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You down with NLP? Yeah, I know me.

To deal with my anxiety, one of the avenues I have explored, is Neuro Linguistic Programming and how it can be used to cope with and hopefully overcome any mental issues/blocks one may be experiencing.

I have been doing whatever possible to cope with the fact that my heart is healing. I fell in love with a boy, when I am a grown ass woman who has bigger balls than he ever will. That is just how it is. There is nothing wrong with that. He just clearly needs a woman with a weaker disposition who will willingly accept his bullshit and not ever question his motives or goals.

A little over a year ago, through a friend, I met a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Say what you will about alternative methods, but if you have never tried them and are still willing to dismiss them, I sincerely wish I had all of your confidence and all of your answers. I admittedly do not, and I am not afraid or ashamed to ask for help when I need it. I recognize that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to explore and appreciate these methods because stress and anxiety and fear are no joke when they are all you can think about. And if you are one of the chosen ones who isn’t affected by any kind of mental issue, I truly envy you because I would not wish one millisecond of the overwhelming feeling of anxiety on my worst enemy. If you have never had a panic attack, be thankful that you have never mistaken it for a heart attack and have never had to go to the hospital to ease your fears.

But I digress. What my NLP guy does is try to bring emotions to the forefront so they can be recognized by your brain and somehow ‘reprogrammed’ so that one no longer associates a particular memory with certain feelings. More clearly, he had me think of four especially painful moments I experienced when I was in my last relationship.

Once, my ex woke up in the middle of the night practically choking to death. I watched and listened to him literally stop breathing for a couple of seconds. Several times I suggested he go to the doctor and make sure he didn’t have sleep apnea. Of course, he didn’t listen. So, when he woke me up out of a dead sleep, my first reaction was, ‘Are you okay?’ Clearly, that was the wrong question. I was supposed to just ‘Leave him the fuck alone’ followed by a barrage of names. Flinching, I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed that he didn’t die in my bed. That would have been very difficult to explain to people who had no idea I even existed.

Anyway, that was one memory to which I was supposed to assign a name/word. Then I had to choose three others. Then I was asked to recall them.

I cannot remember the last time I cried that much. You know the kind. The heaving sobs that take your breath away.

My eyes were closed and I was just focusing on recalling the memory every time the name/word was repeated. I don’t know what my NLP guy was doing, but by the end of it, when I was asked to recall the memories associated with the name/word, I couldn’t cry about them anymore. I still can’t cry about them anymore. Why should I be crying anyway? He clearly does not give a fuck.

I had a fantastic sleep last night–peaceful and rested and determined. I am on Day 25/30 in my Heartbreak Cure journey.

If I ever fall in love again, it will be with a MAN.

I am not any means suggesting that NLP is the solution to ANYONE’S problems, but I needed something that would take me over the hump and actually go out on the dates that I have been asked to go on.

During my writing class tonight, we had to choose a Tarot card from the deck and write about it before knowing that the card actually meant. This is the one I got:

If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

How is Day 24 going for ya?

Today is Family Day. The idea is that we use this day to spend time with our families. I am the oldest of four children. My sister lives in another province, and one of my brothers moved to the US. Family Day is a reminder that they are not here. So, my youngest brother and his family and I spent the day with my parents.

Yes, the world is smaller now. We can see each other with FaceTime instead of hearing each other’s voices. I can still watch my niece and nephew grow up in front of my eyes. I can see my brother get thinner and more tanned. My sister and I can still compare our grey roots growing out and I can hear the happiness in her voice now that she has truly found the love of her life.

I miss them.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I should move away too. I think we all dream of it at some point. I considered it once. My youngest daughter’s father always wanted to work in the US. I even researched what it would take to see if my credentials would be accepted south of the border. They would have been, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to give up everything I had worked for. My friends and family were here and I think the biggest reason was that I was chicken shit.

On Day 24 of the 30 day heartbreak cure, all I want to do is go away. My anxiety (along with a lack of funds) has kept me from travelling. I am always worried that something is going to happen to me while I am on vacation.

