How To Heal A Broken Heart a.k.a. My Top Google Search For Weeks #NoShame
As you guys know, BECAUSE LET’S JUST SAY, IT’S OUT THERE, in the past few months, I’ve gone through a divorce. This is something I only came out about very recently (even though it was going on for quite a while, because I just didn’t know how to approach it in the best way possible. If you want to understand more of what I went through & why it took so long to come out about it, you can read about it HERE: Edit #129010321: What You’ve All Been Dying To Know & Why I’m Finally Opening Up About It).
Throughout the process, it’s safe to say that I had my fair share of ups & downs & that I had to not only grieve & move on from the pain of a relationship, but also that of a marriage. It was hard.
But today, I’m living my best life yet. I sit in awe when I look back at how mentally, emotionally & physically destroyed I was as a person when it all came crumbling down & when I really started to feel the heartache. But even more in awe at how I was able to move on, on my own & grow as a person, into the woman I was always meant to become.
Today, I want to share with you some of the things that helped me move on & heal from my broken heart. I used to be someone who internalized EVERYTHING, every single one of my emotions was kept inside, in this little receptacle or basket, that eventually got too full & exploded. Today, I’m more open & outwardly than I’ve ever been. I let myself feel every single emotion & that receptacle or basket no longer exists. And it shouldn’t. Not for me. Not for you. Not for anyone.
Emotions & feelings exist because they are meant to be FELT & EXPERIENCED. NOT CONCEALED, MASKED, HIDDEN OR SWEPT UNDER THE RUG. All this to say: grieving my mom’s passing, recovering from my eating disorder & healing my broken heart from my divorce are three events that made me realize the value in acknowledging that I am not a superhuman. That like every body else on this planet, I deserve to feel all the things that are going on inside of my mind & my heart. And to be honest, I genuinely believe that I had to come to this realization (as obvious as it may seem for some) in order to really, truly, genuinely, heal my heart & piece it back together.
Like all things in life, there isn’t one set way to heal or recover from a broken heart that will work for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to keep that in mind & to not get down on yourself if your breakup is taking you longer to get over than your brother’s, sister’s or best friend’s. We are all different & more importantly, every relationship is different: every relationship starts, lasts & ends for a reason & that’s what makes every relationship unique in its own way.
We’ve all been through breakups, some easy, some tough, horrible, relieving or actually made us happier. It’s part of life & it’s part of not only becoming who you are but also learning what you look for in a person. Relationships & breakups are a necessary component of life because they teach & ingrain values in you.
Relationships teach you how to be selfless, how to care, invest in & share your life with someone. They teach you loyalty, honesty, commitment & the true meaning of loving unconditionally, without wanting anything in return & without abandoning when times get tough (or as I like to put it “when sh*t hits the fan”). Relationships let you see the beauty in life, they teach you what it means to be kind & generous.
Breakups teach you that nothing & nobody is perfect. Perfection, like all concepts, is something you can’t see or touch, but what’s more is that it’s a concept that has the ability & power to destroy someone who strives for it too hard. Breakups teach you that perfection isn’t real. They teach you what it means to go through struggle, hardship & challenge. They allow you to recognize your inner strength. They teach you to reflect & to question what you are looking for in the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. They teach you that life will not always be “rainbows & butterflies” & that the people that are meant to stay in your life for good will always be there when it rains & pours. All this to say: Both relationships & inevitably, breakups, are NECESSARY. You must go through them to grow as a person & the worst thing you could ever possibly do is run away from them (& I’m talking about relationship & breakups alike; some of us run from relationships because we’re scared to fall too hard & to get hurt; some of us run from breakups because we don’t want to feel the pain or sadness & because we rather pretend they don’t exist than face reality).
Now that I ranted to introduce the topic for about an hour, let’s get into what helped me heal my broken heart.
As hard as it is, you have to stop all contact.
You have to do this for yourself, but also for your ex. Trust me, I know how tempting it is to reach for the phone & to send what we call a “brick” message pouring your heart out & begging for a second chance. Been there, done that. Or better yet, how many times you wrote & rewrote the same letter or email over & over again & modified it 94023984230 times, then ripped it up, or deleted it all & restarted again. Been there, done that. How badly you want to just reach for the phone (& how many times you actually do & call non-stop, even after every phone call is ignored & silenced) while you’re in tears to hear their voice. Been there, done that.
