Commonly Used Phrases Proven Bologna as told by Cursed Cursive

Cursed to the rescue again, busting common myths in today’s society.  Disclaimer – if you don’t like controversial posts, don’t read this.

Myth #1 – Good things come to those who wait.

No.  Good things come to those who work their asses off and earn them.  I don’t understand the sense of entitlement that seems to have taken over my generation.  Nothing is “coming” to you except for heartache if you continue to let the world run over your life.  Get up, dust off, and get to work.  That’s the only way you’ll ever be anybody.

Myth #2 – People from the South are dumb.

I know lots of Southerners, myself included, who are educated, hardworking and intelligent.  If you look hard enough, you can find stupidity anywhere.  It has nothing to do with what the GPS says.

Myth #3 – A snake is a snake no matter how many times it sheds its skin.

An idiom commonly used in the South, this statement implies that people don’t change.  I disagree.  I am an example of a person who has truly changed over the last few years.  Physically, I have lost about 40 pounds.  Emotionally, I am happier.  Behaviorally, I have improved to the point that I don’t remember the old me – manipulative and dishonest with an “always the victim” attitude.  Now, there are some people who choose not to change, but it’s just that – a choice.  People absolutely can change if they want to.

Myth #4 – Dinosaurs are extinct.

WRONG.  No, Rex isn’t invading suburban neighborhoods.  And you probably won’t see a pterodactyl perched on your fence post this evening.  But until we can reach the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean, technologically, no one can prove to me that dinosaurs have completely disappeared from the Earth.  I don’t care what people say – there’s all kinds of shit down there we don’t know about.

Myth #5 – Skinnier = Prettier.

I have had a weight problem my entire life, but I can tell you that there’s no bony bitch this side of Heaven I wouldn’t put myself against.  Just because you’re tiny does not mean you are better looking than me or any other full-figured woman who enjoys cheeseburgers and pizza.  In my opinion, it comes down to confidence and attitude.  In fact, a recent study showed that men who are married to curvy women are happier.  And it may be because they’d choose a bubbly, beautiful, sweet girl with a few rolls than a stuck-up, tiny little thing who doesn’t have her priorities in line.  Of course, there are delightful and personable Skinny Minnies and there are also fat girls who are raging bitches – there are exceptions to every rule.  But I’m hot even if I’m not a size 2 and no one is going to tell me differently.  I have just as much play as anyone who doesn’t shop on the plus size clearance rack.

Myth #6 – We say things we don’t mean when we are angry.

I have heard this little phrase my whole life, even by pastors and counselors.  Sorry, I think you’re wrong.  If anything, anger gives us the balls to say EXACTLY what we’re thinking – our truth.  I don’t think anger makes us careless with our words.  I think anger makes us brave.

Myth #7 – Blood is thicker than water.

It depends.  I know some families (again, mine included) whose ideas on love are so warped that they aren’t sure how to be loyal.  Blood means nothing to some.  Narcissists, chronic liars, hypochondriacs, martyrs, opportunists.  Actually, perhaps the reason I am so loyal is because I’ve seen that water can be, in fact, thicker than the most similar forms of blood.

Myth #8 – There is no cure for AIDS/cancer.

You mean to tell me that we have put a man on the moon, built fully functioning robots and invented things like electricity and hybrid cars, but we haven’t come up with a pill or a vaccine that prevents or cures the world’s most awful illnesses?!  Cancer treatments have become a multi-billion dollar business.  Finding a cure or preventative for cancer means cutting those profits and that “just won’t do.”

Myth #9 – Time heals all wounds.

No it doesn’t.  For some, time gives us room to think about the past, and honestly, that can be worse.  And this applies to any kind of “wound,” really.  Diabetic foot ulcers only get worse overtime and they can cause more problems the longer they exist.  People wounded by gunshots always feel pain, even years and years later.  Heartache is wound from which we can learn, but the hurt never goes away, and as time goes on, certain things will trigger the memory of heartache and you turn into a basket case all over again.  And grieving over the death of a loved one hurts forever, especially when all you have left of that person are memories and dreams.

Myth #10 – Relationships/Marriage are hard work.

