Heartbreak sucks. That’s one of the shortest and truest sentences I have ever typed. A shedload of us have been there and some of you are so in the midst of it right now. What makes modern heartbreak even worse is the lack of privacy to mourn the death of a relationship (or even “almost relationships” in some cases).
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The world wants to know what’s going on with you while you’ve tossed and rolled over your phone yet another time in bed with a tear-stained face. Here are some words for you, dear one.
I’m sorry the love of this part of your life left your life…
or that you left or both of you saw that you weren’t heading to higher ground.
Chin up, you.
Take my hand.
New days are coming.
I’m looking you straight in the eye, it’ll pass…
But we do need to be grown-up about the now.
The exit path that requires more loving leads to the doorway towards better love.
Heartache hurts, squeezes, drains, bruises, pokes, and prods and in some cases, when it goes on for way too long, numbs the better version of who we are if we let it. At its onset, we become miserable creatures, but even misery needs time to be itself. Seeds that go into the ground die before they grow.
The freedom to post feelings publicly through social media amidst all the agony sometimes (not always) subtracts from behaving like a better ex-partner and keeping your dignity. Here are five points of counsel on this situation that I’ve picked up from experience and professional counselors. It’s all about staying classy and keeping the respect high while walking (yes, not running) through heartbreak.
1. Have a good cry. Face your pain and admit that what you shared is over. The worst thing you can do is postpone hurting. Tons of people, especially those who have difficulty expressing themselves sweep the pain under the rug. Don’t mentally beat yourself up for wanting to have a breakdown ‘coz honey, you need to have a breakdown.
2. Get enough or more sleep, do more exercise, and eat on time. The path to depression is a shorter, quicker one if you don’t abide by common sense and take care of yourself. Sleep is very important. Physical exercise gets you tired enough to sleep well. Go for walks outside, don't stay inside with your feelings.
3. When heartbreak is fresh, keep busy! Don’t just distract yourself. There is a difference between keeping productively busy and distracting yourself while being heartbroken. Distractions (video games, films, drinking, shopping sprees) are temporary and fleeting but if you choose them better done with a friend than solo. They’re not bad ways to cope but they don’t get you far in excess. Distractions need to be balanced with actual productivity that improves your life because when distractions end those feelings just dip again. Being properly busy builds progress in your life that stays with you like joining an advocacy, starting a web shop or a blog with a theme, learning new foreign languages, repainting your walls a different color, or getting fitter than you’ve ever been. Work and self-improvement are blessings during this time.
4. Vent to someone from your camp or… yourself! When hurt overflows, let it flow to a friend or relative. You need a person to wipe your tears. You can also pray which is the most private thing you can do if people are far away. At this time, whether you’re sad, mad, or losing it, try your best to lose it on your side of the fence. Choose to protect yourself and the other person. Do not further smudge what’s already smudge-y.
You can also write things down if like me, you're one of those who keeps a journal. There was one method that helped me in a stale year of love. I video-ed myself (video settings at lowest resolution) for self-therapy, kind of like the “captain’s log” archives you see in sci-fi movies where they “vlog” for the record, then I would watch the video once and delete the file. Doing that helped me unload and process a lot without the fear of being judged or burdening other people with my feelings excessively. Watching myself vent on video also pointed out to me where I was weak, had wrong thoughts, or needed to boost my self-confidence. I also noticed that I needed concealer.
5. All’s been said and done, now put a hold on communication. You don't have to be friends right now. Silence is golden. Do not force the issue of being active friends just after you’ve both been ripped to shreds (unless you were married, have children, and need to deal amicably). You can be “dormant” friends. That’s having them as a valued person deep in your heart stripped of everything friends do out in real life together (that includes “LIKING” each other’s posts). One day, time might change all that, but right now put space and keep it clean. Make adjustments on social media—meaning unsubscribing from their feeds, unfriending, unfollowing, or even blocking the person depending on the breakup situation. Whichever it is you choose to do the point is you do not want to see or receive updates from your previous love for the time being.
Where you're at now is not where you will stay. They say that you should make new memories that can help push out the old memories. Some of those old memories are good but a big chunk of them you surely don't need. There'll be lots of "I don't feel like..." moments but choose to take action and begin the healing process even without the desire to do so, that is the first step towards the light.
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