My last breakup totally devastated me and the only thing left to do was to talk it out with a therapist. I was nervous about confiding my feelings in a stranger but I have to admit, it was one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made. Here’s why:
The breakup was only the tip of the iceberg. I thought I was going to therapy to get over my most recent breakup but over the course of our sessions, I discovered that the reason the breakup had such a huge effect on me was down to all of the other traumatic things that have happened in my life. They all just came rushing back to my mind when it I got dumped, making it seem like a way bigger deal to me than it would be to someone else. After I took the time to delve a little deeper, it was easier to come to terms with the breakup and eventually let it go.
After my friends got tired of hearing about it, I had someone to talk to. There are only so many times I can bring up how sad I am about my breakup. My friends will be there for me for as long as they can but I’m not about to become one of those friends who cling onto people for emotional support when I can tell they’re over it. There comes a point where it’s not normal to be holding onto something for as long as I was and getting professional help ended up being the last and only answer.
The more I talked about it, the smaller it became. A funny thing happens when you talk about your trauma…it becomes less and less of a big deal. I was able to give the story of my breakup a beginning, middle, and end which let my mind organize it as a regular memory instead of fragmented moments that I would obsess over causing me emotional pain out of nowhere.
It forced me to look at my unhealthy habits in relationships. After my therapist and I got talking, my past relationships came up. I told my therapist that this isn’t the first time this had happened and we discussed how most of my relationships end up getting cut off prematurely. She suggested that it could have been because I can’t bring myself to open up fully to people. This was a revelation to me and has given me something to work on in future relationships.
I finally feel ready to move on. I don’t think I would have ever felt truly ready to move on unless I gave myself the chance to talk it out thoroughly with a therapist. I probably would have ended up a bitter single girl who hates men if I didn’t solve my deeper problems regarding my relationship habits and I’m just really grateful I did it.
It let me truly focus on myself. When my friends go through a breakup, they often say they’re just going to “focus on themselves.” That usually looks like getting a haircut, hitting the gym, or going out drinking every night, all of which are distractions to the hurt and pain that’s hiding inside. Going to therapy was the best way I could think to truly focus on myself and acknowledge every part of myself, even the ones that hurt.
I feel ready to take on a new relationship. I don’t think I would’ve been ready to get back into the dating world unless I took the time to fully process what happened to me. The breakup came out of nowhere and really shocked me in the moment. I had to somehow make sense of it and talking about it in therapy was the best way I could think of. Now that it’s not haunting me, I feel freed up to continue on my dating journey with confidence.
It kept me from self-medicating. I could have easily gone out and partied every night to soothe the pain. Alcohol is really good for that kinda thing, but I didn’t want to just distract myself from the pain and discomfort of it all. I needed to give myself attention and drinking myself to sleep every night would have been counter-productive.
I feel like a different person. I know it sounds crazy, but after doing therapy for a few months, I feel reborn. I have a new outlook on life and have learned that just because a lot of crappy things have happened to me (including a breakup), it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.
It forced me to face the fears I’ve been holding onto my entire life. After talking through the breakup, I realized just how afraid of intimacy I really am and could even trace it back to experiences in my childhood. I don’t think I would’ve ever been able to let go of or even acknowledge these fears unless I took the time to really look at them.
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