It all starts with the stages of grief, then comes the hard part of working on yourself. The bad news is the stages of grief can be really painful, but the good news is that the work that comes after results in real healing, growth, and learning that will not only make you a better and stronger version of yourself, but will also prepare you for future relationships.
Let’s explore these stages together.
Looking For Unattainable Answers
Your brain has a way of looking for some kind of answer or explanation after the initial shock, because you just can’t wrap your head around the fact that you lost something that was important to you. You think maybe if you understand it, then you can fix it and it’ll all be okay again.
This is the part where you keep repeating to yourself, “no, this isn’t happening, it can’t.” It feels too overwhelming to even process, like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. Maybe if you just give it time, they’ll change their mind and things will change and it will be like it never happened.
Begging And Pleading
This is the step that people tend to regret the most. You’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that this is your new painful reality, but you so badly still want to get rid of it. If it’s a break, you try bargaining, you make all sorts of promises and grand gestures and cling on to any hope. You think if they could just see how badly you want it, then maybe they will too.
Being Overcome With Anger
The more you think about it, the angrier you feel. How could they just abandon you like this? Why does the world always work against you when you’re trying your best? You’re mad at yourself, the person who hurt you, and the whole rest of the world because you can’t make sense of it or control it.
Surrendering To Acceptance
After anger comes acceptance. Even though you don’t like it, you’re coming to terms with the fact that this is your new reality, so you might as well start taking some steps forward instead of trying to retrieve the past.
Purposely Disengaging And Letting Go
Only once you accept that what happened has happened for a reason and will help you grow instead of holding you back will you start the journey of letting it go. Part of that will be detaching from the person and situation that brought you here until one day it ceases to even matter.
A New Sense Of Hope
Sadness, anger, and grief eventually turn into acceptance and hope. In acceptance, you are able to see that maybe it all worked out for the best anyway, and this will be an opportunity to grow and open new exciting doors.
Be Ready To Relapse
The healing process isn’t linear. It’s more like a roller coaster with ups and downs. Don’t be too hard on yourself for the moments you relapse, grieve again, or momentarily try to go back to a bad situation. It’s all part of the process.
Remember That It’s Supposed To Hurt
It takes a long time to completely heal, and sometimes you never truly heal but simply learn how to make the best of the new situation. Remember, the pain is natural—it just means you’re human. The pain is what is going to make you the person that you are.
There’s Actually No Right Way To Heal
Some people need to constantly talk it out, while others need to mourn in isolation. While some mediums might be considered healthier than others, at the end of the day, there is no correct way that’ll heal you faster. It depends on what the person feels like they need at that moment.
Rely On Your Support System
Friends and family aren’t only there to share the good times with you. Real friends are also there to go through the bad times and support you through them. Don’t feel like you’re burdening them, but rather listen to their outside perspective and accept their guidance and distraction.
Force Yourself To Get Out
Part of healing is recognizing when to cave to just taking time by yourself to cry it out in bed and when to force yourself out of it so you’re not just watching life pass you by. Take up your friend’s invite or go to that painting class. Keep yourself busy and show yourself that life keeps on going.
Identify And Replace The Triggers
There are gonna be places, movies, songs, and even food items or smells that trigger you because they evoke certain memories or feelings. Monitor what those are and then find ways to negate them.
If it’s a restaurant, for example, try ordering something new at the menu and sitting at a different table to give it a new memory.
Find A Release
You probably have a lot of built-up feelings that can feel overwhelming unless you release them somewhere. This is where hobbies are ideal. Doing a physical or artistic activity will rewrite the right chemicals in your brain to restore feelings of peace and happiness until those are the ones that take precedence.
Take Care Of All Parts Of Yourself: Mind, Body, And Spirit
These are the three main components of your well-being and increasing your self-esteem. They work together, and if one is lacking, it can domino effect onto the others. For the spirit, you can try journaling or meditation; for the mind, you can try meaningful conversations with friends; and for the body, watch what you eat and keep moving around.
Make A Plan Of Action
Enhance your recovery by asking what you hope to accomplish and how you can get there. Surely, things didn’t go as planned, so what’s your new plan? This will give you a new sense of purpose and keep you motivated.
Create Your Own Closure
You may not get direct closure from the person who hurt you, but make sure to forgive them. More importantly, forgive yourself. There is no point dwelling in the “what ifs.” Instead, just be aware of them and take them on with you as lessons.
Create A New Routine
Changing up your routine can do wonders for your healing. It takes you out of the situation and gives you a fresh perspective. Plus, it allows you to rebuild it in the way that best serves the new you.
As Cliché As It Sounds, Time Heals All Wounds
You’ve heard it thousands of times, and that’s because it’s true. It all feels worse at first then slowly gets better. There will be a day when it won’t hurt anymore and you will move on.
Meet The New You
By the time you get to this phase, you’ll be a changed person. The scars of the pain will have made you stronger, the time you spent reflecting will have you connected and in tune with yourself, and the new habits you’ve developed will be paying off.
Get to know this new and improved version of yourself and continue to grow it every day.