4 Things That Happen When You Start To Heal

Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

It’s over.

You’ve spent the last few days, weeks or months trying to figure out why, trying to figure out what went wrong, if there was something else you could have done. They most likely threw out the “we can still be friends” card and you accepted. You tell others it’s because you think it’s the “mature thing to do” and you may even believe that lie, but the truth? You still want them. You’re hoping by staying in their life, even as a “friend” you’ll still have access to them, they won’t forget about you, and then you’ll be able to “win” them back. This is straight manipulation, by the way, and considering the high probability they only threw out the “friend” card to keep you on the hook too, there’s wrong on both sides.

Eventually, you wake up. You realize you’ve spent so much time trying to get them back that you haven’t really moved on at all. Same clothes. Same routine. Same prayers. Same attempts at manipula — I mean, manifesting them. You’ve watched every YouTube video on how to make your ex want you back, but nothing is working. One day, you decide it’s time to face what you’ve been dreading, and accept it’s over.

That day is officially Day One of your healing journey. Eventually, almost everyone makes it to this point but too few make it to the end; mainly because healing looks a lot different than what they expected. So, let’s discuss four possible stages you’ll go through.

  1. You’re gonna cry. A lot.
Photo by Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

This is the part most have been trying to avoid but it’s a necessary step. The tears will come once it really clicks that the connection is over. Yes, this will be a sign that you’re still in love with and/or missing them. No, this will not be a sign that you should keep fighting. You’re gonna cry from exhaustion, anger, discouragement… and grief.

Oh, you thought someone had to die for you to go through a grieving process?

Listen, you’re grieving a loss. Don’t get it twisted: your ex doesn’t have to die for you to feel like you’ve lost them forever. And some will tell you this type of grieving process can at times feel worse, because they’re still alive — in your city, at your job, or just out there, moving on with their lives. Without you. Let those tears fall. Whether you schedule time to do it (because who wants to break down on a Zoom call with their manager), or they come out of nowhere along with that flashback you didn’t expect, those tears are helping you release the emotions you’ve most likely bottled up and eventually, the tears will stop, and you’ll feel lighter.

2. You’re gonna be angry.

Photo by Luke Jernejcic on Unsplash

I’m lying. You’re gonna be pissed.

You’re gonna think about alllll the other times you should have left. You’re gonna think about a conversation and realize there was something you missed. You’re gonna remember something in the beginning that you brushed off, now realizing it was a warning of what was to come. You’re gonna think about the times you believed them when you shouldn’t have… the times you needed them and they weren’t there… and then you’re gonna think about the time you spent — which will inevitably turn into the time you’ll then feel you wasted…

… and that’s when your sadness will morph into full-on anger and rage.

We’re in a society that wants us to believe that the only emotions that matter are the ones that feel good. That’s a lie. EVERY emotion is necessary, or we wouldn’t have been given the ability to feel them. The emotion is never wrong or bad; it’s how we act while feeling that emotion that causes the problems.

So be angry. At home. At the gym. Around friends. Screaming in your pillow. Throwing shit at walls. While deleting their photos. While blocking their number, or changing yours. Make the anger count FOR you. It’s an incredible motivator, that is, if you choose to use it to move forward, not take the past into your hands.

3. You’re gonna isolate

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

And it’s gonna feel incredible. The safety of your home… the silence of peace… and the absence of people. Because at this point, you don’t like any of them anyway.

Solitude will just make sense, and why shouldn’t it? You know you can trust you. You know you’ll never let yourself down. You won’t cheat on you, betray you, abuse you, neglect you, or disappoint you, so why not spend the rest of your days around the only person you can trust… right?

I mean, kinda.
And, no.
Because the thing is, you’re retreating from the world due to pain — not due to a logical decision. There’s nothing wrong with boundaries, but we both know that’s not what you’re doing. You’re building walls to keep people out.

Not unhealthy people.

Not abusive people.

Not toxic people.

People. As in EVERYBODY.

It feels like the right way to live. Some choose to live in this stage for the rest of their lives because they no longer find it worth their time to connect with healthy people to date knowing they may still have to sift through the same kind of trash they finally walked away from first.Those who truly listen to their stories would understand. Because I have one of those stories, I understand.

I also know there’s nothing better than having good people around you — especially when you’ve felt like the only person who thinks or behaves the way you do. Moving beyond this stage is important not because you need to get back to positive emotions, but because YOU need to know you’re not the only person with the kind of heart you have, and feel less alone. Most of the people called “bitter” these days aren’t really bitter. They just lost hope of ever running into people who shared the same personal commitment to doing right by others and decided “going solo” was just the safer option.

If you end up here, and stay too long, this could be you too. I can’t tell you whether that’s a good or bad thing. I can only tell you there’s another stage, if you’re willing.

4. You start breathing again.

You’ve survived the tears, the emotional roller coaster of your emotions, your grieving, your anger and your self-imposed isolation. Should you decide to get to this stage, you’ll find out something pretty cool.

You’re okay.

You may not be 100 percent yet and you may decide to stay single for a while, but you’ll find yourself at a place where:

  • You’re not thinking about your ex as much, or at all
  • You’re sleeping better
  • You’re laughing more; and
  • You’re making plans — something as small as hanging out with friends one night, or as large as buying a home or starting a business.

You’re — dare I say — living again.

The reality is life was going to go on whether you decided to get back in the game or not. Thankfully, you gave yourself the space to feel all your feelings, accept things as they are versus as you hoped they’d be, and used your season of anger and isolation as a cocoon to transform instead of a wall to remain the same behind. Because of that ONE decision, you allowed yourself to see the other side of this breakup you fought so hard to prevent.

If you keep going, I’m pretty sure you’ll also meet the reason you had to let them go.

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Allison Denise

Allison Denise

I facilitate self-love and self-care one blog, podcast, book, video, and product at a time.