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Breakups are a bitch, y’all.

A breakup hurts. And not the normal “I stubbed my toe and if I walk around holding it and yelling at the door that definitely jumped out and attacked me, it’ll make it all better” kind of hurt.

But the kind of hurt that’s debilitating. The kind that can make you want to sit in your bedroom in complete darkness with episodes of Gilmore Girls going on for hours on end.

A breakup can also be terrible if you have a mental illness, like depression or anxiety. And that’s what I had to work through when my heart was broken 10 months ago.

Breakup: First Blow

I’d say the breakup came out of nowhere, but maybe it didn’t. I’m still trying to work through that part. What did happen was that after five years, my sense of normal and the life I’d grown to know, was suddenly gone. I was sleeping back at my parents, with only a duffel bag full of clothes. My dog was very excited about the extended sleepover, yet she had no idea her life had changed too.

I cried, those guttural sobs where you feel like you’re going to throw up. I didn’t talk, because talking hurt too much. I didn’t bring up what could have gone wrong, because acknowledging that was painful as well. I stopped eating. And I had a few nights where the pain came back even worse because of the drinks I’d had to “make it go away.” (But we all know it just makes it even worse.)

I didn’t have my home any longer, I didn’t have the person I saw myself being with forever, I didn’t have two of my dogs, and I didn’t have myself. Yes, the person that walked around looked and talked like Ashton; but I didn’t even know who I was any longer and I was missing.

With a side of depression

And then the Depression Demon (DD) crept in. This bitch has been around since I was 10.

You know her (yes, it’s a she in my world). She creeps in on the days where the sun finally feels good when it hits your face but makes you notice that one teeny, tiny ass cloud in the way off distance that will make it gray. She’s there when you are laughing so hard your abs hurt but pops up to remind you the last time you laughed this hard, you were with your ex and his friends. And she’s there as you sit in bed and finally have the motivation that you’re going to get your out of shape badonk out of bed and go running, but reminds you that when you finish your run, you won’t be coming back to the home you bought with the man you loved. You’ll be coming back to the apartment you had to move into, and suddenly the motivation is gone and your bed and the darkness of your room wins.

Overcoming the Depression Demon

DD tried to always win.. ever since I was 10, she tried. She tried by telling me I was too sensitive, too emotional. That I felt things too much, that my heart was too big to be loved back the way I loved, and that I wasn’t good enough. DD told me that I was ugly, and fat, and no one would love me if I allowed myself to feel confident. DD told me that I was the one who ruined all relationships, including the one that ended 10 months ago. She told me that I would always love too much, and too hard. And that no one would ever understand me for just being me.

It’s been nearly 11 months and DD still wins at times. But I’m getting better at telling her to fuck off. I don’t have a cure-all medication that will make it all better. But, I do know that smelling the fluff of my dogs fur, having a good hard cider, and lacing up my shoes to finally go running is what is helping me heal. There’s just something about feeling the pavement beneath my feet and the music in my ears, that just makes me want to run, and run, and run.


By Ashton Lyddy

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