Cutting contact is probably one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. After all, this is the person you called or texted the second you woke up in the morning & the last person you spoke to (or the person you slept next to) every night before you went to bed. Now, you must get used to a life where those things no longer happen. Hard, right? I know. But persisting contact (or at least, trying to, if your ex is not reciprocating) is unfair to both you & your ex. It’s unfair to you because every ignored message, call, email, doorbell ring or FaceTime call hurts you a little more & digs you into a deeper hole. It makes you angry. It makes you sad. It makes you wonder where your ex is, who your ex is with & why he or she won’t just pick up. It breaks your heart. Why would you knowingly do those thing stop yourself? I know, easier said than done. Because you just can’t stop. Your heart is stronger than your mind & you give in every single time. BUT YOU HAVE TO STOP & tell yourself that stopping contact will eventually stop the heartache. And it’s true. It will & it does.
Guys, I cannot tell you how many emails, text messages & phone calls I made to my ex. I cannot tell you how many brick messages I wrote. I cannot tell you how many times I poured my heart out to him. I cannot tell you any of these things because I lost count & I lost track of time. There were days where I would literally lie in bed from morning until night, BEGGING for answers. But I never got them.
One day, after a really long conversation with one of my family members, I realized that doing all of that was making the pain THAT MUCH WORSE. And so I stopped. Cold turkey. One day, I just decided that I could never contact him again. It was a rule I made for myself. And of course, nobody could control whether or not I followed it – I had to hold myself accountable and it was hard. Temptations always came back, especially when I’d be reminded of a thought or memory, when I saw a picture, when emotions came rushing back. Those moments made it harder to respect my rule. But, whenever I almost gave in to temptation, I realized JUST HOW MUCH BETTER I FELT after every day that went by & I went to bed knowing that I didn’t cave. And so, not to ruin my track record, I stopped myself from caving again. And eventually, it became easier to the point where it no longer required thinking about or effort. I just stopped doing it. And it felt amazing.
Now, I also said that you need to stop contact not only for yourself but also for your ex. Why? Why should you care about how your ex feels when you’re heartbroken? Because just like you, your ex also has to & deserves to move on & recover from the heartbreak, no matter how easy or how hard it is for him or her. Your ex deserves to do that with a clear mind, just like you do. If you are constantly blowing up his or her phone or inbox or whatever other outlet for contact, your ex is unable to properly grieve & move on. Ultimately, the goal is for both of you to move on & live happier lives than you lived together with the people you were genuinely meant to be with.
But neither of you will be able to do that if you are constantly making appearances in each other’s lives, especially when there comes a time where you must just accept that being together again is no longer an option. So yes, as much as you’re hurting, I’m telling you that at one point, you must stop being selfish. You must stop seeking answers. And find comfort in answering the questions yourself, with the knowledge that you have. And eventually, find comfort in uncertainty & in knowing that not every single question you have will be answered because you can never really know what’s going on in another person’s mind or heart, no matter how well you think you know them. Come to terms with that. And cut the contact. You’ll be so thankful you did . A weight will be lifted off your shoulders & you’ll eventually stop waking up everyday with a lump in your throat. I promise. It goes away. But first, the contact has to.
Go through it, not around it. Feel the loss. Cry. Grieve. Bawl your eyes out. Eat that tub of ice cream. Spend a few days in bed.
Guys, as I mentioned earlier, LETTING YOURSELF FEEL IS NECESSARY & not only is it necessary, BUT IT’S HUMAN. Just like you have to go through the sadness you’re feeling & grieve the loss of someone close to you, or come to terms with losing your job, failing an exam or a friendship ending, YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE HEARTACHE. You have to let it come to the surface. You need to ride the ENTIRE rollercoaster of emotions to completely & fully get over heartbreak. You can’t get off halfway, even if you’re scared, even if it hurts.
What’s crazy is that I didn’t realize that I was actually getting a divorce, that my lifelong commitment was ending, until I was already a few months into recovery & regained the ability to invest myself in other things OTHER THAN my recovery. It was almost like my commitment to recovery put everything else in my life on the back burner & recovery overshadowed everything. But suddenly, as I got better, the heartache came out of the shadow. It came to the front burner, to say the least & it hurt like hell. But having come as far as I had in my recovery, I knew that I had no choice but to LET MYSELF FEEL EVERYTHING or else I opened the door to internalization ONCE AGAIN (for the millionth time in my life) & ultimately, to the risk of relapse. And that was not something I wanted myself.
