One of the questions we often ask after getting our heartbroken is ‘how long will it take to stop hurting?’ While there are no scientific studies giving exact timelines (which I know is a real bummer sorry!) Some theorists point towards half of the length of your relationship. Again there is no substantial evidence to support this. What can be agreed upon however is the fact that it takes longer than we first thought and it’s not simply a matter of a few nights out and moving on. For every individual the timeline of healing will be different depending on the cause of the heartbreak, the trauma involved and what you invested in the relationship which is a lot more than just time.
Obsessing over wanting it to stop, or trying to find a way to forget and ultimately avoiding what you are feeling only delay the healing process and unfortunately is not the solution. Healing is not comfortable, it isn’t easy and it does hurt. But I want you to know you will heal, it will get better and you will be ok! Here are my 5 steps to get the healing process into gear!
1. Allow yourself to feel. It’s ok to be hurt, sad, disappointed and even angry. It’s ok to feel relieved, free and more in control. It’s ok to cry. However you feel you have to give yourself permission to feel it. A lot of us feel embarrassed and ashamed when a long term relationship that looked picture perfect on the outside breaks down. But only you know your truth. Turn the focus on yourself and prioritise your wellbeing. Getting through the initial phases can be exhausting and confusing. Sometimes shutting out others opinions and input can give you some space to process how you feel unapologetically.
2. Communicate your feelings and let them pour out. It is so important not to hold everything in. Talk to someone you are close to and you trust. Surround yourself with positive people that will help you see things from a different angle or guide you through your feelings. Write out your thoughts and frustrations in a journal, write a letter to the person that has hurt you and then burn it all. It will really help you let go of things you may have been holding onto. Pray. If you are religious like I am this will be your greatest source of comfort. Turn to God and talk to Him. Ask for guidance and healing and peace and know that he brings tests to you out of love and has the solution to every problem.
3. Know that if this person was good for you now, they would still be here. Letting go could save you from a lifetime of pain. But also remember this isn’t it. You are beautiful, amazing and strong, and someone perfect for you will come for you at the right time. Sometimes the end of a relationship teaches us that we love people more than they deserve. So love yourself first. Be enough for you, be your own best friend and be comfortable in your own company. Sometimes being with someone for a period of time can make you loose touch with who you are, what you enjoy as an individual and being in touch with your potential. Reconnect with yourself and rediscover who you are.
4. Turn to self care. Eat well, get enough sleep and stay hydrated. This does wonders for your thought processes and allows you to approach your feelings with a better mindset. Go out and have fun with those who bring the best out of you. Do something you have always wanted to. Make a bucket list and start ticking things off of it because life is simply too short to get stuck in the past.
5. Be present– yes I know I keep saying this but it is so important to realise that the world is so much bigger and more beautiful than our problems. At times heartbreaks go through a similar process as grieving. You are grieving lost time invested into someone that you thought or had hoped to share your life with, and they are no longer a part of it. Your life is too precious and time is priceless. Go for walks, do a gadget detox for a little bit and take in your surroundings. Really notice things around you that you might normally miss when your in a rush. Take a nice drink with you and really savour it. Feel the ground beneath your feet and smell the beautiful scents of the bakery, the coffee shop or the park. Really tune into your senses and enjoy being where you are exactly as you are because you have a place in this amazing world and you are enough!
Always remember you are the biggest source of your healing. Whatever stage of the healing process you are at whether it’s the initial gruelling dark stages of hopelessness or the up and down rollercoaster where the light at the end of the tunnel is just about visible…You will get there. It will stop hurting. You will be ok I promise you!
Please note the above tips are from my own experiences and things that have helped me. If you are coming out of a abusive, traumatic or more serious relationship please seek out more qualified advise and help that is catered to your specific situation. I still believe you will be ok and I hope you see the strength and beauty within yourself to realise your worth. You are so brave and you will get through this!
reflect. love. heal always
Brown Girl N.