Last year the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with walked out. We subsequently talked about our relationship and agreed that we couldn't continue. I was heartbroken. I couldn't breathe properly, I couldn't think properly. I just hurt. And then I accidentally got over him in 24 hours. Honestly. So here, based on exactly what I did, is a 20 step guide to curing heartbreak in just one day.
1. Beg him to take you back. This takes you to a point of humiliation and rejection so low that things can't get worse.
2. Drive home through Mersey Tunnel listening to Valentine by T'Pau, banging your hands against the steering wheel, sobbing and shouting, 'ALL I WANT IS TO BE WITH YOU, WHY WON'T YOU BE WITH ME? WHY?' This is a great course of action for two reasons. Firstly, in a tunnel, much like in space, no one can hear you scream. (If Ridley Scott had known this, Alien might have been a shorter, duller, cheaper film.) Secondly, the sight of your howling, tear-stained face in a Balladmobile will give the drivers of oncoming cars something to talk about when they reach their destination.
3. Sit on the end of your bed. Think about the lovely spa hotel break you'd booked together for that day. Wonder what you'll do instead. Realise you have two options: be sad in a sauna or be sad not in a sauna.
4. Arrive at hotel. Go for the facial and massage you'd booked. Inform therapists he won't be there. Fill awkward silence with the words, 'because he left me.' Endure more awkwardness.
5. (Now the fun begins.) Enjoy two facials and a double-length massage from therapists whose romantic history is more turbulent than your own. Realise you can have his share of everything. Make mental note to never again stir up memories of being dumped in a woman who may then pummel your back with hands of rage.
6. Have afternoon tea for two. Eat three tiers of miniature sandwiches and cakes. Feel chuffed. And queasy.
7. Have a bath AND a shower. Wash hair twice.
8. Put on underwear bought specially for this day three weeks ago. Don't give a shit whether you look fat. Do that thing where you put your arms round yourself as if someone else is hugging you and pretend to kiss the imaginary person. James Bond did this in Diamonds are Forever, so it's perfectly acceptable - provided you then pretend you're a spy.
9. Put nice dress on. Go for dinners. Yep, two dinners in one sitting. His and hers, except it's now yours and yours.
10. Have two cocktails. Then have two more cocktails. Have two more cocktails because, you reason, you've only had equivalent of three each.
11. Feel sick after two starters but forge ahead. Tell self it's woman v food v heartache and then realise you haven't thought about him for hours and heart doesn't really ache anymore.
12. Smile at woman who comes over to insist you join her and 15-strong group of friends. Try not to shudder when she attempts to persuade you with, "We're going to go to Jill's room, get pissed and then there's a Take That tribute band on upstairs! We haven't got tickets so we're going to geg in."
13. Escape to room with two cheesecakes.
14. Remember Question Time is on. Do a little dance. Sit down before you fall down.
15. Watch Question Time wearing both bathrobes. Get a little bit annoyed at the prospect that Nigel Farage gets laid and you don't. Remember cheesecake. Forget Farage.
16. Go to bed. Sleep like starfish.
17. Walk into restaurant for breakfast next day. See a woman you spoke to in sauna yesterday, a woman you talked to freely, thinking you'd never seen her again. Watch as she excitedly hits the arm of the woman next to her. Listen as she shouts in a voice that travels with ease to the ear of every guest, 'PAULA! PAULA! THAT'S HER, THE ONE I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT! SHE'S BRILLIANT. HER FELLA'S FUCKED OFF BUT SHE'S COME ANYWAY!'
18. Realise that you have no one to mind your handbag while you go to the breakfast buffet bar. For the first time, lament lack of boyfriend.
19. Check out. Hand in room card while receptionist smiles knowingly and asks you if you had a good stay. Smile back as she hands you two complimentary newspapers.
20. Drive home feeling bloody brilliant because you did something you didn't think was possible.
Life is going to be easier from now on. After all, Marie Curie had to win two Nobel prizes to be considered an inspiration; all you had to do was eat double dinner.