Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “First-Time Heartbreak” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “First-Time Heartbreak,” whose letter appeared in a “Your Turn” column when she asked for advice on dealing with her first heartbreak. After the jump, read about how your great advice has helped her cope.

It’s been almost four months since the breakup, and I’m writing in because yesterday I ran into my ex and for the first time I felt… normal. I felt completely fine. There was no knot in my stomach, no anger or weirdness, and I didn’t run away and hide in an alley (that, um, might have happened one time). I don’t think I’m totally over it, but I don’t feel like I need to avoid situations where I might see him, and not having that anxiety anymore feels like a big victory to me.

The breakup wound up being the kick in the ass I needed to really take control of my life. It was a great relationship up until right before it ended, but when things started to go downhill it went pretty fast. It took me a while to realize how unhappy I had been by the end of it, but thanks to the advice of commenters to stop thinking of him as the guy who I had been in love with, but rather as a new person who had decided he didn’t want me in his life anymore, I was able to separate my good memories of him from the person he is now. As soon as it ended I started contacting the friends I’d been neglecting because I was too busy moping about my own problems, which was immensely helpful. Getting out of my way and hanging out with people who care about my happiness made a big difference, and set the tone for how I handled the last few months.

I feel like an entirely different person than I was just a few months ago. I got a cat, which I’d been thinking about for a long time but finally decided to do after several commenters wrote about how their pets helped them through their breakups. I got a new job that I love. I just got back from a cross-country adventure with some friends that I decided to go on semi-impulsively, and in a few weeks I’m leaving on another trip that I’m really excited about. As badly as it started, this summer has turned out to be really great for me. I got a chance to get some perspective on my situation, which has apparently translated to calmness even when face-to-face with the boy who broke my heart. Thanks for the part you played in that, Wendy and commenters! I’m gonna be okay.

 
Aw, I love updates like this! So glad you’ve taken positive steps to move forward. Sounds like you’re doing great and we all wish you continued happiness.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

16 comments… add one
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    Bethany August 5, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Awesome update!!!

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    kerrycontrary August 5, 2011, 12:18 pm

    YAY!!! I wish I had handled my “first big breakup” like this. I’m so glad you are happy and in a great place 🙂

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      LTC039 August 5, 2011, 1:21 pm

      Oh my, same here… it took a long time for me to make positive changes after my breakup. I resorted to not-so-good behaviors immediately after 🙁

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    Greebo August 5, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Glad to hear it!

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    MissDre August 5, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Hey All! This isn’t related to the update so, LW please forgive me, but does anyone here work in social services? My very best friend is trying to get into school but she needs 3 informational interviews from someone in the addictions, community or social services field, to include in her application. She’s having trouble finding people to interview. It’s only 5 questions. If you can help, I’d appreciate it! Let me know! Thank you!

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      MissDre August 5, 2011, 1:15 pm

      Oh and if you are in Canada, that would be even better. Thank you again!

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      honeybeenicki August 5, 2011, 1:30 pm

      I’m not in Canada but I’m nearby (only about 4 or 5 hours from the border here in Wisconsin) 🙂 I don’t really work in social services, but I worked for 4 years in a community based residential facility for sex offenders and violent offenders that included a lot of treatment work. I’m always happy to help if that fits for what she needs.

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        MissDre August 5, 2011, 1:41 pm

        Thanks so much. You can check out her blog post here, which includes the questions and her email address. If you’re able to write her, just tell her MissDre asked for your help 🙂 I really appreciate it!

        http://beingelle.blogspot.com/2011/08/looking-to-interview-social-services.html

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        honeybeenicki August 5, 2011, 2:06 pm

        I checked it out and set her an email.

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        MissDre August 5, 2011, 2:19 pm

        Thanks 🙂

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      AKchic August 5, 2011, 4:55 pm

      Depends on if she needs someone LICENSED in the addictions field. I’m in AK, but not licensed (I’m an admin person). I also do things with the community (the Alaska Safe Medicine Alliance, which is both addictions, prevention AND community). But, again – not licensed. Admin only. Consumate paper-pusher who knows the ropes thanks to years of osmosis learning and first-hand experience.

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    Britannia August 5, 2011, 12:16 pm

    This is wonderful! Good for you 🙂

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    LTC039 August 5, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Love this update!! Proof that even though you cannot see it in the beginning, many breakups lead to positive changes in your personal self, & allow you to do things you didn’t even know you could.
    So happy for you, LW! I’m glad you found your inner strength & made a choice NOT to waste another moment of your life wallowing for someone who surely wasn’t worth it. Keep up the good work & have a blast on your trip!!

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    Amy August 5, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I’m glad you got a cat. My puppy has transitioned to an ornery teenager and it’s a bit more than I remembered…. Hee Hee – but we’re still good pals, just hoping the manners lessons come along a bit more quickly. So VERY happy that you are feeling better. I hope the rest of the year continues in it’s positive upswing for you!

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    MissDre August 5, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Cats are the best! Seriously! My two girls are like my soul mates, I tell them that all the time (and no I’m not a single cat lady, but when I had my heart broken in the past, my girls were there for me 100%). So happy you found the love of a kitty!

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    caffeinatrix August 5, 2011, 10:41 pm

    I concur, cats are awesome. My furry little dude is always there to remind me how much I’m needed- at least to fill the food bowl and clean the litter box 🙂 I actually got him as a present from my ex. I’m still not really sure why he was suddenly inspired to adopt a cat for me- he’s allergic to cats (and we lived together at the time) and he’s more of a dog person anyway. No matter though, it just meant he wasn’t going to fight me over who got to keep the cat when we broke up!

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