Trackies, MDMA & Fucking Around: How to Survive Heartbreak

Words by Kleo Cruse
Art by Xiaoyang Pei

I’m not going to sit here and fill your brain with weak cliches. Heartbreak will hurt more than death. Food will taste like ash. Everything reminds you of them. Love songs suck but they are the only palatable thing to listen to.

I’ve tried two methods. With my partner of five and a half years – let’s call him Fred – I didn’t speak to him for months. With my subsequent partner – let’s call this one Hudson – I spoke to him regularly, then we’d meet up under the guise of just ‘catching up’, and would inevitably sleep together. The entanglement of emotions was just prolonged for no good reason. You need to know if you genuinely want to be broken up. Have you identified that there are enough reasons for you to be apart? Don’t worry, it’s normal for this belief to wane, and for you to question whether or not you’ve made a huge mistake.

On the flip side of the same terrible coin, it’s difficult when you’re the one who has been broken up with to see and appreciate your value. It can be easy to think that if someone has broken up with you, you must be broken. But this isn’t the case. Here’s the toughest thing to believe: You will love again, and someday you will be appreciated and valued by the right person.

Try to not become obsessed with one-upping your ex. If you’re having fun, that’s great but don’t aggressively demand that your friends upload a bunch of photos of you being “SAA CRAZAY” to their social media in the hopes that your ex sees. It looks transparent as fuck.

I can’t say this any more emphatically: The thing that’ll get you through a break up, no matter how long or short or serious or frivolous the relationship was, is staying in your lane. What do I mean by that? Working entirely on yourself, for yourself.

I think that calling this “self-care” is lame as fuck. I’ve never been in a bubble bath after a break up and not been totally overwhelmed with anxiety that I end up being in the bath for less time than it took to fill the tub up.

My idea of self-care is (and it’s different for everyone I’m sure) is striking a balance between busying myself with social situations that aren’t emotionally exhausting, and also knowing when I need to be left the fuck alone. 

And when I’m alone I’m not luxuriantly slathering myself in cocoa butter while my mud-mask sets; I’m getting super stoned while wearing food stained trackies in front of SBS Food for the seventh hour straight.

I want to tell you to not drink and do drugs, but the reality is that if you’re even one iota like me then you’re going to spend the next billion weekends after the breakup taking enough MDMA to fuel an illegal bush doof. The comedown is rawer than ever, with no significant other to coddle you and tell you you’re an idiot, but you’ll be fine by Thursday.

Look out for yourself and back yourself. This feeling will end. Eat some bananas, snooze, take a valium, watch Arrested Development until you drift off into a weird sleep. Whatever your poison, just know that this feeling is temporary – I promise.

Studying became an almighty task in the weeks after the breakup. It was unfortunately an obligation I couldn’t forgo (for whatever reason ‘heartbroken’ doesn’t count for special consideration). The only thing that got me through this was the constant affirmation that a rewarding career would be more long lasting than this momentary heartache.

Sleeping around sure helped me but I don’t know if a) I should be admitting that on a public platform or b) that it’s a method for everyone. There were regrettable individuals, and really fun ones. Rolling out of strangers’ beds quietly the next morning became a cool game. Occasionally, intrusive thoughts about how they weren’t as good or attractive as my ex would leak into my mind, but shut that down ASAP.  Eventually someone will come along who is as good – or even better.

Yes time heals all wounds; it’s the only surefire thing in my experience.

Also, do yourself a favour and get a trustworthy friend to confiscate your phone when you’re under the influence, or else you might end up in a yelling match outside the Precinct Hotel in Richmond with red-wine-vomit streaming out of your nostrils – totally hypothetical situation btw.

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