You will smile again
You will enjoy life again.
You will be happy again.
I promise you, dear friend.
One day, in the not too distant future, you will walk down the road with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, and the sun will be shining.
A fleeting memory of your ex-love may come to mind, you will remember them fondly but carry on your way to your new life, thankful and with gratitude.
At the moment you feel like you might never be ok again - you cannot imagine a life without your significant other?
You are lost, confused, hurt and angry.
The world around you shattered; it is the end of a great love story.
When will you feel ok again?
Millions before you have felt this pain, recovered and been ok, millions more are sure to follow.
We consult our untrained yet ever-present personal doctor, Google.
'Can you die from a broken heart?'
The results seem inconclusive.
A physical response
Right now it’s hard to breathe - you feel attacked and that’s why your body is in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This phase doesn’t last long, a few weeks at the most, just grin and bear it knowing that it will soon end.
You haven’t been attacked.
You are safe.
You are ok.
Tears dry on their own
You cry all of the time.
Crying is useful as it releases emotions, alleviate's stress and releases endorphins.
Let it all out.
House of pain
With separation, rejection or betrayal comes a whole host of incredibly uncomfortable thoughts and emotions:
- I’m not good enough
- I’m not attractive enough
- I’m a bad person
- I'm a failure
None of this is true.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
This is not your fault.
It’s difficult to go outside and see people from your community. Everyone wants to know: ‘What happened, what went wrong?'
You might feel ashamed, embarrassed, or like a failure.
Remember, you don’t have to talk about it.
There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed.
Most relationships don’t last forever.
Feel proud that you dared to open your heart to give and receive love for this time.
We can try and mask the pain with distractions.
Food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or the internet are appealing - but they only delay our healing process and make us feel even worse.
If we want to recover, we must grasp this pain, we must accept it, we must allow it to infiltrate our bodies and then we must let it go.
You are ok.
You will heal.
I promise you.
Getting back together isn’t an option. Once we decide that we don’t want to spend our lives together, we cannot go back. Reuniting might seem tempting - it’s safe, secure, and familiar but realistically it's just delaying the inevitable.
You can do this.
It’s comfortable to remember the past in a rosy coloured glow - but if we’re diligent with our thoughts and our self-inquiry, we recognise that the bad times outweigh the good.
Our first step on the road to recovery is fully accepting that it’s over. Any time spent fantasising about getting back together or planning any reunion is time wasted, time that is better spent on our personal development, which is the key to our recovery.
We must accept this.
A big hole has suddenly appeared in your life, not just emotionally but physically too. It’s imperative that you use this newfound space to heal and grow.
Read, meditate, exercise, get outside, eat well, see friends, read the books you haven't had time for, book a solo adventure.
Be kind to yourself.
Put yourself first.
It almost feels like a sick joke that the one we usually go to for love, help and support seems the source of all of our suffering and is no longer available to us.
But we do have friends and family that we can reach out to, and we must reach out to them, they are waiting for us, they want to be here for us, they want to support us.
You don't have to do this alone.
We find that each day is better than the last, each week better than the one before.
You begin to have moments when you’re not thinking about the life you have lost.
There are mainly bad days.
Then it turns.
There are mainly good days.
The shared plans you had for the future were exciting and a source of great joy for you both, saying goodbye to a well-conceived and inspiring future feels as hard as saying goodbye to your lover.
But you must say goodbye.
You must let it go.
It’s tempting to find comfort in the love and touch of another, yet if we become emotionally involved before we have had the time to heal duly, we will inevitably create more heartbreak for the future, either for ourselves or for our new lover.
Just as you are
There is only one person who can fill the void, and that is you.
You are your lover.
You are your partner.
You are your best friend.
You are all that you need to feel whole again.
You can do this.
I promise you.
A new beginning
The future is now uncertain, there is no clear road to anywhere, but with this comes great opportunity.
Chances for growth and new experiences are everywhere if we are open to them.
Now is a time to make new plans, with no borders and no expectations.
Your future belongs to you.
We don’t suddenly stop loving our partners overnight because of separation, betrayal or rejection.
We might always love them in some way.
This is ok.
There are villains and heroes in every story, and of course, we are the hero of our own.
We can choose not to be the villain in another's.
It may seem like a natural reaction to 'fight' our corner and protect ourselves from 'attack', but this only continues the battle.
We must choose to disengage.
You can do this.
If we can try to always think and speak of our past love with kindness and compassion it shows a deep level of respect for human nature, and also for ourselves.
When you’re ready, you will decide to stop grieving.
You will take a deep breath and decide to move on.
It might take weeks; it might take months, it might take years.
Only you will know when you are ready.
When you decide you’re going to be ok, you will be ok.
When it's time you will take back control of your life.
You will take back control of your grief,
You will take back control of your emotions.
You are the hero of your story.
I love you.
I accept you.
I respect you.
I see your beauty.
I see your grace.
I see your passion.
I see your loyalty.
I see your strength.
I see your integrity.
I see your resilience.
It’s nearly time for you to recognise it again.
It's nearly time for you to stand in the space of your true self again.
I am waiting here patiently, for you to come back and take your place in the world, whenever you are ready.
The Future xxx
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Hannah Anstee is a former British Wellness Journalist turned Women’s Coach & Mentor.
You may know her from her work as Beauty Editor at YOGA Magazine or her contributions to The Independent or Psychologies Magazine.
Hannah uses a kind and candid approach to help women rewrite their stories.