Like I said on Eternal Sunshine‘s 10-year anniversary the other day, there are some people you just need to forget so your brain can take a solid rest from sadness. Even if they’re not necessarily evil or bad or remotely unkind people, if you find yourself repeatedly checking your ex’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr for pics to hate-stalk, it’s time to deal. Of course, it’s a full process–one that is totally normal and also still feels completely horrible, irrational and awful in every single way.
1. One day, you’re moseying along the Internet.
2. Suddenly, you spot a photo on your newsfeed. It’s your ex, which isn’t so bad in itself…
3. …but there’s a girl in the picture who’s not you…
4. …and they’re clearly holding hands. You literally cannot control your facial expressions.
5. Wow, she’s really pretty. And that’s only enhanced by f’ing Instagram filters.
6. Everything about you suddenly feels ugly and inadequate. You become aware of the Dorito dust and red wine stains all up on your pants. Oh god, you haven’t washed your hair in days, you’re starting to look like a sad stock photo crossed with Skrillex.
7. You manage to think about other things for a little while…
8. …But you can’t stop yourself from peeking at all your ex’s social media accounts.
9. For a few days, you’re transfixed.
10. You don’t eat, you don’t sleep. All you can think of are those pictures.
11. And at some point, the tears start coming. And they don’t stop coming.
(Fed to the rules and you hit the ground running, etc.)
12. After the tears come the questions. The “why wasn’t I good enough?” and the “what could I possibly have done better?”
13. You begin avoiding all sorts of social media. You avoid public places you think your ex will be. You avoid everything that reminds you of your dissolved relationship.
14. After all, what’s the point if you can’t even hit up In N Out anymore just in case they happen to be making out in the drive-thru?
15. Oh god, they’re invited to a mutual friend’s party. They’re going to be there. Together. And you will be there, alone.
16. This goes on and on for a while, because you’re human and wounds don’t heal right away.
17. And then one morning, you wake up and things are different. You remember you’re a whole person and nothing is missing, even if that phase of your life is over now.
You’re also Beyonce, which doesn’t hurt.
18. Suddenly, everywhere you go, it seems like people are smiling at you. You’ve got your groove back!
19. But guess what? They were smiling at you the whole time. Your ex’s partner was never better than you; it’s just desperately hard not to feel that way when you’re on the outs.
20. You spot them at that party you both got invites for. You say hi. You smile, and you’re killing it.
21. Peace out, bad vibes.