By Gina B.
Breakups suck, period. Regardless of how bad your relationship was, or how necessary the breakup, there is a minefield of nostalgic triggers that produce erratic explosions of disturbing emotions. I've found that the best way to get through a breakup is a little bit of reinvention.
Here's how it happens . . .
You're determined to move on after breaking up with your ex, and you've done all of the right things - returned his stuff, eliminated all reminders of him in your house, and prevented yourself from sending a variety of drunken texts.
By having no evidence of your previous relationship in your immediate presence, you feel stronger and eventually you can go an entire day without your ex creeping into your head.
Just when you think you're 100% recovered, it happens. You might be walking down the street or casually listening to the radio, and you'll stumble across a place or a song that gives you a startling jolt and causes a flood of memories.
That restaurant is more than just a sushi bar - it's where you and your ex had your first date. That tune isn't just a song - it's your ex's favorite song. And that scent? It's not just cologne, it's your ex's signature fragrance.
If you're not careful, one of these triggers will set you back. This is where the reinvention comes into play.
Years ago, right after applying the sole of my boot to an ex's ass, I only needed to think about a generous amount of clubs/restaurants/etc., and I would have torturous relationship flashbacks. It was hell.
We covered a lot of territory during our relationship, and I grew sick of avoiding great restaurants, or sometimes entire neighborhoods. More than anything, I was especially tired of being emotionally fragile.
I knew I'd eventually get over it, but I couldn't wait for eventually. I needed accelerated healing.
So, I decided to put myself in control of the situation by reinventing my memories and developing new emotional associations.
Of course I couldn't make the past disappear - as much as I would have liked to. But, I could remove the hurtful feelings associated with locations and songs to help me put the negativity in the past . . . since I couldn't just flush it down the toilet.
As an experiment I chose a restaurant - the scene of our ugliest fight. I made a party out of it, and invited a handful of my most vibrant friends to meet for dinner and an endless supply of cocktails and giggles.
I didn't let anyone in on my plan. The idea wasn't to have a breakup ceremony. I wanted a new adventure - something pleasant to override the old nasty experience.
The plan was a success. I drove past the restaurant a week after my reinvention and, instead of feeling the post-breakup sadness, I smiled and thought of my friends.
It worked so well that I staged several of what I now refer to as Reinvention Parties. I made a list of all of the places and activities that I had been missing. I danced to old songs with new people. I had a blast creating fresh memories and happily reunited with my old haunts.
And through my reinvention project, I managed to develop a proper apathetic attitude toward my ex and our relationship.
Although I love nothing more than a good Reinvention Party, I would imagine that having one within days of a breakup would be unnecessarily painful and ineffective. Give yourself some time. But after a month, you're completely ready to get the party started!
If executed correctly, believe it or not, a good Reinvention Party can be more cathartic than a day at a spa.
Okay, that might be a little far-fetched, but give it a try. You never know!!
Let me know how it goes!!