Last year, as the countdown for the 25 days of Christmas began, I was parting ways with my significant other. It was devastating to come off the high of Thanksgiving gratitude then finding yourself drowning in the pain of heartbreak. I tried convincing myself that it wasn’t so bad. One less person to shop for this Christmas! But that was all a front.
I longed for someone to keep me company at holiday festivities. To take me to see the Rockefeller tree. To surprise me with a handmade Christmas gift. To make meaningful (even if cheesy) gestures, like hang mistletoe all over as an excuse to kiss me more often. I wanted the kind of magic I’m used to seeing in rom-coms; the holiday miracle.
There’s something about being single during the holidays that gets you feeling particularly vulnerable. It’s even worse when you break up right before the holidays. The loneliness is overbearing. It looks you straight in the eye at every turn. It isolates you. It reflects off the multicolored string lights hanging everywhere. And it exposes you like gifts ripped open by little children on Christmas morning.
Your heart is wide open. Your emotions fully exposed. There’s no hiding the heartbreak. There’s no Pinterest-inspired DIY project or beautifully decorated storefront that will cheer you up. There’s no “fixing” this. This hurts. And the pain surfaces each time you’re asked about your plus one, each time you see the disappointment on the faces of your family members as you arrive at their holiday dinner with no one in tow. You drive home with tears clouding your eyes, wondering if next year will be different, better. This is heartbreak during the holidays.
Have you been there before? Scrambling to find a date for your company holiday party, because no one goes alone. Booking last minute flights to visit a friend for a long weekend because you’re not ready to let the sadness take over while everyone else is so. damn. festive. We’re inviting you to share your holiday breakup story on Mend. Send in your stories, poems, or advice on being unwrapped from a holiday breakup. We know your stories will help other Menders who find themselves in similar situations, especially with the holidays creeping up faster than we know it. And writing is cathartic. You write it and you release it.
Email all submissions to email@example.com and include “Unwrapped” in the subject of the email. To submit a piece, copy and paste the piece directly into your email (no attachments please) and also include a short bio (a few sentences), profile picture, and any website/social media links you’d like promoted in your bio. Though we may not be able to publish everything we receive, we aim to respond to every submission.
Submissions for this topic will close on October 12, 2018.