Hello, friends! Happy New Year – welcome to the first episode of 2021! This is an episode inspired by a single question relating to breakups! Talking from recent experience, I offer my best advice to help get you through and process the emotional turmoil that can come with a breakup.
Have you done a podcast about breakups by chance?
No, I haven’t. At least I don’t think I have. But no time like the present. Weirdly, I went through a breakup in 2020, so I have recent experience with this. You don’t want to hear this, but time will help.
There is rarely a perfect definitive answer about what to do when a relationship fails or goes sour. You eventually have to make the decision to do something about it. This is just part of the human condition. We ALWAYS have mixed feelings. We ALWAYS doubt our decisions. We ALWAYS wonder what the other decision would have been like. Unfortunately, you don’t get to know the answer to all of those hypotheticals. You have what you have.
Journal, Journal, Joural
If there is one tip that I have for you, it would be to JOURNAL EVERY DAY. Seriously. Every day. Some days twice per day. Just write. How you’re feeling, what you wish would happen, what you wish didn’t happen, questions, concerns. Scream into the void on paper. Write your goddamn hand off. Make it your goal to burn through an entire journal.
You don’t have to challenge every thought that might be problematic right now. Naturally, at this stage you are going to be thinking in some ways that might be a bit distorted. If you have an inkling, just put a pin in it. You could even dog-ear the page of your journal to come back to. I also think that it helps to not go through it alone, but understand that friends won’t have the perfect answer either. They will likely try to pick up on what you want and help you get there. If you don’t want the relationship to end but it is, they will try to help you get it back on track. Even if it probably shouldn’t. So you might need to gather multiple perspectives. Or tell people to be honest with you about their real perspectives. Nobody is going to be right (unless I’m one of your friends), but you need to gather some thoughts to get your own gears turning.
One thing that we often do in situations like this is emotional reasoning. It likely hurts really bad to be in your situation. Maybe there are life factors that make this scary, inconvenient, and just straight-up painful for your heart. But as humans, we can fall into the emotional reasoning where we assume those negative feelings are an indicator that we are making the wrong decision. That isn’t always so. Sometimes the right decision f**king hurts. You are not going to feel better right now. Nor should you, really. It’s supposed to suck. It is going to take time to feel some sort of better. That becomes much harder when you are still being led on and strung along, though. I think a lot of us feel like it’s more evolved and reasonable to remain friends and not cut people out of our lives, but it’s really hard to get the necessary perspective when you’re still in it.
Give yourself some grace…and time
You’re in the eye of the storm right now. You can’t see things from an outside, more balanced perspective. Since you’re still in the thick of it, you’re going to scramble to explain things to yourself. How things got this way, how things have gone so wrong, etc. Now is not the time for that. By all means, process and brainstorm those things. But understand that any answers you arrive on are going to be HEAVILY influenced by how much you’re feeling and how close to it you still are. The time for coming to a deeper understanding about your behavior and their behavior, about how things got this way etc is going to come after some separation. You can always return to some type of friendship later on, but that needs to happen after some clarity is achieved.
My last bit of advice for this period of time would be to pick one or two things that you know intellectually would be helpful. That you know would help your wellbeing, even if you don’t want to do them. Then stick to them. Curse my name every time you do those things, but stick to them. Be consistent. Your emotions are a swirl but your behaviors can be consistent and reliable.
You will feel differently about this in a month. You will feel even more different in three months. You’ve gotten through every single hardest moment of your life so far and this will be something that you eventually look back on.
This episode of Hardcore Self Help is sponsored by Better Help.
If you are in a mental health slump, consider reaching out to a licensed professional to help. Better Help has a large counselor network and you can begin chatting with someone very quickly. Check out betterhelp.com/duff to get 10% off your first month.
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