So, I spent days in bed. I cried. I bawled my freaking eyes out. I left my house with no destination (& if not, I didn’t leave my house at all) & drove around and cried in my car for hours. I did nothing all day but go through Kleenex boxes (as cliché as it sounds). I spent days just going through the motions. I blocked everybody out. But some days, I spent hours on the phone repeating myself & talking about how I didn’t understand how any of this was happening. And that led to more crying. It sounds horrible & it was, but these are all things I had to go through in order to let it all out. I learned, overtime, that keeping my emotions inside had served me no purpose in the past & ultimately led to me putting up walls so high that I lost sight of my life. And so, I felt every single emotion. The embarrassment, pain, shame, uselessness, inadequateness, anger, frustration, hurt, sadness, loss – I let myself feel it all.
And eventually, I jumped out of bed because I felt it was time. I felt I had grieved enough. I left my house with a destination, let alone, I finally left to begin with. I stopped living to just go through the motions. I found purpose. I let everyone who showed me love & support back in. And I was whole again. But the only reason I was able to get to that place was because I let myself go through all the bad. Sometimes, you have to see darkness to see light. I swear, it’s true.
Let go of the worry over what people will think. People will talk no matter what.
I know, in today’s society, it’s not easy to just put your worries about what people will say or think of you behind. It’s not easy to get over the fact that you may or may not be the talk of the town post-divorce or breakup, depending on how quickly the word gets out. Unfortunately, we live in a day & age where PEOPLE LIKE TO TALK & where people thrive off of putting other people down in order to feel better about themselves. It’s wrong on so many levels. But, it is what it is. AND THAT’S WHY, YOU HAVE TO LET GO OF IT. Because you simply CANNOT control it. C’est la vie, as they say in French. As someone who is going through heartbreak, you ALREADY have so much going on in your mind & in your heart, do you think it’s necessary to add what other people will think to your plate? It isn’t. Trust me.
I live in Montreal & I’m part of the Jewish community. Whoever knows about Montreal & the Jewish community knows that EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE. So, naturally, I worried for months about what the community would think about me & my “failed” marriage. I wondered what they would say, how they would perceive it, whether they would pawn the blame on me or on my ex, or both of us, or one of us, or none of us. I just didn’t know what to think. BUT I WAS SCARED. I had no idea how people would react. And that stressed me out even more than I already was. I learned, overtime, that yes, people will talk, but also that, people will talk NO MATTER WHAT, good, bad, happy, sad, ugly or beautiful. So I realized that there was no way out of it. It was going to happen, BUT IT WAS ALSO GOING TO PASS. And it did.
How much can people talk about one couple, one relationship, until they get bored & move on to something else, right? RIGHT. Instead of focusing on what others thought, I focused my energy on myself & on finding the strength to move on from what I was going through as opposed to investing it in caring & worrying about what people were saying about me. At the end of the day, I’d never know anyway so letting that take up all of my head space & time was fruitless. Focus on yourself, your grieving process & your recovery from heartache. Not on people’s opinions about it. Ultimately, it’s not them who are going to make the grief or heartache easier, subside or go away. Only you have the power to do that.
Practice self-love & self-care.
A lot of the times when we are very invested in a relationship & in our significant other, we end up neglecting ourselves. We don’t see it in the moment because we are blinded by love, emotion & feelings. Sometimes, even when we are invested in a relationship, we are able to find a balance between our partner’s needs & our own. Everybody’s different. Whether you fall within the realm of the first option or the second makes no difference once the relationship comes to an end. At that point, what matters is that you LEARN TO PRACTICE SELF-LOVE & SELF-CARE. I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again, self-love & self-care are essential components of living a healthy well-balanced life. What’s the use in eating healthy, working out, taking natural supplements, practicing healthy habits & sleeping well if at the end of the day, you’re not happy with yourself? If you don’t love yourself? If you don’t show your body the love & care it deserves & needs for all that it does for you?
Self-care & self-love are EVEN MORE CRUCIAL when you are grieving & you have a broken heart. In those situations, you are more vulnerable. You are hurting. You are suffering. You are in pain. Your heart hurts, your body aches & you don’t get much sleep. This is the CRUX of when you need to snap out of those feelings & learn to show yourself & your body WORTH & LOVE. You need to recognize that the SELF is the most important component of being. And you cannot properly & most efficiently BE, EXIST & CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TO THE LIVES OF OTHERS if you don’t love yourself.
