Heartbreak and how to survive it..

We all want to avoid the pain of a break-up, numb it and forget it as swiftly as possible. But what if there was something to be gained from the pain of a break-up? Something we would be cheating ourselves out of by avoiding it? Can we really know joy without ever having experienced pain? Happiness without sadness and, indeed, love without heartbreak? I think not.

Be honest with yourself - People adopt many different strategies following a break-up – sedation via drink/drugs, oblivion via a new lover, or denial that their ex ever meant that much to do them, hoping that they will convince themselves that they never really loved them anyway. The later is the most ineffectual approach and the most damaging as the heart only ‘feels’, it cannot understand nor be taken in by these words we try and deceive ourselves with.

Give it time - it may be a cliché but time helps heal most wounds. While the lapse of weeks and months help dull the pain, it also allows ourselves time to grieve. I’ve worked with many clients who were nursing broken hearts. Many try and distract themselves but I’ve witnessed time and time again that if we really want to get over heartache (or indeed any other grief) we must firstly allow ourselves to feel it. It may seem easier to distract ourselves away from the pain but by employing those coping techniques we aren’t being honest with ourselves. The first step in healing is to engage with the pain, to recognise it, to acknowledge what we have lost. Only by doing that can we hope to move on.

If we are to learn and grow from our relationships (and indeed our subsequent heartbreak when they end), it’s important to recognise both the good and the not so good in our defunct relationship. In failing to do this, we simply carry our heartbreak like excess baggage to our next relationship. This is why many of us feel like we are constantly rehashing the same relationship patterns, the partner changes but the roles remains the same and so the play continues. Working with a trusted therapist, can help us to break this pattern, the cycle of blame and instead move forward towards building the relationship we desire.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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