You’ve seen it before – in movies, in films, in your friends and family. Tissues are scattered on the bed, beer bottles litter the floor, and the sound of weeping can be heard from the other room. It is the terrible ground zero – that moment when you just want to cry and hide from the rest of the world. It will be cliché if you say you want to die, but when your loved one suddenly leaves you, whether it’s because of a third party, your parents, or simply the absence of love, the pain is beyond the ordinary, and your threshold might not be enough to take it.
How to Survive a Bad Breakup
Breakups could be ugly. This statement is meant not to add insult to your injury, but to emphasize a fact. Nobody likes to figure in a bad breakup. What constitutes a terrible parting? The answer lies in the absence of closure. Of course, it’s a case-to-case basis, but people wouldn’t really feel bad if the parting was peaceful, and the two parties were okay with it.
So what do you do if your significant other tells you that he or she does not love you anymore?
The initial reaction would be to get angry. That’s normal. Disbelief could also play a role in a breakup episode. How can you break up when you’ve been together last night? You could ask yourself what went wrong.
Next comes denial. Sometimes, you just couldn’t accept that the relationship is over, more so if the other party quickly moves on. Being in denial is not strange. It is simply your coping mechanism.
The first two days of the breakup could pass before depression sets in. This is not the clinical type of depression; it is more of that lingering sadness and the nonstop recollection of your times together. But why torment yourself if you could just go through the breakup in a positive, “saner” way?
1. It is okay to cry.
Go back to ground zero. Unearth your old photos. Walk a trip down memory lane. Weep all you want because it is your prerogative. Own the pain. This is not torture. On the contrary, this is purging. You have to release whatever pent-up feelings and frustrations you have. Only when you have let it go will you learn to accept the breakup more easily.
2. Resist the urge to shop or eat impulsively.
You want to feel better – that’s alright, but not at the expense of your body or your pocket. Impulsive eating will give you the unnecessary calories you’ll later regret, while impulsive shopping would inflate your expenses. Both are therapeutic, and that is precisely the reason why you should avoid them when you feel really low. After eating or shopping, the feeling of pain would creep up again. It never really goes away that fast, but is only masked by the stuff that you bought.
3. Never wallow in self-pity.
Stop listening to sad songs. Adele is a great singer, but if her songs will just make you cry all over again, change your playlist. Self-pity is a treacherous feeling. It’s a friend on the onset, and an enemy once it traps you. Resist telling yourself that you have caused the breakup, and even if you did, you should not feel as if it is the end of the world. Remember that nothing is permanent, and relationships are not an exception. It happens and sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.
4. Watch feel-good movies.
In fact, watch anything except a film that would remind you of your situation. The bottom line is that you should feel good afterwards, and even if you are reminded of your ex again, know that he or she is not a loss for you.
5. Channel your pain to creative endeavors.
This is exactly what artists do. Paint, write a poem or a song, learn a new craft, or give your house a makeover. The list has endless possibilities, and these activities will not only make you forget; they can also show you a different side you haven’t discovered yet. And when you do write a song, put the lyrics pertaining to your ex back to the closet. There is no point in that exercise. Just keep the creative juices flowing and enjoy what you’re doing.
6. Enjoy moments with your support group.
A support group could be in the form of your family or friends – people who stand by you through thick and thin. These people will keep you company as you tread the path to recovery, sans the judgmental stares and the comforting words that sound too pretentious.
7. Keep doing your usual routine.
Life does not have to stop after breakup. You have to move forward. Use that time to heal. One word of caution, though: Do not immediately jump into a new relationship. That could create more disaster than good. Just carry on with your studies, your work, or your hobbies. They could provide better distractions, too.
8. Live life.
You don’t have to be Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) to find what you really want. You can live life to the fullest by being happy every day and spending more time with people you love the most. For the more adventurous, you could explore the world. Catch the next plane to Bali or Cambodia and discover rich cultures. Meet new people and gain more friends. Life does not end at breakup, but the latter gives birth to new life. Think of yourself as the proverbial phoenix that rises from the ashes.
Breakups could be ugly, but you don’t have to suffer that much. These tips could help you survive breakups, but there is no guarantee that there will be less pain. How fast you recover and what breakup does to you is entirely dependent on your choices. You can choose to mope all day and listen to sad songs, or you could choose to take the path to self-improvement.