There are so many ways that you can practice self-care & self-love from, writing, reading, blogging, listening to music, doing face masks, exercising, walking, seeing friends, getting enough sleep, playing sports, literally sitting in front of a mirror & telling yourself how worthy & beautiful you are, reflecting, mind work, going to therapy, finding your passion, working, studying, helping & inspiring others, to name just a few. As hard as it is to get out of bed (& as easy as it is to just stay there & sulk), MOVE. Get up & do something for YOU. These little acts of self-love & care will eventually help open your eyes to the fact that you are worth so much more than how little your ex may have made you feel. It no longer matters whether he or she sees your worth, what matters is that you see it.
Lose the thoughts of revenge.
They bring you NO WHERE. All they do is fuel you with negativity & negative energy & you don’t need or want that in your life. When you’re going through heartache, you want to surround yourself with as much positivity & positive energy as possible. Thinking about how you will get revenge on your ex for what you guys went through together is immature & again, serves no purpose. At one point in time, your ex is someone you loved, cherished & valued more than anything in the world. He or she was your other half. Things ended for a reason, but that reason shouldn’t be the fuel for your desire to get revenge on him or her. And yes, when you’re heartbroken, it’s okay to hate your ex because of what you are feeling, but hating your ex doesn’t give you “carte blanche” for doing everything in your power to make your ex suffer. You’re both suffering enough, maybe in the same ways, maybe in different ways.
But revenge always comes back full circle. Instead of focusing on ways to get revenge, to spite, aggravate or anger your ex, channel that energy towards yourself & what you can do to better yourself as a person & to recover from your pain.
Let go of the comfort, attachment or connection.
Sometimes, as we slowly get over heartbreak & move on from a relationship, we have a hard time letting go of the comfort, attachment or connection we felt with our ex. We worry that we’ll never find that comfort, attachment or connection again or that we’ll always miss the one we had. But eventually, when you move past the grief, sadness & anger and learn to accept the breakup, you must also let go of the comfort that the relationship once brought to your life. Only then can you fully move on. I say this all the time but stepping out of comfort zones, in all realms of your life, is crucial. Yes, your relationship made you happy at one point in time. Yes, you were comfortable in it. Yes, it gave you security. Yes, you were attached and connected to the person you were with. But just because you were & felt all of those things for your ex at one point in time, it doesn’t mean those feelings are impossible to attain with someone else.
When you’re reflecting & trying to move on, ask yourself if you are genuinely still in love with that person & if you would seriously do anything in your power to have them back in your life or if you simply think that because of how comfortable, attached or connected you feel to them. More times than not, you’ll be surprised at the answer.
Know that you are lovable & know your worth.
Know that it’s not because it didn’t work out with your ex that it means you aren’t lovable or capable of maintaining a relationship with someone else. Know that YOU WILL find love again & that someone else will appreciate you for everything that you are, all the amazing, bad, wonderful, weird, bizarre, unique things about you. When my marriage ended, I became very self-critical & I began to put myself down (this was danger zone for me because I was full fledged in the middle of one of the most crucial points in my eating disorder recovery & negative self-talk & self-hate was a trigger for ED thoughts). I kept telling myself that I was inadequate, a horrible & useless wife & that I didn’t have the ability to keep & maintain a marriage, let alone a relationship.
It was only when I transformed that negative self-talk into positivity, self-encouragement & self-love that I realized that it’s true what they say: “There are a million fish in the sea” & it’s not because it didn’t work out with the one I thought was my “GOLD”fish that it will never work out with anyone again. Yes, I’m divorced. And yes, in today’s society, there is stigma surrounding divorce. But I know that eventually I’ll meet someone who will be able to see me for who I am & who will look beyond perception & stigma. That’s when I’ll know I found the right person. All this to say, getting down on yourself & criticizing your worth & your ability to maintain a healthy relationship is WRONG. You are a good person. You have a good heart. Those are the reasons why your ex fell for you in the first place. The fact that it didn’t work out doesn’t take your goodness as a person or your good heart away from you. It just means it wasn’t meant to be & that now you must come to terms with the idea that now, those are things that will be shared with someone else.
Find a love for something else.
