Breaking the Breakup
Guest reporter Zena looks at how to survive a relationship breakup and where you can find someone to talk to.
Everybody remembers their first real breakup. Fortunately there are ways to come out of a breakup and feel like a new person.
Picture this: you’re in bed one morning and just as your eyes slowly open the light from your window shines through to make you realise it is indeed morning.
For a split second everything is fine. But then all the pain, the tears and heartache from the night before come rushing back into your mind at the speed of light and you are in fact experiencing the first morning of your breakup.
Feeling Bad is Normal
If you’ve ever been through a breakup before then you know this feeling well. It’s tough to get through on your own, but luckily there are strategies you can use to get you through it.
I remember the heartache of my first breakup well. It was like being in a room all by myself even when people surrounded me. It was constantly an ongoing battle between my logic and emotions. It felt like I was thinking logically, but why did it hurt so much?
Fortunately, I found help. I also found out that I was not the only one who had gone through it. Just like riding a bike for the first time or getting your P plates, I realised it was a path that most people would eventually take.
At the time of your breakup, and usually in the first stages, it may feel chaotic and challenging to your self-esteem. This is completely normal.
Many people experience depression during major breakups. It’s perfectly normal to go through this process, but it is sometimes hard to distinguish depression from a just "a rainy day".
Headspace (new window), the national mental health website, says that a breakup can bring a sense of relief, especially if the relationship was making you unhappy, but even if you're the one doing the breaking up, it can cause difficult feelings.
Feelings like denial (convincing yourself it's not really over), guilt, sadness, anger, fear, rejection, confusion, shock, disbelief or loneliness are all normal reactions to a breakup.
Help is Available
youthbeyondblue (new window) is a website that can help you distinguish between sadness and depression. It has a depression checklist (new window) that can take you through the symptoms of depression and help you to figure out where you are at in the grieving process.
According to youthbeyondblue, some symptoms of depression can include:
- Moodiness that is out of character
- Increased irritability and frustration
- Finding it hard to take minor personal criticisms
- Spending less time with friends and family
They also have a lot of advice on how to find people to talk to if you think that you are becoming seriously depressed.
It's important to know that you can get help in a situation like this. Like all things in life, there are ways to deal with any adversities that are thrown at you.
- Headspace's eheadspace (new window) offers ways to talk to other people by calling them, emailing or joining in on discussion forums.
- youthbeyondblue's Talk page (new window) also has a lot of different ways to look for help, from reading other people's stories and contributing your own, to contacting help services.
- There's also Life Line (13 11 14) and Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800), which are available 24 hours a day to provide advice on any problems you might be worried about, including depression, stress and anxiety.
When I was going through my breakup, I found it helpful to log on to social networks, websites and forums and talk to people going through similar things. The thing that I struggled with, personally, was understanding why it had happened. It gave me comfort knowing that I was not the only one who had been seeking closure about the situation.
Take Time to Heal
If you are experiencing a relationship breakup, take comfort in knowing that it is normal to feel as though you are having an emotional breakdown at this time. It's also important to realise that it takes time to heal.
I remember trying to visualise getting better and finding it extremely difficult to see a way out. The hardest thing to deal with was the change.
My life had changed so dramatically and so suddenly that I had felt it hard to know who I was after this traumatic experience. I had to start getting to know myself all over again.
Sometimes it turns out that the age-old saying, "Everything happens for a reason" proves to be truer than a just a cliché quote that your friends say to you. In fact, having moved through the depression and having reached the final stages of the grieving process, I can honestly say that it is indeed possible to get yourself together and back on track with your life.
In some cases your breakup might even turn out to be a life -changing experience that helps you to learn and grow as a person. It is at this point where you will eventually look back on the experience and realise that in a way it may have been a necessary experience for self-growth.
The main things to remember are that you're not alone, no matter how alone you might feel, and that there are lots of ways that you can get help.
If you or a friend need to talk to someone immediately, Life Line (13 11 14) and Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800) are available 24hrs a day to provide advice.
For more articles about Health & Relationships, check out our Articles archive.
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