In my last relationship, all I wanted was a weekend away, just the two of us. His schedule never made it possible. I know I am not supposed to be thinking about what could have been, but it really could have been good. It is the doubt during after breaking up with someone that lingers. Do we romanticize the situation? Do we imagine things were better than they actually were? Maybe it’s just sinking in that I will never see him again.

It’s still so sad.

Day 22: Fifty Shades of What in the Actual Fuck, Satan?

I am on Day 22 of my 30 day heartbreak cure. I can honestly say, I’m getting better. I lived without him just fine before I met him, and I am definitely fine now. I did the right thing. I am positive. He was not my person. If he really loved me, I would have felt it and I would have kept giving him all the love he wanted. I am very good at giving love. I love being in love, I love being loved and I love being with the person that I love. Love isn’t always enough to make a relationship work, and that is finally okay.

One of the things that has helped me move forward faster is my relationship with my friends. I went to see Fifty Shades Darker tonight. It has been a tradition with a couple of my girlfriends to see the movies in this series. The movies are terrible, the sex scenes are ridiculous, but we go anyway. One of my favourite lines from this cinematic fluff was:

Christian: I was looking for you. (opens the refrigerator)

Anastasia was sitting on he kitchen table eating ice cream suggestively.

Was Christian thinking he would find his wife in the refrigerator? Is that why he opened it before looking for her? This lead to, of course, the couple having simulated sex after rubbing cold ice cream on each other’s bodies. Ummmmm….ok?

But the three of us laughed our asses off. I will give it to the author. She got people interested in reading again and I think that is always a good thing.

On the topic of love, Valentine’s Day came and went. My manager gave her team a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I’m pretty sure I will always have a Valentine in the homeless man I bought a coffee and Tim Horton’s gift card for. I was both dreading and hoping that I would hear from the ex. I didn’t…and I’m thankful. I don’t want to set myself back 22 days.

I wasn’t alone on Valentine’s Day. I dropped my oldest daughter and her boyfriend off at a local restaurant for dinner. I  went on a mommy-daughter date with my youngest and went to my writing class.

I have had the pleasure of spending my last 8 Wednesdays with a group of wonderful writers. I have seen the course offered so many times, but it always conflicted with one of the girl’s activities. This time, we all agreed that we would make the scheduling work. I am so glad it did. I hadn’t written anything for years. Now, I make it a point to write at least once a day.  It has been cathartic and painful and fun and hard and worth every minute.

During class, I get a text message from someone I dated almost 3 years ago. He never truly went away. We have always checked in with each other. We have both dated other people, but we love each other. I don’t know if we are still in love, but I think he’s the one person that I will love until the day I die.

We are both single at the moment. However, I have promised myself that I would give myself some time. He wants to have dinner. I’m conflicted. We broke up. We had our reasons. So…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I going to end up in the freezer?

I have two amazing daughters and I’m not just saying that because they are mine, they really are phenomenal human beings. I must have done something right along the way to deserve them.

My oldest one is almost 17 and since her trip to Europe last year, she has truly been bitten by the travel bug. I was both horrified and relieved when it was time for her to board the plane and leave me for 15 days and she didn’t shed one tear. I did so well keeping it together letting the tears flow only when I was a good distance away from the other parents so as not to embarrass her too much. But she’s my kid dammit and I was going to miss her terribly (and I did) so why not be able to cry?

And she didn’t cry for me on her whole trip and she couldn’t understand why I was crying happy tears when I picked her up. It really is a mix of emotions that first time you drop them off at daycare and they finally understand that you are leaving them and they don’t cry. They wave or give you one last hug and continue about their business.

My kids are going to grow up and have their own lives. What the fuck?

A couple of years ago there was a short film shown during the previews at the movies. It was about Lily and her best friend the snowman that she gradually forgets about until she has a young child of her own. I joked one time at the theatre that I was going to like the snowman in the freezer. My girls would grow up and forget about me and when they remembered, I’d be there in the freezer, a little burnt but so glad that they came back.

My little one assured me that she would NEVER leave me alone and that she would take care of me and I would never be that snowman. She says that now. She’s only 8.

