You found your soulmate, and everything seemed like it would last forever. It didn't. Now you're left with emotional baggage that's ruling your life. Your friends won't listen for long; the sympathetic ear grows cold pretty quick.
Wallowing in your sadness isn't pleasant, but what else can you do?
Respect Your Grief
There are pretty well-known stages of grief you can expect to go through before finally reaching acceptance. Psychology Today outlines a breakup-specific set of stages, which are:
- Desperate For Answers
- Initial Acceptance
Personally, I feel the 'desperate for answers' and denial stage are the same, as are bargaining and relapse, but they make good points for those to be separated. Either way, though, there's a long journey ahead before you "get over it."
Get Through, Not Over
Deborah L. Davis, PhD. offers some insight to the process of overcoming the grief of a breakup. What stood out the most for me, is the advice to accept that you grieve in your own unique way. There's no such thing as "taking too long," though there may be actions that delay the healing.
A popular notion is to "get back out there" asap. On some thing, that works. Not so much with love, I'm afraid.
In 2004, after I totaled a car at five months pregnant (patch of black ice on an empty highway), getting back behind the wheel as soon as I could was important. The longer I waited, the more anxious and afraid I would be.
In 2017, when my friend decided he needed as many superficial hook-ups as possible to get back in the game, it didn't have the same result. Nearly a year after he began, he realized he was still emotionally damaged. AND he sort of wore out the novelty of sex. Healing just doesn't work by pushing yourself to go faster.
Instead, focus on the rest of your life (it's there, I promise!). What plans have you yet to fulfill? Are there friends you've been meaning to contact but haven't had time? At worst, I'm certain there's a movie, book or show of some kind you've wanted to experience. Go with that, and take one day at a time.
And be patient with yourself when you're reminded of the pain again. It's ok. Even if your friends are tired of it (and what kind of friends are they anyway?), you deserve to express how you feel. Write, record yourself, or get involved in groups designed for this sort of thing. There's a lot of broken hearts out there, and plenty of therapists available to help lend a fresh ear to your troubles.
It'll take time, tears and patience. And a clean break (no stalking, hanging out with or contacting your ex, ever) will go a long way toward helping you heal, even though that's not what you want to hear.
Dedicated to the pursuit of truth, happiness and wholeness.
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