“I was alone… After 9 years of being with someone, of having the warmth and security of a support, of having someone I love for the rest of my life. I still have the rest of my life but suddenly it looks empty. There is a vacuum and my chest hurts every time I breathe.
Things were not fine, they hadn’t been for a while. But we always had our near and far phases. Time when we were so near that even air couldn’t seem to come between us and then she would need her space and I would always respect that. It seemed like we were in different dimensions altogether, so close but yet so far.
This one time I gave so much space that she never found her way back to me. A rollercoaster ride, that’s what our relationship was and by the time the ride came to an end I realized I was all alone. She never seemed to be free to talk to me. We were in the same class, when she spoke with others she seemed happy but with me she was always angry, always sad, always so negative that I ended up being sad all the time- when she was sad with me and when she was happy without me.
I guess I saw it coming, but still I wasn’t prepared. It broke me- I lost my Self- Confidence, I lost my Happiness, I lost my Trust in any relationship (ever again), I lost my Self- Worth (I felt unworthy of being loved), I felt Lonely. And the memories, everything seemed to only remind me of the days we were close, it all left a void, an emptiness inside me that I just couldn’t explain.
Initially, the first 5 months, I wasn’t ready to let her go. At first, I knew she would come back, that just like me she was remembering the times we were in love. But then she didn’t and I started telling myself that I had to prepare myself to accept that she was gone. How do you do that? How do you kill the Hope when you know that it is what is keeping you together? Keeping you sane? Keeping you from crumbling all over? You know the Hope will hurt you worse later, But how do you let go of it?
When you are ready you do”.
When a serious relationship breaks, psychologically our natural response to it is very similar to that for a traumatic event, of being wounded… The hurt we feel maybe equivalent or only slightly lesser to the passing away of someone close to us. So the period that follows is similar to a grieving period.
Dealing with a breakup
- It is normal to feel sad, angry, frightened, and other emotions as well. You might be worried that you will end up lonely or that you won’t be happy again. Just remind yourself that it is normal to feel this way after a breakup and that you need to feel these emotions in order to move on.
- Avoid meeting people who are in a relationship or comparing yourself with them. They may seem loved or more secure but then your relationship was different from theirs and you are strong to have come out of a relationship that wasn’t the perfect one for you.
- Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. Take time to heal, to grieve and re-energize.
- Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Talking to others will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal.
- As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned (with your partner), be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.
- A breakup can be paralyzing, but day by day, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression.
Reaching out and seeing a counselor or joining a support group can do wonders. The most important thing is that you have at least one place where you feel comfortable opening up.
- Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy.
- Avoid alcohol, drugs, or food to cope.
- After the breakup and before dating again a counseling advice would be to ask a few questions to yourself and try to find clarity of what happened. Hence, acknowledge the part you played in what happened and feel stronger than before:
Step back and have a pilot view. How did you contribute to the problem?
Do you tend to date, similar people? If so, what are they like? Are they good for you? Why or why not?
Do you adopt constructive or destructive ways of dealing with stress and insecurities?
Do you consider accepting people the way they are or how they “should” be?
Have you had similar problems in other relationships? If so, what is causing you to have these problems? What can you do differently in future relationships?
Dealing with Depression due to Break up
If you were not taking good care of yourself before the relationship ended, now is a good time to start. Make sure that you are eating well, sleeping enough, making time for relaxation, and getting regular exercise to feel your best.
- Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.Avoid junk food, excess sugar, and excess fat.
- Get between 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Keep in mind that some people may be okay with less than 7 hours per night or require more than 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Exercise for 30 minutes five times a week. Go for a 30-minute walk, ride your bike around town, or hit the pool and go swimming.
- Relax for at least 15 minutes per day. Try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to help you relax.
- Keep your distance – Even if you wish to continue the friendship… You don’t have to have stop talking forever, but you do need to cut all communication for as long as it takes to get completely over your ex.
- Remove painful memory triggers – There are all kinds of things that remind you of your ex––a song, a smell, a sound, a place. Having these items around can make it harder for you to recover from a breakup.
If you don’t feel like throwing something, for the time being try putting it away until you have gotten over the relationship.
- Beware of rebound relationships – When you enter into a relationship too soon after breaking up with someone, you may be masking your negative emotions with the excitement of a new relationship. Consider remaining single until you have fully processed your emotions and gotten over the breakup.
Pursuit of Happiness after a Breakup
- Try taking up a new hobby to keep yourself occupied while you recover from a breakup or focus on past passions you weren’t able to invest in while in the relationship.
- Help yourself heal by scheduling activities you find calming and soothing. Go for a walk, listen to music, enjoy a hot bath, get a massage, read a favorite book, take a yoga class, or savor a warm cup of tea.
- Write about your feelings – Write in a journal or try writing poems or stories. Try writing down your feelings every day after your breakup until you feel better. Try writing a letter to your ex, but do not send it. Sometimes it just helps to get all of your feelings out.
- Stand by your decision – If the breakup was your decision, it’s very common to romanticize the good parts of the relationship and convince yourself that the bad parts weren’t so bad after all. Don’t play this game with yourself.
“We must be willing to let go of the Life we’ve planned, so as to have the Life that is waiting for us”