How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child

I’m excited to announce my debut title, How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child.

I’ve always wanted to write a book since the second grade, and so it feels surreal to be blessed with this opportunity.

Before I give you a sneak peek below, what’s up with the title and why did I write it?

I’ll begin with “An Explanation and An Excerpt,” and explain why I share my most raw, vulnerable moments.

An Explanation
When I was 31 years old, I went through a tumultuous breakup with a long-term boyfriend, a layoff, and two moves all in three months.

Irony was at its best: I was a self-help and lifestyle writer. Suddenly, I had no topics to write on and felt like happiness was unattainable, particularly when it came down to a lasting, healthy relationship.

Somebody help the self-help, right?

At the time I was a never-married female — and one without children, and going through a breakup past the age of 30 added a painful facet to the emotionally draining process.

Allow me to explain: One, I find in society that if a woman isn’t in a relationship or married around that age, she’s considered incomplete. Two, from my experiences, if she doesn’t have or want children, she’s selfish and has loads of free time. And three, if she goes through a breakup later in life, people wonder if she’s difficult. Funny enough, I now checked off all three boxes and people wanted to “fix me.”

You might be thinking, “Stop caring what other people think!”

And I’ll gently respond that it’s hard to “get over” a breakup or being single when you’re constantly having to explain yourself. My stability and sexuality have been questioned even in the workplace, though I’m unsure why either matter. People want women at a certain age to be married and have children, and what’s worse is that they expect it.

That said, I would like to get married and have kids — but when the time is right for me and when I am in a healthy, happy relationship with a significant other.

But why do milestones determine a female’s worth? Why isn’t happiness celebrated…scratch that, just plain encouraged?

I knew that I needed to dig deep and define my own version of happiness, and that meant ditching the toxic milestone mentality. It meant navigating through a breakup at an age when so many others were on opposite spectrums of their lives and were married with children.

Let me be clear, though: I certainly don’t begin page one with this empowered mentality. How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child explores what many self-help titles fail to do. I don’t tell people how to feel. I tell people how I realistically felt at the time to help one person feel less alone.

…I wallowed in self-pity, hatred, and melodramatics. I compared my life to others. I felt like my life had taken five steps back. Of course, this all goes without saying that, yes, there are definitively much worse things in life than a breakup. Still, the sting of it all lingers.

Perhaps the worst of it all is that I felt juvenile. I certainly didn’t want to break down to my best friends about my fear of loneliness when their children were crying, ready for a bottle.

I wished I could have talked to someone in my same situation. I desperately needed to explore all of the ugly parts of myself, learn how to love myself — and then, importantly, how to get over myself.

And so every day during my temporary depression, I did what I do best. I wrote. I ultimately ended up writing How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child.

An Excerpt

Even though I knew it was detrimental, I continued to compare my life to everyone’s social media posts: more bachelorette parties. More baby showers. Too many festivities. I wondered why Bed, Bath & Beyond didn’t encourage single people like myself to open up registries as a declared rite of passage: if you’re 30 years old and single, you have more than earned the right to throw yourself a party and invite all of your friends to buy you expensive things.

However, no one helped me to expand upon my own homeware. I instead racked up my credit card to purchase what had been split up and taken during the move. I saved my Domino’s preference settings in my phone, so that ordering pizza could be swiftly completed with several taps. I buried myself under my comforter whenever I felt full, and slept in past noon on the weekends. My planning and long-term goals were no more. I was feeling really sorry for myself.

Now, I understand what it feels like to hurt, but then to stand back up to whatever life throws at you. I understand what it feels like to achingly assume that you’re five steps behind your friends, and how it feels when you can’t afford your own summer vacation, because you’ve been invited to your sixth wedding of the season…without a guest. I understand your “Duo by Default” fear, and how it feels to be the thirteenth wheel at a dinner outing that you planned. Now, I understand that this is life and that, no matter how much you have, you’ll never be happy if you expect everything to be perfect all of the time.

If you’re married and wondering, “How can I possibly relate to this book?”

Here’s my answer: No matter where you are in life, you will never be fully fulfilled if you need to constantly attain that next high. I used to be that way.

Maybe you’re married but are hyperfocused on having more children. Maybe you have your dream family but your need to constantly renovate and design your home leaves you financially drained. Maybe to others you have it all but your need for more work — for the next promotion — leaves you exhausted.

Although I will always struggle with my perfectionistic ways, I’m no longer here as an idealistic self-help writer. Now, I’m here as a writer who’s had to help herself, first and foremost, and I’m here to share my mistakes and tough-love advice with you no matter where you are in life.

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m finally real and it’s nice to meet you.

So what are you waiting for? Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab your dog for a cuddle, and get started with me.

Click below to order!

How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child

- Lisa Cleary