I’ve always been told that love is complicated, that marriage is hard work and that romantic relationships require lots of sacrifice and compromise.  I completely disagree.  If you have to work hard to not fight with your spouse, or really make a huge sacrifice to refrain from cheating on your spouse or even can’t wait to get away from your spouse because they’re on your nerves, you are NOT married to the right person.  “The One” will never make you work hard for their love.  Relationships that are right are not difficult.  When you’re with the person you should be, it’s easy.  Sure, everybody’s going to disagree sometimes, but those little issues aren’t deal breakers.  I agree more with the analogy my daddy uses – relationships are like farts.  If you have to force them, they’re probably shit.

XOXO!

Meg / cC

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All About Cursed, Volume Sarcasm

I thought this was a fun little tag.  And it gave me a good excuse to practice my handwriting!

Enjoy!!

All About Cursed 1

All About Cursed 2

XOXO!

Meg / cC

20 Types of People who GET ON MY NERVES

I’m breaking up the monotony of Christmas spirit by going over the types of people who really cream my corn.  You’re welcome.

1.       The neglectful parent (who usually think he/she is an AWESOME parent).  Stop staring at your phone.  Stop crying that your boyfriend just broke up with you.  Stop hanging out with friends all night.  Get your ass off of your couch, clean your house, cook dinner, sing songs at bath time, read a book and tuck your little ones into bed.  You only get ONE chance.  When you have kids, it’s not about YOU anymore.  Deal with it.  Invest in your kids’ lives.

2.       The “look at my money” guy.  Oh, you spent $60k on a new truck?  You’re texting on the $1,000.00 IPhone?  And your jeans were really $175.00 and you just got back from a vacation in The Bahamas?  I.  Don’t.  Care.  You’re not impressive – you’re in debt.  I don’t even want to be around you if you have more money than sense.

3.       The hourly selfie taker.  Guess what?  You look exactly the same in that one.  And that one.  Oh, wow, and this one.  Yep.  Still ugly.  Stop it.

4.       The skinny bitch who obsesses about being “too fat.”  Honey, you are starving for both attention and carbohydrates.  Knock it off.

5.       The early bird.  Just don’t talk to me before I’m awake.  Like, after my shower and after my teeth are brushed.  My brain is not ready for conversation before coffee.

6.       The martyr.  I am very closely tied to someone whose problems are always just a little worse than mine.  She also exaggerates her problems to make you feel bad for saying you’ve had a bad day.  If I tell you that I have a problem, do not irritate me by retorting, “Oh, yeah, that’s nothing, listen to what happened to me…”  I didn’t really want to talk to you anyway.  I just needed to vent.

7.       The creamer thief.  If someone labels their food in the office refrigerator, do not take it upon yourself to use it anyway.  It’s rude.  My very large bottle of creamer, purchased last week, is nearly gone because someone else is using it.  I’m pretty sure we all make the same money around here.  Get your own!

8.       The bully.  I don’t care if you are an adult, a teenager or a child.  If you are a bully, you deserve to have your teeth knocked in.  My kids have both had horrible experiences with bullies, so much, in fact, that I’ve had my fat, angry ass up at the school in yoga pants just raising hell.  Upon observation, I have noticed that a lot of children who are bullies also have parents who are bullies.  Something my daddy taught me is that none of us are better than anyone else.  All of our graves will be the same size.  Break the cycle, People.

9.       The excluder.  Adding to #6, excluding is a form of emotional abuse and it is considered bullying.  I know WAY too many adults who do this, and let me tell you from personal experience, there isn’t anything that hurts worse than to want to be a part of something, and then not being invited.  I have stayed up many, many nights crying because I don’t feel like I have any family members or friends who give a damn.  Don’t do this.  Don’t leave people out.  You never know what someone is going through.

10.   The hypocrite.  I don’t think I should or need to go into a lot of detail here.  I could write about hypocrisy for days, giving example after example after example.  But nothing would change.  The thing is that hypocrites don’t realize that they do have a large set of double standards.  To them, it’s justified.  I just can’t be around people like that.

11.   The silver spoon somebodies.  Honey, the only thing this life owes you is death.  Like I said, nobody is better than anybody.  We all have to work for what we want.  You are not special in that regard.

12.   The armed and dangerous baby mama.  Your children are NOT leverage.  You’re going to run out of ammo eventually, Sweetie, and your kids will resent you for what you’ve done.  Good luck to all of those deadbeat mothers out there who think that holding your children hostage is your way to control your ex.

