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Recovering after a break up

July 13, 2018

I am a firm believer that break ups mirror the grieving process. In any relationship, whether it lasted a month or many years, there is a loss of someone in your life that you cared about, spent time with, shared moments, and depended on being a consistent force. After the relationship ends, there is a sudden loss of that companionship even if the relationship was unhealthy. Healing after a break up starts with self-compassion, and ends with self-love. 


So, prepare that you will experience the different stages of grief. The stages are denial ("hell nah, this did NOT just happen", "I cannot believe I broke up with him/her/them"), bargaining ("I will do anything to get him/her/them back"), anger ("I am soooo mad I could..."), depression ("I can't stop crying", "all I do is think about him/her/them"), and acceptance ("I am moving on"). Some stages will last longer than others, some more emotionally intense than the others. Just pace yourself. There is no set timeline to get over somebody, but acceptance should be your goal. Acceptance does not mean that you agree or even disagree with the breakup. Just means that you understand that this is the situation right now, and life must continue with you in it, acting yourself.  Do not compare, or even judge your break up recovery with a past ex or someone else. Just do you!


The mantra.. "Eat. Pray. Love. on repeat."


First you have to keep taking care of your body. Actually shower, eat and sleep. You need those basic body needs taken care to heal emotionally, physically and mentally. If your body is not functioning well then there is no way of thinking clearly to make good decisions, take care of your emotional needs, and regain a level of self-composure. 


My advice is to give yourself permission to feel whatever they are feeling, and crying never hurt nobody ;). Take that self-compassion stance that you are not perfect, and do not have to feel perfect. Listen to yourself. Sometimes you will feel a multitude of emotions, and all are valid. You are entitled to feel, but make sure you explore those emotions in a positive way. Journalling, talking to a bestie or another trusted person, or even praying can be helpful to process your feelings. Just be careful to not sit in the stink of break up. Life is still moving, forward, you do not want to miss the train to your next stop!


To get you moving forward, and not stuck in pain, get active again. Stop sitting around, withdrawn and uninterested in life. Explore new activities, hobbies or interests, or even fall back on the ones you used to do. Involve yourself in spaces with others such as social groups, physical activities, concerts and festivals, or even dinner with the family. This helps to not keep you stagnant. Get back to doing you! Keep loving and enjoying life, even if you are faking it at first. 


Once you give yourself time to just feel and be active again, say to yourself, "Now what?". Be called to do something to positively move your life into the next chapter. There usually is some cloudiness about what life looks like without that person. Recognize that your have all the control over your life. You make all the decisions to write and plan for your future. Create a vision for yourself, and start to make steps towards making that vision a reality. Create a new normal that inspires you, and makes you feel empowered. As you continue to walk this new path, your heart will accommodate the loss and beat strong again. The future is such much more interesting!  

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