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Chapter 27: Why moving on is like going to rehab

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Why moving on is like going to rehab

According to that Whitney Houston single, broken hearts go to an empty place. I disagree. I think broken hearts go to Broken Hearts Ville for rehab. Whenever my heart gets broken, I go through intensive counseling. Sometimes on my own, like when Amr left me and I caved in. I didn’t want to talk about it. Not to anyone. Not even to Lucy or Alaa because doing so would mean that my judgment was wrong when I told them that this is really it. But there are times when moving on was a lot easier because I confided with my friends. We would discuss it, and digest it until we reach the root of the problem. What was the cause and effect? They would ask, and they would just listen until I’ve poured my heart and lungs out and address the toxins. After a while, they would evaluate my behavior and then give me a recommendation.

“Jennifer, you’re still distracted, Jennifer you’re still not with us!” And when Lucy and Alaa says that, it means I’m still suffering from the-ex-boyfriend-at-the-time-titis. My friends can easily tell when a certain person can still trigger a certain emotion or behavior, and they would recommend that a different moving-on program be applied.

I would then be subjected to choose from different therapy options. There is the You Know Better Now Therapy which develops cognition. It helps a broken heart recognize and cope with situations in which my broken heart is most likely to relapse. There is the You Have To Talk To Your Dad Therapy, which is designed to support the healing of a broken heart by improving communication with the family. There is Motivational Interviewing too, which is a fancier word for pep talk. And then there are Motivational Incentives Crap, which tells the broken heart that it will find a good one if it stays away from the bad ones.

There is no one size fits all treatment. Different treatments work for different causes of my broken heart. When I was moving on from Nicco, I used the You Know Better Now Therapy. When it was with Karam, I started talking to my dad about it because he used to have an affair too, and as bizarre as it sounds, it actually got us more closer. We could talk openly about it and that was really something. (Dad, I hope you’re not reading this!) With Xavier, I just needed pep talk and accept that he wasn’t a good match for me. Different men, different approaches, but all therapies required two things: committment and time. A broken heart must commit enough time to heal in order to effectively cure the scars. Medical treatment should never include xanax or adderall. It can have caffeine and the occasional meltdowns, but certainly not crystal meth or silver cleaner.

Healing my broken heart would mean I have to subject myself to a detox program too. This is that crucial process where traces of delusion and everything related to x is removed. Ex boyfriend, ex lover, sex! The detox process varies from heart to heart. It involves how long the relationship was, the intensity of that guy, and how dependent I was to that person. According to the Hearts National Library of Being Dumped and Moving On, most withdrawal symptoms can occur within 6 hours after last contact.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

Extreme depression that the only place I want to be in is my bed

Issues with concentration that I called in sick for a few days because the only place I want to be in is my bed

Decreased appetite that I can’t even go to the kitchen because the only place I want to be in is my bed.

Severe fatigue which is bizarre because I didn’t do anything except stay on my bed

Agitation which is why I asked a reliable mate to run over an ex’s foot with a car

Runny nose from too much crying

Inability to sleep from too much thinking

Nausea because what the fuck?

Diarrhea because what the fuck!

Rapid heart rate because it feels like the end of the world.

Troubled breathing because it really feels like the end of the world.

Headaches after reading and re-reading all sms-es with I love yous and whatnot and only seeing lies

Hallucinations that your ex will come knocking on your door professing his love and whatnot

Heart attack!

Once my heart is detoxed from the ex, it will move on to the rehabilitation portion of the recovery process. This is where my broken heart learns and realizes the core reasons behind the end of the relationships. I’d start addressing and recognizing certain issues and effectively move on without the excess baggage or without going back to a downward spiral. This is the part of the program where I would finally stop blaming myself and making excuses for my ex. This is when I could start acknowledging that I’m more than good enough and that I fought a good fight.

At this point my broken heart is able to identify triggers and red flags. It has a reference point for next time it decides to flirt again or go out on a first date with a new guy.

Group therapy is highly suggested during rehab. Girls night outs are the most popular choices. These group sessions allow my healing heart to recover with other hearts who had been in the same situation. It’s just comforting to know that I’m not alone in my struggles.

After my broken heart completed its rehabilitation program, a lifelong recovery follows. Some breakups were easier than others. After Nicco and Xavier, I felt enlightened and light and free after a short while. Other times, it was difficult and took a lot longer.

After I started moving on, I’d join the Sushi Sunday Group, or the Thursday Salseras, or that Friday movie night club. They were always there as my support group. They’re always making sure that I avoid relapse, and that I’m not out of Broken Hearts Ville just looking for another rebound.

I hope I don’t ever have to go back to Broken Hearts Ville again, but I’m happy to start a support group. Maybe I’d call it the FUCK Him Monday Group. (For U Can Kick Him, you silly!)

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