After a particularly bad break up, it was all I could do to not sell myself to the slave girl trade in Countries That Shall Remain Unnamed (I'm exaggerating).
I remember the gripping feeling of wanting an outlet – to be anyone but myself in that moment in time – but that outlet never came.
So, I spent six months afterwards moping in misery and self-pity.
For six months, I was torn between being angry at him for deserting me; and at myself for causing a lot of the distance between us.
I was extremely hurt and betrayed at the sudden turnaround on his part, but above all, I felt that I had lost a best friend. I struggled with all these emotions for far too long before I decided to do something about it.
Then, I discovered that there could be a six-step order to this breakup madness. Now, I'm not referring to the emotional lessons that you should take away from your break up, I'm talking about six very simple and practical ways to take your mind off the current situation, channel your emotions positively and in turn, move on faster.
Think of it as love rehab – from which you will come out happier and stronger.
STEP 1: Purge
It is going to be incredibly heart wrenching, but the first step is to get rid of all memories of the past. Purge the love notes, gifts and pictures, as they are only going to serve as an unnecessary reminder of what you've lost. At the same time, you might as well have long wailing sessions to purge your brokenness. You will need neither memories nor brokenness in the upcoming weeks. Limit these self pity sessions to not more than a week and a half.
STEP 2: Delete him
When you are ready to move on from the first step, you'll need to delete him. Take him off your contact list and Facebook, so you won't be tempted to drunk dial him, or read any of his status updates. The less you know about his life henceforth, the better.
STEP 3: Get physical
Start rehabilitation by getting yourself into shape. While it's scientifically proven that exercise releases endorphins, which in turn makes us happy, you'll be doing it with a slightly different objective in mind – to channel all your sadness and frustration into exercise. After my break-up, I was at the gym four hours a day, running to forget my pain. At the end of each session, I felt lighter and even found myself willing to socialise occasionally. This routine helped me lose 18kg in four months, which was never the goal, but made me happy enough. Keep your exercise routine even as you go through the next few steps.
STEP 4: Occupy yourself
At this point, you'll need to occupy yourself. Remember, your mind and your emotions are your worst enemy, and they only come out to play when you're unoccupied. Throw yourself into your work, or pick up a new hobby, like photography, cooking or martial arts. There are many places in Singapore that offer these classes. Also, each time you're alone, pump up the music, so you never have the opportunity to feel sadness of self-pity. Make sure everything you listen to is either angry or upbeat.
STEP 5: Get angry
Anger is a powerful tool, as long as you know how to control it. You will probably start to feel intense loneliness at this point (the nights are the worst), but channel these emotions into all the anger you can muster. Get angry at him for everything he did (or did not do), and let this out through exercise or punching sessions with your pillows. Don't stay mad for too long, though, because you need to work on the final step.
STEP 6: Accept your circumstance
Accept what he did to you; and the current situation. Accept that he might move on with someone else before you; and that the future holds better and bigger things for both of you. Accept that you might never speak to him again; or have the same kind of intimacy with him. Accept that you might never have the closure you want; and understand that you do not need this closure to move on. Accept all of this and finally, let go.