I remember the day my partner (the one I thought would be with me forever) broke up with me.
He dumped my ass over a FaceTime call – convenient right? He could just hang up after he had said his piece, and I was left to try pick up the pieces that felt like they were falling from me. I felt like I was crumbling.
That day I went to bed at 3pm, and it felt like I only woke up 4 months later. I was no better than a zombie. I woke up, did what I needed to do and then went back to bed. I refused to eat anything – the only thing I could hold down was chocolate. Everything else felt like chalk in my mouth. I didn’t know how to process or what to do with the intense pain I was feeling. I felt like my heart was made of lead, and it was weighing me down. Each step required a huge effort, and each morning I wondered why I was still alive.
I was so devastated, I was unable to cry. I didn’t cry for a year.
One day, I realized I needed to get my act together. I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Anyone who says time heals, doesn’t know what they are talking about.
I gave myself till the end of the month to get my act together, and this is what I did:
(it really worked!!!)
I’ve heard it said that to get over someone, you need to get under someone else. This is terrible advice, because it simply provides distraction but doesn’t actually help you to heal.
You need a couple of days where you can watch P.S. I Love You with a tub of ice-cream, a box of tissues and bawl your eyes out.
You need a day you can sleep in (like a Sunday) till past mid-day (sleep heals a multitude of wounds).
You need time to process the loss and grieve it. Only then will you be ready to heal, let it go and move on. But don’t allow yourself to stay in this space for too long. I allowed myself no longer than a week.
2) Process your thoughts and feelings
Some people are verbal processors, others are internal. Either way, you need to figure out your thoughts. If you do this best by talking, then get together with a close friend and talk about it.
If you process best by writing, then journal.
If you process best in your own head, then take a long bubble bath and think.
Write a song, sing along to old love songs, talk, scream, shout out loud at no-one… do whatever you need to do to process how you are feeling.
I wrote a million terrible and sad/angry songs that I will never show anyone! But it helped me to process and get the destructive feelings out.
3) Let go
Let the other person go. Stop obsessing over them. Stop looking at their picture and reading past love notes from them. Stop stalking them on social media. And most definitely stop contacting them. Let them go.
Block them. On everything.
You don’t need to know what the other girl or guy in their life looks like.
The longer you hold on to them, the longer your life will be on hold.
4) Get your shit together
There comes a time when you need to let go of your self-pity and get your shit together. This means that you need to stop wallowing in what could have been, and realize that you have a life outside of your heartbreak which needs your attention. You need to refocus your focus on other things in your life and get it together. If you don’t make the decision to get yourself out of your slump, the rest of your life and those who love you will suffer. You’ll slowly start to lose friends and possibly even your job. So get yourself together. Only you can do that.
I had several people tell me this, and when I finally listened, my life actually started to get better.
5) Re-invent yourself, your future and your dreams
This is the most exciting step. In a weird way, break-ups can be sort of refreshing. It’s an opportunity for you to reassess your life and figure out exactly what you want out of it. You would have realized in your past relationship some things that you liked, and some things you didn’t – about yourself, your prospective future and your former partner. Now is the time to work on those things in your own life. So whether you dye your hair and give yourself a make-over, or reinvent your future by figuring out your dreams, don’t hold back. The world is your new playground.
During this time I realized that some of my dreams would never have been fulfilled if I had stayed with my ex. For starters, he had no desire to travel the world. My heart beats for travel and experiencing different cultures. He also had no desire to adopt. Adoption has been one of the most important things to me, but because I loved my ex so much (at least I thought I did at the time) I was willing to compromise.
(I later met the love of my life while I was travelling. And he wants to adopt too!)
6) Realize your own value and power
Once you have figured out what you want from life, then go after it. New image, better health, new job, back to school, traveling… whatever it may be, you need to set goals to make those dreams a reality. And stick to those goals. Only you can make the change. and you CAN make the change!
Set yourself realistic goals, and go after them. Cheating on your goals will only mean cheating on yourself. You know that you don’t deserve to be cheated on – so don’t do it to yourself. Realize your own value (which is a lot) and live up to that new standard you’ve set in your life.
You are more valuable than you think, and more powerful than you know. Focus on bettering yourself and growing in confidence.
You have the ultimate power to change your life.
7) Start meeting people
When you’re feeling confident again, make a plan to meet people. Whether it be joining a social group or club, or signing up for online dating, take a leap and a chance and use your new found sense of worth to dazzle those you meet. Researches suggest that an important part of recovering from heartbreak is to distract yourself.
So yes, I went on Tinder and I met some really nice people who gave me hope that all was not lost. I realized that there were other people out there that I could be just as happy with – or even happier with.
Remember, you have the power to choose who you want in your life. Don’t settle for friends or potential partners who will break you down instead of encourage you. You need to surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your pursuits and who are, most of all, kind and genuinely care about you.
Go dazzle them!