My oldest one is not as sure. She can’t wait to go away to university. She can’t wait to get her license so she can do what she wants. She can’t wait to have her own life.

I guess I’m doing my job right. Even though the girls are like night and day in terms of their personalities, they are truly growing up to be independent, confident, strong women.

I guess being a snowman (snow woman?) in the freezer won’t be too bad. I just hope it’s in an exciting nursing home.

What can be accomplished in 8 seconds?

So as I have been exploring my writer’s voice, I wrote a short story based on the prompt from my writing class: 

The Longest Eight Seconds 

Has there always been music playing in the elevator? 

It took a few notes to figure out what the MUSAK was trying to replicate, but once she deciphered it, she could not unhear it. “Long Time Running”. She had never been a fan of ‘The Hip’. She felt like a phony even using the nickname. He’d been surprised that she really had no connection to the music or the band. Now, as she stood in the elevator, she couldn’t help but think of him. 

It takes eight seconds to get to the 12th floor of the building where she works. Now she’d have him on her mind all day. She remembered when the chorus played in the car. She’d fall more in love with him every time he sang along with the chorus. He’d close his eyes for the briefest moment and warble the lyrics. He remembered the way she looked at him. She remembered thinking how in love with him she was. 

He questioned where that look had gone. He wanted so much for her to look at him that way again. 

She couldn’t. 

She tried. 

Looking at him and simultaneously trying to hold together the last bit of her dignity just made her angry. Several times over the course of her career, she was reminded that she could have been and should have been a drama teacher. Her face was so expressive. No mystery. How was she supposed to start her second career as a poker player if that was the case? 

She was disappointed in him and by him. 

She wanted a break before they destroyed what they had left, but he wouldn’t listen. That was one of their problems. If only he could have felt her heart hurting through the fighting. Then he would have known that she was trying to let the love scream louder than their voices. 

But he couldn’t and wouldn’t see it. Was it all her fault? Did she push his buttons so hard that there was no other way for him to react? If it wasn’t for her, his life would not have changed at all. He would have kept living his supposedly loveless, sham of a marriage. Or, so he said. 

It was over before it had even begun. A year and a half of a seemingly unbreakable love. There was so much passion and joy and happiness. Followed by six months of destruction and erosion and then silence. 

The lyrics make a dire prediction. She wished the lyrics were wrong. 

 

 

How do I stop giving a f*ck?

So I have started reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, because clearly, I give too much of a f*ck. I have some personal effects belonging to my ex that I thought I would be nice enough to drop off to the one and only friend of his that I ever had contact with. Why, you ask? According to the author, Mark Manson, I am in the “Feedback Loop from Hell”. Apparently I am so worried about doing the right thing that I’m worrying about worrying. As an anxiety sufferer, this makes total sense. 

My irrational side is wondering if he is already dating someone else or worse went back to his ex. I’m worried that he hates me. I’m worried that he still has a key to my house.  I’m worried that he owes me money and that he won’t pay me back. Or worse, what if he does pay me back and he includes a nasty note with it? What if he serendipitously ran into another one of my exes and they sat around having a grand old time cutting me up? What if? What if? What if? WHY DO I EVEN GIVE A F*CK? 

He CLEARLY does not give a f*ck about me. As a person who gives a f*ck, I would have had the decency to return a call, a text or an email. I do not have the ability to ignore someone. The next time someone asks me about a superpower I would like to possess, having the ability to ignore someone is what I am going to ask for. That takes some big balls. 

I had the balls to stand up to him, the balls to end our relationship. I had the balls to block him from all methods of contact. Why then, do I care? Everyone and everything is telling me to not give him or our failed relationship any more attention. But that’s like me going on a diet. The more restrictive the diet, the more I want that food. 

Diet book: You will not be able to eat mung beans. (Replace mung beans with any food, really) 

Rational Me at 6:00 a.m. the first day of the diet: That’s awesome. No problem. I’ve got this. No mung beans? No problem. 

Irrational Me at 10:00 a.m. : How am I going to survive without mung beans? That’s all I’m craving right now is mung beans. 

