When we consider the word “grief” we may think immediately of death and loss. The idea of associating grief with the end of a romantic relationship can be new to some people. Because the person we lose is still on this mortal plane, walking amongst us, means grief just isn’t possible, right? We only grieve those who have passed; those we can no longer talk to, play with, or see.
Whether we like it or not our heart grieves during breakups. Just because that person is still physically here does not mean we fail to grieve that loss. Our hearts recognize any emotional loss as grief, including breakups, friends moving away or the death of a pet. We all feel these in differing intensities of grief depending on how attached to the person or object we lose and what they or it meant to us.
Ending a romantic relationship can be one of the most painful grieving experiences you can have. Active and passive grieving dominates your daily life and feels the most intense the first few weeks and months following the breakup. Your self-esteem plummets and you begin doubting your decisions. Your mind begins going wild with ideas about how to stop that grief – contemplating what would fill the fresh void in your heart; a new lover, new clothes, a puppy? You may cry constantly, feel depressed and anxious, experience obsessive thoughts about your ex or about the future, feel intense anger or even numbness. Everyone experiences grief differently, but chances are you will experience at least some of these symptoms during your grieving process. These are all very normal feelings and are healing pains that our heart goes through when we experience great loss.
To make this grieving process smoother it is important to accept and remind ourselves that this is a necessary process for our heart to endure to bring about growth and stability. By accepting this process and not trying to suppress our emotions, we are starting the emotional journey that will ultimately bring us back to peace.
There will be times when you feel impatient with the healing process. “When will I start feeling better?” “I hate feeling this way.” These are also normal responses. It is perfectly understandable to not enjoy this painful process. Allow yourself to feel frustrated and stuck temporarily; accept these feelings as just another part of the process.
Be patient with your process and meet yourself where you are at. Do everything within your power to cater to your own needs and take care of yourself. Many of us have trouble with the notion of taking care of ourselves and putting our needs first. In such cases it is important to ask yourself what you would do for a friend who had just experienced a breakup. What would that person need? How could you give yourself what you may do for them?
If you are going through a breakup and feel unsure of how to process through this difficult time please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Orlando mental health counselors.