And I’m not talking about a rebound. I’m talking about a love for something else that you can invest your time, energy & passion in, whether it be: cooking, baking, writing, blogging, exercise, sports, singing, dancing, finding a new hobby, public speaking, WHATEVER IT IS. Doing this will not only allow you to redefine yourself & find purpose, but will also help you channel your energy into something rewarding & serve as a distraction. With time, you’ll realize that you’re thinking of him or her less, and that when you do, you’re able to redirect your thoughts towards your newfound love or passion for something else.
For me, investing my energy in cooking, baking, blogging, working out, adopting a healthier lifestyle & forming relationships & connections with the beautiful community I’ve built with you guys on social media helped beyond words & really helped paved the way to my ultimate healing from the heartbreak.
Don’t jump into something too quickly. Know that it’s okay to be alone, learn to love your independence & let yourself grow as a person.
A lot of people will come out of a relationship & suddenly start looking for a new one. They’ll ask around in hopes of getting introduced or they’ll put themselves on dating sites & get themselves out there. They’ll do everything they can to spread the word they are single & ready to mingle. I’m not condemning that or saying that it’s wrong in any way, shape or form. But, IMO, jumping into something too quickly after a breakup is counterproductive. While it may give you temporary relief from the sadness, grief or anger you are feeling & take your mind off of things for the moment, jumping into something with someone else too quickly means that you don’t give YOURSELF enough time to grieve your loss. And eventually, if things do advance relatively quickly with that person, you might end up in a situation where six months down the line, you realize that you’re still heartbroken over the your ex. And then what? YOU ENTER THE “IT’S COMPLICATED” STAGE, because you start to digress from the new relationship or whatever it is you are starting out with someone else, in hopes that you may rekindle the spark with your ex, or simply because you realize you did not move on from the end of your relationship.
At first, I was scared of being alone. I mean, not only was I in a relationship, but I was MARRIED. Marriage is a commitment & one where you become “ONE” person with your husband or wife. Imagine having to let go of half of that one. What are you at that point? A half? It sounds weird, I know. But, when I started to engage in acts of self-love & self-care and to invest my time, effort & energy in other things other than thinking about what I deemed a “failed marriage”, I eventually recognized that there is NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING ALONE. I learned to love my independence & loving it made me embrace it. Embracing it made me become more in tune with myself, my emotions & my needs, and yes, it made me become more spiritual. But that’s probably the best thing that ever happened to me because becoming more spiritual helped me grow as a person. It made me realize that if I wasn’t content with myself, I could never be content with someone else. Obviously, I was going through recovery at the same time, so being content with myself was hard because I was dealing with all the emotions associated with the change in my appearance, my mental state & my overall state of being.
But, in retrospect, I now know that I had to learn to live & love myself ALONE & be content with MYSELF before I could even fathom the idea of being with someone else.
Learn from it. Instead of viewing it as a failed relationship, start viewing it as a positive learning experience that you can take something from.
Every relationship, and every breakup alike, are opportunities to learn not only valuable life lessons, but also to learn about yourself & about what you are (or aren’t) looking for in your future partner. Take some time to reflect on what you went through (the good & the bad), and especially, on how things came to an end, and ask yourself what you would’ve done differently in retrospect. Of course, you can’t change the past. But, you can use it to better the present & the future. And that’s what’s so rewarding about learning experiences. While you can’t change what you went through based on what you learned from it, you can use what you learned & apply it to the rest of your life, not only to relationships, but to all aspects of your life.
Learning from your relationship & learning about what you are looking for in a person is so crucial to ultimately finding your “one” because you are going to spend the rest of your life with that person. And of course, nobody is perfect. We all have our flaws. But having lived through experiences that made you feel certain negative ways, you are the best judge of what you can & will be okay with in future relationships.
You are not a failure because this relationship didn’t work out. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. Maybe you had to go through this relationship & breakup to eventually fall into something better.
Know that “This too shall pass“.
Another cliché, I know. But when it comes to relationships, clichés actually make sense. I speak from experience. I lived through it – those days where I felt like NOTHING IN THE WORLD would pass, or like I would NEVER GET PAST THIS, or like I WOULD NEVER FIND ORDER AGAIN, or like I WOULD NEVER BE HAPPY AGAIN or like I WOULD NEVER GET OVER IT. But guess what? It passed. I got past it. I found order & my life is more in order than it’s ever been. I am happier than ever. I got over it. I got over it & I’m stronger than I ever was.
