Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Break-ups are most definitely one of life’s most humbling, painful, yet necessary experiences.  Although I pray to never go through another one, especially now that I am a married lady (!), I am the first to admit that heartache is no stranger to me.  When I was 18 I went through a terrible break-up, and my world was crushed.  I couldn’t fathom how life would go on after my relationship ended.  Up to this point I was young, a little naïve, and extremely guarded.  I had almost always gotten what I wanted if I worked hard enough.  In this case though, there was nothing I could do to change his mind.

I was a rule follower, a perfectionist, and a people pleaser.  I couldn’t imagine anything happening in life that I couldn’t fix.  I was the ‘good girl’ who lived a happy life, and from the outside looking in, everything looked like it came easy.  Of course I had my struggles, but nothing huge had ever happened to me before.  I was confident in my relationship, my looks, and had my whole life planned out since the age of 10.   However, this break-up hit me like a ton of bricks and it rocked my world.   I think most everyone can relate to that moment when it feels like you were just punched in the gut (figuratively, not literally)!  In just a few seconds, my whole life had changed and I suddenly didn’t know who I was, or where I was going.  The plan was broken and I didn’t know where to turn.  It took me years to recover; in fact I am still learning and growing from that experience every day since.  However, I would not change a single thing that happened since it truly shaped who I am today.  I am stronger than ever, I believe in myself, and I know that life will go on even when I can’t possibly believe it ever will. 

I remember the first week of my break-up: I literally did not sleep, eat, drink water, exercise, smile, etc.  That constant feeling of nausea, my lack of self worth, and that and the belief that I wasn’t good enough hit me hard.  After a couple weeks when I came back to reality, I dove head first into exercise as a way to ease the pain and heal my wounds.  I lost sight of who I was and forgot something my mom always taught me while growing up:  beauty comes from within.  I was so worried about my appearance, and how other people perceived me that I forgot how much I used to love myself and buried the broken emotions I was feeling as deep in my soul as possible.  I knew what I was doing was unhealthy but I didn’t even realize I had a problem since I was not on the outside looking in.  I had no clue I was changing, but those around me definitely did.  My parents and brother in particular stepped in the second they noticed my old self went out the door.  I, of course, ignored them initially. I had it all under control.  The truth was though that I knew something was wrong if they were addressing the issue.  I went out a lot more than I had before.  I looked for acceptance from others when I couldn’t even accept myself.  I controlled what I ate.  I obsessed over my looks. I cried myself to sleep.  This pattern went on for months and months, until my world was finally interrupted and God stepped in to get my attention.  I was mad at God during this time and quietly turned away from him, but he wouldn’t let me go and held on tighter the more I pulled away.

About nine months after my break-up, four days after my 19th birthday, I was diagnosed with mono and was so sick I had to go home and miss classes during my freshmen year of college.  Through pure determination, and with help from my parents, I passed the quarter by going to the few classes required by the University for me to attend.  Yes, my parents drove me hours back and forth from Columbus and walked me to my classes, just so I wouldn’t have to re-take the classes I had spent the last eight weeks attending.  Then, a couple weeks after my diagnosis, my grandmother passed away from cancer.  I remember having to take prescription steroids just to have the energy to attend her funeral.  My temperature was still over 102 degrees the day I said good bye.  It was in that moment when I truly realized what matters, and what doesn’t.  I wanted to be the girl my grandma knew I really was.  I wanted to make her proud and no longer wanted to be this person on a downward spiral.

Although it took time, I slowly began letting go of the hate toward others, the hate toward myself.  I started exercising for health, I took my ‘crazy’ lifestyle down quite a few notches, and I began praying non-stop every day that I would be myself again.  It was during the next couple months that I really felt myself begin to grow and find that love again for who I am as a person.  I started to take care of myself.  I became happier and I looked for help and guidance from those I loved, rather than shunning their opinion that I didn’t want to hear.  I grew into an adult during my time as a single girl.  The one thing I learned more than anything was to be okay with myself.  To love who I am, and that I am enough.  I don’t need anyone else to complete me.  What really pulled me out of my hole though was my faith in Jesus Christ and the love he has for me.  Of course I have moments when I struggle and feel alone, but usually all I need is a quick talk with God, and my close family and friends who I love and love me in return.

So why did I decide to share this story today on a random Thursday, with no break up in sight?  Well, I came across this article on UsMagazine.com titled, “Kim Kardashian:  I Lost 6 Pounds in 7 Days!”  My issue with the article, besides the fact it is promoting an unhealthy and unattainable weight loss of 6 pounds in 7 days, (She would have had to burn 21,000 calories in 7 days!), and I don’t even want to mention the fact that she is promoting the weight loss pill QuickTrim.  No, the main concern I have with this article is how she is approaching her break up.

I figure, I’m single.  Now is the best time to get in shape. –Kim Kardashian

Okay, getting in shape is one thing.  Over doing exercise is a totally different story.

The QuickTrim spokeswoman did it with major devotion, working out two times daily—early-morning treadmill runs and strength training or Pilates at night. –Us Magazine

So many people may be able to pull off two-a-days, but I don’t like how exercise is portrayed as revenge on her ex, as opposed to getting healthy.

It’s totally true:  Looking good really is the best revenge! – Us Magazine

Trust me, I love my trashy magazines as much as the next girl.  I keep-up-to date on my celebrity gossip by reading people.com, watching E! News, and picking up every magazine in the grocery that catches my eye.  Sure, the articles are easy and mindless reads, but if you look really closely it is hard not to miss the underlying message that a young girl could take from the magazine.

