Friday, January 10, 2020

"Good as Hell" Figuring Out Your Life After a Bad Break Up

"We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it by the full." - Marcel Proust
"The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it's been broken into a million pieces." - Robert James Waller
After a bad break up, it may take time before you are feeling "Good as Hell." Not to worry grief is a healthy response to loss. After a break-up, not only are you no longer connected with the person you had been with, you may also be grieving the loss of the relationship that you never had, the one you hoped would have developed and didn’t. These losses are sometimes more painful than no longer being with the person because the experience of what never was and what never will be is compounded.

If the break up wasn't mutual, or if there was a betrayal expect feeling good to take even longer. Lizzo's advice to take a deep breath, focus on you and all the big fights and long nights helps when it comes to moving on. If the relationship is over, it will be more beneficial to recall the reasons why you and your partner were not compatible, the regular arguments, or lack of trust and support, etc. Allow yourself to think about the recurring unhappiness you experienced during your relationship.

Honest acknowledgment leads to quicker recovery.  Be honest with yourself about your role in the downturn of the relationship. Acknowledge your ex-partner's positive and negative qualities.  Turning the person you previously loved or cared deeply for into a villain can diminish your own power and distract you from moving on.  It is painful to lose a loved one, especially when there is no one to blame. Sometimes relationships are not satisfying to one or both people, realizing the other person was not right for you, for whatever reason, allows you to free up your attention and energy and can help you prepare to start dating again. You don't need to deny any of the feelings that rise up in you and you can expect to feel hurt, irritated, resentful, disappointed and many other emotions especially if someone did you wrong. In such situations, taking the perspective that in the long run you will be better off without this person in your life is another coping strategy that can help with the healing process.

Some people experience losing a sense of belonging, status, or grounding at the idea of being single. Living through a state of limbo, the in-between stage, feeling neither here nor there, is uncomfortable. Uncertainty and loneliness are difficult challenges to face; they can also be opportunities to learn about yourself.

Some fears about breaking up go deeper than no longer being with the specific person, for example, when we fear that we are unlovable, or that we will be alone forever now that this person is gone the pain will be magnified. Some people tell themselves they cannot handle the situation, or that they will never get over it. Your emotional state will impact your experience.  When in a heightened state of fear, conclusions about the future can be distorted. While it is important to feel your feelings to help you move on and heal, that does not mean wallowing in feelings to the point of immobilization. After you have reflected on the events, evaluate the benefit of repeating the loop in your head.  If you can catch yourself at the start of the story playing in your mind, where you are predicting the future, mind reading what other people are thinking, or jumping to conclusions about things out of your control you can save yourself a lot of pain. Suffering after loss is normal, what we can do to help ourselves is not add to the story of what happened. Notice if you are amplifying your emotions by believing painful predictions about horrible future outcomes and replaying harmful criticisms.  This a place we can choose to be curious with our selves, nurture our hurts, and shift our attention away from distorted thinking to help us feel "Good as Hell."