How To Heal A Broken Heart (Recovering From A Breakup)
This article assumes that you have already read:
And if you have not the above articles, i would request you to please read them first. This is some comprehensive advice to help those who really need it.
I hate to do this, but I’m going to ruin the surprise for you. If you play your cards right, these intense feelings of heartache are going to dissipate over the next few weeks.
But they are going to do it in a really peculiar way. The feelings you are going to have are going to OSCILLATE.
Oscillation just means that the feelings are going to behave in a wave-like fashion. There will be stress, then recovery, then stress again.
They aren’t going to feel the same all the time, they will spike and get a little better, only to spike again and then improve again.
This will happen on a day to day basis. Maybe you’ll feel the worst on one part of the day (I have found it is most often nights, weekends and holidays for most people) and then better in others.
Some days will be better than others, as will some weeks. Overall though as you are recovering things will improve.
Understanding that this is part of process is going to help you have some perspective, especially during the tough times.
It is important to remember that when things feel especially bad, that means shortly, they will get better.
Also when you are feeling some relief, then chances are the bad feelings are going to return. They may come back slowly or they may flair up.
Your mind, body and emotions are going to oscillate back to normal through a cycle of stress and recovery.
Think about what happens when you get a fever.
Often you start to feel sick and then your fever spikes. Usually close to when it firsts hits, it’s the highest. This goes on for a bit, then it goes down a little, only to go back up, but this time not as high and not as long.
It keeps doing this, each time, the fever gets lower and lower. You also feel better in the spaces between them.
If you have created the conditions to allow your body to heal itself, you soon wake up one morning feeling fine. Maybe you feel a little weak, but it’s obvious the sickness has passed.
Heartbreak involves all of the systems in your body so it is more complex, but the idea is the same.
But just like a fever, YOU have to create the best conditions to allow this healing to happen.
Oh. Speaking of being ill. Depending on how fresh this pain is for you, in a real physical sense, you may be.
You’re on your way to recovery, but in the meantime, treat this as if you really are sick. Which means no binge drinking, crazy drugs or overeating.
Save those for a time you are mentally and physically fit. These will just mask over the pain, and inevitably make you feel worse afterwards while delaying the healing process.
Now on the other hand you don’t get to treat this as if you have the flu. Sitting around and watching television, playing video games and sleeping a lot are also just going to make things worse.
It’s a tough spot to be in, as now may be the time when it is the most tempting to do something…anything to distract yourself from the pain. It’s ironic, but now is the time you need all of those distractions to be HEALTHY for you some way or another.
What A Lifeguard Can Tell You About Heartache.
Think of everything you are feeling right now, the pain, anger, longing for your ex, everything as a powerful riptide you’re stuck in and its taking you away from shore.
If you swim against it, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. It will wear you down, and ultimately overcome you no matter what you do.
But you just let it overcome you are going to be at its mercy and end up in a place you don’t want to be.
What do you do?
When caught in riptide swimmers are told, first and foremost to not swim against the current.
Instead they are told to start swimming parallel to the shore.
As you swim parallel to the shore you are still under the current’s influence, but eventually you can get out of the path of the current without having to resist it directly.
That’s how we are going to approach this. Your emotions have to vent themselves naturally for this to be a healthy process. That means you have to not resist the “current” and give them room and appreciate their power.
Most of us guys usually repress this stuff, mostly because we are really disconnected from it in the first place, and we don’t really know how much it influences us.
Not acknowledging or accepting what is going on internally is really the equivalent of swimming against that tide. Emotions are a lot like potential energy…Eventually they have to go somewhere.
On the other hand we need to figure out all the things that are still fueling it.
This includes your thoughts, your surroundings, people you are hanging out with, unhealthy cultural ideas, etc. There are a lot more of these then you may suspect.
The closer we get to calmer waters the more leverage we begin to have. That means redirecting the current once it becomes more manageable.
This involves doing things that trigger other competing emotions to take the place of the ones you are having now.
The more ways we do this, the more the effects compound and add to each other and the faster the process goes.
The faster it goes, the faster your emotional, physical and logical parts can heal and reintegrate.
The Upside & Downside Of Down
The end of relationship, or its eroding into something more painful than not, I think, is a kind of “death.”
Seem like a big word to use for just a break up?
I don’t think so, especially if you were really in love. Ending a relationship with someone you care about a lot has the same finality and sorrow as the death of someone close to you. All the things you imagined and projected into the future, aren’t going to happen now.
I believe there is a kind of “mourning” that you go through once you really realize these things will never happen.
More importantly, for you to move on, you actually have to go through that mourning. For you to really go through it, you have to first accept that it’s over.
I believe the healing actually starts when you actually grieve. Yes, I mean physically cry. You would be surprised how much headway you can make if you allow yourself a couple of good cries.
Give yourself permission to grieve for a couple of days.
Here is the catch though. There is something weird about sorrow, wallowing and sadness. It can be kinda fun in a way.
But there is a self indulgent aspect to it too and it can become a habit. This may not be an issue for you depending on your personality, but if you have an inclination towards the dark, or history of depression it’s good to be aware of how much you are doing this.
Which brings me to another point. Notice before when I was talking about being caught in a riptide, I didn’t suggest you swim with the current.
Only you know what is going on inside of your head. You are the only one who can tell if you have crossed the line from healthy release into repetitive habit that will only hurt you.
Talking about your ex to your friends, having conversations with your ex in your head… all of these have a place in limited amount, but they all have a point where they cause more harm than good.
I will give you some guidelines, but ultimately you need to build the awareness. There is more to come so stay tuned!