I alluded to having discovered The Secret to getting over an ex and getting through a break up. Well it’s not really that easy, but there are a few things that help. In all honesty it’s going to be different for everyone and it’s never going to be "easy". However there are some things that I’ve found work better than others.
1. STOP ALL CONTACT. I’m NOT KIDDING. If you keep talking to them, you keep that flame alive. I don’t care if you ended the relationship saying you would be friends. That’s totally cool. The simple fact of the matter is you need time to get over your ex. It’s no longer your job to take care of your ex. You need to take care of you first. Right now that means soothing your own wounds and taking care of your own emotional wounds.
If you told your Ex that you would be friends let them know that you do intend to honor that but for now you need time to heal on your own. Don’t let them pressure you into contact before you are ready.
They probably need their space too. You need to respect this. This is something that many of us often have problems with. Boundaries. We need to remember them. Leave them alone if they ask you to keep your distance.
2. Delete their contact information. E-mail. Facebook information. Phone Number. All of it. You broke up. It’s done. Just take away the temptation. If there’s an actual emergency ask a mutual friend to contact them. Otherwise you don’t need to get in touch with them.
Trust me. There will be temptations. There will be nights of panic, utter anxiety, extreme loneliness, maybe a little drinking, times when the fingers wander over the texting screen…. You will absolutely regret this in the morning. You’ll be embarrassed, feel humiliated, and ashamed by time the sun comes up. Think about this. You don’t want that.
3. You need your friends. Call them instead. Selectively. Don’t abuse the ears of your loved ones with your pity party though. In the times when it does get bad though, and you do feel like you’re going to make a really bad or embarrassing decision… instead of calling the Ex, call a friend, call a sibling, call a support hot line, hell, come hop on our Forum over here. In times of trouble you need to know you have a support network.
Beyond that… even if you’re not actively weeping over your ex it’s important to have friends. Having a strong support network. Having good friends, knowing you’re not alone, just knowing that you have someone there when you need them, even knowing you have someone there just because… is important, for everyone, just not for those of us with BPD. It’s important to surround yourself with people you care about. To remind yourself that you’re loved, cared for. Keep yourself busy. Keep yourself involved in positive, life affirming activities.
When you are down, and/or afraid that you might engage in self-harming or impulsive decisions, or need a stronger support to keep yourself in a more stable frame of mind due to the loss that you are suffering from… do not reach for your Ex. They are now a part of your past. Lean on your current, your present, support network. Lean on your friends, your family, your forum.
4. Self-care is irreplaceable. You will love again. Take time to love yourself right now. Practice positive self-talk and positive self-affirmations. Be kind to yourself.
5. Take a few days to wallow. Yeah I said it. Don’t try to suck it up and be tough. You’re allowed to experience whatever feelings it is you’re going to feel. Do yourself and your friends a favor though. Do some of it on your own. Having a girl’s/guys night to watch sappy movies and drink wine, especially if they offer, because that’s what friends are for, or if you’re having a particularly hard night – totally cool… but try not to do it every night. It’s okay to be a little selfish and indulge yourself as you work through the initial stages of grief.
You Are Grieving A Loss! It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to let it all out.
After a few days… start getting back to your regular schedule. Put a reasonable limit on the wallowing. Don’t let it take over.
6. Maybe get a cat. Or a puppy. Or a ferret. Maybe a rat. Pour some love into the pets you have. Adopt a little furballs in need of love. They need you. You’d be surprised how therapeutic animals are if you don’t have any. This is a lifetime investment though. Don’t think of it as a temporary measure. And don’t do it if you’re not willing to take care of something for the long haul.
It’s super silly, but NOT AT ALL. I love my cat. I never had a cat before I rescued mine. I great up with giant dogs. My dad was allergic to cats. I rescued mine from some guys with golf clubs when I was in college. He was this tiny starving little stray that was about to get beaten. I rushed out of my apartment, scooped him up, and now it’s 7 years later and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Relationships have come and gone… my cat has always been there for me. Knowing that I have him to come home to, to curl up with at the end of the day… when I’m frustrated or upset, he’s soothing and snuggly. He makes everything better.
7. Remove Memory Triggers. Take down the pictures. Wash your pillow cases that smell like him. Toss out that t-shirt of his you like to wear around. These things will only remind you of your Ex every single time you look at the damn thing. You really don’t want that. You know it. You don’t necessarily have to throw out every single expensive piece of jewelry, but put it away. Don’t put it where you can see it all the time.
8. Keep Busy! Stay Active. Don’t sit in your room with only your thoughts for company. You know you’ve done it. We tend to mire ourselves in the darkness of our own deep dark depressing minds closed off from the rest of the world. You know who that’s going to help? No one. Get the hell out of there. Grab a friend. Grab yourself. Get a hobby. Just get out and go do something.
9. Write down the things you are grateful for that you do have in your life. That have nothing to do with your Ex. This is to remind you that there are still good things out there for you.
10. Get back out there. Move on. Date. See that there are other people out there for you. This helps a ton. Don’t do it too quickly though. That can actually make it worse. When you’ve had some time to recover put yourself out there.
For those of you going the “we can be friends” route” with your Ex.
Don’t even bother trying this until you have moved on. Don’t. This is a recipe for a slow burn… a.k.a.. getting back together eventually when you really didn’t want to. Maybe not right away, but eventually or by accident one drunken night. And that won’t really be good for either of you and will destroy any progress either of you has made toward emotional healing. If you’re serious about being friends do yourself a favor and don’t try to rush it for the sake of rushing it.
Hope these thoughts help a little bit and bring things into perspective. What things help you?