What a Break Up Can Do to You

I’d like to think that at least with my blog, I’ve been keeping it together for the last month or two. It takes so much more planning and forethought and energy than it ever did before to keep the blog going, but I’m hoping that it’s still enjoyable and useful to everyone as it was before. If you aren’t interested in a personal post, I’m not offended if you don’t read today’s post- Style File Friday is back on Friday, as usual.

Although I can “hold it together” for longer periods of time than I could at the beginning, it’s been four months and I’m still not coping overly well. It’s a constant barrage of “It’s been X amount of time, you have to move on” and “take as much time as you need”, and then trying to figure out some sort of balance between the two, because I do need time (much, much more time) but I don’t want to hold myself back. And it’s exhausting to discuss it with most anyone aside from three or four people, so it’s also a balance of trying to not be rude to someone reaching out because they care and coping as best I can myself.

I still can’t see anything to do with Seattle. Or with Dublin. Or with grad school. Or with baseball. Or with airports. Or with travel. Or with holidays and vacation time. Or with a hundred other things and not have the wind knocked out of me and tears rush to my eyes. It’s a reminder that the person that I thought was my best friend wants nothing to do with me. It’s a reminder that at one point, I was happy and had plans to do something with my life. It’s a reminder that I finally felt like who I was supposed to be and it turned out to be a lie. It’s a reminder that I am alone, and will probably stay that way because the risk of all of this again isn’t worth anything that might be gained. It’s a reminder that the person that I loved never loved me. Its a reminder that the one time I finally took a risk, my entire world fell apart. And that’s incredibly hard to describe to someone at the best of times, least of all when I can barely catch my breath and continue being a functioning person (because this typically doesn’t happen when you are by yourself but usually at work or out in public or with friends).

For some particular reason that I can’t figure out, my brain likes to bring up memories that I never thought of before but now can’t get out of my head. Walking down a street in Dublin when we were getting groceries. Checking into a hotel in York. At the dog park in Salt Lake. All of these things that I never thought of just keep running through my brain on a cycle. To everyone who just says, “do other things to distract yourself”, I am a multi-tasker. I can be writing a blog post or doing yoga or cooking and thinking of these things at the same time. It’s not a switch that I turn off and it’s gone. I more than appreciate all of my friends who have gone above and beyond to keep me doing things and spending time with me and checking in with me, but it’s always there in the back of my mind.

I don’t know where I stand on anything anymore. I don’t know that I believe any relationship is worth it. I don’t know what my life is or what I’m going to do with it. I don’t know what career I want. I don’t know where I want to live. I don’t know if I regret any of the last five years, because quite frankly I’m doing my best to compartmentalise that away so that I can maybe make it through a day without crying. At this point and time, the not knowing is about as bad or worse than knowing I’m unwanted. And I don’t know how to cope with that.

Agnes is my bright spot- she reminds me that although people can be pretty terrible, dogs will always be there for you. She snuggles when I need it the most, keeps me on my feet, and can always make me smile. I can honestly say, I don’t know where I would be at right now without her.

To everyone who has been patient and understanding with me, your kindness, time, and care means the world to me. Thank you for being willing to listen, watch out for me, and push me when I need it.

Until tomorrow,
The Historian

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60 thoughts on “What a Break Up Can Do to You

  1. Chomeuse with a Chou April 4, 2018 / 1:48 am

    To clarify, I don’t actually ‘like’ this at all, I feel dreadful for you, but I think that it is very good to be able to express yourself so clearly. I really hope that you can push through to the other side eventually, and come out even stronger than before.

