Break-ups are traumatic. They take everything you have, they take a piece of your heart and you are left back to square one. They leave you empty, broken-hearted and alone. But this is not a post to remind anyone how a break-up or a broken heart feels (that was the purpose of the last one, see TheHeartbreak). This article is to remind everyone that there is a way to move on. And hopefully through my experience some of you, feeling lost right now, may actually find their way around and start standing on their feet again.
It took me about two weeks after my break-up to hit rock bottom. I felt sorry for myself, cried myself to sleep for nights on-end, felt lost and alone and I was convinced that there was no way out of it. I knew that after everything that happened, I had hit rock bottom. And when that happens, there is nowhere to go but up. So I woke up one morning and made a decision: I could either stay in that state and feel sorry for myself, lock myself in that mindset and be miserable, or I could make a conscious decision to be happy. It was around that time that I realized how much happiness is actually a conscious decision. Tough times are going to come, for everyone. But you can either put your pieces slowly back together and try to move on or you can just stay there. It was only then that I realized how you can change your put of view on things, just by wanting to.
So I decided to take it day by day. I woke up every morning and started being positive. I made a conscious effort to smile more. I made a conscious effort to talk to the people around me more and try and stop alienating myself from everyone and everything. And then I started treating myself right, slowly but surely. I joined the gym again and took out all my frustration and anger every afternoon there. And it worked miracles! I started eating more healthily and tried to drink and smoke less. And then I started throwing money at myself. I went shopping and bought new clothes, I moved houses and booked the most expensive facial at the best beauty salon. I was essentially pampering a damaged ego and the more money I threw at it, the more validating it felt. And it worked! Needless to say I was left penniless last month, but it worked.
And whilst taking care of the outside was enjoyable, I knew I needed to take care of the inside as well. That’s when I made effort to come to peace with myself. I gradually realized that I spent a good amount of time loving and caring for someone that didn’t do the same in return. So it was about to time I loved me and cared for me. I didn’t regret anything, but realized that I can’t blame myself for everything. Instead, I felt proud of myself. I knew I was honest and did the best I could in a relationship that just didn’t work out. And I had to stop blaming myself for the fact that it didn’t work out. And then I let of all the resentment and anger towards my ex go. Holding onto harsh feelings would have hurt no one but me. I stopped wishing him a life on unhappiness and misery. I have better things to occupy my mind with – like how to succeed in everything I want. I started yoga again and it helped me calm down and be more positive. And day by day it got easier and easier. And I have to put less and less effort these days.
Naturally, I also had the cliché reaction to a break-up: I rebounded. I briefly dated a guy I met online for a while. We had a nice time, but I’m in no state to take anything seriously or invest in anyone but myself. But hot revenge sex always works… at least for a little while.
And with a couple weeks’ progress and boosted ego I pushed my boundaries and decided to invite my ex out for drinks. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea I ever had, but it made me realize that I owned my break-up and showed me that I did everything right. It might have set me a couple of steps back and poured salt on some fresh wounds, but it was worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, none of this works like a magic wand. It takes effort and there will be a lot of going back and forth in your head. Give it time and effort though, and it will work slowly but gradually. It doesn’t heal you forever. It is my personal belief that a break-up wound always remains open, but with time and effort you numb it and learn to live with what’s left of you. Six weeks later, it still takes effort, but not as much anymore. In a way it comes naturally. As soon as I realized that my happiness was my decision, I knew I had to take it. And now I’m in a new flat, following a new diet (most days) and having a new mind set (almost every day). I will still cry myself to sleep some nights and feel my bed empty, but they are fewer and fewer. And it is only natural. I started embracing it now. It is only natural to grieve after a break-up. But there is nothing to hold you back from moving on besides yourself!
Have you been through a traumatic break-up? How did you move on?