Frank Zappa said broken hearts are for assholes, and that may be true, but non-assholes get their hearts stomped on, too.
Recently, listening to a friend gripe about her breakup, I was struck by how the process seems exactly the same for everyone. You feel like you'll never get over it, you drink too much, eat too much, piss and moan until everyone around you can't stand you any more, then gradually move on and can't remember what all the fuss was about. Well, if there's no way to bypass these steps, is there any way to make it all easier?
I just watched a really dumb video of a really dumb song in which a girl who got dumped chows on some ice cream and - presto! - everything is tickety-boo,
As idiotic a premise as it was, it does seems like ice cream is the cliché breakup food. Is there a reason we go after certain foods in times of distress, aside from the comforting childhood memories? Maybe. One UK study involving pancakes showed a correlation between fat content and pain reduction. One more excuse to lick the butter.
What the experts say
"[If you were dumped/stomped on/treated like crap], understand that the feelings of regret, revenge, anger and hurt all keep you stuck and attached to the person who caused the situation or feelings within you. As long as you feel these things, the person who hurt you is still running your life. You need to cut the cord that attaches you to the old situation and start brainstorming, dreaming, outlining what you want your life, relationships, self to look like right now. Then, whenever the old feelings come up, make yourself focus on what you are creating instead of what you left behind. I see relationships as a way to practise being yourself. Know what you want out of a relationship, know what you're working on within yourself, what old patterns you had in your marriage that didn't work, and use your dating experiences to reshape yourself, your patterns and your way of doing relationships."
SHEILA ELLISON, author, The Courage To Love Again, California
"The single most important obstacle to getting over a breakup is the refusal to accept that a relationship is over. Most people don't want to face the rejection and bruised ego that comes with being ‘dumped,' so they think about their ex constantly. On an unconscious level, it's a way to keep the relationship alive, if only in their mind. It doesn't change the situation, and only makes the inevitable more painful. The second obstacle is not being able to forgive your ex. Finding forgiveness isn't about saying it's okay that they hurt you. It's the process of accepting that another has the right to be flawed, to have limitations, and not to react to you in the way you had hoped or expected. Only when true forgiveness is given can real closure be found."
TIGRESS LUV, "the Breakup Guru"
"Serotonin is the brain chemical that soothes, makes us feel serene, brings us down from the heights of anxiety, anger and frustration and keeps us focused and able to cope. All carbs, sugars and starches, with the exception of fruit sugars, will activate a process that allows more serotonin to be made, not just to be more active. So how does one get from a licorice stick to feeling less angry about a boyfriend? To make new comforting serotonin, eat about 130 calories of a low- or no-fat carb such as pretzels, low-fat breakfast cereal, popcorn, graham crackers, cherry twizzlers, etc. Eat them on an empty stomach and make sure you eat no protein at the same time. Protein prevents serotonin from being made. Fat does nothing positive for mood, but if you eat a lot of it, it will put you in an emotional coma. This I learned from my many weight-loss patients. A potato is much better [than ice cream], but without butter or sour cream."
JUDITH WURTMAN, author, Managing Your Mind And Mood Through Food, Massachussetts
"To soothe that achy-breaky feeling, hold rose quartz over your heart chakra. To cool off the rage of being jilted, use the mentally calming blue crystal sodalite. Keep an amethyst cluster close by during the day to help alleviate raw feelings of anger, grief and frustration. Breathe deeply with amber, an emotional restorative crystal for the solar plexus chakra. And don't worry. Be happy."
KAREN RYAN, crystal healer, Toronto
"[If you are feeling depressed over a breakup], some combinations of essential oils can be useful. One is 3 drops basil, 6 drops bergamot, 3 drops clary sage, 2 drops geranium, 4 drops lavender and 3 drops neroli per 30 ml of carrier oil. Apply mostly to the upper back and front of the body: belly, chest, arms. Individual oils that can be used are grapefruit, lemon, orange, camomile, and if you are particularly stressed, pine, cinnamon, frankincense, jasmine, patchouli, rose and ylang-ylang."
GEORGE KERAMARIS, aromatherapist, Toronto