Warning: This article contains spoilers for a selection of apocalyptic movies, although if you're in the emotional state required to read this article, you probably don't care.
You’ve tried furiously sobbing in the fetal position after a day of dry-heaving along to The National, Drake and Alanis Morissette. You’ve tried replacing all food, drink and social niceties with vodka. You’ve even tried screaming at the walls until your neighbors on all four sides started yelling back — yet the savage pain of your broken, lacerated heart remains.
Yes, breaking up is hard to do and even though it may not feel like it, with a little help you're going to do a Gloria Gaynor, and you're going to survive. So, put down that tear-stained copy of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' go and wash your dirty sob-stained face and get ready to embrace a little known but infinitely more beneficial breakup-recovery technique that I've tried and tested to prophetic perfection.
Aside from funding Bruce Willis's career and giving Donald Trump ideas on how to govern foreign policy, apocalyptic movies have contributed far more to humanity than many realize. Forming the linchpin of this recovery technique, these miraculous films of impending doom actually contain the keys to mending a shattered, joyless heart. Free, simple and easy to use, there has never been a better time to abandon the false safety of your fetal ball and immerse yourself in this surprisingly soothing armageddon from which you shall emerge reborn, rejuvenated and ready to love again.
What You'll Need:
- Twenty Four Hours.
- An encyclopedic knowledge of streaming websites.
- Provisions other than vodka, ice-cream and the bitter taste of regret.
What You'll Learn:
- How your current methods for recovery are making things worse.
- How to overcome your acute sense of grief.
- How to move on.
Right. Let's get started.
Phase One: Awareness
Symptom: Excessively Facebook Stalking Your Ex
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Snow Piercer (2013)
- What You'll Learn: Falling into the stalking vortex is as painful as losing an arm out of a moving train window.
In this scene Andrew, the scruffy haired deviant, is you on the verge of a potentially eternal Facebook stalking session of your newly established ex. His arm represents your frantically entered login details, the train window represents you plunging headfirst into the abyss of your ex's Facebook photos. First, comes a deluded sense of calm, then come the screams of desperation when you realize you cannot escape.
- Solution: Delete and block your ex from all social media channels. Including Linkedin, that still counts.
Symptom: Self-Destructive Behavior
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: 28 Days Later (2002)
- What You'll Learn: Waking up after a two-week binge to the destroyed remnants of your former life is a unique form of hell from which you may never recover.
When you feel like the only friend you need is playing hide-and-seek with you at the end of a two liter bottle of whisky, pause for a second and watch as Jim awakens to the debris of his bygone existence. Like him, you too will come around to realize that the past two weeks have been spent rolling on the sticky floor of some godforsaken bar insulting everyone you've ever loved and meticulously trashing every corner of your own apartment.
Solution: Opt instead for a melancholic mocktail.
Symptom: Begging Your Ex To Get Back With You
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Resident Evil (2002)
- What You'll Learn: When entering a plea deal with your ex, remember that they are like this laser. They will relentlessly cut and slice you in ways you didn't know you could be sliced.
There will come a time when begging, groveling and even bribing your ex to get back with you will seem like the best idea you've had in months. It isn't. Just as the laser in this clip shows you, no matter how hard you may try, this is a lose-lose situation that can only end with your diced remnants languishing in a hideous pile on the floor.
Solution: Think only of your ex as an unyielding, murderous, laser.
Symptom: Resisting Your Friends Attempts To Get You Out Of Your Apartment
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Zardoz (1974)
- What You'll Learn: Resistance is futile, and only makes you look like a stubborn, selfish little cretin.
After months of deteriorating in the darkly lit crevices of your apartment, subsisting on a diet of cheese and tears, your friends will most likely stage an intervention to reintegrate you with the outside world. When this happens, learn from the traumatic plight of the aptly named 'Friend' in Zardoz (Sean Connory's seminal film) that the will of your companions to get you out of your repulsive pajamas is far stronger than your singular wish to remain in them.
Solution: Relinquish your freewill to your well meaning coven of chums.
