How to deal with a breakup

I start off this post by wishing that I had some magic pixie dust to sprinkle around just for those that are going through a breakup.  I could say all those things that a therapist, friend, and family member would say about how … “it wasn’t the right fit, you deserve better, or how people just grow in different ways.” All of these plus a million more platitudes may very well be true, but none of them really help with the hurt.

And that is the kicker right? The pain… it just hurts so damn much. Your insides turn over and you feel like your hopes and dreams are shattered. You are supposed to somehow go to work, hang out with people, and take care of yourself all while feeling as if you just want to crawl into a hole.  It sucks… and there is no real other way around it.

So what are you supposed to do? We all want to know how to get through/past/over a breakup.  I have the answer… truly I do but you don’t want to hear it. Hell, I haven’t wanted to hear it either while I was dealing with breakups. The truth is that your very best answer for dealing with the pain of an ending relationship is feeling it. You simply go one day at a time doing what you have to do.

The first weeks… maybe even months… you just do the basics. You go to work, you cry a lot, you talk with friends, you think about your ex…. you cry some more and you wish things were different. This is normal this is part of the process. The thing is we all want to jump right past this part. We do NOT want to feel so sad, so alone, so vulnerable, so everything. We mostly don’t want to feel at all and this is where the trouble can come into play.

Self soothing and self numbing are not the same thing. And in times of hurt it is easy to confuse the two.  You want to not feel what you are feeling so you go out for a drink. This is okay for a once in a while thing but when you are doing it everyday so that you don’t have to think about your ex… well then it is self numbing.

Where self-soothing is allowing yourself to feel the pain and deal with it the best as you can. You cry, you take baths, you do yoga, you eat some crap food, you distract yourself with movies, you take up a hobby, and you do all the things that are good for you.  After a break up you may not “feel” they are doing much of anything but they are keeping your mind busy while you process through the grief.

And make no mistake about it… a break up is a grieving process. You are feeling the loss of yourself, your partner, your relationship, your past, your present, and your future. These things take time to heal. And that is the answer to the question about hwo to deal with a breakup that no one wants to hear. TIME!

You gotta give yourself time to cope, grieve, think, change, and recharge. I could tell you a lot of stories about myself and others that found the strength to become a whole person rather than look for someone to complete them after a breakup…. but it doesn’t really matter. You have to find that out for yourself.

And that more than anything else is what I would hope in truth for all of those suffering from the pain of a breakup. That you would realize that this is a time for you to take inventory in yourself, to regroup and rediscover who you are, what you value, and what you want for your life.

We often make the mistake of thinking that a breakup is about the other person but really it is about ourselves as individuals. It is the time for reflection (if we are ready for it or not) to deal with the choices we have made and those we will make in the future.

So cry, scream, be upset, feel the hurt and breathe again remembering that you still have you and that as corny as it may sound when you are in a stronger place you will realize just how important YOU really are!


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