    Liked by 2 people

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      Thank you for your sympathy- I don’t know if I am clear haha, I rather feel a jumbled mess but I figured that writing it down is a least a small step!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Em Linthorpe April 4, 2018 / 4:33 am

    Hi. I’m incredibly sorry that you’re going through this. I just want to say that I know, and I understand.
    You’re very brave to be able to write about it. The obsessive and intrusive thoughts are the worst but they do go, they do. You just have to keep on fighting every day, try to do small things and take every little victory you can.
    You will be happy again, and although that seems really far away right now, it is coming 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:13 pm

      Thank you, Em. I’m trying to focus on the tiny steps I am taking, and that they are in fact steps (even though they usually result in me being about 6 steps backwards). I have to say, this is the scariest post I have ever written, and I have so much respect for bloggers who share their personal thoughts!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bragandbone April 4, 2018 / 5:15 am

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m currently trying to get over my first true heartbreak and seriously struggling to do so. I think it’s just going to take some time for both of us and I hope you start feeling better soon x

    Liked by 2 people

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:14 pm

      I hope that you are also letting yourself have as much time and room as needed! It’s a difficult road, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fashion Schlub April 4, 2018 / 7:49 am

    Ohhh…I’m so sorry 😦 Obviously I don’t know the details of your situation but I certainly know the pain of feeling…left. By the person you trusted most NOT to leave you, abandon you, hurt you. It turns your world upside down. Things you thought to be true now all seem shaky or untrue. You second guess everything. I get it. Don’t try to rush yourself through it. Being busy doesn’t make it go away but it can mask it for a bit so you have some breathing room. So you can get a tiny respite from FEELING. From your heart twisting, incapable of pumping oxygen. Eventually, those tiny moments will begin to grow. They WILL. New life will start settling on top of the hurt. The hurt won’t be GONE but it will pushed down a bit, not so near the surface. Do find nice things to do for yourself. If ever there’s a time to pamper yourself, this is it. Go to a new town and explore. Take your dog for long walks. Buy a new book. Listen to books on tape in the car (the car is always the worst for me, I took to calling it The Crying Box). Go for a massage. Go for several massages. Eat ice cream. Make a new recipe. I know these might sound silly but every new thing, every new experience you can have, will help put new fresh memories on top of old hurtful ones. Interestingly, talking to other people about *him* was never really a help. They love ME. They’re on MY side. So they would be all “he’s an asshole,” etc. But I couldn’t (and STILL can’t) hear bad things about him. Yes, he probably WAS an asshole, but I still loved him and still wanted him and still hoped for him to show up one day and make everything right again…and hearing bad things just made me defend him and that was not a help to letting him go. Which, in the end, is what I needed to do. Him letting ME go was almost inconsequential. I had to learn how to let HIM go…so he didn’t still have my heart in his hands and I could hope to someday move on.

    Whoa, this was long. Listen, everyone’s situation is different. There’s no one magic formula for getting past a broken heart (especially if you don’t yet really WANT to “get past it.” You WANT to FIX it. But both people have to want to fix it. And if he doesn’t…then you need to find a way to move on and eventually stop having hurt be the overriding emotion in your heart and in your life. So do what feels right to you, but definitely DO something.

    I don’t know how old you are or how many times you’ve had your heart broken. I’m old (ha ha) and have had my heart broken a number of times in my life. Every time you think This is The One I Won’t Recover From, but…I’ve recovered from them all. In time.

    I’m around if you want to chat.


    Liked by 3 people

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:20 pm

      Bettye, thank you so much for your thoughtful words. The shower tends to be where I cry- there’s a lot of time to think in the shower, more time than I would like, and you can only hold it in for so long. I tend not to discuss the person with most people because of exactly what you said- I don’t know where I stand on him. It’s impossible to reconcile the person that I thought I knew with the person who did this, and I’m still at a loss. I’m not angry, I’m just heartbroken and sad. Perhaps anger would be more useful, but alas, it’s not what I’ve got. I’m trying to focus on the things that I can control right now, even if it’s something small like ordering business cards for my blog, or getting books together to give away. (I’ve also dug deeper into podcasts than ever- thanks to technology, my audiobooks and podcasts are available any time I need them!)