Phase Two: Adjustment
Symptom: Wild Uncontrollable Anger
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Independence Day (1996)
- What You'll Learn: While you may feel like using your anger to destroy possessions and/or people in close proximity, this can only end in disaster.
Having moved past the initial stages of self destruction, seclusion and desperate bargaining you will probably find you've lost the ability to feel anything but a deep seated, ferocious rage. You are now at a very vulnerable stage in the breakup process. If, like the aliens in Independence Day, you decide to release the full extent of your anger, you risk causing unimaginable damage not only to yourself and those around you, but also potentially to the White House.
Solution: Take up zumba, boxing or competitive Tetris to release your pent up aggression in a more controlled environment.
Symptom: Complete Workplace Apathy
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: WALL-E (2008)
- What You'll Learn: How to approach your work in small, manageable, cubic pieces to find the joy in what you do again.
With your heart palpably screaming in your chest, the prospect of working a full working day can feel equivalent to having your eyes slowly pulled out with the blunt end of a toothbrush. Thankfully, WALL-E shows us that by not focusing on the post-breakup destruction which litters every area of your waking life and instead focusing on completing the small, pointless tasks that your job requires of you, you can transform your workplace into a sanctuary of calm in an otherwise devastated environment.
Solution: Never date a co-worker.
Symptom: Stagnating In A Pool Of Self Pity
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
- What You'll Learn: That with a bit of persistence and a good group of friends (or newly met strangers) you can pull yourself out of your festering swamp of self-pity.
When the early days of raw, primitive emotion have subsided but you still feel you haven't fully escaped the clutches of your ex, it is easy to plateau in a putrefying pool of self pity. However as Furiousa, the ever resourceful one-armed bandit in Mad Max: Fury Road shows us, even when the horrors of the pity pit begin to slowly engulf you, if you're surrounded by people who are equally desperate for you not to succumb to its egotistical abhorrence, you can escape, unscathed.
Solution: Befriend people incapable of sympathy such as surgeons, librarians or Mel Gibson.
Phase Three: Acceptance
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Melancholia (2011)
- What You'll Learn: In the face of the inevitable, it is better just to take a deep breath and accept the situation for what it is.
Perhaps one of the most difficult stages of a breakup to overcome, denial can creep up on you at any moment during the separation period. Fortunately, Melancholia gives us a powerful lesson in the misguided depravity that it can cause. As you watch both Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg face their immortality quite literally face on as a humongous planet smashes into the Earth, notice how much more horrifying the whole experience is for Charlotte who cannot simply accept her impending doom.
Solution: In the face of the undeniable truth, be a Kirsten, not a Charlotte, and accept the complete annihilation of your heart with a quiet, sinister, dignity.
Symptom: Jumping Aboard The Rampant Rebound Carousel
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
- What You'll Learn: Trying to judge how appropriate a potential romantic partner is whilst enduring the turbulent rebound period, is in fact impossible.
As your heart slowly begins to recover, there will come a time when you decide you're tired of thinking with your head and so you decide instead to start thinking with your nethers. This has never been more successfully portrayed on the big screen than when Arnie walks into a bar in Terminator 2. Entering the establishment in his sexiest pulling attire, he immediately starts sizing up the room for sexual prowess, but due to making his decision whilst in a rebound stupor, his final choice of partner proves to be a disastrous choice.
Solution: When the cry of your crotch becomes unbearable, throw yourself into a cold shower and think about John Travolta's expressionless sex face.
Symptom: Forgetting Your Dating Etiquette
- Prescribed Apocalyptic Movie: Blade Runner (1982)
- What You'll Learn: While daunting, getting back on the dating scene can be both empowering and exhilarating, but don't go in over your heard too early on.
Once those around you have resolutely confirmed that you are no longer a deluded passenger on the rebound rollercoaster, it's safe to start thinking about dating once again. However, this can seem like a simply bewildering task if you've been out of the game for a while. Instead, let Harrison Ford give you a lesson in what not to do when trying to make a good first date impression. While the urge to ask your new conquest a deluge of personal questions may initially feel overwhelming, remember to play it cool and not transform your date into a terrifying inquisition.
Solution: If possible, try to swipe left on replicants, they're more trouble than they're worth.