Shattered & Broken [Ask Dr. Miro: What You Didn’t Learn In Health Class]
Dear Dr. Miro,
I was just dumped by the love of my life. All my friends say this is the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me. That’s BullS**t! The best thing that ever happened to me walked away from an amazing relationship and now I feel like I’m going to die. What do I do? He’s already with someone else so I don’t think I can fight for us. How do I deaden this pain?
I know it feels like you are going to die. This is why it is called heart break. Your heart is actually in pain! I understand how much situations like this hurt. Sometimes you have to just feel those awful feelings for a while. It does not sound helpful right now but the old adage “time will heal” is pretty dead on. Using the word “dumped” is problematic because it reinforces that garbage feeling. Trash gets dumped. Remember: you are a human and NOT refuse.
Words are really important in recovery. So much so that it often helps to simply do an old fashioned journaling technique in which, once a day, you write whatever comes to your head for three pages. Get out all those emotions un-edited onto the paper OR you can write letters to yourself and him. Whatever you do, do NOT send him these rants. It will only serve as fodder in ways you are too delicate to handle at this juncture. Having imaginary conversations that he does not in actuality participate can be incredibly cathartic. One woman I know kept a box filled with all her letters to her ex that she knew better than to send. When it was full, she held an amazingly beautiful bonfire exorcism in which she said good by to her past lover as all the pain went up in smoke.
Another technique I highly recommend is to write out all the things you thought were going “to be” if the two of you stayed together. All of that potential life stuff from the minor to major. After you do that, I want you to systematically write out the reality of those hopes and dreams. This is a VERY emotionally intense exercise that will more than likely take at least a week to complete but it is helpful in re-framing what “could have been” in your romantic ideas of things versus what things actually were.
Tell your friends how you appreciate their support but their words are bringing you further down. Let them know what you need to hear or how they can be most supportive. People want to help but sometimes do not know how. Make sure to keep yourself busy in other ways that are healthy such as spending time with friends who care about you, take up kick boxing or learn a new language that has no relevance to him. Avoid places you used to go together for a while if they are highly triggering. Another good option is volunteering someplace meaningful to you like at an animal shelter or food bank. Taking yourself out of your own personal misery and assisting other creatures in need is often the most miraculous medicine available!
When you are feeling shattered, it is hard to comprehend how life will ever get better but it will. In fact, you will, in time, emerge stronger than before (although that probably sounds insane to you right now). Focus on what you can do to make yourself the best version of you, possible. Stay strong and remember you will get through this.
Lust & Happiness,
featured image credit: Skley