      I don’t know that I want to do this again, truly. Being on my own won’t stop me from living a fulfilling life, and if this is the size hurdle I’m going to have to get over every time, no one is worth it (me included). I think perhaps that some people, the people who invest far too much in relationships, are perhaps best on their own. It would force us to focus on ourselves, and could maybe save some anguish. Thank you again for sharing with me, it helps to know that others have gone on.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Fashion Schlub April 28, 2018 / 12:02 pm

        “Perhaps anger would be more useful, but alas, it’s not what I’ve got.” I hear that. The few people in my life that knew about the situation would get SO ANGRY and could never understand how I didn’t feel the same…and how I STILL can’t bear to hear anyone else say anything bad about him.
        The Crying Shower 😦 Interestingly, that’s one of the few places I DON’T cry. I think water is so relaxing to me it’s a place I can just sort of go “ahhhh.” But I can see how crying in there would be good (good? you know what I mean). The sound of the water would cover up crying sounds, the water would help wash the tears away. We all have our things. Funny you should mention podcasts. I now listen to audio books or podcasts anytime I’m in the car, even just for a few minutes, because it helps distract me from my thoughts.
        Yeah, I sort of feel like I will probably not ever be in a romantic relationship again (I’m probably much older than you so “ever” is a much shorter time for me). I’m certainly not LOOKING for one. I’m just fine on my own…though I do sometimes miss the sharing and talking aspects of a relationship like that.
        Oh well. I hope you continue to feel stronger and less sad with time. I’m around if you ever want to chat.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Trula Marie April 4, 2018 / 8:13 am

    You will find your balance again. I have faith in that. I’m always here if you need me just to listen/read while you talk. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      Thank you for always being so wonderful and supportive- it is always appreciated, even if I don’t show it enough

      Liked by 1 person

  6. the britchy one April 4, 2018 / 8:47 am

    You’re grieving – it’s allowed. It’s an end, a death. Not just of a past and present but of a future to that now has to be rewritten. I have gone through the same, you can be absolutely fine and then the slightest thing can just knock the air out of your lungs. I was driving once and had to pull over and stop because a memory just came out of nowhere and devastated me. It will get better. They I can promise you but it’ll be in your time, no one else’s and however long or short that is – it’s okay. It’s your healing, it will happen. Don’t feel bad about it either!

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:26 pm

      I’m at almost 5 months, and those devastating memories still sneak up on me, and it’s like it is fresh again. It’s hard to explain to most people, so I’m grateful that you know exactly where I am. It is coming to the point where other people think I need to be moving on, and that is difficult. However, this is what life has dealt me and what I must go through. I keep trying to remind myself to focus on me, but this isn’t the time when one wants to do that a whole lot!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. tahenryauthoress April 4, 2018 / 9:25 am

    The last thing you need is more advice. So instead I will share something that comforts me.
    It is considered psychologically appropriate to grieve for half the duration of the relationship.


    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      I am guessing that it will take longer than that, and I am okay with that. If nothing else, I am learning that things I once assumed I needed in my life aren’t, and that being on my own is fine.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. thehomeplaceweb April 4, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing how you feel. You will be happy again. The only cure for a breakup is Tincture of Time.


  9. Emmalene aka A Brummie Home and Abroad April 4, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    Hi lovely, i’m not going to add to those telling you all those ridiculous platitudes but I promise – from someone who has been there – that you will be happy again. You will remember Seattle and Dublin with fondness. The five years haven’t been pointless; you’ve grown and experienced and learned, and you will carry on, you and Agnes, growing, experiencing and learning. Don’t look too far into the future, or into the past, concentrate on each day at a time, and do things – even if they’re tiny things – that make you happy. I gave up on relationships, and then finally found the man who wouldn’t give up on me. Look after yourself Jess, and eventually you will put yourself back together again xx


    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:38 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Em, they mean a lot to me. If nothing else, I hope that I can trust myself and my judgement again, because it’s even hard for me to meet new friends right now- how do I know that something isn’t terrible wrong when I have no idea? Before this relationship, I never wanted to take that chance for this very reason- sadly, I proved myself right. I’m hoping that when she’s a little older, Agnes can be my travel buddy. I do hope that I can return to Dublin one day though, it truly breaks my heart that I can’t even think about it without tears right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Kaitlin Bain April 4, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    I don’t know if this helps or makes it worse. But I’m just finally getting over the man i thought I was going to marry and it’s been like three years. There was some on and off crap so that contributed to the length of time.
    But take all the time you need and there will come a time where you really do feel better – not the fake better you try to convince yourself you are – but really better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:43 pm

