20-something dumped • Operation Life


After the initial shock there wasn’t much time to sulk in sadness. I needed to focus on keeping my life going. It was tough to say the least. In the operation life phase all you want to do is hide. Hide from all responsibilities, people and plans but if you’re career lady with bills to pay like me…unfortunately you can’t just sit around and spiral into a black hole of feelings.

I was barely functioning, I felt like shit and I was treating myself like shit too. I was doing anything and everything I could to avoid feeling anything. I wasn’t in a stable mindset yet to allow myself to process. The focus at hand was getting through each day at work and coming home in one piece. Or at least what looks like one piece from the outside.

I wasn’t myself. I was drinking shots of Jameson before work, during lunch I’d come home and have a few more shots and after work? Beer followed by a steady stream of packed bowls of weed. Sometimes I’d switch between my pipe and vape pen. I barely remember this phase at all. Thanks to my journal I actually have some record of me being alive. Kel came into the living room one night and found me asleep with my head back on the cough, my chin straight up in the air just passed out. I remember her saying, “okayyyyy time for bed.”

I think I was trying to physically match how shitty I felt emotionally on the inside by filling my body with toxins. No one at work knew I was drinking, over the years I’ve gotten good at hiding how I actually feel. Putting on a show, I like to call it.

I couldn’t focus at work. I wasn’t (obviously) doing my best work and overall every day felt like a blob. I was just going through the motions. I wasn’t able muster up the courage to explore my insides and start to sort through the emotions. Yet.

Remedies for the Operation Life phase…

Go To Work

Pretty self-explanatory but yeah, go to work. Do what you have to do. Try not to drink before like I did. Trade whiskey for coffee, you’ll probably get more done. Even though I was filling my body with crap, I still carried my motivate essential oil blend around. I figured something was better than nothing. The motivate blend has a lot of uplifting citrus’ that can help lift your spirits as well. I would apply this to my temples and put a dot right below my nose all throughout the day.

Get your Shit Together

This remedy can mean a lot of things: packing, moving, finding a new spot to live, separating bills, animals, plants and if you’re a hipster…pants too ;)

I’m going to share something else I haven’t gone into detail yet, except a little on instagram. I think it will be beneficial. This experience is deeply woven into my story.

When I moved home from New Zealand in Sept 2013 (yes, after another breakup with a man I thought I’d marry, I talk a lot about this in my first book) I was feeling inadequate, stupid and not good enough. Part of that was because I was working for an extremely competitive and hardcore recruiting agency with daily and weekly metrics that seemed to set the bar so high no one could ever possibly reach. I decided to get myself an adderall prescription.

I studied for the test, yes studied…I wanted those fucking pills and I’d do anything to make sure I got them. I naturally have extremely high energy, many interests, and am always moving from thing to thing (physically and mentally) so from a clinical standpoint I’m sure I do “qualify” but I wasn’t about to take any chances by not studying. So, I got them.

Fast forward four years and that puts us in December of 2017, by that time I was abusing the drug so much to where I was taking up to 90mg a day. Now, they had me on a ridiculous amount to begin with….30mg twice a day. For me? A tiny lady….60mg a day, can you believe that? Anyway, the reason this is relevant is because the later half of 2017 I started having major health issues. Waking up in the middle of the night and projectile vomiting, heart palpitations, only sleeping 2 hours a night, shaking throughout the day, passing out randomly, an array of health complications. Adderall was yet another way I could avoid feeling.

The last day I took adderall was December 21 2017, that is, until he broke up with me this year.

When I was in the operation life phase all my energy was focused on getting through each day. Out of survival, I found my way back to the drug. This is something I feel very shameful about so in true Jess-ness fashion I’m outing it to the world. When we call out our dark demons, they can no longer hide and sneak attack us. You don’t need to out your demons on a public website like me, just by telling a friend the darkness loses its power. If you’re not sure which friend to tell, tell me. I’m here for you and will never judge you.