Every single person that I spoke to about my experience told me that it would pass, but I never really understood what they meant. I couldn’t fathom the idea of ever getting over the fact that my marriage ended. But guess what? They were right. Sometimes, when you’re in it, it’s hard to believe that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel (& I felt the same way when it came to choosing recovery in the first place). But, there always is. No matter how hopeless you feel, how heartbroken you are, how much suffering you are going through, how much pain you are feeling & how much you can’t imagine your life without your ex, THERE IS HOPE. YOUR HEART CAN BE MENDED. YOUR SUFFERING GOES AWAY. THE PAIN SUBSIDES & LIFE WITHOUT YOUR EX IS POSSIBLE.
All this to say that IT WILL PASS. Everything has its time. Time does heal. As cliché as this sounds, you must accept that all things happen & people come into our lives for a reason. Your relationship happened, but so did your breakup. Your ex came into your life, but now he or she is no longer present. There’s a reason for that too. Whether it takes you a week, a month, six months or two years to figure out what that reason is, I promise you, you will.
Stop questioning & wondering what could’ve or would’ve been.
I know, it’s easier said than done. You can’t help but wonder what went wrong, what would’ve happened if you behaved or reacted differently in certain situations, why he/she left, why he/she is no longer interested, whether or not you’ll get back together & how it all crumbling down so quickly. And when you’re curled up in bed & feeling sad, a few of the first things that come to mind are the “what ifs” & all the possibilities or potential of what your life COULD’VE BEEN if things hadn’t ended the way they did. It’s normal. You’re human. You shared both horrible & amazing times with your loved one & you can’t help but wonder what else the future had in store for you as a couple. But the harsh reality of a break-up is that you’re no longer a couple & that dwelling & wondering serves only one purpose: making you sulk deeper into the sadness, misery, anger, frustration & negativity you are already feeling. Why would you do that to yourself? Because the alternative is harder. Right?
Nobody said it was going to be easy. And while it’s necessary & okay to wonder for a certain amount of time in order to get it out of your system (as opposed to internalizing it), there comes a point where you must realize that all the dwelling & wondering is counterproductive & worsening your pain. This is the point where you must let go of what could’ve or would’ve & focus on the now. The now is reality & the now is you on your own. Embrace that. Invest all that wonder & all those what if’s in the beautiful future that lies ahead of you, the one you can’t control, the one that will be brighter, better, happier & allow you to grow. The future where one day, so unexpectedly, someone new will walk into your life & make you realize that everything truly happens for a reason.
Find closure (if you can), but also know that you can find closure on your own.
The thing with closure is that it’s a two way street. It takes both of you. You can’t find closure if your ex is not willing to give it to you. And that makes it even harder. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to me. I begged & nagged until I was blue in the face to try to understand why it seemed so easy for him to move on, why he couldn’t just explain to me why he was so okay with ending our marriage & why we wouldn’t work together to understand & try to move past my eating disorders & the struggles it entailed for our relationship.
But, after weeks of begging & nagging, I realized I was fighting a useless battle with myself. Closure is important & you can beg & nag all you want for it, but at a certain point, you also need to come to terms with the fact that it’s something you might not get. That’s okay. Not getting closure doesn’t mean you won’t ultimately recover from the pain. It just means it might take more time. In retrospect, I know that fighting so hard to get it made it harder for me to move on because I subjected myself to countless conversations (or lack there of) where I received no response (that was the worst) or responses that made me cringe, broke my heart even more & left me in bed bawling my eyes out. I think at a certain point, no matter how strong of a person I am, I realized that there was only so much I could take & I finally learned that not getting closure didn’t mean I wouldn’t get better, it just meant I had to do it on my own.
And so I did. I found closure in knowing that I DID EVERYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE TO TRY to preserve my marriage & eventually, that became enough. All this to say: Try to get closure because ultimately, it will facilitate the grief & moving on. But, if you’re not getting it, recognize when it’s time to stop fighting & when the fight for closure is doing you more harm than good. Focus all the energy that comes with fighting for it, begging & nagging ON YOURSELF & on finding your inner strength & letting it shine. You can find closure on your own too. Trust me. I did.
Going through heartbreak is kind of like going through grief, in the sense that you go through a series of stages before you reach the ultimate one: acceptance.
