Tears are running down my cheeks and dropping on to my chest as I sit on the end of a bed in a small clinic. I’m crying because I’m being told to repeat various sentences about my ex-boyfriend and our recent break-up over and over again.
These sentences include ‘I miss my best friend, ‘this really is the end,’ ‘I can’t share things with him,’ and ‘the thought of him gone makes me sad.’
Malminder Gill, a 36-year-old hypnotherapist and life coach, is instructing me to say these statements while using her fingers to tap certain points on my face and body — the top of my head, on my temples, along with my collarbone and on my forearm.
Occasionally, she also taps my upper lip, underneath my nose, which is unfortunate for her because I’m crying so hard my nose is streaming. We spend 20 minutes doing this, with Malminder saying each statement and me repeating it in turn before she tells me to open my eyes. Malminder then washes her hands.
This is the second day of an intense, ten-day therapy course which Malminder has devised and said will help anyone ‘get over’ a break-up or separation in that relatively short span of time. It’s a bold claim.
My boyfriend and I broke up towards the end of last year and it’s been a brutal few months. I’ve wailed loudly and often. Two weeks ago, I cried when I opened my knicker drawer and found a football sock hiding in there.
His beers are still in the fridge which makes me sad whenever I reach for a bottle of wine (this is fairly often, but I can’t bear to throw the beers away).
I’ve wallowed while listening to sad music and since banned myself from listening to any at all. I’ve tried to meditate, been for long walks, been running, been to yoga, I’ve downloaded multiple motivational podcasts, and I went to Sri Lanka over Christmas and New Year for a change of scene and perspective.
In short, I’ve been a massive break-up cliché in an attempt to feel better, but am still hit on a daily basis by his absence. Some mornings I’ll wake up feeling almost normal, but then I’ll read something funny, or see something I know he’d laugh at too, and wish I could send it to him.