OK back to my story…

I went back to my medical drug dealer (my psychiatrist) re-upped, on a much smaller dose might I add, and I started taking the drug again to get me through the lethargicness I felt towards life. I didn’t take them for long, less than two weeks. On Friday of the second week I flushed the remainder of pills down the toilet. I knew in every ounce of my being that I did NOT want to go down this road again.

What made me flush them? How did I find the strength when feeling so low? I’ll tell you.

The Friday of the flushing at work we went to a local non-profit bike shop to volunteer. My team and I built some bikes for the shop to sell in their warehouse at a discount to people who aren’t able to pay the ridiculous full prices other retail bike shops charge.

It was fun, got me out of my own little depressed world by helping others. I had booked a facial for myself after work that day and met the most amazing woman. We got to talking and had a lot in common. She had been sober for five years and we connected over a relationship of hers ending too. The conversation was centered around self-care and how important it is to talk about what we’re going through. It’s so easy to feel cut off from the rest of the world when going through hard times. It’s as if we’re the only one on Earth feeling how we feel. You are not alone.

I got home from that day fulfilled by volunteering my time, using my hands to put something together, and an amazing conversation with a woman I admired for taking care of herself and doing the work to be SOBER. I thought to myself, “Here is the fork the in road, Jess.”

  1. I stay in my adderall lane and take the rest of this bottle, “have fun” zoning out and pretending my life isn’t falling apart and then just not get it refilled. Psh….yeah right.

  2. Or I flush the rest of these suckers down the toilet right now and start today.

I decided to start that day. I didn’t know when I was going to feel remotely good again or better yet, inspired. That was June 8th. I haven’t had a pill since and I feel fucking great about the choice I made that day.

Separate your Stuff

Try and do this in one full swoop. After he and I broke up I only saw him once and that was when he was packing his bag to stay at his parents house for a week while I found a new place to live and packed up all my stuff. Same goes to this day…I haven’t seen or spoke to him since. This isn’t my first break up so I guess I have a preference now…but I don’t like seeing the other person after we part ways. I believe in moving forward.

I had a boyfriend in high school who I stayed with through to college and we were off and on more than a light switch in the dead of night. Lame analogy…..o well. It was exhausting getting together and then breaking up over and over. Every time we got back together it’d be great for like, an hour, and then we’d get into a fight about something we were fighting about during the break up fight. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me tired now.

Connect with Others

If any of this writing piece resonates with you and you want to join me in establishing a community of people who ‘get it’, leave a sun emoji on my instagram post. The sun reminds us that when we shine a light on the dark parts of ourselves and our lives, the darkness can’t launch a sneak attack on us. Especially when we create a supportive and loving community around us.

Resource Yourself

Supporting yourself is critical. Read my resourcing yourself post for more details on how to support yourself on the go, where ever you are.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal two weeks after the break up…

Thursday May 31 2018

‘Lots has happened since my last (failed) attempt to profess my love to him. We broke up, I moved out, found a new place with Kel, moved in, set up comcast, tv and my bed frame, ordered a kitchen island, got a tv stand off craigslist, had a washer and dryer delivered annnnd did all of this in less than 10 days. I sent that letter to him and two days later we were over. Guess I really scared the guy with my forward planning conversation only four days before he ended everything. I guess he didn’t really want to have his foot on the gas of anything. Got that right.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect over the past two weeks, as you do and I’ve realized...maybe this relationship wasn’t so supportive and not as mutual as I thought. Makes me feel sad to think about because it feels embarrassing that I couldn’t see it so obvious than parts of it does now.

There were lots of little teeny tiny clues I should have noticed but I guess when you date an emotionless, out of touch with themselves person, it can be hard to notice when things take a nosedive.

Note to self: date men who can express how they feel and SHARE IT WITH YOU (wild concept I know).

If you don’t, you will have to guess what they are thinking feeling and expressing. I think I might have been, no wait I know I was emotionally STARVING. I wasn’t getting anything from this guy. My emotional needs or my need for physical touch or need for hearing encouraging words, nice things and lovie things were not being met. I found a note in my wallet from him and it shocked me it was so lovie, it said, “I love you. I support you. I’m your biggest fan.” It wouldn’t shock me if it wasn’t so fucking rare. Pretty crazy to think about .’

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