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The breakup cure part 2

Updated on January 28, 2011

We sure do silly things when our relationships break down. I think they should come up with a clinical name for this condition, something like traumatic-romance-episode sounds about right.

The pain of heart break is just so intense, it hurts physically, it hurts emotionally, it hurts and it sucks. But for a while this is what you have to deal with, pain. I know all you’re wishing for right now is for the pain to go away, and that’s when the crazy “I’ve lost my sanity” behaviour kicks in. So resist the urge to get plastered, to sleep with your ex’s best-friend, or to send him hate mail. These things, while providing a temporary fix for your pain, will surely end up making you feel worse and ashamed. Besides, do you really want him to read your crazy-lady email to all his friends and think: “wow I’m glad I dumped that nut-job”! So if you’re going to lose you’re dignity, at least do it behind closed doors.

In the first few days or weeks you need to get the emotions off your chest. See the breakup as some kind of illness that requires to be surgically removed for you to feel better. But to remove it, you’re gonna need to go through that painful “surgery” and healing period. Traumatic-romance-episode is just that, an episode, it’s eventually going to go away, I promise. The way you deal with things now can help you feel better faster. So indulge in some of the following wacko-but-healthy behaviour to get the pain out of your system. Then we’re gonna focus of some positive ways to get you back to feeling happy and dynamic again.

Listen to some depressing music, and cry it all out. I can still see myself singing Love Hurts by Nazareth at the top of my lungs, or listening to Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones, on repeat (of course), lying in bed with my hair in a mess and mascara all over my face. Oh yeah, just the type of girlfriend-material every guy dreams about. During those first few days I must have annoyed the hell out of my new neighbours, so guys if you’re reading this, well... I’m sorry. What I needed was for some wild horses to come and drag my sorry ass out of bed. But we’ll get to that part later. For now, I was getting my cry-on.

Write him a letter. Good ol’ pen and paper style. Tell him how much he’s hurt you, how you didn’t deserve this, how you invested in him and cared for him. Ask him the questions you want to ask him, and tell him how unfair you feel this is. Insult him in the letter, tell him you hate him, call him names if you want. Really give it a good go! Tell him how disappointed you are that the plans and dreams you had together are not going to come true. A lot of the sadness you’re feeling right now is actually related to your grieving of future dreams and plans, not the actual relationship. Now once you’re done writing the letter, throw it away, even better, tear it up in small little pieces with as much energy as you can muster.

Punch in a pillow. Get one of his pictures and stick a nail or a pin repeatedly in his face. Yeah, I know that one is a little wacko, but hey, you don’t have to tell anyone you actually tried it. Heck you could have his face printed on a pillow and punch that sucker repeatedly (man that must feel good!). One of the hardest emotions women have to deal with after a break-up is anger, because we are not socialized to express our anger and aggressive impulses. Expressing anger sometimes feels like there is something wrong with us, that we must not be normal, love-deserving women. But anger is a normal human emotion. Think again if you think not expressing anger is healthy. Some theories of depression actually say that depression is anger turned against oneself. I’m not telling you to smash his car with a baseball bat. I have to warn you, you might get arrested for that (I’m not talking from personal experience; I’m just saying its common sense girlfriend). I’m telling you that it’s ok to feel angry and to talk about how angry you are with your support system. Feeling your anger and expressing your anger to a friend might even make you feel a bit less sad.

Forgive yourself. Maybe you’re thinking that you did something wrong, but it takes two people to make a relationship work and you are not the only one responsible for the break-up. Use this experience to make you grow, and if you do realise you did make mistakes along the way, try to figure out why you made them and try to find ways not to repeat the same behaviour next time. This can be very empowering. It’s not about beating yourself up; it’s about growing and learning how you can make some changes to enjoy a better relationship next time. But you are the one that has to judge what improvements you should or should not make, not him.

Maybe you’re hearing his voice in your head criticizing you, or you’re replaying some of the fights you had in your mind. This can be very damaging, so when you hear the voice coming on saying: “you’re too fat”, “you’re impossible to please”, “you’re too jealous”, “you’ll never find another man” and so on, tell the voice to shut up. You know this kind of negative self-talk is not doing you any good, and it can be a tenacious little bugger. So fight back. Our negative self-talk can be really toxic, so find a way to defend yourself from that. Maybe it’s his voice you hear, maybe it’s the product of your parents being really critical when you were a child, maybe it was kids at school or people at work who made you feel inferior, but it’s happening in your head now, and you won’t let them rule now will you? Of course not! They were wrong! You’re great! You are a wonderful human being who is sensitive and beautiful. And you’re trying to find your way and your place in the world. So fight back I tell you. When you hear the voice (negative thought; self-criticism) coming on, it helps if you picture him (or your parents, or stupid kids from school) telling you these bad things about yourself and shout out in your mind: shut up! Leave me alone! Stop it! Then replace the thought by saying something good about yourself like: I am a caring person. I am a wonderful human being. I deserve to be loved just like anyone else.

You're going to get through this, this won't last forever. 


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