I, like any other girl who has read Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt’s novel, It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken chose to read this book for one reason and one reason only: I just got out of a relationship and it kind of sucks.
The funny part of the story is this: I had no intention to read this book. I had no intention to read any breakup books or self-help books or anything of that sort. Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie. I really want to read Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris. I’m a huge supporter of Joshua Harris after reading his other novel, I Kissed Dating Goodbye after being dumped by the man I dated prior to meeting my most recent ex. But when it comes to It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken I can truly say I (fortunately) stumbled upon it by accident.
But maybe it wasn’t an accident at all. Maybe this was a gift from God. Actually, I’m quite positive that it was.
You see, as I already mentioned, breakups suck. Yes, I was the one to end it. Yes I was not the nicest person in the world with how I ended it. I hung up on him after a 7 or 8 minute phone call (I didn’t like his attitude and refused to take any more of his crap at that point). But that’s not how I intended things to be and it doesn’t change the fact that I was wildly in love with him, didn’t want to have to break up with him, and still felt hurt, heartbroken, and awful about everything.
I did the deed last Friday, October 16th. I cried for the first 6 days of our our breakup. Some days I cried all day and didn’t want to get out of bed or do the whole living my life thing. Other days I woke up feeling great only to end the day by crying myself to sleep. I’m proud to say now that I’ve made it through 3 straight days of no tears (knock on wood). This book definitely helped me (at least for the last 2 days in which I owned it).
I have learned that the best way to get rid of the pain and lousiness I feel is to stay distracted. When I don’t have anything to do I think of how I would be on the phone with him normally and I get sad. I wonder where he is (he is a truck driver). I wonder what his family thinks (even though I already know that his step-dad and mother hate my guts and have wanted him to break up with me since August after we had another fight…but that’s a whole other story and I know his grandmother thinks I was too clingy and I deserve to feel all the pain in the world for walking away from her son who did know wrong because she doesn’t know the full story and is likely reading this right now in which I give her a shout out and say hi 🙂 ). I wonder how he is doing. I hope that I didn’t hurt him too bad and I hope that I didn’t cause him too many problems with his work (I broke up with him while he was working). I play the scenarios in my head. I think of how awful it must feel to be broken up with via phone and for your new ex girlfriend to not only dump you on the phone, but hang up on you, too. Then I get really really mad and depressed because he never tried to call me back or even text me like I was so sure he would — he just let me go.
Simply put, when I’m not distracted and when I have nothing to do, I think about my breakup and feel one hundred times worse about everything.
I decided this weekend I didn’t want to be sad and depressed. I wanted to take advantage of being single. I wanted to embrace it. I wanted to be bold and daring and do things that would make me happy.
So I went on a really really long walk. I walked about 4 or 5 miles on Saturday morning. My final destination? Margaret E. Heggan library in Sewell, NJ. Quite a far distance from my home. I have never been there before (let alone attempted to walk there) but for the past week I have been drawn to it. I NEEDED to go to this library (which I didn’t know existed until a week ago). I truly believe God was directing me to go to this library and on Saturday morning, I knew I had to wake up and get my walking shoes on and get my butt into the library.
The first thing I noticed when I got to the library was that they had their own little used bookstore. I only had $2 on me, but I know from past experiences that $2 can go a long way when it comes to used book sales. The first book I spotted wasn’t even on a shelf — just on top of a pile of other books by itself. It was It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Over. I didn’t think twice about buying it — I bought it on the spot. I felt like it was a sign from God that I was meant to see and read this book.
My first impression of the book was that I really loved the cover. Having a pint of ice cream on the front was too perfect because one of the first things I did after calling off my 13 month relationship was go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of gelato and devoured it in 2 days (I had wanted to be cliche and buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, but the store was out of my favorite flavors…I was really ticked off about that). That right there made me laugh and told me that this wasn’t going to be a typical self-help kind of book. It made me laugh and smile without even having to open it — something anyone dealing with a difficult breakup desperately needs.