      Thank you, Kaitlin. It’s very true, it is a fake better and I don’t think I’ve actually made much improvement. However, I’m slowly, very slowly, learning to accept that that is okay. I am hoping that at least by the fall, I can start to think of the future again, but other than that, timelines have ceased to exist for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Leanne April 5, 2018 / 11:37 am

    It’s okay to not know. Hugs from me and kisses from Bailey and Mason.


  12. Steph April 5, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    You’re doing great! There is no timeframe on when you can move on, it happens when it happens, so while it’s good to make efforts to keep busy and distract yourself, don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes just getting through the day can be an achievement! Keep doing what you’re doing and even though you can’t believe it now, one day you will realise it hurts that little bit less xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you so much, Steph. It’s so hard to go from the type A, achiever mentality that I’ve had my entire life to having going 12-24 hours without tears be an achievement BUT if that’s my achievement, it’s what is it. I’ve plateaued for months now, and it feels like I’m barely treading water- maybe treading water is the best I can do, and that’s okay!


  13. josypheen April 6, 2018 / 12:31 am

    Aww Jessica, I am sending all the hugs. I have been really impressed how you have kept things together with this blog and sharing photos of the cutest puppy in history!

    Please give me a shout if you can get a ticket to Vancouver and want to escape for a few days. I’m not sure what Monty would think of Agnes, but he’s bigger than her, so I think he could cope!! We have a spare room if you need hugs or a new place to escape to.


    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:50 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Josy- and your offer, Agnes and I may come out there to visit for a few days! I’ve really been focusing on the blog because it is something I can control, and it’s what I want it to be. I don’t think that it’s necessarily where it was before, and I lost a lot of momentum, but I can’t change anything about that now. It’s time to focus on whatever I enjoy and cut the things I don’t!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. thebeasley April 7, 2018 / 8:02 am

    I’m so very sorry to read this. Take each day as it comes. That sounds like a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a very good reason. You’re doing right not think of the big stuff. Take care of you & lovely Agnes xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you very much, Hayley- it very much bothers me to ignore the big stuff, but as I can’t make a decision to save my life right now, I’ll just pretend they aren’t there. Agnes is wonderful for keeping me on my toes and busy!

      Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:56 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this with me, you have put into words how I am feeling perfectly. I do think that people mean well when they say to get back to your routine, but my routine was blown to pieces so it’s not really an option now. And coming up with a new routine is tough, although my puppy does help a lot with that!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. lettersfromthecoffeeshop April 16, 2018 / 8:10 am

    I want to add that it is okay to be exactly where you are and to feel exactly what you feel. I used to become unspeakably sad while grocery shopping, because my ex was the cook, and a great one, and so grocery shopping was his thing. I SO feel your pain. Understand that it’s okay to curl up and lose your shit. Sometimes, as my friend says, you have to lose your shit to keep it together. Hang in there. Just step to the side for now. Give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 3:57 pm

      Baseball does that to me, and although I’m just pretending baseball doesn’t exist for me, it exists for everyone else (especially in the commercials during the hockey playoff games), and it really does send me reeling, even now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • porterintransit April 28, 2018 / 7:51 am

        I recently got left behind and have had to use many positive reminders! Such as, one person’s leftovers is another’s feast!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. amyzofia April 16, 2018 / 8:16 am

    I think everyone at some point in their lives has thoughts like this, in my opinion it’s normal especially after something like a break up. Hope you feel better soon xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. joeadams77 April 16, 2018 / 8:34 am

    Wollan! Sorry for the break up, all gonna be well!


