Today’s Tell All Tuesday post is for the struggling. It’s for those who are currently fighting to find their way and feel like they are at the bottom of the cyclical rotation of life. I’m not a guru on this kind of thing, but I have lived through many ups and downs… I’ll tell you a little bit about it and what got me through.
Break-ups are one of the hardest things to face, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of the tumultuous decision. The heartache is for real. I remember weeks after my first serious break-up, where I was actually writhing in heartbroken agony, curled up in the fetal position on the kitchen floor. I called my dad at work, and it took a few tries for him to understand what I was saying through sobs and hyperventilated breaths. I was saying, “I don’t even know what to do.”
It’s hard when you find yourself at a life-changing junction. And it’s scary. You’ve had a bond with this other person; created a life with them, as full of flaws as it may have been. Up to that point, you made it work, and you accepted it as your life. But a time comes when the flaws become too arduous and the directions of two separate souls are at odds and finally break apart. Not everything is meant to last forever.
That first break-up was a harsh lesson in reality: sometimes even people with similar dreams just aren’t meant to be together.
The night before we broke up, we had a talk about how he understood that all I wanted to do was settle down, get married and have kids. He told me that he wanted that too, but was still young and wanted to have fun. After our talk, I dropped him and his friend off at the bar. That night, he met the girl that would later become the mother of his two children and future wife. He dumped me the next day.
The months and years that followed, those which I thought were the upward climb to a better life, were actually a downward spiral. Instead of heeding the advice from everyone that “It just takes time,” I decided to drink my heartbreak away. I fell into a world of parties, pitchers of beer, endless shots, and hangovers – as long as I wasn’t sober, I wouldn’t have to deal with being emotionally crippled.
Don’t do what I did.
I think that if I had’ve dealt with that major life event in a more productive way, it would have saved me a great deal of life lessons to follow. My advice to you is this: don’t drink away the pain. Yes, it’s great to go out, meet new people, let go and have a fun. But don’t get too caught up in all of that. And don’t rely on it as your only source of moving on and rebuilding yourself and your life.
What I learned from my latest break-up was to surround yourself with positive people. Reach out to others and fill your time with those who are there for you to cry with, to go to a movie with, to grab a coffee and vent with. Support networks are key. So is professional help.
I had never been to a therapist before my last break-up. True, that break-up was one for the cinema: a relationship filled with deception, adultery, and abuse; a break-up with plot-thickening pregnancies, beach vacations, and repossessed cars. If ever there was a time to seek professional help, that was it.
Honestly though, I feel like I may not ever have been in that terrible relationship if I had sought help long before – if I had used my previous break-up as a time for self-discovery and determining what my big Life Picture looked like. If only I learned to love myself then, I could have avoided all the pain that brought me to learning to love myself later.
I’ve said it before in previous posts, and it rings as true today as it always has and always will: you are in charge of your own happiness.
You are a beautiful soul that deserves an even better life than you can possibly imagine. You deserve to have someone by your side that respects you, that shares in your happiness, that supports you in your journey, and that is there to lift you up. Your life should not be a constant compromise. Your dreams should not always feel at odds with someone else’s. The beacon of your life is in your heart – pay attention to it. It will inspire you, warn you and guide you. And when you’re on the right path, you will feel its warm glow, rejoicing in the life you’ve created.
Seriously, go forth and prosper. The world is yours and your dreams are in reach. But make sure you listen to people when they say, “It just takes time.” You’re on the upward climb, and life is going to be awesome!
Healing, loving thoughts.