13.   The grown-up gamer.  I don’t mind a video game every once in a while, but I cannot understand thirty or forty-something year old people whose lives center around Halo or Call of Duty or whatever.  Get a job, pay some bills.  Or find a new hobby.  It’s not attractive, either, by the way.

14.   The diet diva.  If I don’t ask for your diet tips, that means I don’t want them.  And I certainly don’t need to know how many calories my half-devoured cheeseburger contains.  If it’s something that makes you happy, then by all means, knock yourself out.  But I am not convicted by Oreos and your bitching about it isn’t going to change my mind.

15.   The gym Jim.  On a related note, stop taking selfies at the gym.  All I notice is that you’ve skipped leg day a few dozen times.  Besides, those “back on the grind” posts are annoying.  Even if your bod was a 10, you’re still ugly and you have absolutely ZERO personality.

16.   The oversharer.  I have almost deactivated my social media accounts hundreds of times, because there are people out there who feel it necessary to post every aspect of their lives on Facebook or Twitter or whatever.  “OMG he broke up with me again!  What am I going to do?!”  Or “If you’re a Republican you’re a moron!” or “Y’all please pray for me, I have period cramps.”  Lord have mercy, give me a break with all of that!  Post a meme or a picture of your kids or pet.  Hell, I’d even take chain messages over the person who posts TMIs.

17.   The gossip girl.  I would call this person a nosey Nancy, but it’s a little more complicated than that.  It’s not enough for this particular woman to know someone else’s business.  This person, upon learning said business, spreads it like wildfire.  I’ve lived in this stupid small town off and on for 10 years total, and I swear, Miranda Lambert is right – everybody’s famous here.  Famous because these gossip girl’s don’t mind telling everyone what’s going on – and if they don’t know all of it, they just make it up as they go.  This is one of the many reasons why I can’t wait to get out of this hell hole.

18.   The moocher.  No, you’re not getting a cigarette.  No, I don’t have 75 cents to help you catch the bus.  No, I’m not paying your water deposit.  Those who really need or want something figure out a way to make it work, and again, I do not owe you anything.  So stop asking.

19.   The special orderer.  Please do not go through a drive through if you need to special order a cheeseburger.  You are the reason why fast food is not actually fast anymore.  Don’t like pickles?  Want extra tomato?  Would you prefer wheat bread instead of white?  Go inside and stop holding up the line.

20.   The cameltoe queen.  It is absolutely disgusting to see a woman who wears clothes that are too small for her.  I don’t care if you’re 120 pounds or 400 pounds.  Have more respect for yourself.  It is not cute.  Nobody wants to see your rolls, your cleavage or the outline of your vagina, and if they do, it’s not for the right reasons.  Dress for your body size.  As my daddy says, “stop trying to fit 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag.”  It’s gross.

Tune in Monday for pictures from our weekend together – we’re hitting some local Christmas parades and going for family pictures!

XOXO!
Meg / cC

Writing Prompts

Per a reader’s request:

1.       You are a kid’s imaginary friend.  As he/she grows up, you fade away.

2.       An urban myth circulates your town centered around Taxi 5445 that takes you where you don’t want to go.  One cold night, you have no choice but to ask its driver for a ride home.

3.       At dinner, another customer discreetly drops a napkin onto your table.  Scribbled on it, a warning:  GET OUT NOW WHILE THERE’S STILL TIME.

4.       His eyes were cold and lifeless as he stared at me, and I say, sadly, “You have no idea who I am, do you?”

5.       You find a stack of “Missing Persons” clippings under your parents’ bed.  All with your photo.

6.       She added a charm to her bracelet for every life she took.

7.       She opened her apartment door to hundreds of roses.  She knew they were from him; he had found her again.

8.       You wake up to be told by everyone around you that you lost all of your memories in a car accident.  Years later, you discover a journal written by you that tells a very different story.

9.       You find out that the pills you’ve been taking since childhood to help your immune system are actually pills that suppress your supernatural powers.

10.   Everyone is assigned a guardian angel to help them during their lives.  However, due to a clerical error, a demon was assigned to you.

11.   Your eccentric great uncle recently died and left you his assets, including a rather large house filled with doors that don’t lead to places you’d expect.

12.   You find your own suicide note.  It is unmistakably your handwriting, it is stained with what can only be blood, and it is dated three days ago.

