Breakin’ up is hard to do


Alyssa Sykuta

During my high school career, I’ve put myself through a lot of harmful things. Sophomore year, it was varsity cheerleading. As a flyer, I found myself falling out of mid-air, maybe into the arms of my bases, maybe onto the fuzzy, blue, not-so-soft mats on the ground.
Junior year, it was a common lack of sleep. “Junior year is what colleges look at the most,” everyone tells you. The academic pressure drove me crazy, and I often found myself up at hours of the night (or morning) no one should have to face, especially when those hours involve Pre-Calc and Advanced Placement U.S. History.
This year, it’s been band; a relatively small, non-muscular girl, waving my arms for an hour every morning as a drum major definitely took it’s toll, as in I’ve just recently stopped feeling the big bulging knots in my shoulders and neck.
But maybe what has really been harming my body the most this whole time is what I seem to consistently bring upon myself: breakups. No, I’m not the sappy, “Oh, my boyfriend broke up with me, boohoo, I’m so sad,” girl. I’m the girl my friends and family lovingly refer to as “The Heartbreaker.”
I’ll admit, the nickname is pretty well-deserved. Of my five relationships, I have been responsible for ending four. And the one where he broke up with me? That was probably going to end shortly anyway. So I am no stranger to the phrases, “It’s not you; it’s me,” “This just isn’t working out.” and “You deserve better.”
But looking back on all of the failed pieces of my love life, I have come to realize that what has caused me by far the most amount of stress in my high school career is this whole breakup pattern. I’m a girl, and although I can’t speak for every female in the world, I know I get very worked up over breakups, even if I am on the instigating end of things. I broke up with him for a reason, but I really don’t want that friendship to end. I don’t want to just go off and pretend like that past however many months of my life didn’t happen; is that a realistic way to live? And the line between trying to maintain a friendship but trying not to stay too attached is a difficult line to walk. It’s a downright stressful line to walk.
Do I talk to you a week later and try to see how you’re doing or do I leave you to deal with your own emotional catastrophe by yourself? Am I allowed to ask how you’re doing and try to have a conversation or is it too cruel for me to talk to you ever again after I (according to your friends) hurt you oh-so deeply? How am I, The Heartbreaker, supposed to deal with this situation? It’s hard on me too, not just you.
According to an article in “Women’s Health” magazine, the stress handled on either end of a breakup is not a fun thing for your body to deal with physically, as well as emotionally. If you have ever experienced a breakup, you can probably relate to the lethargy, lack of appetite and eventual desire to stalk the other person to see if they are faring any better than you are. But what you may not have connected to your severed love life is a sudden appearance of acne, high blood pressure, cold sores (because your ex essentially broke your immune system as well as your heart), and what’s more, your hair starting to fall out. It’s as if life decides, “Hey, way to go, on top of your boyfriend/girlfriend breaking up with you, the longer you keep caring, the more likely you are going to go bald!”
Having “been there, done that,” I can clearly see these breakup side effects in the history of my own love life. So the next time you are flipping the coin as to whether to end it or push through, or the next time you are indulging yourself on a tub of ice cream to fill the void in your chest, consider what exactly you are putting your body through. I’m not saying to stick with a terrible relationship, because God knows sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want. And I’m not saying a little chocolate sauce here and there is an awful recovery plan. But no matter how smooth and seamless the fall out seems, your body is still taking a toll.
Even the healthiest break up still hurts.
By Alyssa Sykuta
This opinion piece is labeled as such on the desktop version.