If you have read my post on heartbreak, then you will remember how I said that getting over a break-up can be, and is, among one of the most difficult rites of passage that you will ever go through. That being said, I know that as I went through my own experience, it can feel like you will never be able to move past the heartache. I often think of it as falling from a horse in full gallop, there are tears, probably some frustration and more than a little hurt and anger in play. What’s more is that it can make you more than a little reluctant to get back on the horse and try again. So in light of this I decided to talk about all the ways that we are able to move forward and get on with our lives. Of course I intend to tell you how to do it with my usual dramatic flair, so get ready to laugh, cry and possible become aroused as I talk to you about getting back in the saddle.
If you have ever gone through a break up then you know just how alone you are left feeling. Even if you are surrounded by family and friends, then you still feel as though a big piece of your life is missing. I like to think of it being like phantom limb syndrome, and even though that person is no longer in your heart, you still feel where your former love took up residence. Life has changed because that person is no longer with you, and what’s worse, you want so badly to be back in that person’s warm embrace.
So, what is the solution? How on earth do you move on from the pain and disappointment and start becoming yourself again?
The first step on the journey, I am afraid to say, is pain. Even when a break up is amicable and relatively gentle then there is still plenty of hurt to be felt, and you need to learn to give yourself permission to feel as bad and down as you feel you need to. Some of you will be reading and thinking that this is probably the strangest piece of advice you have ever heard. Surely I need to be trying to get over the pain, not letting myself feel it. Well that isn’t always the case. In this 21st Century world of fast food, easy love, and second hand socks it is increasingly easy to distract yourself from pain and sadness. But, that does not mean that the pain goes away, on the contrary, it just burrows its teeth inside you like a tick until you have no choice but to face it later, when it will feel all together worse. You need to remind yourself, and your friends and family if need be, that it is normal and natural to feel the way you do. This is your pain, so drink it in until you are ready to move on from it.
Acceptance of the end is the next pivotal step in revitalising yourself. Once you have let yourself feel the pain and push through it, that is when you know you are ready to start putting yourself back together. Now I don’t call acceptance the end of the process because there are still many pitfalls waiting for the unwary. When you come to this stage, then you are able to begin the slow process of emerging from your cocoon. The words of choice here are ‘baby-steps’. Of course be ready to go on the occasional night out, and perhaps a date here or there if the option comes up. However, you must always remember your limits, and take care not to exceed them, otherwise you could find yourself going backwards and not forwards. I remember this stage was a personal Hell for me, and I had never felt more exposed and alone as I did at a point in a break up. I was trying hard to move on as a single guy, but I was still thinking like I belonged in a couple.
The hardest part of acceptance is accepting the changes that have happened, not just to you but also to your former partner. Thanks to the glorious mechanic of social networking we are able to still see them and how things change for them. I remember seeing pictures of my ex and his new boyfriend on facebook enjoying a night out at a local club, and having a slightly R rated kiss and a cuddle. For me, the trial was accepting that he had moved on, while I was still working on my own healing. However, for all the hurt that brought me, I didnt let myself feel jealous, or become twisted by bitterness. I accepted that life had to move on, and so did my former boyfriend. This is how I moved forward.
The last step in the process, and perhaps the most surprising, is Growth. As with any pain we suffer we learn to become stronger and learn to get over it. This growth allows us to be more confident and secure in ourselves. By learning the lessons of our past relationships we learn how to improve and get better for our future ones. Even if we decide that relationships are not for us, we use that knowledge to grow and develop old and new friendships. Even the end of a relationship has the ability to teach us something new about ourselves that we would never of learned otherwise. This is when we can truly get back in the saddle, take a chance and put ourselves back out there. Sure we could get hurt, but it’s a worthwhile price for the chance to enjoy your life again.
So as I close I ask each of you going through break ups, bust ups and fuck ups, to remember that at the end of the long dark tunnel, there really is a light shining for you to help you find your way out.
This is Jason, growing a little more every day, signing off. Good luck peeps!!
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