13.   You discover a tape from your brother, which begins with “If you’re watching this, they’ve killed me.”  The thing is, he’s still alive – you were just poking around in his things.

14.   You are in an interrogation room.  A man walks in and throws a bunch of pictures on the table in front of you.  These pictures are old and were taken at different points in history.  You are in each one.  The man demands to know who you are.

15.   “This is not how I thought I was going to die.”

16.   There is a device that assigns you a percentage score of how important you are to the world.  Most people are 0 to 5.  The president is 60.  Your score is 99.

17.   You find an old diary you wrote when you were 13 years old.  Most of it is typical teenaged dialogue, but then you discover something completely unexpected.

18.   Since childhood you’ve been able to hear the thoughts of animals.  This has led to an excellent career as a veterinarian.  One day, someone brings in their pet to have it put down.  You hear the animal scream, “Please don’t!  I’m human!”

19.   A serial killer murdered and buried you.  Unbeknownst to him, you’re immortal.  You spend the rest of your life tormenting this killer, pretending to be a ghost.

20.   Your best friend has amazing powers that he is wasting away with his lack of ambition.  You decide to give him a boost by becoming a villain.

21.   You are crouched under a porch, shivering, as a searchlight sweeps the street.

22.   The more dangerous a job is, the higher the pay.  You just took a job offer to stand in an empty room and do nothing for $100,000.00 an hour.

23.   Emotional pain now leaves physical scars on the body.  Describe what you look like.

24.   You’re hired as a private investigator to find the child of a woman forced to give hers up for adoption, and it turns out that you’re the child.

25.   You are completely colorblind and can only see in shades of gray.  You come across a stranger who appears in total color.

26.   Two people who hate each other in real life are unaware that they are best friends online.

27.   You are a psychotherapist in a session with a patient.  Halfway through it, you realize the patient is you from the future.

28.   While cleaning your attic, you find a box of glass balls with names on them.  You accidentally drop one, and as it shatters, a person appears.

29.   Write seven poems about the seven deadly sins, but do not call the sins by name.

30.   TV is interrupted by an Emergency Alert.  The Anchor says, “Please remain calm and stay indoors.”  Then the TV loses power.  Now you hear sirens in the distance.

31.   You’re a nurse doing nightly rounds for a coma patient, in said coma for almost 10 years.  Suddenly, the patient grabs your arm, fully alert and tells you to listen carefully because she doesn’t have much time.

32.   You live in a world where you can buy bottled emotions.

33.   Write about a funeral from the perspective of the dead person.

34.   You have a special backpack that supplies you with everything you need for the day.  One morning, you open your backpack and think, “Hm, this day should be interesting.”

35.   A little girl is terrified of the monsters under her bed.  But what she doesn’t realize is that they protect her from the real monsters – her parents.

36.   You create a robot that tells you whether something is true or false.  To test it, you ask if you are human.  In a monotone, you hear it say, “False.”

37.   You sold your soul to the devil some years ago.  Today he gives it back and says, “I need a favor.”

38.   You stumble across an article online detailing a brutal murder.  There are pictures of the victim – you.

39.   In your dying moments, you see a “Game Over” screen with two options:  TRY AGAIN or END GAME.

40.   When the young die too soon, death takes them on one last adventure before sending them to Heaven.

41.   There’s someone in my head, but it’s not me.

42.   A serial killer becomes a licensed psychologist and kills his victims by slowly convincing them to commit suicide.

43.   She grew up on the black market after her mother sold her as a baby for drugs.

44.   Your phobias are based on ways you’ve died in past lives.

45.   While rummaging through a box of arts and crafts you created as a youngster, you find a picture you drew titled, “My sister and Me.”  You’ve never had a sister.

46.   An extra hour occurs at midnight, but only a handful of people can experience it.  This is called The Dark Hour.

47.   A double agent who goes by two aliases has been assigned by each country to kill his alias on the opposite side.

48.   You realize the fence built around the orphanage is not to keep the children safe, but instead, to keep the public safe from the children.

49.   The scarecrow and tin man realize that Dorothy has both a brain and a heart.  All they have to do is figure out how to get them.

50.   You live in a city full of people with powers ranked 1 to 100.  You can kill someone of a higher rank to obtain theirs.  You rank #1 but no one knows what your power is.

