Apart from death, there are few things as painful as heartbreak. It completely throws us off our game. It doesn’t matter how logical or level-headed you are in every other aspect of your life—that shit can cut deep.
It’s been a while since my last breakup (if I can even call it that—I totally got ghosted), but I still remember how it felt when I KNEW it was over. It was the complete “I-just-got-dumped” package: tears, pit in my stomach, loss of appetite, restlessness, and so on. I kept thinking, “What if nobody ever loves me again?” In retrospect, I don’t even know why I was so worried about that, considering I didn’t love him. Not even a little bit. My ego was just bruised.
I didn’t know that back then. All I knew was that I felt like there was something wrong with me: not pretty enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not successful enough, not rich enough. So I tried buying my way into feeling good enough (for him).
I chopped my hair off and dyed it, even though I was secretly proud of my long, black mane. A part of me did it because I wanted a change. I wanted to look different. Maybe if I looked different, I’d feel better. Tbh, I also did it because I read somewhere that he prefers girls with “edgy” short hair. So dumb, I know. That set me back P6,500.
I went shopping. I bought clothes that I thought would make me seem classier or more sophisticated, but were also outfits I knew I would never be caught dead in. At some point, I even bought five-inch red heels. People who know me in real life can vouch for how much of a mistake that was. This whole “new me” phase lasted for a couple of months, and I spent more than P15,000 on STUFF.
Oh, and I signed up for fitness classes. Any other time, this would have been a great move for my mind AND body, except I didn’t make it to one class, because unlike Khloe Kardashian, I did not believe that a sexy body was the best revenge. There’s P4,000 I’ll never see again.
I wasted the most money on comfort food and drinks. I ate out every chance I got. I insisted on trying every new restaurant or café. I dragged my friends to bars, and I bought everyone drinks. I paid for people who could totally afford to be out with me. You guys, I don’t even like to party.
But I wanted to appear happy, to give off the IDGAF-about-you vibe, to make it seem like I can function outside our relationship. And my bank account hated me for it. I can’t even give you a number, so just imagine the numerical equivalent of utter embarrassment.
Let me clarify that I’m not trying to shame those who choose to deal with heartache this way. And I’m also not saying that treating yourself or indulging once in a while is wrong or problematic. But it might be helpful to acknowledge that spending an exorbitant amount of money won’t necessarily heal you. In many instances, it might even keep you from truly moving on. We’ve become so obsessed with curating our lives that we’re constantly trying to look okay instead of actually being okay. Most of the time, when we think we need to drown our sorrows away, we just really need someone to talk to.
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