Has A Breakup Nearly Destroyed You In Your Thirties?

My friend Seth went through a really bad breakup a few years back. When I say bad, I mean horrendous. Bad to the point that it took him almost two years to get over it…and during that time he was anxious almost every day and couldn’t sleep. His anxiety about the breakup permeated every corner of his thoughts and dreams…and turned the act of sleeping into a constant nightmare.

I remember meeting up with him during this time and barely recognizing him. He felt like a shell of the boisterous, smiley person he usually is. Seth is a self-employed composer and lyricist who is always extremely creative and prolific, writing songs at all hours of the day and night, playing piano at auditions, and presenting showcases of his work. He even has his own webseries.

However, during the years after his breakup, he was on so many different anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills that he could barely function…and he’s the type of person who normally never even drinks coffee because it makes him jittery. Both Seth’s nights and days were wrecked, first by his ex’s departure, and then by the constant anxiety and even panic attacks that just wouldn’t go away.

My friend Seth and I in better times.

Seth and me in later, happier times.

Have you ever gone through a breakup that leaves you reeling for far longer than you think it should? Have you ever felt like you were the only one who just couldn’t let it go? Did you think you were going to marry the person who left, or did the person end up leaving the marriage you already had? Have you ever had even your absolute best friends wonder when you were going to get over it? This happens to people way more often than you think.

There’s no set timeline on grief, and a breakup is legitimately a loss. Breakups can feel kind of like mini deaths that you have to grieve and eventually move on from. Any act of grieving can take quite awhile, leading to intense discomfort, especially around your friends and family who may just want you to ‘get over it.’

It’s hard to just get over something on a timeline, and the time needed for grieving any particular loss is personal and unknown.This recovery time includes breakups as well as deaths- any type of loss can take a very long time to get over, really. Sometimes grief can even go away for awhile and then return as an intense sneak attack!

When Seth finally started to recover, and even during his grieving process, he attempted to open up to others about what he was going through. Little by little, he heard similar stories from friends who experienced similar breakups that brought them to the ground.

Seth and I after his recovery, when I directed his concert, Broadway Meows, benefitting the Humane Society

Seth and me after his recovery. I directed his Humane Society benefit concert, Broadway Meows

Seth realized how helpful it was to have friends around him and people who understood his situation. And it was extremely helpful to realize that other people had gone through similar situations after a breakup.

So he wrote a book to share his experiences.

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The book is called Sleep. Write. Nowand it chronicles his entire spiral into depression and insomnia after the breakup, and his very, very slow recovery. The book is breathtakingly open and vulnerable regarding the painful moments that occur after a breakup, from the embarrassing (private journal entries of positive affirmations that all don’t work) to the horrendous (loss of friends after recovery ‘took too long’ and he was ‘still too obsessed with her’) to the hilarious and touching (how his cat helped him through some of his darkest moments.)

I highly recommend Sleep.Write. Now, and it’s easy to grab on Amazon. The book is an amazing read for anyone who’s gone through or is going through a traumatizing breakup and feels alone. Remember, grieving takes time and it can take a lot more time than you think it will. Breakups are a natural part of life (you can’t marry everyone you date!) and rejection happens to everyone.

Always remember- you are not alone.

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Is the Saturn Return in Your Thirties a Real Thing?

I wasn’t going to write this post. You’ll see why below. I’ve decided I’d rather not live in secret hardship, so I’m sharing a very private experience with you guys.

Remember the post I wrote about the Saturn Return that happens in your late twenties and early thirties? If you want to know more about it, click the link above. I basically said that Saturn is the planet of difficult and important life lessons, and when he returns to the same place he was at at the time of your birth (about every 28-31 years), you end up going through a LOT. (We’re going to call Saturn a ‘he’ because I’ve anthropomorphisized ‘him’ into this strict, male professor-like character. Just go with it.)

Well, I thought my Saturn Return was over, plus I thought I didn’t even believe in anything astrological. But if the Saturn Return is real, Saturn hit me hard last year with a terrible, dragged-out and heartbreaking breakup to someone I’d been with for five years who I thought I was going to marry. And then Saturn hit me again with a major, harrowing move out of the apartment I shared with my ex.

I felt some peace this year and thought Saturn had come and gone, but he just tapped me on the shoulder for one last laugh (perhaps I didn’t learn some lesson the first time?) and turned my world completely upside down once again. I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed as I’ve been for the past few months. So stressed that I’m afraid to even write this now, because I keep thinking ‘oh my god, what if things aren’t over? What if the hardships keep coming like they have been? Please no!’

Do you ever feel this way? Afraid to even talk about the bad things, because you’re afraid there will be even MORE bad things? And then you’ll be like ‘I wish I was grateful for THOSE bad things, because these NEW bad things are oh so much worse!’

Ugh. I usually try to be so positive and so grateful. But I’ll admit to you finally- it’s been hard. I feel completely burnt out.

I can barely write about what happened, because it’s too fresh, but I don’t want to leave you guys hanging. So in a nutshell I’ll say it involved a major betrayal by someone I thought was my good friend, a terrible and destroyed living environment, complete paranoia, exposure to amazing cruelty, and a very difficult and dragged out move…once again. And I think this was all extra hard because of my first bad experience with the ex before. I just kept thinking ‘why is all this stress happening AGAIN??!

I’m trying to be more positive and grateful for all that I have. And also let myself feel the sadness and the stress because it’s healthy.

Yet I’m still living in post-traumatic fear, and I just keep thinking these terrible words ‘please don’t let anyone get sick or die. That would be worse. So much worse.’

Ugh. Ok, I wrote it. So now you know: if you’re going through some secret hell, you’re not alone. Please don’t think you’re alone. I’m here. We’re here. Reach out 🙂

And last night I even slept for almost 13 hours. Which was very helpful. And probably very necessary.

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