I would love to see what you all do with these.  If you decide to use one to write a short story, please comment below with the link so that I can read it!

XOXO!

Meg / cC

Honor Roll Celebration!

As promised, a few (and I mean really a few – no picture overload today) snapshots of our night out…

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My sweet man and I, ready for a fun family night!
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Lexi and Jameson chose Japanese Hibachi for dinner. Jameson felt it necessary to show off his little umbrella given to him by our server. I could not ask for better kids.
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The four (4) of us, full from dinner and gearing up for the movie!

When I start complaining about my life and how it “wasn’t what I planned,” I remember these three people, who love me no matter my accomplishments.  I cannot waste time or energy that belongs to them just because I’m having a bad day.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage my readers to think on good things.  These three people have saved my life and I don’t know what I’d do without them.  How did God know these were “my” three?

XOXO!

Meg / cC

Count Your Blessings

I had an appointment with my therapist today.  My umpteenth of many.

Granted, I have been working with Mark since April of 2014, and in the 3 ½ years of our work together, a lot has changed in my life.  Let’s recap.

Situationally, during these 3 ½ years, I have been divorced and remarried again.  I’ve lived in four (4) different houses.  I have had four (4) different sets of job duties, working in three (3) different departments.  I’ve lost and gained three (3) different sets of friends.  And I’ve owned and driven three (3) different vehicles.

Physically, I have gained and lost about 50 pounds, give or take.  I have had several different hairstyles, short and long, and colors, ranging from blonde highlights to burgundy to black, and recently, I have sprouted gray hairs (eek!).  I have changed the way I do my make-up and I’ve probably purchased an entirely different wardrobe over this time.  I stopped wearing heels a couple of years ago.  My bras are no longer for “looks” or sex appeal, but more for support and comfort.  I went from being a non-smoker to a smoker.  And I now wear white, even in the wintertime.

My therapist, together with my psychiatrist (yes, they’re two separate people), have tried for 3 ½ years to surmise a diagnosis out of my mental state, and there has been a lot of controversy around their attempts.  My issues do not fit the “textbook” criteria for any diagnosis, but parts of my personality contain bits of pieces of lots of diagnoses.  To this day, neither of them know exactly “what is wrong with me.”

The focus of Mark’s therapy is to teach me how to function, despite the bad things in my life that have traumatized me or held me back.  Yes, these horrible things happened, and yes, they suck, but I am still a person and I am capable of rising above and making good decisions that will positively impact my life.  He works with me on embracing trauma and learning from it, rather than dwelling on it.  In other words, he doesn’t spend a lot of time (nor does he allow me to spend a lot of time) conjuring up all of that deeply rooted hurt, but instead, he acknowledges and allows me to acknowledge that hurt insofar as it can change the way I live my life NOW.  He doesn’t spend a lot of time on the “why,” but rather, the “how” – not “why did these things happen to me?” but “how can I carry on in spite of these things?”  It’s a lot about changing my way of thinking, teaching me how to cope, and helping me shut out those emotions caused by a traumatic past. 

At first my sessions dealt with very serious issues – my childhood, damage caused by same, guilt from my past and the decisions therein, problems with relationships and lack of self-worth.  We have worked through a great deal of those things.  He has taught me well.  So well, in fact, that we have recently been conquering less serious issues – coping with loneliness, producing amidst sadness, frustrations and pet peeves, feelings of being “out of control” and remembering my value.

My appointments with him are always very productive and helpful.  But today, I felt like he was frustrated with me.  He inferred that I wasn’t making much progress.  My appointment today was more or less filled with complaints of current family peeves.

I spouted criticisms about my family’s lack of care for cleanliness and their inability to pick up their own messes.  I complained about dog hair.  I also griped about having to clean up while I’m lonely because my husband works nights.  I told him that I feel like I’m the only one who “does anything” at home because I’m the only one who is there full time.  I reiterated that I feel like certain situations in my life – namely Jackie’s work schedule and a filthy house – are completely out of my control, and I hate that feeling. 

Something that Mark has tried to teach me is that there are some things that we choose, even if it doesn’t seem like it.  We discussed Jackie’s work schedule.  Yes, I do get lonely when he’s gone.  But if he worked days, his pay would suffer, we’d have to make arrangements to have the kids picked up, and then I’d have to tackle baths and homework on top of everything else I have to do.  And since most of my nights alone are spent cleaning and sleeping, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to fuss about his schedule.

