So this post is more so a step by step guide for what I did to get back to myself after the breakup. And gorgeous it applies whether you were married or just in a relationship. Truth.
First things first - cry. Seriously just let it out. In the beginning when everything was a mess, I cried all the damn time. To the point now that I joke that there are no tears left. Until I watched a cheesy country movie and the hubby dies while serving in Afghanistan. I balled #noshame. But before that I truly felt like I had cried all the tears there are to cry in the world. Ugly cried. I'm telling you. And thats OK. Let yourself feel it. The sadness, the pain, the rage,
whatever comes up feel it and let it out. Release it.
I can't tell you how many times I cried to my mama, or to H on the phone - and I mean you couldn't really understand a word I was saying but I cried and it felt great afterwards. So step one is cry it out.
Step 2 is a lot more fun. Go buy sexy lingerie. Or clothes. I'm serious go and treat yourself to something that makes you feel like an absolute sex kitten and rock it. Bonus points if you take sexy photos of yourself for yourself only. Getting back into my sensual groove was paramount to feeling like I could be happy again. Our power lies in our femininity and I had felt this fall away a long time before my marriage ended. So getting back to that was a huge priority.
Step 3 involves really working on and participating fully in your female friendships (or male if your a dude). I'm serious, lean on your girlfriends. Not only do they make you feel better by threatening to rip off balls and other body parts, but they make you laugh and see you as the best version of yourself even when you look like you haven't washed your hair in a week (because you haven't). I had so many girls nights - wine, sangria, apps + amazing conversations. Serious girl power. Not to mention all my girls on speed dial.
I seriously don't think I'd be even remotely as happy and in this place, if it wasn't for my girlfriends. And some seriously amazing guy friends who let me vent and gave me male perspectives. So I am endlessly grateful.
Step 4 is some serious self care. I have splurged on a new wardrobe, new shoes, died my hair how I wanted but never felt like I could afford (I'm also endlessly grateful for my hairstylist H, she's the best), got bomb ass nails, whitened my teeth, took care of my skin (I will share all the things I've done later), danced naked, got a tattoo on a whim, take the time to do my hair and makeup (also put real clothes on, get out of your sweats girls), slept in, took my ass to the gym to sweat, drank loads of water (and perfected the hangover cure - seriously), set boundaries, got on dating apps (hilarious), flirted, went out and had A LOAD of fun. Seriously, its the first time in a long time, maybe forever that I put myself first - entirely. I've done what makes me happy, even if those choices upset those around me at times.
I made the decision to be empowered and fully myself - even if its terrifying at times. And I'm brutally honest - with myself and with others. I don't have time for games.
Step 5 is putting yourself back out there. I was terrified of dating apps and dating again. Not even going to lie. And to be honest, I've had some great and not so great experiences. But its all a lesson. And I've actually met some pretty cool dudes, some of which have become great friends. Not to mention that they make for some good laughs with your girlfriends when you hear some of these ridiculous and inappropriate pickup lines. My personal fave was wanna watch porn on my flat screen mirror? At least it was creative. What? I laughed. Now this step comes whenever you are ready and its important to not go in with any expectations. Most men on these apps want FWB or friends with benefits, and even more of them just wanna talk and never actually meet up. Out of the many many, I've talked to - theres only really a handful I still talk to. So go at your own pace, and decide how you want to approach it. Or if you wanna approach it at all - but PLEASE flirt a little.
Step 6 is to let it allll GO. This one is the hardest. It took me months of slowly getting rid of the remnants, to confidently say its all gone. I donated clothes, threw out crap, put things in boxes left on the curb to be picked up, we changed the locks, I shredded photos and even wrote some notes on photos and stuck them in the boxes of stuff, I sold things, and I purged to within and inch of my life. I'm now in the process of letting go of my own things that I don't need anymore. The hardest thing for me to toss was the wedding cards. It literally broke my heart. But it needed to be done - you can't move on with your life and welcome new love in with a box of wedding cards under your bed. I'm serious - you just can't. So only a few weeks ago was I ready to throw those out (I recycled them, don't worry guys).
It was hard, but I did it. And since then I've felt ready to truly move on. It was freeing. And it was when I did this that I realized I could be grateful for all the gifts because they were for me to start my new life. See shift in perspective.
Step 7 is the hardest, because it involves taking a hard look at your life and what you need to work on within yourself. Its doing the work. I've been reading books upon books on personal development, relationships, sex, health and wellness - whatever I can get my hands on, in order to grow and move forward and to be the best version of myself whatever comes next. I journaled a lot , and wrote whatever came to mind no matter how dark, sad, or horrible. No editing, and I let it out. In addition to this, I started writing a few things I was grateful for every day - until I was writing huge lists each day. It becomes easier. The work does become easier.
Those are my steps, but here are a few other suggestions I found helpful:
get a new car (or if like me, you bought one last year, clean it out)
completely cleanse and purge extra material bullshit (smudge the shit out of your space)
buy yourself flowers
write love notes to yourself
pleasure yourself or start a pleasure routine
yoga + meditation
see healers or aestheticians
get a new cell phone
take responsibility for the lessons you can learn
move your body, sweat + get those endorphins pumping
be of service (I started volunteering with work)
reconnect with your friends
say yes to meeting new friends
say buh bye energetically to the ones who can never seem to be there for you
say yes to whatever feels nourishing or healing
take care of your finances
let yourself grieve, cry, feel the loss
cut dead weight from your hair (or change the colour)
listen to inspiring podcasts + collect quotes and funny memes to make yourself smile
eat well, take vitamins + drink a shit ton of water
avoid all contact, and block when necessary
ask for help and support when you need it
say yes to all the things you put off because of another human being