Healing after a Break Up

By Arikai Tabeson

A few weeks ago my boyfriend of nearly two years and I broke up “by default.”


The short story is that I made out with someone at a staff party while I was on a work trip – definitely a mistake.


Since then I’ve been trying to figure out why I did that in the hopes of finding the silver lining of my current situation. Before we even broke up, I knew I had been taking out my general unhappiness with my seemingly wonderful life, on my now ex-boyfriend, but I couldn’t figure out why. Now I had made a shitty decision, which threatened the livelihood of one of the best friends I’d ever had. #Tear.


To help everything along move along I collected the well-meaning advice of those who know me best, binged on depressing relationship movies with Netflix, and in my darkest hour took up the task of making a personal relationship-breakup reel.


While I had made peace with my shameful actions, I still knew what I did felt wrong and it felt even worse to play like I was an angel, so when I told people I trusted to give me honest feelings about the situation, you could say I left slightly disappointed for the lack of wrist-slapping, but relieved and loved nonetheless.


For instance, when I told someone from work, expecting them to give me a stern talking to about being the face of the company and so on, they surprised me with, “Welp! We all make mistakes. Sorry you have to go through this, but honestly, I did way worse things when I was your age. I feel happy that you’d tell me though.” Which had me thinking to myself: Huh? Ok, thanks?


Another common thread was, something along the lines of: “From what you’re telling me, it seems like you already knew what the consequences would and were actually ok with the consequences. Think about it…” Which had me thinking to myself: Ugh caught me red-handed.


While they were all comforting conversations, you could say I still felt the loss that only movies could empathize with.


So for the last couple weeks, you might find me sitting in a puddle of misery watching Don’t Think Twice, The Break-Up and GirlBoss trying to cry it all out so I could move on with my life.


As cheesy as it is, these movies turned on that light bulb in my head showing me what really went down.


Don’t Think Twice — Like Samantha, I was trying to be more than I actually wanted to be at this stage in my life, trying to live up to the expectations and life perspective of someone 10 years older than me. And while I love a good challenge and grew so much during the trials and tribulations of our relationship, I was now hiding pieces of myself prematurely instead of letting go of them when I was ready to keep our relationship going.


The Break Up  — As a cringe-worthy, somewhat accurate take on a breakup, I kept asking myself why I wanted to watch this horribly depressing movie in the first place. But then in the final scene where Gary and Brooke run into each other months after breaking up and are able to face each other. I may be speculating, but I think in this moment they were able to see the light in each other again.


GirlBoss (great 1st season btw) — Unsuspectingly, Sophia Marlow let me see that this maturity that we all “strive” for comes only when we’re ready and want it, not when someone demands it of us. So until then, I can relax and continue to follow my desires, passions, and hunches.


Back to my reality: no matter how many times my ex and I go back and forth about this, choosing to not be together was the right decision.  I have so much perspective to gain, mistakes to make, and more to explore all for a solid foundation of self/center #SpriritualJargon. I definitely could’ve communicated that without making out with someone, but as many have said, I’m 25 for goodness sake!


The worst part of this whole process is not knowing if you’ll lose your best friend too because you want to give up the privilege of sex and companionship. I’m pretty sure this is the biggest thing that keeps people from making a decision at all. In my case, I forced a decision to break up but found out that my ex would always be my best friend and even though he couldn’t accept me as a lover or partner, he would always accept me as a friend, which has been his greatest gift.


Anyways, as an ode to the last two years of friendship, companionship, and an utter struggle-fest I made this video on iMovie one of the first nights of our breakup, with poop-quality photos, a star-filled background, and the perfect song has spoken to me throughout the last couple weeks, It Is Well by Toulouse (lyrics). I have to say, it really sums it all up. So enjoy!






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