He also explained to me that sometimes we accept the good with the bad.  The world is not going to fall apart if Jameson leaves his dirty laundry on the bathroom floor or if Lexi’s socks don’t match her outfit.  The world isn’t going to fall apart if Zeek knocks an ornament off of our tree with his brontosaurus tail or if he leaves nose prints on our front window while he waits for me to come home.  And if I took a break from cleaning for one night, that would be okay, because the expectation that the house should be in perfect condition all the time is not only irrational but also impossible.  Also, no one put those expectations in my head except for me.

Major reality check.  I realized after therapy that I have gotten into a really bad habit of complaining and often think negatively about situations in my life.  What I should be doing, Mark said, is counting my blessings.  Yes, Jackie leaves his water glass on the end table EVERY SINGLE DAY.  But Jackie also picks up my kids from school and handles baths and homework so that Lexi and I are not crying until 11:00 every night, trying in frustration to get it done.  Yes, Lexi’s room is always a disaster, whether or not she’s cleaned it the day before.  But you will not meet a child who is sweeter and friendlier to her peers.  And you won’t find a girl more eager to make her parents proud.  And yes, Jameson often leaves his dirty clothes on the floor.  He has RUINED my living room rug with spills and crumbs.  But Jameson is also my number one fan and my soulmate.  He is well-behaved and smart and adorable.  And he LOVES his mama.  And of course, Zeek sheds.  There is always hair EVERYWHERE.  But Zeek is probably who I spend most of my time with.  He and I are the only ones who are at our house every night.  He’s one of my best buds.  He is loyal, affectionate and handsome.

Mark told me that I needed to consciously stray from negative thinking and complaining, and instead, think on good things.  He also explained that it will take a while to get into the habit of doing it, because my entire life has revolved around criticism.  It’s like “cruise control.”  My mind automatically thinks, expects and even plans for the worst.

And so my assignment for this week has been to take a break from cleaning (just to prove that the world won’t end if there’s dog hair on the window sill) and to use that time to make a list of my blessings.  I’m supposed to keep this list so that I can look at it when I find myself thinking negatively or complaining.  And while it will take a lot of effort at first, repetition will almost guarantee that I can change my negative way of thinking.

And so I did my homework.  I did not clean.  I made a list of blessings.  These aren’t ALL of my blessings obviously, but these are enough to accomplish my goal:

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I felt like this blog was appropriate today, not only because we’re quickly approaching Thanksgiving, but also because tonight is the first night in a week that my kids and husband will be home at the same time.  We are celebrating the fact that they both made the Honor Roll by going out to our favorite restaurant and then to a movie.  I think I’m even more excited than my kids.

I will post pictures later!

XOXO!

Meg / cC

The Ten As – Living Life Post Break-Up

On the heels of my “Tips to Get the Job” blog post, I have received a few requests to write about how to handle break-ups.  Additionally, my sister just broke up with her boyfriend of 10 months, and a co-worker’s sister is going through a divorce.  Relationships are ending everywhere, and I am putting out fires all over the place.

I am no expert.  I have learned these lessons just like everybody else.  But having been married three (3) times and divorced twice, I have a little experience in what it takes to move on after someone leaves you. 

And with that, try these:

1.      Accept reality.  This is first on the list because it’s the first thing you need to do.  The situation is this:  it is over.  Living in “la-la land” won’t benefit you in anyway.  Just accept the break-up, and don’t try to manipulate or change what has happened.

2.      Analyze the damage.  Before you can even think about the emotional side of the break-up, you need to handle the business side of the relationship.  And the damage will depend on several things – how long you were with that person, whether or not you have assets or children or pets, etc.  There are logistics that will need to be sorted out.  I would suggest making a list.  Pack his/her belongings – check.  Divide furniture – check.  Separate the bank account – check.  When the goal is to move on with both of your lives, this may be the easiest part of breaking up with your significant other.

