Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ways to Cope With the Pain of Heartbreak

Ways to Cope With Heartbreak.   
In my experience, there isn’t any magical antidote for that immediate, pressing sensation of grief, but these simple steps will make it all a bit easier to swallow.

1. Take it one day at a time.

Or, heck, one breath at a time. One moment at a time. When I was down and defeated, I couldn’t imagine how in the world I was going to survive, let alone do all the work that I knew was coming.
Thinking about the future was entirely overwhelming. I couldn’t do it. Instead, I just concentrated on single days.
The present was painful, but I stayed there. I stayed with the pain as it ebbed and flowed through the days. And the days crept by, each one a small victory.

2. Reach out.

Internet stories can be wonderful, but it’s your loved ones who will be a godsend in times of grief. Don’t hesitate to contact your friends and family immediately when something tragic has occurred. This is why we’re here—for supporting one another, or as Ram Dass says, “walking each other home.”
I remember calling my mom, dad, and several of my friends shortly after my break-up. They couldn’t make the pain go away, but they listened and said what they could.
I knew I was cared for. I knew they were concerned. Feeling that love reminded me that I wasn’t worthless. I was still the same me.

3. Know you’re not alone.

When my girlfriend dumped me, I turned to the Internet to read about break-ups. What I found were countless stories of people who had suffered precisely what I had. Reading those stories was therapeutic because I no longer felt so helpless or worthless.
I felt connected to the billions of other people who’d felt equally awful. I gained respect for my ancestors and my contemporaries, for the strength of the human race. I started to have faith that I too could find the resilience to survive and reconstruct my world.

4. Create.

After she told me the bad news, I felt an eruption of emotion that was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. There was just so much of it. I needed to let it out somehow, so I wrote.
Writing was a rock, something that had been there before and was still there, something I could turn to. I wrote poetry and letters and stories. Translating the experience into art was a type of catharsis.
It was a way to channel the energies, to release them, to cleanse myself. Whether it’s painting, singing, dancing, drawing, or sculpting, perhaps you will find solace in an art form as well.

5. Find comfort in music.

After the split, I remember sitting in an airport, listening to “Hailie’s Song” by Eminem, crying quietly to myself as oblivious people walked by. Sure, that’s a sad image, but it also felt good to let it out. It was part of my healing.
Music was another constant, something that wouldn’t let me down. I think I probably listened to every sad song I’d ever heard. It wasn’t a way to feel sorry for myself (okay, maybe a little) as much as another means of I'm not alone.
It was a way of feeling more poignantly the pain in the songs and lyrics of others, a way of empathizing with them and knowing they understood how I felt too.

6. Maintain your normal routine.

This was perhaps the hardest thing to do after what happened—return to my routine. Honestly, I felt like locking myself in a dark room with ten pounds of ice cream and sucking my thumb for the next few months. It didn’t seem possible to return to my day-to-day life.
But I did, and after a while, I realized that it was my routine that was renewing my sense of purpose. Actually doing things took my mind off of the hole in my chest and reminded me of my value.

7. Believe.

It takes a certain measure of faith to fall into a black hole of pain, grope around aimlessly for a while, and eventually emerge. My situation felt devoid of anything positive. It seemed like there was nothing to hang my hat on.
But somewhere, deep within me, I managed to find the courage to believe that things would be better again. I believed that life would not forsake me.
I believed I could weather the storm, and after a few months, the horizon didn’t look so bleak anymore. I began to leave the past where it was meant to be—behind me—and to find satisfaction in the present.b


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