So four posts in, here is the way my brain works. Me on a platter. This is my thought process. Once you get to know me, I become fairly easy to understand and I have become an expert at navigating myself through my own neurosis, hence the reason I still care. 

I do not love casually. I do not fall in love easy. I’m still hurting. But why, exactly? Do I miss him? Sometimes. But I know that if he was here, things would be the same and I would be unhappy again. When I mentioned this to his friend, his friend replied, “We always miss the other person in these situations but there was a lot of hostility and a lot of bad that we don’t think about. We make these people up to be bigger than they are.” That also makes sense. 

My oldest daughter tells me to forget about it and that I am much more relaxed without him. True. Ironically, I am not having panic attacks as frequently. 

I’m on Day 6 of my breakup app. Today, in the 6th day of the process, I am supposed to deal with the feelings I am trying to avoid instead of swiping the Visa or reaching for a candy bar. I’m dealing with the food cravings by snacking on celery and carrots. I did do some shopping at the store where I bought the dress that inspired this blog and I admit, that did make me feel better. I’m also drinking my water and I bought goggles to maybe go swimming one of these nights. More baby steps. 

Some of the advice I received about what to do with his personal items? Donate them. Burn them. Use them as leverage to get your money back. I can’t be that mean. 

I’m envious that he doesn’t give a f*ck, but I’m learning. 

 

 

Why didn’t I listen to Daughtry sooner?

When I started writing my blog, I thought that it should have a focus. That’s ironic because I have trouble focusing on one thing. I am in the process of trying to write a short story and I keep changing my perspective and then the topic. 

I had a little over an hour to myself today (which rarely happens). My oldest daughter was at work and my youngest had Italian class, so I decided that I would use my time to brainstorm. My anxiety ensures that I have a hundred ideas running through my head at any given time. One of the many is my very recent breakup. I’m supposed to be keeping my mind of it, and especially off of him. 

I downloaded a breakup app that promises that in 30 days, I will be in a better place than I am now. It has been 3 days since I downloaded the app. At first I was skeptical, but honestly, it has been helping. I got a new tattoo that I am in love with, I got my nails done, I got my eyelashes done and I actually put on lipstick today. Baby steps. 

I have been trying to take motivational sayings to heart and I have been listening to music that will dull the pain and remind me that things will get better. My favourites right now are, ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ and ‘In a Cafe’. I went to see I, Tonya and on my drive home, of course my mind wandered to what could have been. Did I make a mistake? Should I try one more time to contact him? Fuck no. I tried. It’s over. My brain gets it. My heart just needs to fucking listen. 

Along came ‘Over You’ by Chris Daughtry. He didn’t win when he competed on American Idol in 2006, but his songs have been on my playlists since then. The lyrics to the song inspired this post. I should have listened sooner. 

Now that it’s all said and done,
I can’t believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down,
Like an old abandoned house. 

 

What you said when you left
Just left me cold and out of breath.
I fell too far, was in way too deep.
Guess I let you get the best of me. 

 

Well, I never saw it coming.
I should’ve started running
A long, long time ago.
And I never thought I’d doubt you,
I’m better off without you
More than you, more than you know.
I’m slowly getting closure.
I guess it’s really over.
I’m finally getting better.
And now I’m picking up the pieces.
I’m spending all of these years
Putting my heart back together.
‘Cause the day I thought I’d never get through,
I got over you. 

 

You took a hammer to these walls,
Dragged the memories down the hall,
Packed your bags and walked away.
There was nothing I could say.
And when you slammed the front door shut,
A lot of others opened up,
So did my eyes so I could see
That you never were the best for me. 

 

Well, I never saw it coming.
I should’ve started running
A long, long time ago.
And I never thought I’d doubt you,
I’m better off without you
More than you, more than you know.
I’m slowly getting closure.
I guess it’s really over.
I’m finally getting better.
And now I’m picking up the pieces.
I’m spending all of these years
Putting my heart back together.
‘Cause the day I thought I’d never get through,
I got over you. 

 

The day I get over him completely is not here yet, but I feel it getting closer. 

 

My app says I have 27 days left.