Are you currently suffering the loss of a relationship that you never imagined losing? You may be thinking, “I have never imagined my life without them” or “I don’t know how I’m going to live without them.” Break-ups are hard. Whether that break-up happens in a friendship, a romantic relationship, a family relationship, or all three, loss hurts.
Life after a break-up can feel really challenging, and at times lonely and isolating. We can start to tell ourselves things like, “I’ll never get over them” or “I can’t trust anyone ever again.” We might even begin to believe those thoughts, which can trigger more feelings of sadness and even worry. Some of us even begin to draw inward and push other people away because we think “they’re not going to understand how I feel” and “I don’t want to burden them with my problems.” Unfortunately, this too can actually create a stronger feeling of loneliness and depression.
While our world can feel overturned or that it has completely stopped because of this break-up, life keeps going and the world does keep moving. We still have jobs to do, errands to run, and perhaps children to take care of. But how do we live life after a break-up?
It is essential that we take care of ourselves in times of pain and sadness. While it may feel easy and even temporarily good to avoid how we’re feeling, drink or drug to numb the pain, or even isolate and shut ourselves off from others, these coping tools are problematic. When we are going through hard times, we need nurturing and time to grieve.
While it may be hard, if we take things one step at a time, one day at a time, we can learn to live life without that person/relationship. It all starts with caring for ourselves though. We need and deserve to do things that bring us joy, connect with others, and work through our emotions in a healthy way. This could look like taking a long walk to get out of the house, calling up a friend to talk about it, watching a funny movie we enjoy to temporarily distract ourselves, and journaling about how we’re feeling each day.
It can also be helpful to talk to a non-biased individual about our grief and to have a safe place to process how we’re feeling, learn ways to care for ourselves while we grieve, and explore coping tools that may be helpful/unhelpful for us. Therapy is a great atmosphere to help us cope with grief and loss. If you are going through a loss and/or end of a relationship, I encourage you to reach out to discuss how therapy may help your grieving process.