17 February 2009


I did my first radio interview today. It was kind of a cheat because it was with a friend. It was her chat show and we ate up forty-five minutes of gabbing about relationships and breakups and what we've learned.

We went through each of the book's ten steps. Number four is "Don't Pick the Scab". I realize that's a little on the gross side for some, but I named it that to make a point. When you pick the scab, the wound doesn't heal. It will bleed. Become infected. It will scar. If you keep poking at your broken heart or bruised ego, it will remain tender. So, leave it alone. Let it heal.

While we were talking about step four, the Nine Inch Nails song, "Only" popped into my head. "Only" is probably one of the best "Get Over Him" songs ever written. Yes, even though it was written and is sung by a man. Trent gets it. [Full disclosure: I'm a huge Reznor fan, and think NIN is ear porn.]

Now, I think we all have a go-to breakup song. Don't we? This one's mine. There's one set of lyrics in particular that fit step four:
I just couldn't leave it alone
I kept picking at that scab
It was a doorway trying to seal itself shut
But I climbed through
Your broken heart/bruised ego is that door. It wants to close. We keep prying it open, don't we?

There's another part of the song I particularly appreciate:
Because you were never really real to begin with
I just made you up to hurt myself
And it worked
Yes it did!
I love those lyrics because we tend to create a version of the guy or the relationship that is closer to perfection than reality. And we sort of do make it up to hurt ourselves/pick the scab, no? (And, yes, it does work. Maybe even a little too well.)

But then he delivers us a mantra:
There is no you
There is only me
Even stressing that point with:
There is no f%#king you
There is only me
(FYI: The best place to hear this song is at the gym, doing cardio. Hard.)

To me, this song is not so much a call to grow cold, loathe or dismiss the other person; it's just a way to keep things in perspective, which is so important when you are trying to get over him. He's not there anymore, so it is only you. And that can be a great thing. Sure, it can hurt. Being lonely blows. But the sooner you stop picking the scab and letting yourself heal, the sooner you'll be your sassy, happy self again. And, then, all things are possible.

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