Know that for a while it will be hard in the mornings. Go through the motions of your routine, buy a tiny, ugly, wonky plant and start to water yourselves together.
Let the people who love you see your pain - break off a small piece and share it. It will make people feel good to help you, and eventually that will make you feel good too.
Don’t erase your history together. Put all those little mementos in a bag for later - at one point your heart will want to know what it felt.
Wear your favourite clothes - ones with colours that feel too bright for your soul. Eventually you will become the mask you wear.
Let the tears fall hot down your cheeks, and the disappointment sink like a stone deep into your lake.
For a week, give yourself everything you want. After a week throw away your cigarettes and start to give yourself what you need.
Once your eyes have dried, examine the fire that is left beneath - the hunger in your bones, the restless dissatisfaction in your soul, an urge to change.
If you see a corner of sun in the city go and stand in it. Let the sun kiss your face gently and tell you it’s sorry for your sadness. Eat well, remember that there are other sensations besides love.
Get back into your sheet den and read yourself books - even though you have no one to read them to. Go for a walk with your sister - she knows your context, your struggles, she knows your cells and your DNA. Light candles and wait for the light to enter your stomach.
Trust that love isn’t meant to be chaos. Trust that love isn’t meant to make your head bad, or put tapeworms in your stomach. Trust that love shouldn’t make your lungs burn or your mouth dry. Trust that love shouldn’t deepen the circles under your eyes, or wriggle restlessly through your dreams.
After a while, go to a friends house and drink a bottle of wine. Remember that you were once a person who laughed at farts and memes and had things to say on things that mattered. Remember that you were a person before them.
Never let someone tell you how you were broken - only you know that. Never let someone tell you they can fix it - only you can do that. Know that it has ended. Know the emptiness and the space that’s left. Then know that something new has begun - and that you’re still standing.
Written and illustrated by Jess Bird