  • The way to get revenge on an ex-boyfriend is to look good.

Why do we need to get revenge?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could move forward in our own life as opposed to wasting our time on someone who lost out anyways?  I hate that ‘revenge’ is considered to be a normal thought when you get dumped.  The time alone should be spent taking care of ourselves and learning to love who we are on our own.

  • Looking good means losing weight.

What happened to beauty coming from the inside out?  Why does looking good/feeling good always have to be based on weight loss?  We need to focus on loving our bodies for what it can do:  Run, walk, digest, breathe.  Skinny does not always mean healthy.

  • Diet pills are the way to lose 6 pounds in 7 days.

Telling any woman she will lose 6 pounds in 7 days is a lie.  All it does is set-up women for a let down when they can’t achieve that sort of weight loss.  Plus, why diet pills?  What happened to a healthy dose of exercise and the right nutrition?

  • Working out twice a day is normal behavior.

I am not wanting to sound judgmental, but for the most part (not everyone), working out multiple times a day is not normal.  Sure, working out can be healthy and it can act as a great stress reliever.  It can even provide therapy from a break up!  However, I hope the goal is to work out for our own personal health and happiness as opposed to dropping as much weight as we possibly can.

 

I am not single and have been blessed that God has given me a man who kisses me good morning everyday, who holds my hand when we are out in public, and who tells me ‘I love you’ 100 times a day.  However, I will never lose that single girl love for myself.  I know that no matter what happens in life I am enough and I will be okay.  I don’t have to seek revenge on anyone, because all I do is hurt myself in the end.  I encourage you to find that own relationship with yourself, whether you are single, dating, married, etc.  Remember that you don’t have to lose weight, or change anything about yourself to find love.  You are perfect exactly the way you are.  YOU ARE ENOUGH.

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23 thoughts on “Breaking Up is Hard to Do

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post…. I can certainly relate, and it’s a great reminder of what is really important. Perfect read to start my day! :)

  2. I can definitely relate. God knows what He is doing and can turn even the most heartbreaking circumstances into something for our good; we just have to get in the passengers seat, not the drivers seat (as hard as that is to do!) I am in teenage ministry at my church and I am constantly reminding my girls that ‘they are enough’. I remember how hard it was to believe that during my breakup a few years ago but if only I would’ve taken that perspective sooner – it would’ve saved me a great deal of tears and time wasted, wallowing in my sadness. Great post!

  3. Wow wow wow. What a captivating topic, and something SO true!! I went through a pretty bad breakup about 3 years ago (the guy is gay now, btw. Just a side note haha) but went through the SAME thoughts and actions that you did! Actually, the break up was what propelled me to “get in shape” and inevitably started my unhealthy “relationship”/obsession with going to the gym. It’s so sad how us women can translate our worth into other things– Appearance, boys, exercise– and the media is absolutely not helping!

    Thank you so much for your honesty Jana. I LOVE these heart-wrenching posts of yours!

  4. I LOVE this post :). I went through a rough break-up when I was 19 and had the same type of feelings. I didn’t think I was good enough. Thankfully, a year and a half later God brought my (now) fiance into my life, and I’ve grown stronger (as an individual) ever since. Sometimes we have to go through tough times to appreciate the present moment, I believe!

  5. This is so so so so true! Breakups are no fun – especially at a younger age. I too had the really tough high school break up, and it definitely changed me for a while. It took me a long time to truly trust anyone. I went through the whole process and found out how strong I really am inside. Only then, did I open up my heart enough to let someone else truly in – my current boyfriend. He’s wonderful and everything I hoped to find in a partner. This is a great post

  6. Great post! It’s very true that we get so focused on how we feel about ourselves and how we look from the outside…that we forget the blessings God hands us each day. Most of the time we never thank Him for those blessings either!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for bringing up such important issues! You write beautifully. God has blessed you with wisdom (have I told you this yet?) and I’m so full of joy every time you share that wisdom with us :D

  8. You are a blessing to those of us that can relate to the same situation. There is a life after the break-up and loss. God has a bigger plan. The conflicts in life become the opportunities, when we allow Him to be in control. Thank you very much for sharing. Beautifully written.

  9. I came across your blog recently, and I’m so glad I did. These are beautiful words of wisdom, and I’m sure there’s not a girl in the world who can’t relate!

  10. I believe you can lose 6 lbs of water weight in 1 week! But not actual fat or anything. I’ve seen the scale move quite low (5 lbs difference in a matter of days) while being really sick and having digestive issues *ahem* and have never been able to intentionally get down to that weight. Weird huh?

    Anyways, 6 lbs in 1 week is just not maintainable. The second you start eating again you’ll gain it back.

  11. I don’t even know what to write, but thank you! I haven’t had to go through a breakup in years either, but I still know the exact feelings you felt. It is so sad that we don’t hear more from “normal people” that go through the same things and feelings we do, but we can’t seem to get enough of Kim as a society.

  12. This was an excellent post and all SO true. I can totally relate to exactly what you went through with the tough breakup, I had a very similar situation several years ago. I’m glad we are both in better places now :D

  13. Just came across your blog (saw a comment you left on another) – I LOVE this post. It’s truly amazing how something from our past (a breakup, being teased, being overweight, whatever) is carried with you FOREVER. But how we deal with it, the people who help us through, and our love of God is what is important for our future.

    I’m officially a reader of your blog – love it!

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