Sometimes, breakups are so earth-shatteringly painful that they can leave a person completely and utterly broken. This can happen when you shared a genuine and powerful connection with the person you just broke up with.
Instead of getting to touch, see, and interact with your ex almost everyday, now, you probably shouldn’t even talk to them for a while.
The things that you used to do together, like going to the grocery, have now become chores that you have to do alone. Entire music albums you associate with each other have become impossible to listen to without stirring up emotions.
Whether you were the one broken up with or the one who initiated the breakup, you can end up feeling absolutely broken, depressed, and completely without hope.
This feeling can last for weeks, months, or even years. And if you want to make the process faster (or at least less painful in the long run), there are a couple things you can try.
1. Cut Ties With the Person to Start Moving On
Any regular communication with the person, at this point, is not a good idea. For now, cut all ties.
As soon as possible, disengage from having any reason to see the person. Move out of the house. Collect all the belongings they left in your home and return them ASAP.
Finalize all the rituals of breaking up, and use all the willpower you have to not stalk them online.
**This is the first thing that you need to do if you want to survive this breakup: have no contact with the person whatsoever for a couple of months or even years if necessary. **
The reason for this is because still seeing and communicating with your ex right after the breakup is a surefire way to keep the emotional wounds fresh as it was the day the breakup happened. In order for those wounds to even start healing, you need to distance yourselves from one another.
If you want to be friends with your ex, that’s fine too, just don’t do it right now. Give yourself time to breathe and heal. Give yourself the opportunity to move on.
2. Give Yourself Time to Grieve or Be Angry – Just Don’t Let Either Consume You
Don’t be embarrassed about crying every night for the next couple weeks. Allow yourself to experience the pain of the breakup in full.
When a random song on the radio plays in the car and somehow reminds you of your ex, pull the car over and let the tears come. It’s natural. Just breathe. Don’t deny yourself the pain and anger.
Repressing your emotions by keeping them inside will only just result in a high-pressure explosion someday. Avoid that future explosive emotional breakdown by confronting your emotions now instead of later.
If it helps, talk to friends and loved ones who can somehow understand what you’re going through and provide you with some comfort. Do whatever you feel like you need to do in order to survive experiencing these emotions.
Take your time to grieve and don’t rush anything. Processing the pain and grief in your own time allows you to better wrap your head around the situation.
Just allow your mind and heart to experience the pain as your body responds with endorphins. Soon, you’ll be so tired of crying that you won’t have the energy to cry even during the worst nights. Move on to the next form of grieving that you feel like doing.
If you’re angry instead of (or on top of being) sad, that’s okay too. Let this anger out physically in the gym or in the trails. Rant to a best friend who understands.
Just remember not to let neither grief nor anger consume your life. It’s important to let these emotions out, but it’s just as important to remain in control.
Try not to let whatever you’re feeling interfere with other important aspects of your life, like your job, your advocacy, or your art.
3. Do Something You’ve Always Wanted to Do But Have Never Had the Chance To
This is not just a great coping mechanism; it’s also a genuine way to start the healing.
Go on that dream vacation alone with full control of your itinerary. Learn how to skateboard. Get your body in shape through intensive and regular yoga. Try out that 10-day meditation retreat you’ve always been interested in. Start getting active in the sociopolitical causes you sympathize with. Grow and maintain your own herb garden in your backyard. Learn how to shoot a gun. Start cooking your own healthy meals at home. Finish the book that you’ve been writing since 5 years ago.
Getting busy with something that you’re genuinely interested in is a good way to regain emotional control of your life. Treat yourself to great new experiences and enjoy your own company.
4. Treat Yourself: Never Underestimate the Power of Material Gifts
Get that steak dinner. Buy that PS4 for the living room. Throw out the old mattress you shared with your ex and get one that’s brand new and not attached to painful memories.
Never underestimate how even simple things like a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream can make you feel better during times when it’s really difficult to cope.
Someday, you’ll look back at this experience as a reminder of how you’ve lived life to the fullest, took some risks, lost some battles, and have emerged much wiser because of all that happened.
While breaking up with the love of your life can be one of the most difficult experiences you’ve ever had to endure, it’s a pretty straightforward opportunity for you to grow and become a better person.
In Japanese culture, there is an art form dedicated to the preservation of broken ceramics. It’s called Kintsugi, and it literally means ‘golden joinery’ – a traditional way of mending broken pottery and ceramic work by using a lacquer mixture laced with powdered silver, platinum, or gold.
While most repair jobs attempt to disguise the cracks and points of breakage, the process of Kintsugi does the opposite:
**It highlights the cracks and proudly displays them as part of the object’s history. **
And in doing so, it leaves the item more unique, beautiful, and in some cases, stronger than it was before it got broken.