Surviving Your First (or Any) Breakup
Whether it happens when you’re fifteen, or even over fifty, your first break up can come along at any time in your life, and might be a completely shocking or devastating experience. This is true whether it’s your “first breakup” or any breakup – no one is immune to heartbreak.
The first breakup, in many ways, can be the “worst” due to the fact that you don’t have any frame of reference to go on. You haven’t lived through it yet in order to know the pain won’t last forever. I wanted to give you a few of my thoughts, experiences and a few tips on the subject. I also want to dispel a myth or two too along the way.
Firstly, I am here tell you a few important things 1) things will get better 2) you will survive and 3) you will live to love again (if you set those things as your aims). So are you ready? Then let’s get started.
Myth: Time Heals All Wounds
First of all, yes, “time is a great healer”, and very true in most cases, but it’s not always a given. Some people, no matter how many months (or even years) pass, never really get “over it”.
I often chuckle (and sometimes cringe) when people ask “how long does it take to get over a break up?”
How long is a piece of string? Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter answer to this. I can tell you one thing: there is NO TRUTH to any of the “formulas” for recovery you may have ever heard.
Your recovery time is of no real relation or direct correlation to how long you were together. It’s not some formula whereby you can multiply L (length of time together) times X and then divide by 3 to work out how many months (or years) it will be to get over your breakup.
Actually those formulas make me a little mad because some people actually believe them and it can be detrimental to the healing process to do so.
In my own life, I’ve had some short-term relationships that took much longer to get over than my long term ones. I’ve seen other family, friends and SYBD site members experience the same thing. So it’s not just about time.
Further to the previous point, there are, unfortunately, no shortcuts through the healing process. Skipping stages is not really an option.
Over the years SYBD visitors have reported: Drinking too much, consuming drugs, sleeping around, working every hour God sends, spending tons of money in retail therapy – all while some or all may help temporarily, things like that are a band-aid on a bullet wound.
Those distraction choices are going to eventually stop working and that band-aid will simply fall off.
Sweeping pain under the proverbial rug to avoid the hurt won’t work in the long run. The pain is still there and will eventually cause you to trip on it. Often at the most inopportune time.
So generally speaking, it is better to take time to work through the healing process by facing it head on. One baby step at a time.
Avoid jumping into another relationship (which just distracts you), or throwing so deep into work your work in order to avoid dealing with it. Not self medicating. None of it. Really the best thing for you to do is strive for…
For everyone, and I don’t care who you are, it will take time and some deliberate effort to recover from the loss. There is no way around that.
As You Think So Shall You Feel
The truth is that there are many recovery factors that come into play during a break up.
Length of relationship, how the relationship was overall, how it ended, your own past experiences, and especially your own mindset.
In fact, I am inclined to state that last one may even be the key determining factor as to how long it will take you to get over it, and how well you actually WILL get over it.
Basically it’s going to take as long as it does – and let no one tell you other wise. Putting any sort of “time scale” can actually be detrimental to your own recovery process, because you start to feel bad, like you should be further along than you are and so forth.
Your healing time can’t be compared to anyone – not even your best mate who splits up at the same time as you!
We’re all different and thus our healing times will be different
Find a Healthy Balance
I am definitely a fan of keeping busy, (not too busy), setting some personal goals and focusing on things I can control.
Do your utmost to occupy yourself in productive pursuits.
These are often small things that you do which make you feel better in the long run.
But also you need to find time to process the emotional loss too.
It’s a fine line to walk between being busy enough to not dwell and being too busy where you’re not dealing at all with the break up.
Or between going out all the time or staying in all the time.
The best course of action is somewhere in between. Find a balance that suits you.
We are all different on our busy-ness scales. Busy for one person is boring for another. Find your right level of activity and keep active!
Like Riding a Roller Coaster
It’s going to be an emotional roller coaster for a while, so grab on to the sides and hold on for the ride.
There will be days you feel devastated and hopeless, and others where you will feel hopeful, lighter and possibly even relieved it’s over.
Then you could experience anger or confusion.
Heck on some days you may feel all of the emotions within minutes of each other!
This is normal reaction to grieving the loss. It can feel a bit like you’re getting whip lash from the mood-swings but rest assured you’re going to get through this.
Just hold on, realise you’re going to be up and down quite a lot until things start to level out a bit.
This too shall pass as they say. The only way out is through. Feel. Deal. Heal.
You got this.
In conclusion, you honestly will get over it if you want to.
It will take time, for sure, but that healing time varies from person to person.
The chances are that you will bounce back to something even better in time, if that’s what you set your mind to.
In most cases, it really is down to each individual to choose to be a survivor and to not only survive but to thrive after a breakup. What do you choose victim or victor? Are you going through your first breakup? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.