Breakup to Breakthrough
If something bad is happening in your life right now, I’m glad you’re reading this.
Perhaps you’re going through the breakup, I know the feeling. Or perhaps you’ve lost someone close to you, whether to changing circumstances, human mortality, or outgrowing the constructs of the relationships. I can empathize with you here, too.
Maybe times are tough financially, your business is suffering, your health is going downhill, or you’re dealing with a major burnout.
I bring this up because I believe these issues aren’t discuss nearly enough. And while I won’t bore you with the details of my latest breakup, I will share with you this teeny tiny piece of insight that is true regardless of the depth of chaos of what you’re going through: there’s a silver-lining. There is something good in this disaster, I promise you.
Your job now, darling, is to find it.
You might hate me for saying so, but it’s true. If you find yourself tensing up and disputing this piece of truth immediately, you might just be a little too wrapped up in the negativity of your situation. You may have even identified with it, and perhaps you’ve even found an odd (but common) familiarity and comfort in whatever it is you’re going through. It’s time to release your grip on your own pain. Start to let the blood rush back into your knuckles, you’ll feel better almost instantly.
Here’s a method that I’ve used to go from breakup to breakthrough, which can really be applied to almost all of life’s heartaches.
Let yourself mourn
When something terrible happens in your life, you’re going to be shocked at first. You might not feel much of anything. You might want to push your way through the scenario, ignore what’s happening within you, and carry on with your life as usual. Don’t. If you do, you’ll be taking a much greater risk that a few days or a week off work. You’ll be risking health problems, a major burnout, and long-term misfortunes. If you don’t take some time to mourn your loss or your current disaster, you may never fully recover.
Let yourself get angry
I’m not an angry, vengeful, mean person by nature. I don't typically write hate letters to people I once loved, and rarely do I ever imagine physically hurting them. When dealing with grief, loss, betrayal or any variety up upsets, I’ve found that getting angry is a healthy way to mourn your circumstances. Anger is actually a higher-level emotion that sadness or depression, so take your anger as positive news and a sign that you are healing. Get angry. Get mad at him, mad at the world, mad at ICBC, yourself, your lawyer, or the CRA. Get mad so you can get better. When you find yourself slipping back to depression and sadness, get angry.
Create a narrative that serves you
You can’t stay angry forever, though. While anger can serve you in healing, it can also eat away at you if you let it stick around for too long. So get angry, and then note when it’s time to move on. Moving on isn’t easy, nor is mourning a loss, and it doesn’t necessary happen in “phases” so much as repetitive processes. You’ll feel wonderful one day, and paralyzingly sad the next, and you’ll slip back and forth until, eventually, you feel yourself again. If you’re confused at your situation, though, if whatever happened to you doesn’t quite stick right, I suggest doing what I did upon my own breakup: create a narrative, a story, that you believe, that aids in your own understanding, and that serves you in your healing process. It doesn’t have to be completely true; it just has to be true to you. Sit down. Write it out, beginning to end.
Do five things every day that aids in your healing
If you want to be happy and content again, you’re going to have to work at it. Every single day. Repetitively, persistently, and constantly. Pull out your creativity pursuits again, get active, eat well, tell yourself positive things, call your mom, read or journal before bed – just commit to five small activities every single day that bring you joy. Maybe even book a trip. Go shopping. Treat yourself.
And, always remember: love yourself, first.
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Photography by: Allyfotografy