Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold Turkey

Once, when I was in college, I found out that a young lady I had been dating for close to a year had slept with someone else while I was away for the weekend. I actually found out about it from the person she had slept with. You see, he was somewhat of a friend. He was complaining about the fact that the two of them had stained his sheets and that she hadn't offered to wash them for him. He was pretty pissed... so pissed that he didn't realize who he was complaining to, until it was too late!

I confronted the young lady about his accusation and she appeared shocked that I knew already... then, she was obsessed with finding out who told me. Oh, she accused the entire Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She said that they hated her because she had made her intentions known to pledge AKA. Then, she accused the AKA's because they might have thought she was a little too chummy with the Deltas. Next, she accused my "newsy" frat brothers because they never liked her in the first place.

Of course, none of these was true. I got the story from the horse's mouth. I could have told her but, I got a sadistic pleasure out of watching her try to figure it out and grow paranoid by the second wondering who was her friend, who was pretending, who could have seen her, and how they got it back to me so fast. (This was before cell phones, email, and BlackBerrys.) Mind you, she never denied it. She just wanted to know... needed to know who told.

I sat in my room for close to three days and didn't leave... I just stared out the window. I recall that I slept a lot, didn't eat, didn't bath, didn't shave... just stared out the window. It was a mild case of depression but, I will say this... all of that time allowed me to think clearly and "get my mind right ", as comedian Steve Harvey says. Well, I got my mind right and on the fourth day, I shaved, brushed my teeth, showered for a good long time, put on some clean clothes, and returned to the world. I had a new girlfriend (or at least someone to sport around) within two or three days. Today, no one would be able to do that... too many distractions with email, cell phones going off, text messages, Twitter, Blogging, etc.

So, I approached my good friend, who I spoke of in a post I wrote a few days ago. She is in the fourth day of what I'll call "relationship rehab." A guy she was involved with for four years told her last week that he was (finally) moving out. He said that he had been seeing another girl for months and that he could no longer lie about it. He told her that it wasn't her fault, that it was him, and he just couldn't "get himself together." I recalled him saying the same thing a few weeks ago at a mutual friend's Christmas get together. He kept saying, "If I could just get myself together, I'd be straight." He said this about ten times before he fell flat on his face, drunk and stoned in our mutual friend's living room. A couple of us had to help him to his car and his always loyal yet mortified girlfriend had to drive him home.

I'm sure, over a period of four years she must have grown tired of scenes like this yet, she endured. He went to rehab, came home, was "straight" for two weeks, and he was right back at it. He and I had been in the Air Force together for years and I was quite aware of his problems, which was why I told her in the very beginning to just "go out with him, have a good time but, don't get involved and don't let him move in with you." She didn't listen and four years later, we come to this.

I must admit, I didn't know about the cheating. I didn't take him for the type but, it all came out and this was one of three reasons why I have hung up my cape and long underwear. I realize that I can no longer save the world. Grown folks do what they want to do in the end and even though they ask for your advice, they never really take it unless it's what they really want to do.

My friend asked me how I handled a bad break-up and I told her the story I wrote above... how I just sat in my room and thought and thought, without being disturbed and without being around people for three days. She didn't want to do that and I wouldn't advise anyone else to do that. You can get pretty hungry and otherwise unbearable during that time. What I didn't do, however, was call that person (she wants to call her ex's sister, just to see how he's doing) or beg. I explained to her that if she hasn't heard from him, he's probably doing fine and further more, why should she care? She agreed with me but (there is always a but), I wasn't inclined to hear it.

From what I understand, she is spending her evenings watching BET (that will take your mind off of anything right there) and reading magazines. Everybody rehabs differently after a bad break-up... some people eat, some people meditate, some people cry, some people drink, and some people sleep with a series of partners until the pain subsides. I can't say what is right or wrong... it depends on the person. I just know what worked for me. I hope my friend finds something that will work for her.


Angel said...

When I broke up with one ex I lost weight, with another I brought an apartment and with another I launched a business….hmmmm perhaps breaking up is good for me lol

You are right Keith, everyone has their own way. I do hope your friend finds hers

Oh and sitting around alone for three days, is not as bad as you think it is, people forget what peace there is in silence and how it is near impossible nowadays!

Opinionated Diva said...

