All Woman

Breathing into the phone like a psychopathic stalker

Part 1

Betty Lou

Monday, June 11, 2012    

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BREAK ups. We’ve all been through them. You lose 10 pounds because “break up stomach” gives you an intense aversion to food. Or, you gain 10 pounds because ice cream, soda, and chocolate bars never seemed so appealing in your life!

You cry because you’re hurting. You also cry at things that probably wouldn’t usually make you cry, like the “sponsor a child” commercials. You just feel extra bad for little “Sarah” today; she just wants to go to school. You play love songs all day and night. That ache in your chest and stomach won’t go away, and you just want to lie in bed forever — like Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex in the City movie after “Big” gets cold feet on their wedding day — and forget that you are, or ever were, a part of human existence.

So how the heck do we get through break-ups without disfiguring our bodies, shutting

ourselves off from the world, and wallowing in our sorrow? There are ways to get through it without shattering like a windshield a brick was thrown through.

First of all, you can’t play dead indefinitely. You can’t make your bed your coffin and love songs your funeral music. Yes, your love, or whoever it was you split with, is gone, and will, if he or she hasn’t done so already, be with someone else.

OUCH! Yes it hurts. It hurts like hell. I understand this. I’m not going to say don’t do the mourning in bed thing. Do it. Shoot, sometimes you have to let the reality of the situation hit you, and when it does, sometimes it knocks you down.

So before you get back up and you’re all wobbly on your feet and can’t even see clearly because you have two scratched corneas, take a minute to recover from the blow. Stay in bed, cry, play love songs, sing them into your brush or whatever else you can utilise as a microphone, watch old love movies etc. It’s okay to feel pain. No one says you can’t or won’t. It’s okay, mourn. Don’t let anyone invalidate what you are feeling. Breaking up is hard, boyfriends or girlfriends after a while become a major part of your life.

Have a good cry — you know like the one Celie has in The Color Purple. You know what I’m talking about!

But, yes here comes the big BUT, set goals. When the break up happens and you want to climb under your covers, put a timeline on how long you will stay there. No, the answer cannot be “forever”. There is no way to put a timeline on how long you will hurt, but mourning in bed, in my opinion, should not extend beyond a week, if even that. If it does, I give your friends permission to do things like rip the covers off and throw cold water on you.

More next week!

Ms Betty Lou, aka Elizabeth A Hylton, is a Jamaican-American writer, actress, and clinical nurse specialist hailing from Massachusetts. She has a passion for advocating women’s rights and fostering a Jamaican community that values strong women. She specialises in child and adolescent mental health and relationship advice. You can find her on Twitter: @MsBettyLou and Facebook: Send your thoughts to

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