I have gone through one really bad breakup in my life, twice. Same guy, broke up two different times, and it affected my outlook on everything for years. The first time I was away and had a really amazing support system and it wasn't really a breakup but it was but it wasn't. I did not take it well.
The second time we were in the same place and I didn't quite have the distance to distract me, and I took it badly yet again. The second time, however, two amazing women in my life realized that what I needed was a shopping trip. One was my mom, the other was my best friend in that day and age, Teija. Changing my outward appearance did wonders on my internal coping mechanism. Mom got me a haircut, a jean jacket, blue Chuck Taylors, sparkly BC moccasins, new Gap jeans, and some spoil-Kate time. Teija and I went shopping out of town (a mall!) and I bought a green halter dress with white polka dots and matching shoes. I wore the hell out of the BCs and the Converse, and wore the polka dots whenever I got the chance. (I still have the dress but I'll have to dig it out of the Spring box when the time comes.)
Obviously, I haven't gotten rid of any of them.
These three pairs of shoes bring back such memories for me. Some are painful, but those are overridden when I remember the people who were with me and how I truly saw these shoes as a means to an end. "Look everyone, I've got new shoes and I'm going to try my damnest to move on!"