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The car pulled away as the tears streamed down my face, stars shining brightly as headlights faded. It was over. I pulled my sweater closer around my thin frame and shivered as the realization sank in – alone. again. It was my fault, I didn’t let him in. I tried to keep it all to myself. As I trudged up the stairs to numb my pain with the usual glass of red and a cigarette, I wondered, “Will I ever break the cycle?”
Every person I’ve ever loved has left me – by their own volition or by my pushing them away. The feeling that I’ll never quite live up is woven through the fiber of my being, causing doubt and fear to sweep in and take over. I end up like a turtle, hiding in my shell wishing life weren’t like this and wondering why me?
Instead of turning to the tried and true wine + cigarettes, I find new ways to pull myself out of these days of darkness, because they always seem to creep up on me when I’m least expecting it. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions for what to do when he leaves:
- Retail Therapy: I’m not advocating spending $3,000 in a day (although it can be – and has been – done), but more the act of window shopping and buying yourself one thing that makes you happy. I’m a tactile person, so perusing bright accessories and feeling different surfaces makes me happy. Mint Julep always has fun stuff and Michael’s Crafts is always a great place to spend time, which brings me to my next solution…
- Scrapbook! Dorky? I suppose so. Excellent way to get your mind off things while being creative and accomplishing something? Absolutely! Scrapbooking is a release for me, it makes me feel useful – like I’m finally doing something with all those pictures that are just sitting around. It’s also satisfying to peruse the finished product. www.addictedtoscrapbooking.com has fantastic supplies and great sales, and the most comprehensive shop you could imagine. My favorite supplies are by Anna Griffin.
- Exercise: This is a tough one. When you’re down the last thing you want to do is go for a run or jump on the treadmill. I won’t wax poetic about how the endorphins make you feel happier, blah, blah, blah…Just do it. Or do something that you wouldn’t necessarily consider exercise, like go canoeing or walk the dog. What to do when he leaves? Make an exit yourself and go see some of the world you live in!
- Read a book: I’m as obsessed with books as I am with shoes. Really. Which means I have more books than a person could imagine. There is something about the feel of the paper, curling up in my cashmere blanket with my cat and a glass of wine, losing myself in the story that is so comforting. A few of my faves for days like these are: The Stephanie Plum Series (holy HILARIOUS), anything by Elin Hildebrand (cause sometimes a girl just has to cry it out) or a good mystery, preferably by Dan Brown or William Martin.
Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking that instead of finding ways to emerge from the gloom, I should attack the real issue: pushing people out of my life. I agree. But that’s a post for another day. Or maybe a whole ‘nother blog in itself. I’m working on it. And I have a pretty great guy who’s helping (no, not Seth, although he’s helping in his own right).
What about you? Have you been left? I’ve shared what I do when he leaves. (Fingers crossed that this one will work out!) What have you done to get your smile back in spite of the pain? I’d appreciate your insight!
Until next time,