A break up can be quite intense and probably the most difficult part of a relationship. There is a loss that one feels and we go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. These are the Kubler-Ross’ stages of loss and is usually, according to the model, the series of emotions that one feels after the loss of someone close or loved. I find it amusing that this sounds exactly like the process after a break up, but a fairly tiring, long and difficult one. What’s the way around that? Here is my take on a healthy post break up:
This is the first effective step towards a healthy break up. The one thing that can make a break up even harder to get over is going back to the way it was or going back to your partner.
Symptoms: Constantly checking your ex’s profiles on social media, calling him/her, trying to meet with them, asking their friends indirectly or directly about them and so on.
To do: CUT OFF any contact with your ex for a few weeks. Emotions can riot and ruin the process of a calm healing when still in some form of contact with your ex.
Listen to your favorite break up song, paint your feelings, run till you can’t breathe, anything! Your emotions and feelings need an outlet which is not your ex. Have a long lost interest or a hobby? Reclaim it and express yourself through that.
Symptoms: Feeling frustrated, angry, regretful or guilty about the relationship and wanting to scream at your ex about it.
To do: Breathe and understand that the above mentioned will only make things worse for the both of you. If you do want to express your feelings to your ex, yes go ahead and do it, but wait for a while and speak, not blame.
I don’t mean in a ‘you need to know yourself first’ way. A relationship is a process where another person is part of your life. There will always be changes that you have made in your schedules or yourself for the relationship, which is a part and parcel of the same. Now that there is no relationship, take time off to understand the changes that have been part of you, what you pushed away and what you want to do now.
Symptoms: Memories of earlier times that remind you of yourself as a different person. Blaming your ex or yourself and the relationship for the time and effort that you spent on something that didn’t work.
To do: Accept. For this, feel free to cry, get angry or anything that you need to do. Emotions are not meant to be pent up. Cry or speak about it to a trusted friend. Accepting can be hard but that is the first step to discovering yourself.
Ever had someone tell you that rebounds were a bad idea? Well, I disagree. By all means, rebounds can help the process of a break up and make you feel better as well. But make sure that the people involved know about this. Travel. Take some time off. Anything that is out of the routine. Letting go of your time in the routine can help you kick start a new beginning.
Symptoms: Hasty and impulsive decisions. Thoughts of revenge.
To do: Make yourself clear and transparent of what you are looking for. Make sure that at least one trusted person knows about where or what you are doing.
Thoughts and feelings towards your ex can and will crop up. Acknowledge them. Accept them. Trying to find a quick solution to things instantly might tire out in the long run and leave you feeling incomplete with unfinished business.
Symptoms: Trying to push away feelings and acting like you are fine.
To do: Deal with thoughts and feelings, acknowledge them. Perhaps write them down to express them. Never run away.
Having said all this, an emotional turmoil can upset you as a person, no matter how strong you are. Hesitating to speak about how you are feeling or expressing them might in turn do you more harm than good. Draw your strength from what or who can support you. Be it a trusted friend, family or a professional.