After a tough breakup, you can learn to find yourself again. This might mean having limited or no contact for a period of time. This will give you the space to acclimate to being on your own. If the loneliness and grief are too difficult, there are further steps you can take to recover and develop a strong sense of yourself outside of a relationship.
Find Yourself Again
You might want to consider having no contact for a period of time. Look at it as self care. This includes blocking, muting, un-following and even unfriending them on social media. This will spare you the torture of watching your ex’s ‘life after you’.
Staying in contact is often associated with a more difficult time recovering emotionally from your break up. If you think you’d like to eventually be friends, you can send a text saying that while you are trying to heal from the breakup, you need to go no contact, including social media, for a while. You can always go back and follow them in the future, after you’ve recovered.
It’s often a good idea to remove things from your home that remind you of them. The more space you have from your ex, the quicker you will be able to get over it and find yourself again.
The first three to four weeks are the most difficult. After that, it will get a bit better every week. So be patient with yourself.
If you see them or they pop back into your life somehow, you might go right back to the beginning. This can really prolong your recovery. You may go back to getting through those first three or four weeks of learning to live without them, again.
Don’t prolong your recovery by being in contact, if at all possible. If this is not possible, such as you are co-parenting or working together, keep contacts purely factual and down to business. Keep contact to the bare minimum.
Self Care In Order To Find Yourself Again
During this time, when things are the most difficult, be mindful of developing habits that will be hard to break later. Watch your alcohol and drug use. Eat as healthy as you can. Stay aware of addictions, such as gambling or jumping into another relationship too quickly.
Every day, do something nurturing for yourself. See your friends, experience something new, start or continue a hobby. Consider trying something you’ve always wanted to do, but never made time for in the past. This might be tennis, yoga, joining a softball team, or ballroom dance classes.
Getting away for the weekend can be very healing. It can help to get away from the familiar things that you still associate with your ex. Go with a friend and have a new experience! Go on a retreat or to a spa.
Exercise is very important right now. It will help you feel calmer and less depressed. Meditation after exercise can be very relaxing.
If you’d like to start meditation, begin at three minutes per day. After a month, or a week, or a year, go up to four or five minutes a day. Listen to a guided meditation or to an app, such as Headspace or Calm, that teaches you how to meditate.
There are many guided meditations on YouTube or Insight Timer, for example. Just search for guided meditation for loneliness, or self-esteem or during a breakup, or any topic that might seem pertinent to you. Calming music can also be nice to meditate to. Try one minute of quiet and then two minutes of music or a guided meditation.
Start small and work up to longer as you become ready. The most important part is setting up a routine. Dedicate 5 min right after you wake up in the morning, for example. Have a special place you go to in your home to meditate with a comfortable chair or meditation cushion.
Anything that helps you process your feelings will be very important right now, as you find yourself again. Try journaling or talking to a trusted friend. Talk to a therapist. Paint, draw or make music. Do something creative and rediscover yourself!
If You’re Still Struggling To Find Yourself Again
If you have tried, but you just can’t seem to find yourself again, it’s probably time to explore at a deeper level. This may mean, for example, looking at your feelings of inadequacy, low self-worth or hopelessness. It might be important to look into the root of these feelings, and where they began in childhood.
If your parent or caregiver was limited, emotionally immature, neglectful or abandoning, this can seriously effect your attempts at intimacy as an adult. You might be looking for someone who can provide you with the self-esteem that you never received from your parents. But instead, you keep choosing someone who mimics your parents limitations.
You might need to explore what might have happened, or what you didn’t get, as a child that is holding you back now. If you did not feel worthy of your parents’ love, this can lead to tremendous shame of your own inadequacy. Children blame themselves for not being able to earn the love and attention they craved from their caregivers.
Knowing Your Value And Worth
You may have to strengthen your ability to deal with the ups and downs of relationships without feeling worthless or inadequate. It is important to realize that the difficult emotions that are coming up because of your break up probably are not your fault and that you are not worthless. This will help you find yourself again.
Undoing the descent into shame and worthlessness after a break up can take some work in therapy. You may have to look back at your childhood wounding with the help of a therapist. You start to confront what happened and get honest with yourself about how abuse and neglect caused you so much shame. As you emotionally heal, you will develop healthy self-esteem and inherent worth.
When you have inherent worth, you know you are a worthwhile person, even if you aren’t being validated in a relationship. This prevents you from allowing yourself to be victimized and gives you a sense of self. It also gives you a sense of appropriate boundaries. For example, I won’t allow myself to abuse anyone, and I won’t allow anyone to abuse me.
Needs Versus Wants As You Find Yourself Again
There needs to be a middle ground between being too dependent, expecting someone else to completely meet your needs and cutting people out of your life, deciding that you alone can meet your needs.
You also might not be aware of your needs or wants. Do you go through life need-less and want-less? You might not know what you need or want, having never been asked as a child.
Figuring out the difference between needs and wants can get confusing. We all need love, nurturing, food, water, clothing and shelter. If you have ten shirts, then you may want another shirt, but you are beyond needing it. But if you buy another shirt instead of asking for love, that is confusing wanting (a shirt) with needing (love). You will not be able to meet the need for love by buying a shirt.
Understanding these points will help you be aware of whether you are actually getting your needs met in relationships. If you learn what your truth is, you will find yourself again, and it will then be easier to communicate what you need and want.
You can then learn to communicate in a way that isn’t too explosive or offensive. The goal is to communicate without manipulating or controlling another person. If you are defending or attacking, this will destroy intimacy.
Being dedicated to the truth leads to self knowledge and self love. Then you are ready to really know and love someone else.
Find Yourself Again With The Help Of Neurofeedback and EMDR
There are tools that help this sometimes very difficult path to self love go easier. It can be very stressful, sad and scary to face some of the truths about yourself and your family.
Neurofeedback is brain training that calms down your nervous system and helps you be resilient throughout the process. It helps to reprogram the patterns you keep repeating so you can move down a new path and find yourself again.
EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a way to desensitize you to old traumas and patterns, reprocessing them in your brain. That way, you can reconnect to your own life force, your vitality.
If it isn’t safe to connect as a child, to laugh and be happy, so you start to feel dead inside. Numb and empty, lonely and isolated. This causes you to feel ashamed, like you shouldn’t exist.
Unfortunately, one way to get out of this shutdown is to get triggered and activated by repeating an old trauma story. This is not something you do consciously but rather a way to feel alive by recreating harmful patterns or reckless behavior. At least you’re feeling something, rather than numbing out.
Neurofeedback and EMDR help you connect to yourself in a healthy way. It restores life force and vitality, making it easier to grow and change.
If you think that I can help you along on your journey toward health and healing, feel free to contact me by email email@example.com or voice mail 310-314-6933.