3.      Allow the hurt.  This one was always the hardest part for me.  When you break up with someone, it’s all you can think about – how hurt you are.  And then you fall into the trap of The Blame Game and Guilt Trip and “What if?” Lanes, and it becomes a vicious cycle of trying not to think about it, but then thinking about it anyway.  There are so many emotions that pop up after a break-up – anger, upset, betrayal, depression.  Feel them all.  Embrace them all.  For a short while, allow yourself to think about it and fall apart.  The quicker you do it, the easier it will be to move on from those emotions and thus your life.  It would be unrealistic to try to avoid those emotions.  So instead, embrace them.

4.      Amputate the baggage.  After you’ve spent a few days melting down and trying not to go crazy, it is time to cut ties, tie up loose ends, and close the book on the relationship.  This step means different things for different people.  But you need to purge.  End your “connections” with him/her on social media, delete all of the phone numbers and pictures and e-mails in your phone, throw away his/her old ratty t-shirt you used to sleep with.  Remember, you’ve already accepted reality.  It’s over.  He/She is not coming back.  There’s no need to hang onto any of those things.

5.      Acquire a friend.  I think we all have the ONE person that we talk to about anything and everything.  If you don’t, get a dog.  You’re going to need to talk to someone, and you’re going to need that someone to be objective and trustworthy.  Venting is like free therapy.  Practice the art. 

6.      Aver a routine.  You may prefer to crawl back into bed and cry the days away, but the quicker you get up and get back into the swing of things, the easier it will be to move past this whole ordeal.  Tell yourself that the world doesn’t stop just because your relationship did – there are still jobs to do, bills to be paid, kids to be fed.  It can be a real test of strength, but it is SO important to keep your schedule.

7.      Attempt new things.  When it feels like a piece of you has left with your ex, a good way to regain some sense of self is to experience new things.  Buy tickets to a concert, go to that bar your ex would never step foot in, get the silly pair of socks and jump up and down on your bed.  Whatever YOU want to do.  Again, keep in mind that he/she is gone.  You get to make decisions for yourself now.  If you like creamy peanut butter but bought crunchy because that was your ex’s preference, throw that shit away and go buy what YOU like.  If you only wore thongs only because that’s what your ex liked, go raid the granny panty aisle of Target.  These are silly examples, but making decisions with only yourself in mind can be so liberating.  It’ll make you feel better.  You’ll wonder why you changed so much for your ex, and you will fall in love with who you REALLY are all over again.

8.      Abstain from drama.  You will feel really great about your post-break-up progress, and then some bullshit will hit you right in the face.  He/She will drunk text you out of the blue, or you’ll hear a rumor or you’ll find out he/she has ALREADY met someone else.  Do not let these things deter you from your already amazing progress.  Stay on track.  Remember, yet again – it’s over.  There is no point in engaging.  Do not bother trying to defend yourself.  Do not cast judgement (at least not out loud).  Do not fight.  Use your journal, dog or friend, and vent, but do not let the melodramatic nonsense get a rise out of you.        

9.      Avoid negativity.  Friends of you and your ex are often guilty of picking sides, asking too many questions and/or bashing one party or the other.  That kind of relationship is not one that is healthy right after a break-up.  Let those people know, very clearly, that you will accept their support and love, but you will not entertain ugly remarks or any other types of negativity.  You’ll find this is easier once you’ve completed steps 1 through 8.

10.  Adopt new standards.  Being single again can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your outlook.  And while you can have fun on the rebound, you will eventually need to reflect on the relationship.  What went wrong?  What are my flaws, what are his/hers?  And at that point, you will subconsciously begin to create a mental list of things you need or absolutely do not want when getting into another relationship.  Do not stray too far from that list.  It will help you decide if new prospects are even worth a shot.  There are some things that can be worked out, but there are also some things – and you’ll know deep down what they are – that are non-negotiable.  Maybe you forgave your ex for cheating but don’t want to go down that road again.  So put it on your list – MUST BE LOYAL.  Maybe you hated the fact that your ex never brushed his/her teeth – MUST HAVE FRESH BREATH.  Maybe it bothered you when your ex ignored your calls – MUST BE ACCOMMODATING.  Keep your list short and sweet.  Details can be worked out, but the “bigger deals” – life choices, goals, etc. – should be discussed in the early stages of any new relationship.  This way, you’ll know right away if you should continue to see this new person or if you need to stop wasting your time.

Interestingly enough, it took my second divorce to realize that I am actually worth something.  And it is important to remember that you cannot be happy with anyone else if you are not first happy with yourself.

Hope this helps.

XOXO!

Meg / cC