The inside of the book was just as satisfying as the outside. I loved the tone of the book. It made me laugh and smile and feel better about my breakup right from page 1 and continued on throughout. The advice and the stories and tips were all very helpful. They made me feel like I wasn’t alone — there were thousands of other women who have been through the same thing as me, and had it much much worse than I did, but they survived!
The first half of the book related to myself and this first week of my breakup very well. Accepting the fact that there’s no new messages — he’s not going to call me back, text me, Facebook comment or message me, etc. was one of the hardest parts to accept. I’ve gotten frustrated and hung up on him before and he’s called back but this time was different. This time it was really over, but as bad as that sometimes makes me feel, it’s not a bad thing. As Greg and Amiira told me throughout the book, It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken. The first help of the book really helped me to put my relationship into perspective and see if for what it was and not what I had wanted and tried to believe it to be for the last 13 months. We had some great times. Larry is not a bad person. But he wasn’t the one and I wasn’t as happy as I fooled myself into believing I was in my relationship, and I doubt he was, either. Our relationship was broken, and breaking up was the best course of action to take.
I like that the first half of the book called me out on my post-breakup behavior. Greg and Amiira told me to stop binge eating, stop looking for answers at the bottom of a pint of ice cream, stop excessively checking my phone to see if he’ll contact me, stop talking about him (this is a book review, it doesn’t count…hey I’m working on it), and to stop wondering what he’s thinking. He’s more likely than not very pissed off at me which is understandable. If he wasn’t, my phone would probably be ringing, right? But it’s not, so there’s that. But It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken; I shouldn’t worry about any of it anyway. It’s like I said on the phone before hanging up on him, “Whatever, I’m done.”
The second half of the book gave me hope and made me realize that this breakup, even though it hurts (some days more than others), is the best thing to have ever happened to me because now I am free. I have all of this free time where I don’t have to worry where Larry is, what he’s doing and with whom, when he’s going to be home, if he’ll be home in time to do xyz, whether or not I should go and do things without him, etc etc. I’m free to do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it, with whomeever I want to do it with. I don’t need his approval (I never did to begin with, I just felt like I did). These are the first days of the rest of my life. I can choose to wallow in sadness, or I can get up off my butt and do something. I can make positive changes and revamp my life. My biggest post-breakup regret is that I don’t really have many friends. My boyfriend was my best and only friend. When I first dumped him that was a hard pill to swallow — I was losing both my boyfriend and best/only friend. I had no one to lean on and do things with or just randomly strike up a conversation with. I could choose to be lonely or I could choose to change my situation. I choose the later. I am working to make friends by becoming more involved with things like my church, the local library, the cochlear implant support groups, and whatever else I can discover. I’m trying to talk to people and make new friends. Just taking a very long, far walk by myself to Duffields farm and the library on Saturday was a liberating experience. I felt so happy and free. And this is a message that Greg and Amiira hit on quite a bit in the second half of the book: you are in charge of your own happiness. For the past 13 months of my life, Larry was my entire world. He determined my happiness and I never had fun or did anything for myself, I did it only with him and that was wrong.
It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken. Despite trying to convince myself that everything was fine and that it was perfectly okay to be madly in love with a boyfriend whom I literally had to beg on multiple occasions for a bit of attention and whom I had to tell “I feel like you don’t love me” to recently and convince myself that I was okay with his lack of an answer/response to that statement was acceptable, my relationship was broken. It is not over because it was broken.
And you know what?
I think this may be the best thing to ever happen to me.
Larry is not my husband, nor will he ever will be.
But every day I come closer to finding the one that will be. Especially now that I called it quits with the one who was wasting my time and keeping me from meeting that man.
Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt’s It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken was an excellent book that left me feeling confident in myself, empowered, and excited at what my life post-breakup will be like. My only criticism for it is that it focused heavily on women that had just been dumped. I wish it hit a bit more on women that did the dirty deed. Just because I was the one to call it off doesn’t mean it hurts any less. Ending a relationship because you love someone and are pretty sure they don’t love you in return is a pretty lousy feeling. But this too, shall past.
Goodbye, broken record of a relationship.
Hello, bright future filled with new beginnings and possibilities.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited about a book that I wasn’t able to put it down. But that’s exactly what my experience with reading Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden was like.
This might sound a little strange to some of you who know me well. Anyone who really knows me knows that I’ve been a huge book nerd my whole life. Reading has always been a hobby of mine ever since I knew how to read. As a child, I would drive my parents crazy because I’d go to the library, check out 10 books, and read through them and beg them to bring me back to the library within 2 days.
So how is it that I missed reading a childhood classic, The Secret Garden, a book nearly every other child has loved and cherished throughout childhood until now?
The answer is simple: I was unable to look past the name of the book.
It sounds silly now. We’ve all heard that expression, “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, but we don’t often think about how we judge books based on their titles, too.
Now that I’m 25 with multiple degrees in English and Writing Arts I understand that the title doesn’t necessarily mean that the book is about gardening, but rather something much deeper and more symbolic. However, as a 7 year old kid at the Pitman library, I walked passed this book countless times and dismissed it because I assumed it must have been a book about gardening and I thought gardening was pretty boring to read about.
However, as a 20-something year old fresh out of college, I couldn’t put the thoughts of this book out of my mind. I have heard so much about it over my lifetime and so many people seemed to like it. One day while working at Walmart I saw that we were selling this book for the low price of $3.97. I couldn’t resist it at a price like that, so I purchased it.
I’ll admit that this book sat on my shelves for a good 2 or 3 years before I cracked it open (don’t even ask about the size of my “To be read” book pile…let’s just say I really love to buy books especially when I already have 10 or more left to read…). I am not sure what drew me to read the book this week, but I am glad I did.
The Secret Garden was easily one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Of course this book discusses gardening, but it’s definitely not a book about gardening like I assumed in my younger years. This is a book about life, hope, and how having a positive attitude and a positive outlook is the best medicine of all.
This book has three main characters: Dickon, Mary, and Colin. The book takes you on a magical journey where you get to watch the trio befriend one another and grow together. Dickon didn’t seem as important of a character to me as Mary and Colin were. Mary and Colin were definitely my favorite. I loved Mary because of her sassy, strong-willed personality. Colin of course annoyed me at first, but by the end of the novel I was completely in love with him, too.
Mary and Colin, despite being cousins, didn’t know each other in the beginning of the book, but when they do meet it is obvious that they need each other, or at least Colin very much needs Mary. For his whole life Colin convinced himself that he was a worthless invalid destined to die. However, Mary shows him that despite apparent medical issues, that doesn’t mean he can’t still live and enjoy life. She pushes him to get out of bed, to believe in himself, and to focus on the positive side of life rather than the negative. Mary is a nurturer who begins by nursing the garden back to life and ultimately finishes with nurturing Colin back to health as well.
I think The Secret Garden is a very important book to read, especially with the way things are in our society today. There are many sick children and it is heartbreaking. However, there are also many children whom we label as being sick and unable to achieve great things, or even basic things in life, simply because we choose to give up on them before giving them a chance. Just because you have a mental illness, an impairment, or another condition such as deafness, autism, or in the case of Colin, crippledness, does not mean you are completely “invalid” and on a different level from your peers. If you believe in yourself and have faith that you can live and achieve great things, you’d be surprised at what you can do. Just look at Colin, for years he believed he was dying and incapable of walking, but once he started to believe in himself he realized he really wasn’t sick at all, and he could not only walk, but run,too!
The Secret Garden is an incredible novel that encourages and promotes the power of a positive attitude and state of mind and then demonstrates how essential it is to focus on the good things in life if you want to continue growing and living.