RAF: Breakups & Bad Decisions

Collar Club Members & Loyal Followers:

I read this quote (and fell in love with it):

“My New Year started February 1st. January was a trial period.”

Between Sex Coaching, and preparing for our Campaign, Sex in America, I’ve had little time to just get back to the heart of what I do: Writing!

I – like many of you, I’m sure – made grand plans for 2019. Plans that would commence January 1st and last All. Year. Long. No hiccups. I’d just go from being a natural procrastinator to Wonder Woman over night.

If you haven’t noticed due to the lack of content, it didn’t go as planned. So, as that insightful quote goes, February 1st was the end of my “trial period,” and the beginning of my reality – something I have never accepted about myself, but am now, finally, willing to try. I’m a last minute person, with big time plans. Step by step I will make commitments to myself to plan realistic amounts of tasks (not a laundry list), and crush them. I owe this to myself and to all of you beautiful humans who’ve been with me throughout this journey.

One small step I’ve decided to commit to are my Real As Fuck (RAF) Thursday series! Last year, I had the honour of interviewing some wildly unique, passionate and of course, RAF characters. I aim to keep this ball rolling, only with an added element: RAF Topics, and I’m open to suggestions!

On that encouraging note, let’s get into it!

Content Note: mental illness and suicide is briefly discussed.

We’ve all been there: breakups. Or at least heartbreak of some kind. Be it from unreciprocated love, betrayal of some sort, unavoidable incompatibilities, growing apart…

Some of us are naturals at empowering, post-breakup/heartbreak rituals: find a support group (friends, family); participate in activities that bring you joy; create boundaries between you and your ex; assess the lessons you learned and how to avoid the same mistakes next time…

Then there are those among us that have other tendencies; ones that are less enlightening: stalk our ex on social media; dig for the gossip about our exes current situation (new partner, for example); frequent places you know they’ll be; dwell on all of the beautiful moments you had together, pushing aside the toxic or incompatible elements of the relationship; consume alcohol or other substances, copious amounts of food, have meaningless sex (usually to fill voids); and, perhaps, self-loathe a little.

If I told you to guess which of these two groups I fell into after the crash-and-burn of my last relationship, what would you say? You got it, I was the self-loathing, self-deprecating, anxious bulimic who not only had sex every chance she got, but did it during moments of borderline blackouts in questionable places, with men who were either 1) married or 2) certainly uncaring about my pleasure.

The truth is, this spiral lasted about two months. My ex and I split in April (2014), I had experiences with two men (one pleasant, the other not so much) from May to August, and then came the month of September.

Let’s just say my rock bottom was literally at the bottom of a whiskey bottle (was it whiskey?), and waking up the next morning fully clothed, soaking wet, and with a snapped ligament in my ankle. If you’ve been with COTQ for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard bits and pieces of this fine night. Basically I went to a party with my best friend sober, got smashed (wasn’t uncommon for me during this time) to the point of blackout (I don’t know how I made it to bed), and woke up feeling all the things: shame, guilt, pain, worst-hangover-of-life, even more disgusted with myself, and a fire burning in my left ankle (looked like a baseball had settled beneath my purple skin). I had been going down this rabbit hole slowly, and for the last 5 miles I doubled my speed. It ended with my mother taking me to the hospital, giving me a lecture about my behaviour and how worried she was about me.

I was 23 years old. Old enough to know better. Old enough to not be putting my family (let alone myself) through that kind of bullshit. My snapped ligament was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to move less; I became a little more dependent on my parents, whose subtle manipulation kept me within the confines of their property (thankfully!). From there I had only myself to face; a confrontation I should have acknowledged from the beginning, but was beyond terrified.

I’m sure many of us have similar stories, maybe more or less severe. I tell you all of this because the next month would be the one that changed my life. When I saw my doctor, and he asked me how I was doing (referring mainly to my eating disorder; at this point I’d been in treatment for nearly six months), I told him:

“I’m not saying I’d ever do it…but, I can understand why suicide seems like the only option for some people.”

It was a frightening admission, but the pain was profound. Speaking this truth, although alarming, lifted a piece of the weight I’d been carrying around for months – maybe even years, as I’d been suffering even throughout that previous relationship.

When I shared this statement with my mom, and witnessed the devastation that washed over her face, it was enough. I was done with the pain. I was done with the breakup. I was done with the bad decisions. There was something inside of me that had always whispered, “it will get better. It will get better.” But in that moment I realized that getting better was up to me. It would be a process. “Better” wasn’t a crop top I could order off Etsy and parade around in. “Better” was an inside job, and I was finally ready to put in the work.

So, why did I tell you that long winded story – some of which a lot of you have heard before?

Because, as much as I’d like to believe it, these experiences are not exceptional. They occur far too often to a greater or lesser extent. Heartbreak – especially as a result of a toxic relationship – can have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing. No matter what level you experience heartbreak, grief, depression and potential anxiety may result. These, of course, are situational elements, and won’t necessarily stick around. It’s a cycle we have to let our bodies go through in order to heal properly and fully.

But, there is some other news:

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Buddha

We all take our own amount of time to work through things; however, there are things we can apply to the process that will not numb the pain, but make it more bearable. Once I applied these tips to the process, amazing things started happening…one being la rencontre of my husband. You see, when we focus our efforts on gifting ourselves with the kind of love we wished we’d received from that person, the Universe shows up for us, provides rewards.

So, here we have it. Quean Mo’s formula for not only getting through a breakup, but building a stronger and better version of yourself afterwards:

1. Tell your circles (friends, family, etc.) not to speak to you about your relationship or ex. This should be an “off limit” topic unless YOU bring it up. Because I was from a small town, this was especially important, as my friends could easily provide “updates” about my ex. Hearing about him and his new woman only delayed my process of moving on/getting better.

2.When you start feeling down or dwelling on the “loss” of a relationship, remind yourself of all the things that hadn’t worked between the two of you (or three of you, or four). Make a list of the things you gave up – be it parts of your personality, people, hobbies or things you truly enjoyed doing.

3. Remind yourself of all the experience and wisdom you gained from the relationship. This could be in terms of what you don’t want in future partnerships, deal breakers or incompatibilities. Again, write this down!

4. Start focusing your attention on the positive qualities and traits you possess, and how those things will be appreciated by the person(s) you’re meant to be with. Remind yourself of all the strengths you bring into your relationships! And, yes, you guessed it, write these down, and refer to them EVERY. DAY!

5. Remember the list you wrote in #2 of all the things you gave up during your relationship? Start reimplementing those into your life – at least the ones that are uplifting, empowering and bring you joy.

6. If or when ready, put yourself out there. Meet new people (doesn’t have to be for romantic or sexual reasons)! Be honest about who you are. Get comfortable in your skin, in your truth. If people try to change you or reject you (be it romantically, sexually or as a friend) it means they simply don’t fit into your life, and don’t deserve your presence.

7. Pay attention to your behaviours. Is there anything that you do that results in feelings of shame, guilt, or a “relapse” into dwelling over the ended relationship? If so, alter those behaviours. For me it was drinking, smoking weed, and sex with strangers. Not all of my sexual encounters left me feeling bad; however, there were moments that I “indulged,” when I knew it wasn’t a good situation. Your intuition will tell you when things aren’t right. Trust it.

Take these one step (and one day) at at time. You have to be your own wellbeing advocate. And if all of this isn’t enough for you, remember:

“Self love is the greatest middle finger.” – Anonymous

And you deserve someone who brings the best out in you!

Until next time,

Fuck (yourselves) well, friends!

So, tell me, in the past, what has helped you move on from a breakup? Comment below!

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