Dealing with heartbreak is the worst thing in the world, we can all agree on that. It cripples you to the point of paralyzation, slaps your self-confidence in the face, and renders you sad, obviously, but also and more often than not, self-loathing and hopeless. Well, it is what I feel in that situation anyway. Coping with heartbreak is the toughest thing: like battling in hand-to-hand combat a spiky insidious demon while being blind-folded by your own tangled feelings. It involves so many of them it becomes hard to analyze your thoughts as you try to deal with the comeback depression, anger, fear and judgement at the same freaking time. The result: a shit tornado in your mind.
So how to cope with heartbreak? How do I calm down and start getting over it? What I find helpful in times like these is plain old distraction. It’s putting my anger above all other feelings and while being pissed off, distracting myself so that other feelings can slowly bow down to the anger, because ultimately, that is the only thing I should feel. Anger is the only one of those feelings that can push me forward: sadness would paralyze me, self-loathing would make me want to curl up in a corner and do nothing, fear would cripple any residual courage I have left.
So when I gathered all my anger, I will look for distractions to keep it in check and prevent any other shitty thought to come in its place. Some might find the appropriate distraction in reading, going out or even cooking. I find the best one of all, for me, is movies. Sci-fi movies. And big ones. There’s something about entering a world that isn’t yours, that isn’t the one where you got your heart broken and your mental health challenged and watching characters do out-of-this-world shit while feeling relatable feelings.
The obvious distraction is that a movie, by definition, takes you somewhere else for about 2 hours and therefore makes you forget, or more accurately « not think » about your real-world situation. But when facing that situation, I sure as hell don’t want to jump in an indie movie about finding love and listening to the Smiths with an unlikely encounter on the roof of a building. That’s just going to make me even sadder. I also don’t want to watch David Lynch’s mind at work and begin thinking and analyzing stuff while wondering why the hell I don’t understand the ending. I wanna watch sci-fi.
I want to see things I won’t ever see in the real world that I need to escape for a while. I don’t want to see real people because those people just betrayed me, folded me into a small ball of goo and threw me in the trash. So none of that please. What I find soothing in sci-fi is that the characters have to deal with things much, much bigger than both themselves and feelings. While I’m sitting on my couch trying to deal with the shit-storm that’s going on inside my head, they are not. They deal with big threats, super-powered monsters and aliens. Ultimately, they fight things that are outside of them, unlike me. It makes me want to get outside of my own head, which is easier said than done, obviously.
Above all that, there is a range of the simplest feelings depicted in sci-fi, and that makes me think that my own can actually be reduced to « it sucks ». Turning my immediate feelings into complicated tangled tentacles of despair is a habit of mine, and choosing to shrink them into cutesy one-layered problems should be one of my priorities.In sci-fi, fear is motivated by an outside source, and it is just plain fear. And someone acts about it. That’s what I should do, and it soothes me to see characters with the most basic feelings facing obvious situations.
On top of this, sci-fi is riddled with silly-yet-thoughtful quotes that are meant to apply to any situation. The characters unrealistically manage to casually drop motivational speeches and wise-y sayings like « we will find hope in the impossible ». While it seems real stupid, and often ill-advised, these quotes have the advantage of first making me laugh about the situation, and maybe make me keep things in proportion.
All in all, sci-fi is my number one distraction. Because it’s so far away, because the feelings are made simple, because it makes me get out of my own head, even if it’s just for a little while. It’s hard getting over heartbreak, but Star Trek helps a little.