Heartbreak can lead us to do some funny things. It can leave us so devastated that we stop showing up for ourselves. What I mean by that is that, we stop doing the things that make us feel good about ourselves. Perhaps, if the breakup did a number on your self-esteem, then you no longer feel that you deserve to show up for yourself. Or, if the breakup left you angry, you can begin to project that onto every person and situation. Rather than try to work through the sadness or anger, you start living in it, like your own filth. Sometimes, the tough emotions that come with heartache can be too overwhelming to work through so we just decide to keep them, and all of the strange behavior that comes with that. We skip the important processing phase. Here are signs you’ve given up on yourself since your breakup.
You haven’t gotten a haircut in forever
In fact, you’ve started cutting your own hair, kind of the way Mulan did but, sadly, your do doesn’t come out quite as clean and even. But you don’t care. You’ve started doing your own color, too. You barely do any of this but when you do, you wind up with some pretty choppy locks and what look like tiger stripes in your hair and you don’t care.
It’s okay—that’s what headscarves are for
You’ve mostly given up on showing your hair to the world. That’s what headscarves and baseball caps are for. And hoods. And big sunglasses. You mostly only go out into the world to run absolutely necessary errands—but you rely heavily on Postmates—and when you do, you hide from the world as much as you can under large garments.
Your social media rants have gotten odd
Your social media rants have started to sound like those of a fifty-year-old man who has been living in his mother’s basement reading about conspiracy theories. Your theories, however, revolve mostly around the fact that men are evil and that their sex should be eradicated. And Norovirus. You get into that sometimes.
And your dating profiles are off the wall
Your dating profiles (those that are still active, that is) are getting rather odd. You’ve started posting photos of yourself in a shower cap with makeup streaming down your cheeks or eating pizza off of your stomach. Your bio sounds a lot like you just yelling at the world.
You’ve put on a few and don’t care
You’ve put on some weight but you don’t care. In fact, sometimes, if you catch someone looking at your tummy, you’ll lift up your top, grab your spare tire, and yell, “Want a better look!!”
But that’s fine—you’ve started wearing mumus
It’s okay that you’ve gained weight because your new uniform is a mumu. You’ve collected several with different prints. You and the 90-year-old neighbor of yours would really enjoy each other’s closets at this point.
You’re using odd surfaces to eat on
Speaking of eating pizza off of your stomach in your dating profile pic, you’ve started eating in odd places around your home. You use a book as a table. Or a pizza box. Or your dog. You don’t treat yourself to the experience of setting the table with nice dishware and sitting down to a proper meal. That is for couples, you tell yourself.
Your home is in disarray
Your home is in complete disarray. Friends come over and say the place has no organization and you say, “That isn’t true. That pile of clothes in that corner is dresses and hats. That pile over there is tank tops and socks. I have jewelry in that cereal box.”
You’ve taken up an obscure hobby
You’ve decided to dedicate all of your free time to some new, obscure hobby that nobody could possibly understand the appeal of. For example, beetle fighting. Or, duck herding. You can’t be bothered with dating again, you say, because you’re training these beetles for their next battle.
You never go out
More on obscure hobbies, you’re too busy with those to go out. You’re starting to sound like that odd, recluse aunt or cousin everyone has who insists she couldn’t possibly make it to a birthday party or wedding, even, because she’s at a critical point in teaching her cat how to play the piano.
You’re collecting animals
Oh, yes, and you’re collecting animals. It started with one stray cat. Then another. Then one of those had kittens. What are you to do? Kick them out? But you feel the numbers are off, so you take in an additional cat so everyone has a playmate and a mother figure.
You assume everyone has bad intentions
You’ve become suspicious and cynical. If people simply ask to hang out, or call to ask how you are, you go on the defensive. What do they want, you ask yourself. You’ve really stopped being approachable.
You won’t listen to advice
Friends and family have tried, gently, to give you a talking to about your new habits. They suggest you get out a bit more. They try to schedule you a day at the salon—their treat. Your close your ears to this. You tell them they aren’t being very accepting of who you are and that you’re happy this way.
You’re always the victim
You’ve started dropping the ball on relationships—friendships and family relationships—but when people rightfully accuse you of doing so, you make yourself the victim. You say that nobody is being very sensitive to your needs and feelings right now, and they have no right to be mad that you didn’t…give them a ride home from the hospital after surgery like you said you would.
When cute men ask you out…
You assume it’s a joke. You say, “Very funny.” You think his intentions are sinister. “I don’t have any money, if that’s what you’re after!” you bark at him. You’ve let yourself get to a state in which you can’t imagine a man would just want to date you.