Blog: Going out

Drinking and going out after a breakup: Therapy or tragedy?

By Leah Sheppard

Drinking and going out after a breakup: Therapy or tragedy?

There is an illusion we create for ourselves that drinking and going out will make everything better: It’s fun; It will lift you out of the depression; You might meet someone special…When we drink the world seems fun and free of constraints, and in a way you feel more alive than ever. You speak freely, you express how you really feel and the people drinking with you are often doing the same.

Herein lies the problem: EVERYTHING comes to the surface; Not only the fun- loving, funny, and sexy side of you, but any pain, loneliness, anger, sadness and desire to be with someone comes out too. A lot of this stuff you may have thought you had dealt with and moved on from, but deep down inside, the stuff we hide even from ourselves, is in full view for yourself and anyone around you.

Getting over a breakup should be treated just like driving when it comes to alcohol: Stay under the limit. Being drunk means our ability to stop or manage the Pandora’s box of emotions running amok in your brain right now is severely diminished, and getting drunk will only end in heartbreak and deeper pain for yourself all over again. We allow a very private and vulnerable side of ourselves to be broadcasted to the world in an environment that is not geared for healing. All of our emotions, painful or otherwise are also heightened in our minds, and we become painfully aware of the perceived voids in our lives, and our desire to fill them. We over share to people we shouldn’t, we overreact to things we don’t need to, we hit on work colleagues or people already in relationships; and we go home with strangers just to feel wanted again, only to be left all over again in the morning. And worse, as we assess the ‘damage’ in the morning, an overwhelming sense of guilt, shame and regret floods in, and delays your healing progress until you can forget it ever happened.

Obviously we are not always blind drunk, with our emotional pain/insecurities on display for the world to see. Often we can stop at one or two and leave it at that. The issue here however is not about your ability to ‘hold your liquor’, but more about your emotional strength at the time. We can go past the ‘tipsy’ stage into ‘off-your-face’ very easily at any normal time in our lives, but when we go through an emotional trauma, the euphoria of not having it at the forefront of our minds makes us want the night to never end. So we drink more, feel less, & repeat.

I know it hurts being alone, and I understand the waves of emotions you feel every single day. It is easy to think that drinking and going out will fix it, but it won’t. In order to deal with these emotions, you need to create an environment safe enough to do so. Drinking will make an already challenging emotional situation much worse, no matter where you do it or whom you do it with. So here is my advice: take some of the challenge away and don’t drink at all for a while. Deal with the very real pain you are feeling in the right way. The Proseccos and nights to ‘let loose’ will all be there when you’re better; just give yourself a fighting chance to get well first.


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Sex: What happens when Bae is gone?

By Leah Sheppard

Sex: What happens when Bae is gone?

The emotional side of losing a partner is obvious. What isn’t talked about so much is the more primal-driven pass- time: Sex. Women crave sex just as much as men do, and the sudden loss of something so intimate and connecting can hurt just as much as being called ‘Single’ once again.

For women sex is deeply tied with emotion and establishing connections. Our inherent drive to mate with a suitable partner and bear offspring is one that evolved millions of years ago, and the various stages of love like intimacy and bonding with our mate are crucial elements to that drive.

Fast-forward a few millennia to the world of Tinder and drunken hook-ups, while our conscious goal in sex has taken on a new meaning, highlighting pleasure rather than making babies, that drive to procreate still remains underneath it all. Do you not wonder why then that it hurts so much when we lose a partner we have bonded to for so long? It creates loneliness and a desperate desire for intimacy that is hard to overcome. 

It is also the reason that sex can be so damn complicated for women, particularly after a breakup; and makes us have crazy rationalisations for situations - like falling for someone you’ve only had a one-night-stand with, constantly thinking about them and wondering how your life would be together!

Loneliness, and the desire for the intimacy we just lost can lead us to all sorts of things to get it back again:

  •  One-night-stands are a sure-fire way of getting- some but it never really fulfills what we are truly missing. ‘Hit it and quit it’ doesn’t always work with the female physiology either, nor does a (usually) half-drunk strangers’ attempt at getting you
  •  Affairs will leave you with disappointment and guilt, and the very likely outcome of another broken heart in the world – all because of
  •  And getting back together with your ex when you both haven’t healed just repeats the same cycle, and postpones the inevitable heartache to come some time in the future.

