Heartbreak is painful
People talk often about how to break up or the best ways to get over one. The pain of separation is so real that you think you will never get over it or be scarred for the rest of your life. The only other trauma that is worse is losing a child or a pet animal to death.
When a partner who you loved with all your heart, body and mind leaves, life seems pointless. Even the landscape looks like the colour has drained off and you wander around like a zombie. Friends may distance themselves or smother you with commiserations or advice, but nothing works and all seems futile. Time is a great healer goes the saying but what do you do in the meantime. Here are some things you must never fall into while you struggle to get back on your feet.
1. Not speaking and allowing the pain to build up
Sometimes a break-up feels like you fell off a cliff and you are torn apart. You hold on to your sanity and clam up. You are afraid of the pain that will reopen if you talk about it. If you have group of friends or even one that you can talk to – seek their help. No one says you have to bear this difficult bend in your path all alone. A good listener can act as a healing balm. Keeping it all inside yourself will drive you down the path of depression and anxiety. Talking it off can ease the pain.
2. Hanging on to hope
Initially, you may think that the break-up was just a nightmare, and that your lover may just come back to you. So you find all kinds of reasons to call him, to extend the conversation, to leave long messages about your never-ending love for him. You want to negotiate with him, find out what was lacking in you. I was so in despair that I offered to share myself – if he could find it in his heart to love two women! I would call his phone just to hear his voice even if he sounded disgusted and angry. This trait just pushed him away further; he changed his phone number and address.
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3. Getting confrontational and aggressive
If the love of life has decided to leave you and go a different way, or has already found another mate, the jealousy that hits you can send you reeling. You cannot imagine that you had so much venom in you-you may hate yourself for all the negativity it generates, but believe me this is normal. I went to the extreme of finding her workplace, spoke to her boss and called her a bitch and in general made a menace of myself. The company’s security men finally escorted me out. I later felt foolish and miserable too.
4. Finding comfort in addiction
The first instinct of both men and women after a break up is to drown one’s sorrows. Literally! Though alcohol numbs the aching mind for a night or every night, it’s the daytime that sears through your heart reminding you of your great loss. Then you reach out for drugs that seem to alter your current reality – but only for a while. Then you may have long forgotten about the break-up but another devil has captured your senses. So now you are out of the frying pan and into the fire. And firemen cannot save you. You now need to find other treatments to solve your new problem. Don’t get into this spiral!
5. Stop caring for yourself
You suddenly realise that your entire world revolved around your ex. You wake up in the morning, drag yourself out, perhaps glance into the mirror and see a wraith of yourself. Haggard and sad. You think to yourself “oh what’s the use of getting dressed, no one loves me anyway”. Self-pity can actually be dangerous, tilting your hormones on a path of self-destruction. You can show symptoms of bulimia, anorexia or binge eating. Life seems futile and despair surrounds you – this is when you need to seek professional help. Seek out counsellors. Follow a diet and exercise plan and seek a good friend to support you through these dark days.
6. Going berserk
Some folks who have low self-esteem and an even lower sense of self-preservation find themselves spiraling out of control. The tendency to hurt oneself happens from small gestures as going on rebound sexual encounters, multiple partners and lack of caution about preventive actions. Who wants to have herpes on top of a broken heart? But such is the psyche of a soul in pain and here is when good counsel, good friends and an understanding family counts. Nothing and no one is worth harming yourself or taking your life.
One needs to remember what potholes one must not fall into after a break up – just as you also remember what can lead up to eventual healing of your pain. It is only a person who can sieve through the quicksand of the myriad negative emotions and reactions that can emerge from a painful break-up. Then when you look back you will be the butterfly that does not recognise the caterpillar that was killed in the strife.