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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: November 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

There's Been a Rash of Break-Ups Lately

And they are so very painful.  Really and deeply.  So its worth an updated post on the subject.....

All the memories, the promises, the plans, the hope for the future seem to come tumbling down.  Thoughts can seem endless and ruthless.

And the feelings too:  The ache, the longing, the hate, the love, the desperation, the sadness, the frustration, the grief.

And the ruminating and obsessing and ansiness and exhaustion and urgency and irritability.

And yes, of course, there's so much you can do to help yourself along, to work with your mind and heart.  Especially when its new.  When you are still in the "right after."  Even when you don't want to. Even when you don't feel like it......

Here are a few Tips:

(yes, they all start with "T" - just a way to remember them)

Talk:  Tell your story.  Tell your pain.  Pick a few trusted ears and talk it.
Time:  I know its cliche, but is true.  Time will help.  It will smooth things along.  Give it time.
Tell the Truth:  About yourself, to yourself.  First, work on unhooking your self-worth from the break-up.  It may feel like your sense of self is in the gutter, especially if you did not want the break-up.  But take your self esteem out of it.  You still have infinite worth and are lovable.  But also Tell the Truth about your part in it.  If there were things you did, or parts of your personality that may have contributed to the issues in the relationship, be brave and get to work on them.

Tune In:  Pay attention to the quiet messages - the damaging ones that your mind is sending you: (you'll never find someone else, you can't survive w/o him/her/this, you can't stand being alone, you'll never feel this way again, this is the only kind of love there is, I'm not doing this again, I will never trust again) And Tell those thougthts to go sit down and have a cup of tea.  Tell them that you know it hurts, but you're not going to listen to them bossing you around right now.  (You may have to do this over and over again, and you may also have to take them a part a bit, if they are still pushing you around).

Tease out bad equations:  if he doesn't want me/this = I am not wantable, lovable = I am doomed, no good = life stinks forever.  Or  if he doesn't want me/this =  s/he is terrible, messed up = what was I doing with him anyway = love stinks = I stink = I may as well eat/drink/starve/use = who cares anyway.

Take in the world:  Let your observing self take over for a bit.  Look at the trees, the sky, the birds.  Feel the wind.  Smell the rain, the fresh air.  Notice the world around you and take a break from the thinking.  When your mind starts in, say, "Thinking" to it, and go back to your observing self for a bit.

Take opportunities:   Say yes to going out with friends, or yes to resting or yes to anything that is healing and nourishing that comes your way.

Tolerate your feelings:  Don't fight them.  Let them be.  You don't have to act on them.  You can remind yourself that they will come and go and that some moments and some days will be better than others.

Thanks:  It does help.  It really does.  To keep up with what you yes have.  Make a list in your mind or on paper of what you are thankful for (eyes, fresh air, friends, a comfortable bed.....)  Studies show that this helps the brain release good hormones and helps us feel better and tolerate our sadness better.

There is a process.  Sometimes, it is helpful to see if its possible to fix things, or return.  But sometimes we need to work with what is.  And we can work with our minds to move forward and feel better while allowing all of our feelings.