Can share a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Haley — I’m a 25-year-old illustrator based in Seattle, WA. I’m best known for doodling my inner emotional turmoil on Instagram (@haleydrewthis), which has turned into a cool place to share my art and build a community.
Can you tell us about a significant heartbreak and how you recovered?
I’m lucky to have never suffered a soul-crushing heartbreak, but I’ve certainly dealt with the gut punch of rejection. I’ve learned that feeling the pain is an unfortunate but necessary part of any recovery process. The last time I felt deep in the pits of rejection, I forced myself into structure — I tried to exercise and cook and journal every day. Scheduling my life out not only provided good distraction, but also helped center me.
What are major red flags for you when you start dating someone new?
Poor communication. It’s exhausting to have to guess what the other person is thinking and feeling — my anxiety doesn’t have time for that! Also, it’s an immediate “thank you, next” if the person is rude or condescending to waitstaff.
What are your favorite mood elevators to uplift and inspire you?
Oh man — so many things! First and foremost: nothing lifts me up quite like blasting a playlist of pop music (Lorde’s Melodrama always does the trick for me) and dancing in my living room with my roommates. My other menu of mood elevators: FaceTiming my parents (and dogs), reading, drawing, going to concerts, and swimming laps.
Do you stay friends with your ex? Unfollow or follow them on social media, etc?
It depends. I think taking space is vital to healing (which does include unfollowing on social media, IMO). I think it’s possible to be friends with an ex, but I think that requires a change in expectations from that person and in being okay with the possibility of seeing them with someone new — if it hurts, I’m not sure I could maintain a healthy friendship.
Any tips for our users on moving on from heartbreak?
Respect your emotions. You’re allowed to feel sadness and anger. Numbing your pain isn’t a solution — in fact, I think it just prolongs the healing process. It’s cliche, but keep in mind that another person does not complete you. YOU complete you. Finally, pour yourself into things you care about — friendships, hobbies, cooking, that one podcast you’ve always wondered about — in order to rebuild, you have to find the building blocks you care about.
You can connect with Haley on Instagram.