Being single is hard at first when all you want is for someone to hold you, and want you, and love you. You crave the touch, embrace, smell and kiss of another lover and that is completely natural. You are a loving and passionate creature with desires and needs and a whole lot of love to give.

But this is your reality for the moment, and there is no point pretending that it is not. In the greater scheme of life and the Universe, your path no longer runs together with that of the one you loved. It is painful but also necessary for the important things you will be doing in the future. Trust in that fact.

Hooking up with someone else in whichever manner you found them when you have not fully regained your emotional and psychological strength will not satiate your desires, nor replace the emptiness you feel. The solution is much deeper than that, and it will only come with time.

HOWEVER, that is not to say that one’s carnal yearning cannot be satisfied in the meantime. The longest and deepest relationship we will ever have in this world is with ourselves, and when it comes to sex this is no different. This time that you are alone is a gift and an opportunity to get to know yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like. I mean this with all the sincerity and honesty in the world: Porn and a vibrator are two of the best resources you will ever have. No judgement, time restrictions, or having to care about anyone else other than yourself. Masturbation will get you through the tough times, until you’re happy enough to get back into the real thing. Just go with it, and let time heal the rest.

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Experiencing 'Firsts' without your Ex

By Leah Sheppard

Experiencing 'Firsts' without your Ex

Probably one of the worst moments in your breakup recovery is the first time you do something that you used to do with your ex. It hurts so much because it is a stark reminder of the fact that when you had done that thing, been to that place, experienced that special moment, you had no idea it would be for the last time.

First time going to the movies without them, first time going to dinner…Probably the worst of all is going to bed for the first time without having them to wake up next to. I still remember how my entire body felt like it had been sucker-punched when I woke up the morning after my breakup and realized it wasn’t a dream at all. He really had left me, and I never got the chance to savor the last time he was lying next to me.

I just wanted to fall asleep and never wake up again.

Sure each time gets that little bit easier with everything you get used to doing on your own again, but in the beginning each one just feels like a punch in the guts. I remember after my first breakup, my parents took me out for brunch. They knew I loved brunch, and it would be a sure-fire way to make me feel better. To their horror, I ended up balling my eyes out for 2 hours because I had realized the last time I had ‘brunch’ was when I was happily coupled-up with my ex. It was such a small thing to cry over, but the thought of it made me completely lose any sense of trust in people, and my own ability to judge a situation. While I had thought our relationship was fine, and I had someone to share my smashed-avo Sundays with; he must have been thinking of how much he didn’t like me right?; like how he was going to get rid of me?!…But I never saw that on his face; I never saw it coming at all. What does that mean for any other happy times I have – are they all just a lie too??? This cycle of constant questioning and overthinking can happen with anything, and it makes you feel terrible, and completely unhinged.

When we go out with someone for a long time we establish a pattern with them; a synchronicity where we know our position relative to each other, and an identity that is richly intertwined with that person. A breakup, especially one you weren’t expecting disrupts that pattern and sets us into a free-fall. There is no reference point to gauge what is happening or any form of solace to cling to; only the knowledge that the person we had finally found to enjoy those things with, no longer wants to enjoy them with you.

These times are particularly challenging, and can get so difficult that we can sometimes avoid those things altogether, just so we don’t have to feel the pain again. We can stop going to certain places, not watch certain movies, or be involved in certain activities all because it reminds us of our ex.

But that just leads to a life that is forever constrained by something that has happened in the past. Our memories of what was and what should have been are the things that keep poking at the wound, not the actual things themselves. The things we actually enjoy doing or seeing or experiencing should not be off-limits because of what you had hoped for when you were doing it last.

The times we spend with our loved ones are certainly a privilege, and are not always guaranteed. However we must look on those experiences with gratitude and place them lovingly in the past where they belong, and move forward.

While it is hard taking those first steps as a single person once again, remember it gets easier with each time. And while it may take some getting used to, reclaim those places and experiences that you want back in your life so that you can enjoy them once again.

Being single is just a new pattern to get used to, so make it a beautiful one.

moving on after a breakup how to get over a breakup

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