup face for an even more dramatic effect.
3. Let yourself drink a little.
Fuck it. Everything has crashed and burned in front of your eyes, so why not have a whiskey with no ice? Why not smoke that proverbial cigarette (if you hate real cigarettes) with your iceless whiskey?
If you slug back a warm whiskey like a ~cool girl~, everyone will be drawn to you. Attention from the masses is fabulously validating after you've been rejected by your lover.
Everything has crashed and burned in front your eyes, so why not have a whiskey with no ice?
4. Cry in public.
Who gives a shit about keeping it together when you're in pain like this? Let it out, kitten! Cry mascara tears that leave jet-black streaks down your puffy face.
Do not rush to the bathroom to sob in a stall. Sob at your desk. Sob in line at the grocery store. Sob on the train. Sob while you're getting drinks with the girls and ruin everyone's night.
After a lifetime of suppressing your feelings and only releasing them at "appropriate times," it feels so liberating to let it all hang out, girl.
5. Talk shit.
Now is not the time to hold your tongue and act like a lady! So talk shit, sister! Gab to your friends about the bitchy girl who sits to your left at work who you swear is out get you.
Now is not the time to hold your tongue and act like a fucking lady!
Vent to your Uber driver about your shitty ex, how they totally abandoned you and how you will hold them entirely responsible for your lack of trust in relationships for the rest of your life!
Whatever you do, don't keep anything inside of you right now. You have every right to have a wicked, snarly, razor-sharp tongue. The only way to free the bitterness stewing inside of you is to release it.
6. Recklessly spend your money on clothes, tattoos and a new haircut.
You want to (temporarily) forget about the person you were when you were with your partner. Oh, and that cute lob haircut that your ex loved and used to run their gorgeous fingers through?
It's going to trigger you every single time you look in the mirror. You're going to gaze at your reflection and be flooded with memories of your ex.
What are you, a masochist?! Change your hair already! Change your entire look! If you normally dress like a prim flower, start dressing like a badass vamp.
Because changing your look a distraction that will make you feel (temporarily) different.
If you normally wear ripped denim and flannel, start wearing polished slacks and pointed leather boots. Get a new tattoo with a cryptic quote. Take the plunge and finally dye your hair silver platinum.
Do whatever you can possibly do to look physically different. Changing your look is a nice little distraction that will make you feel (temporarily) different.
Change up the window dressing so no one will know what kind of fucking store you are inside, babe.
7. Go see a spiritual guru.
I don't care if you don't believe in tarot card readers, psychics, intuitive healers or "balanced chakras." When you're feeling hopeless, you're much more likely to throw your trust into something ~new age~.
It's the exact reason why vulnerable, heartbroken people get lured into cults. You're looking for answers, and a cult leader has answers.
And since I don't want you to get lured into a cult, but I know you need something to believe in right now, get down and dirty with that new-age life.
Get down and dirty with that new-age life.
Shamelessly stride into a meditation center with a wild hangover. Spend $300 for a reading from the hottest psychic in town.
It might all be bullshit. It might all be real. Who knows, and really, who cares?
You'll be asking your friends what the hell you should do, and they won't give you answers. They'll feed you the tired "you need to figure it out for yourself" rhetoric.
But an expensive, new-age, spiritual guru of sorts will totally tell you what you should do. She might even tell you to hold pink crystals in your denim pockets for the next two weeks.
Whatever! Clasp onto those pink crystals and blindly believe in them because this is going to be one of the only times in your life that you'll open yourself to a new way of thinking.
So make the most of it. You'll be back to your cynical, Godless self soon enough.