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I never gave myself time to grieve after a breakup until now. When I was younger I went from relationship to relationships, guy to guy.
I never really gave my heart time to heal.
I never healed from my childhood or any of my broken relationships.
It just didn’t feel right not having someone else to put all my focus on. Someone I can impress, chase after, get to fall in love with me.
It was a thrill but also damaging to my soul when things didn’t work out yet again and I felt rejected.
Every guy I let treat me like shit because I didn’t feel I deserved any better, chipped away at my already damaged self worth.
It was my normal to put my worth onto a guy I had built up in my head, creating a fake fantasy of how this would be the relationship that would finally fix me.
But that never happens.
No one could fix me and these men I picked only damaged my soul more.
“Loss is an essential part of us. Breaking up with someone is an opportunity to extend your growth and become a stronger person. We have to use our broken and shattered hearts as a catalyst for a better future.”Itayi Garande
Giving Myself Time to Grieve After a Breakup
But this time round something changed. I’ve been single for a year and a half now and something has held me back from jumping straight back in.
It doesn’t feel right for me to start dating again when I know my heart isn’t fully healed yet.
This is grief!
If you were around me you wouldn’t think I was grieving. I feel the happiest I’ve ever been. My life is filled with joy and laughter! However, just because I’m happy now, doesn’t mean I fully through this process!
Grief is a funny thing. It takes time and you have to go through it to fully heal.
So I would say I’m now in acceptance. It was a rough ride getting here but it was so worth it.
Sometimes it still hits me though. And all those feelings come flooding back but they don’t stick around these days and they hit me less and less.
So I know that until I’ve fully completed this process, I won’t be rushing into anything new with someone.
Not only is it not fair on someone else to take on that pain of yours, but it’s also not fair on yourself.
Rushing into something new with someone is a quick and easy way to avoid your problems and drag them into someone else’s life.
If you don’t heal, nothing will change.
You can’t expect to be a different person, just because you are with a different person.
There were opportunities where I could have done what I always did, but I didn’t take them. My soul and body were screaming at me, you need time.
Your soul needs to rest, to be nourished, slow down and heal.
And this time I listened to my feelings. I trusted myself (with a few bumps along the way)
And I’m so grateful I did.
There is no way I can tell how long this will take for me to come out the other end but one thing I do know. The less I resist this, the faster I go through it.
Everyone has their own timeline though. Mine will be different from yours and it will all depend on how much healing you have to go through.
So be patient with yourself.
This journey has made me very passionate about the fact that people need to heal before going into a new relationship.
We owe this to the world.
I look back on my life and see why this is so important. If I had healed after my first broken relationship, I can guarantee I would not have gone through so much more heartbreak.
And I put my children through this as well!!
Especially my daughter!
When her dad left, it broke her heart and now she had to go through this all over again. Losing another dad.
That’s why I’ve made a commitment to myself.
To heal fully and completely.
Not just for me but for my children also.
They deserve to have parents who are stable, emotionally healthy and loving.
Just think of how much trauma our children could avoid if we took it as our personal responsibility to fully heal from our own trauma, instead of rushing to find someone else to validate who we are and fill that void inside of us.
This never works!!
“We transmit our thoughts, speech and actions – collectively known as our karma to our children and to the world, that is our future.”Thich Nhat Hanh
If I hadn’t given myself this time (and a year and a half isn’t that long) I would still be that traumatised little girl that I was.
Instead of the strong women that I am today!
So what are the stages of grief??
There are a lot of different variations but the ones below resonate with me the most.
Grieving After a Breakup: The Stages
Shock & Denial
I think I was in this stage for about 3 months (which was weird because we did briefly get back together after 3 months)
I didn’t want to believe that it was over, so it really didn’t feel real.
I feel this helped me start to make some good changes in my life, as it hadn’t sunk in, so I still had the motivation to change
“Though these words will never find you, I hope that you knew I was thinking of you today….. and that I was wishing you every happiness. Love Always, The girl you loved once.”Ranata Suzuki
Pain & Guilt
I’m not sure how long I was in this stage for, at least a few months. It started around the second time he left. At the same time, I started counselling (which was and is amazing!). I blamed everything on myself. Everything!!
My counsellor would always say that she has never worked with someone who blamed herself so much!
I felt so guilty for tearing my little family apart, for the pain my children were going through and for the heartbreak I caused my ex.
Oh, how I wish I had healed before!!
But I know now that guilt and blame is not all mine to carry and I fully forgive myself for my part of this.
Anger & Bargaining
I feel like the anger and guilt stages were intertwined for me but I definitely felt angrier about 9 months after we first split.
I was angry at myself, my ex, my parents, well just everyone. I also had been creating a lot of change in my life and hoped that maybe this would fix things.
I went back and forth between wanting to get back together and never wanting to see him again.
And I begged the universe a lot!! I would have done anything to have my family back together!
I was very, very lucky I had (and still have) the support form some amazing goddesses (you know who you are) who helped me work through this anger and create a calmer life!!
I would say depression was always there throughout this, especially because I’ve suffered from depression before all this started.
But it really set in at the one year mark.
I had this underlying sadness I couldn’t shake. So no matter how happy I seemed to everyone else, I still felt down.
My depression stage never got that bad that I couldn’t get out of bed, it was more a sense of sadness for everything I had lost.
I felt sad for the life I had to give up and also for the person I used to be.
I felt so sad for everything she went through.
This sadness still comes to say hello sometimes but I just let it happen, I feel it fully because it has its purpose.
Feeling your feelings fully is the biggest lesson I’ve learned through this experience. No more pushing them away!!
Moving into Acceptance
This is the stage I’m in right now. It’s where you start to accept what happened, the sadness fades away and you feel good about your life again.
I’m grateful for everything I went through, it’s made me who I am and I love the person I’ve become.
I spent 15 years trying to change the way I behaved and heal the trauma I had experienced but for some reason, I couldn’t.
This break up pushed me to extreme growth and healing, that I never thought was possible. The universe provided everything I needed for this to happen and I’m eternally grateful for everyone who helped me on this path.
Like my counsellor says, I’m walking down a beautiful path of growth and I never want to leave.
I never want to walk down that dark path again!
“Letting go is not easy, but being free is wonderful.”Anand Thakur
Full Acceptance and Hope
This is the final stage when you fully accept the loss and move on with your life and have hope for your future.
The reason I don’t feel I’m there quite yet is that some of my old feelings do come up, not very often though. I would say I still have other things I need to heal before I can say I’ve completely gone through this process.
But that’s OK!!!
I still have hope!!
I feel so happy with my life right now and things can only get better. I feel hopeful that I will love again and I feel excited about having a relationship in the future.
I know the next one I have will be amazing because I’ve learned so much.
But that is way in the future, I feel so happy with my life right now, I feel happy on my own and that’s what matters.
I no longer feel the need to find someone to fix me because I’ve fixed myself (although I was never broken!) and I know only I can make myself happy.
I feel so filled up with love and joy, that a relationship will be a bonus, not a necessity.
And the biggest lesson of all from this is, I know my worth!!
I deserve to be in a happy relationship and I won’t accept anything less now!!
So if you’re going through something similar, please give yourself time and be kind to yourself.
The grief process isn’t linear and you can go in and out of the stages, so don’t think you are going backwards if this happens.
The biggest gift you can give yourself is the time to heal
I love you