I am always amazed at a person's level of tolerance. It sounds like it has already been a turbulent relationship, yet HE is the one to leave and still, SHE wants him back after he has told her he is seeing someone else. I don't get it.

I tend to hibernate for a couple days too. Then, I get it together and keep it moving. Life is too short to waste time on someone who has moved on.

Rich Fitzgerald said...

I see you are taking that same pill I decided to take. Just remember, it won't be easy.

Nevertheless, I feel your pain. He is no good for her, yet she wants to check up on him. As soon as he realizes it's not all good where he is going, don't be surprised when she lets him back into her life.

Anonymous said...

This is my second straight comment agreeing with Diva this morning. My level of tolerance isn't that high.

When I broke up with an ex, I lost 10 pounds (quickly gain it back after I got my mojo back) and cut off my hair.

Moanerplicity said...

Yes. No bout a doubt it, relationship rehab is a biotch! I'm a little amused by your three day emotional collapse, & how on the fourth day you ROSE from the dead & carried on. Ah! Youth!

But I think we all have our own healing time and ways of coping w/ break-ups. The thing is, we so rarely see it as time, a chance and an opportunity to start re-loving ourselves, and working on our spirits so as to be a better person & partner for that next relationship.

Other people quickly jump into a new situation unarmed w/ any new skillz. There are those who simply can't be alone, and will jump from the frying pan straight into the fire.

Others are just equipped to move on w/out much care involved.

Funny, but I'm reminded of Sophia on The Golden Girls, who, when Blanche (the loose one) went from being brokenhearted over a man to anxiously preparing for a date w/ other:

"I said before, I'll say it again. Sluts just heal quicker!" LOL.


Toni said...

When I broke up with my ex, I did the same thing you did..retreated to my room. I did however shower and eat.lol

Angie B. said...

She needs to forget about that bum
and move on.

Lisa said...

I ate myself into a stupor and twenty pounds...after a break up..I've just now lost that extra weight. It was two years ago.

Halo said...

I can relate to how your friend feels..Even though the guy was rotten, she did live with him for four years..you don't just turn your emotions off like that. You still care.

Vanessa said...

@ LMAO 2 Monerplicity- "sluts recover fast."

Sunflower said...

Solitude is a good way to get over a break up..Solitude and positive thinking. You were on to something and probably didn't know it.

James Perkins said...

Very Introspective and insightful brother.

Simon Bastion said...

I find, keeping myself busy to be the best cure for the blues. That and some wine and some sweet soul

Jazzy said...

@Simon- I can get with that!

Tate2 said...

Haven't really had a bad break up yet..Nothing that had me acting like any of you.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

A chick broke up with me once..I was really startin to dig her..I went for a nice long drive..to sort things out..Kinda like what you did Keith..Just that I was drivin.

Captain Jack said...

I cried my eyes out and ate Ice Cream and called up a couple of girlfriends I think when I had a bad break up.

Anonymous said...

I cried for a minute stayed single and horrible sexless for a while, did some grimey online shit, got over it, after losing some weight, came out the other end all sorts of deliciously diamond-like

Kofi Bofah said...


Are you still friends with that dude you spoke on in the beginning that hooked up with your girl?

That's messed up.

Me, I tend to take heartache and disappointment as motivation to step up and work on my own self.

And this guy that is finally moving out from your friend's house sounds like a JERK


Keith said...

@Kofi- I was friends with him...The particular guy I was talking about in the beginning of this post..I haven't seen him in years.

The guy that's moving out of my friend's house was the most self absorbed ,self centered guy I ever met in my life. Nothing was his fault, everything was everybody else's fault.

Kofi Bofah said...


Make sure to read that hyperlinked article in my comment then...

Jimmy said...

So your girl was freaking out and blaming evryone for telling on her in her neurotic state of confusion.

My answer to that is, don't do things that you don't want others to find out about and then ya won't have to worry about stuff.

And what about dude at the party telling everyone he just needed to 'Get it together, then he'd be straight.'

Sounds like he has the same problem as ol' girl did in college. He got found out and now he couldn't handle the consequences. Go figure.

Shai said...

Good post. I learned a long time ago not to give advice. Grown azz people will do what they want. Over 99% of the time they just want to tell their stories or get co-signers on their bad behavior.

Why waste time on people who don't listen? I just listen to their stories, ask some questions and let them figure it out.


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