Survival Guide for the Broken Hearted
by Randy Dellosa
Whether you're a guy or girl, mending a broken heart is never easy to do. Experts say that it can take anywhere from 6 months to 8 years for you to get over the heartache from a breakup. In fact, many clients of mine talk about their heartaches as if it was just a recent event, even if it happened many years or decades ago.
Being broken-hearted is like plunging into a hell of deep dark emotions. You’ll experience cyclical waves of emptiness, disbelief, disillusionment, devastation, grief, guilt, loneliness, depression, bitterness, rage, and confusion. However, with the passage of time, the heavy emotions should slowly subside.
In my many years of counselling one broken-hearted person after another, I've learned from them some strategies that speed up the process of emotional healing:
- First of all, accept that it’s all over! Like your own failed relationship, some relationships aren't meant to last. Accept the fact that your “ex” came into your life just for a reason and for a season. But for a lifetime? Nah!
- Grieve and don’t resurrect a dead relationship. Not only have your plans and dreams as a couple ended, but a big chunk of your inner being has died too. Grieving is the heart-wrenching process of putting closure to another chapter in your life.
- Kill the hope! As long as you keep alive a tiny spark of hope for reconciliation, you are NOT going to move on! As long as you still harbor the fantasy or wish of getting back together, the emotional roller coaster ride is going to continue.
- Give up plans of revenge, and put your "evil" side to rest. If you take revenge, you'll just be giving your “ex” more reasons to validate the breakup. You'll come out as the bad guy and you'll certainly regret your wicked deeds later on. Furthermore, if you take revenge, this only means one thing: that you still haven't accepted the fact that IT'S ALL OVER!
- No relationships on the rebound please. If you jump into a relationship right after your breakup, it'll mean one of four things: (1) You're doing it as a desperate attempt to make your “ex” jealous; (2) you're doing it as an attempt to escape from your loneliness; (3) you're doing it to make your “ex” think that you’re coping well; or (4) you're doing it as a premature attempt to move on. Truth is, you only make matters worse by entering into a rebound relationship. Finish your grieving process first and be a whole and happy person again before embarking on a new relationship.
- Get emotional support from family and friends. Your breakup may have made you feel emotionally bankrupt. Since you’re driving on empty, start guzzling down the warmth and care of people who love you. Don't stay isolated. Even if you don't feel like socializing, allow your family and friends to temporarily distract you from your heartache.
- Distract yourself with activities. When you're tired from wallowing in sadness, distract yourself by watching TV, listening to upbeat music, learning a new sport or craft, pampering yourself with massage, and so on and so forth. Remember: any distraction is better than none.
- Stop stalking and spying on your “ex’s” Facebook and Twitter account. Every new detail you learn about your “ex” is only going to mess up your mind!
- Develop a spiritual perspective. Spirituality teaches you the great lesson that you cannot permanently hold on to anything and anyone in this life. For some circumstances in our life, the appropriate thing to do is to simply “let go and let God."
- And lastly, get professional help if you start hurting yourself (by self-cutting or alcohol/drug abuse), become suicidal, or feel that you're depression is worsening.