Trust me, I know. The easiest thing to do when you’re going through a breakup is to pretend it’s not happening. In the beginning, I went through denial. I kept telling myself that this couldn’t be the end, that things would find a way of working themselves out, that my life wasn’t paved out to happen or turn out this way. You see, the problem is that the heart ignores logic. And because of that, you’ll often fid yourself reaching for your phone what feels like a hundred times a day in hopes that you have a new message. You’re slapped by reality every time you see his old sweatshirt in your closet, when you hear your song on the radio or what you finally realize you don’t have a date for that wedding you got invited to together months ago.
I lived in that state for a while, and unfortunately, living in that state of mind was also my way of subconsciously fuelling myself with a glimmer false hope. It’s almost like the denial makes you feel a little bit better because since you can’t accept what’s happening, it’s like it isn’t real. But it is.
Then, eventually, you realize it’s reality & you go through the anger & frustration stage. You nit & pick & find every single reason under the sun for why you hate them, why they don’t belong in your life, why the end of the relationship was for the better & why you’re worth so much more than them. That stage is somewhat therapeutic in the sense that it puts things into perspective & makes you reflect on some of the reasons why that person is no longer part of your life. But unfortunately, in the same way that we say or do things out of anger, we also think things out of anger. And those things we think might give us temporary relief & release, but they are not what will ultimately help recover from the heartache. Although it may be uncomfortable & certainly unpleasant to go through this stage, feeling anger is better than being in denial & feeling numb. It means that you are slowly starting to accept that it’s REAL & that’s progress. When you feel angry, the most important thing to do is make sure you find an outlet so that you don’t internalize it (& so that you RELEASE IT!). That outlet can be anything from exercise to talking to your sibling or best friend on the phone for an hour.
At one point, either before or after the anger stage, the utter sadness & sometimes, even depression kicks in. This is the most painful stage of grieving. But it also means you are well on your way to healing. As I said earlier, it’s important you LET YOURSELF FEEL. You need to ride the ENTIRE rollercoaster of emotions to completely & fully get over heartbreak. You can’t get off halfway, even if you’re scared, even if it hurts. I had a hard time with this one: unfortunately, my eating disorder was something that took away my ability to feel anything other than what ED wanted me to feel. But as I got better & healthier, the heartbreak came to the surface & I realized that I had finally regained my ability to feel. I don’t know if that was a good or bad thing. But in retrospect, I know it was good & necessary (& also a sign that I had made progress). Allowing yourself to feel sad, to cry, to bawl your eyes out over the fact that things didn’t work out the way you imagined or hoped, IS TOTALLY NORMAL & NECESSARY! The only danger is lingering here for too long. Let people into your life that love you, lean on them & keep them close – They will help you get out of this stage. My sister was my GOLDEN LUCKY CHARM & I don’t think I would’ve been able to successfully move out of this stage without her. I love you boo <3.
Eventually, best thing ever – you reach the final stage of acceptance: The relationship existed. But now it’s over. And you accept it. This stage happens when you least expect it. You start to feel happier without even noticing. Suddenly, a weight is lifted off your shoulders. Suddenly, leaving the house is not something you force yourself to do. You can see a picture, or be reminded of a memory or a place that you enjoyed together without having the urge to cry or throw something at the wall. I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t control my ex’s thoughts, feelings, emotions or decisions. And so, I learned to let go of that desire for control and to replace it with acceptance. I accepted that my relationship wasn’t meant to be, and I stopped surrendering to the simple fact that it ended. I realized that it ended FOR A REASON.
Last but not least: Know that you can & will love again. Don’t look for it. Let it find you.
Once our hearts are bruised & burned from a relationship that ended, we really have two options: we can close off pieces of our heart so that we can never let anyone else in. Or, we can love again. Deeply, just as intensely, as we did before (if not even more!). Put it this way: the more you have loved someone wholeheartedly with all your heart & soul, the more you have opened your heart up to suffering, the more your heart has suffered & been broken, the more you are able to APPRECIATE happiness, love, life, laughter, uncertainty & new beginnings.
When you go through heartache & come out of it, suddenly, you learn to see value in the little things. Happiness is no longer taken for granted. You have so much love to give. You regain your desire for life. Laughing is commonplace. And uncertainty & new beginnings don’t look or feel as scary anymore. They excite you & give you hope for the new doors that are about to open for you. Don’t search for those doors. Don’t try to break them down if they are locked. Be patient. Those doors will find you. Time will break them down & unlock them for you. Be patient, my loves. <3