  18. Raashmi April 16, 2018 / 8:37 am

    Hang in there, you will make it through and once there you can re-evaluate your thoughts on love. Sending you my best wishes and praying that your bruises heal soon. Hugs Xx


  19. a mindful traveler April 16, 2018 / 8:53 am

    Congratulations on having this personal piece of writing featured on Discover. You’re a legend and so deserve it Jess. So happy for you lovely. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Jasmine Suraya Deyal April 16, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Hey The Historian,
    I recently am going through a breakup. I never looked at it being a general problem with others. The world only rotated around my feelings a second ago until I read yours. It’s amazing to hear that the same process of ensuring the well being of the body and mind is taken on by another person. I realized in this moment of grief and sorrow that you can relate to me. I keep on forgetting we are all human, and emotion is not being a sign of weakness but is necessary. You reminded me of a quote I once heard. It stated: This too shall pass. Thank you for this. I wish you all the best. I also hope you get over this as well. You surely are helping me with mine.


    • anhistorianabouttown April 27, 2018 / 4:03 pm

      I am sorry to hear that you are going through this as well, but I am glad that it has brought you some comfort. I find it particularly difficult to be so self-focused because I tend to always focus on others- I’m by no means a saint, but my general state of being is typically focusing on other people. So not only am I still reeling, I am in entirely unfamiliar and confusing territory and don’t know how to cope. I do hope that this will pass for both of us, and I am here if you ever need to chat!


  21. Puranjai Singh Chauhan April 16, 2018 / 9:44 am

    Loved to read that someone really has time to write their feelings.


  22. Delaney Nicole April 25, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    I really need this today, as much as I’m sure it hurt you to write. My ex and I broke up just over a week ago, and I’m already anticipating having to navigate all these aspects of the breakup. I even created a blog almost immediately after it happened, just so I could have a place to write down my thoughts. From one Canadian to another, I’m sending you all of the positivity in the world! We’ll get through it.


    • anhistorianabouttown April 30, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, I am glad to know that this is helpful for you!! It’s a scary and unknown new world to face, and everyone has advice and recommendations. My only recommendation is: Do what you need to, and find your outlets 🙂 I am always here if you need someone to talk to, or even just someone to listen


  23. sharmistha April 25, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    We need to accept and grow out of it..I have felt the same way so I can feel your pain and miserability too..but with time we just need to be stronger to accept the harsh reality and try to just keep it as a part of our life rather than affecting the rest of our life..at some point we need to think about them who are still there with us and not about them who left us in the middle of our lives..


  24. simplygiselle May 18, 2018 / 10:45 am

    Did your words ever resonate with me! I am currently confused, frustrated, and lost. Friends are there to support and, as you mentioned, with words of good will, it is still not enough. It has been, what, 4 or 5 months now and nothing has changed. Work and life are not distracting enough. I cannot fathom dating again at my age; just the thought of all the energy that accompanies the dating process exhausts me… If you find the answer, please let me know, or write and update. I could sure use the guidance.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. RenewMyStrength.com May 31, 2018 / 8:59 pm

    Hang in there. Isn’t it amazing how people who have most likely never walked in your shoes are full of free unsolicited advice??? Sometimes those public conversations can be quite painful and infuriating. I will keep you in my prayers. I understand. There are some of us who can not divert our minds easily. So sorry for this painful experience. I pray you will find peace and comfort knowing others care about you and that your future will hold unexpected joys.


  26. depuzzler June 2, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    Oh my… after reading your post I feel like there is someone out there who can totally understand and feel what I feel right now. I am fighting these mind circles and cycles every day and it is indeed exhausting and worst part is I feel like there is nothing at all I can do to make it feel more bearable or change anything about the situation.
    I want to thank you for this post and I want to tell you that you made me feel a bit more normal and a bit more hopeful knowing I’m not alone.
    I wish you can regain your strength and find hope and joy for life. If only it worked by voting of all those who love and care for us we would be already fine and happy. I don’t know exactly what it takes to move on… but I do believe we will survive this and we will love again. Good luck! And once again thank you for sharing!


    • anhistorianabouttown June 3, 2018 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad that I was able to help you in some way! At this point in time, I’m not interested in dating again because it doesn’t seem worth it quite frankly, but I am looking forward to finding happiness for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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