Breakup Truths With A Side of GIF
"I treat myself with kindness and respect
I maintain boundaries and keep high standards
I control my own thoughts and actions only
I’m above bitter bad mouthing and petty arguments
I spend my time with people who are worth it
I deserve a great relationship
I’m a fantastic friend and partner
I’m a great writer and a kick-ass baker
I enjoy a life balanced in discipline and indulgence
I’m beautiful, smart, and funny
I’m strong enough to overcome"
Sound like I’m blowing smoke up my own ass? I kind of am.
As some of you know, I recently ended a relationship. Since then, I’ve been processing a lovely smorgasbord of breakup feels ie: rejection, sadness, anger, and self-doubt.
And OH the physical manifestations. I'm clumsy AF, I have a cold sore inside my lower lip, and I just got my first grey hair WTF.
I’ve debated whether or not I’d write publicly about this. Partly due to privacy boundaries, but also because it’s kinda fresh, ya know?
I'm in the trenches of this thing right now. I don’t yet have the benefit of time for perspective. I don’t have it “figured out.” But I started this blog as an account of one very normal girl being STRONG and showing up for herself, both physically and mentally. That’s what exactly I’m doing and so that’s what I’ve resolved to share here.
First let me just say that breakups suck. No matter the circumstances.
I’m learning that grief is not synonymous with regret
Grief hurts and our gut response is to try to soothe the pain. For me, in this circumstance, it meant moments of panic, even regret. It meant second guessing my decisions. Because the right choice won't ever be accompanied by pain, right? Wrong. PS: giant tubs of ice cream don't work either.
We don’t actually need closure
This was a HUGE realization for me. I spent...lets just say a lot of time...obsessed with getting answers. 10 million variations of “Why?” Then, a light bulb. It occurred to me that after Devon died in 2016, I was left with so many unanswered questions, and yet I managed to heal and move forward with my life. Reality is that even if my questions had somehow been answered, they most likely wouldn’t have provided the pain relief I was looking for. They wouldn’t in this scenario either. Closure is simply not a prerequisite to moving on. Let's stop holding ourselves back with that ish.
On a related note, a person and their former partner don’t need to agree on the circumstances leading to the break up
Or anything else, really. It’s a breakup. Disagreement is sorta implied. While it may seem like it would feel great to have your ex “get it.” For them to fully appreciate your point of view, to know the pain you’ve endured, to be sincerely remorseful…it probably won’t make you feel better and it’s definitely unnecessary to your recovery. OUR healing has everything to do with OUR thoughts, feelings, and actions, and nothing to do with our ex’s.
Sitting with feelings and writing them out really does help
Just don't feel like you have to press 'send'. I’ve been struggling big time with anger. I can freakin’ rage on some mad-feels. Not a good look for me. The ONLY thing that has helped substantially is journaling about my feelings. A few days ago, I jotted down all the things I was so angry about, then I wrote a rebuttal. As it turns out, much of my anger that I’m channeling elsewhere is actually frustration with myself- for the boundaries I allowed to be violated, for a perceived failure. Other triggers are thoughts that may not even be true. Perhaps my most substantial source of anger is over the plan and future that was "stolen" from me. This one is voided when I remember that my future hasn’t been stolen at all, it’s just not going to look the way I thought it would.
We’re not meant to carry the burden alone
Your friends and family want to support you, but you have to let them in! I’m really not great at this, but in a moment of hot, blubbery, hysterical desperation, I phoned a friend the other day. And you know what? I felt a whole lot better afterwards. Also, call your mother.
There’s no shame in getting professional help
I sought counseling after two past breakups and found it super helpful. I’m not seeing a therapist this time, but I did want some help redirecting my thoughts. Enter, the self-help genre. I’m reading Getting Past Your Breakup by Susan J. Elliot and digging it! Those flattering statements at the start of this post? Those are positive affirmations and are the result of an exercise in the book.
I have these affirmations taped to my fridge, stashed in my car, on my dining table, and on my nightstand. Might sound silly, but they've been a powerful tool for me.
Aye. Did I mention breakups suck? “I’m strong enough to overcome, I’m strong enough to overcome...”
Finally, "being strong,"is really just the resolve to try again
It’s a stupid-persistent willingness to fail as many times as it takes to reach your goal. Guess it's a good thing I'm stubborn as hell.