A week in and my deserted island is not so deserted anymore! Now I know, it does not have enough people to throw a kick ass party that causes the next door Aunty to call the cops on us (Get it? eh? eh? You do? Go, make better life choices!) but just enough to have a cozy potluck dinner where nobody ever uses a coaster. (I am super wild, clearly!) Point is, I am a happy host!
Now that I have your attention, let us get to the good stuff.
Looking at the title, I can’t help but notice that it sounds like a failed attempt at making a Heartburn sound fancy. As interesting as it would be to discuss the plight of an over (zealous) eater, I am going to steal the limelight from the stomach for just a bit and focus it somewhere else- our head (to all those who thought I’d write “heart”, go easy on the romcoms, will you?)
Please be warned that this is not about finding love and dealing with loss and all that stuff Grey’s Anatomy teaches us (Good luck learning about love from a show that killed off Mc Dreamy. Ugh!) What it is, is about the systematic shut down of our brains the moment we see that our feelings are not being reciprocated. May it be your partner of seven years who left you at your worst, your fiance who suddenly stopped loving you, your crush who moved to Timbaktu or the guy you saw across the street while picking up your chappal that fell off your foot while you were getting off the auto rikshaw while arguing with the driver for change- it always starts the same way.
The condition of Heart Cramps is generally preceded by a rigorous regime of denial that consists of considerable amounts of anxiety, anger and alcohol (The original AAA.) These symptoms surface periodically and just when they begin to fade away, you are presented with your next stimulus. This stimulus is divided into stages. These are:
1.) Verbal– phrases like “It is over.”, “I have moved on.”, “I do not see you the same way”, and (my personal favorite) “I love you but I am not in love with you.” are classic examples. These phrases, which are already an assault on our senses, are often followed up with absurdities like “It is not you. It is me.”, “I need space.”, “It’s a phase. I need t experiment and get it out of my system.” Sure.
2.) Actions– being blocked on social media, being hung up on, unanswered calls, being the recipient of rude behavior- these are some of the fun experiences that are earned by people who make it to stage 2.
3.) The dark side– This is generally brought on by seeing our love interest showing interest in other people. Particularly aesthetically pleasing people. But mostly people. Everybody is a suspect. Getting to this stage is not what you want. Compulsive stalking and creepiness are the main features in some of the advanced cases of this stage.
Once you reach the dark side, the good news is that there are no further stages. The bad news is that you stay here for a while. Over analyzing every action and statement uttered by the person you gave so much importance to becomes a hobby. This stage also sharpens your memory as you play the whole relationship in your head on loop, day and night. The AAA are back and this time they are bigger than ever. You cannot eat things you ate with them, you don’t wear clothes they complimented, you avoid places you visited together, every song makes you nauseous, every couple seems rude and some nights you just find yourself staring at the toothbrush they left at your place and it reminds you of the beautiful time you spent together and you don’t brush your teeth for a couple of days.
Now, I know I might seem a little insensitive when I try to put a humorous spin on something that is capable of haunting a person for years and is more common than people mispronouncing the word “GIF”. To be frank, this is the very reason I addressed this today and in the way I did. I know very well, what it is like to sit for hours, perplexed, going through every single conversation, feeling anxious about something that seemed like losing a part of what made me who I was. I, like all of you, have experienced the moment when you realize that no amount of Ice cream can fix the pain that you feel in places you did not even know it could hurt in. I know what it feels like to live in the shell that you live in after all this ends. I may not know how relationships work but this shell, my friend, is something I know very well. It makes you a silent spectator of your own life. A silent spectator of a movie in which you should be in the lead. Could things BE any worse?
Now, I am not going to be the kind of friend who tells you to just suck it up or get over it or move on or be a man! I’m not going to tell you to drink up and forget her, to burn his picture, to steal his dog and I am CERTAINLY not going to make you join Tinder (Okay, we both know I’ll do that). But I AM going to help you reach a point where you can laugh at it. Well, smile if not laugh. Where you can acknowledge every stage you went through, experience every emotion, get done with the stupid antics and then come back and read this and realize how silly you were. Only then will you get over your fear of being vulnerable again. THAT is when I give you a high five and you get ready for the next big thing and I’ll be right here, to make you smile when you get a brain freeze from eating ice cream too quickly. I got your back!