When you’re the kind of girl who loves with her whole heart, getting it broken takes extra long to heal. I thought I found the love of my life until everything came crashing down at once, but the story didn’t end there. I picked my head up and decided to rewrite my story on my terms and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I came to terms with the situation. I knew I couldn’t move on until I faced the painful reality that it was over. I sat in my room by myself and just broke down the entire situation. For a minute I had to just remove myself from the emotions I was feeling and think rationally about why things ended and what to do next. Even though it was painful, it was the first step to healing.
I acknowledged my feelings. I stopped trying to pretend that everything was fine when I was hurting so badly inside. I came to terms with the fact that I felt hurt, taken advantage of, even worthless at times. I let myself cry to songs we used to listen to and wrote everything I felt in music and journals. I stopped putting on a face for people and just let the emotions overflow until there wasn’t anything left to cry over.
I forgave him. Even though I knew we were never going to sit down and make everything right, I made the decision to forgive him. The breakup wasn’t completely his fault and we both had roles to play in why things didn’t work between us. The only way my heart was going to let him go was for me to wish him the best in the future and lay the situation to rest.
I gave myself closure. Once I worked through the situation and knew it was time to let go, I got a sense of inner peace I hadn’t felt since the day everything fell apart. No matter what was left unsaid, nothing could change the fact that I made my decision to move on and lay it to rest. When I let go, I took the burden off my chest and got real closure.
I spent a lot of time with my friends. I invested in my friends more than I had while in that relationship and found out who was really there. I connected with friends I’d lost touch with and gained best friends who I know will be there for life. When I was honest with them about my feelings, they did the same and we helped each other heal from bad situations. The power of having a strong group of girls around you is so underrated—my friends pulled me out of that dark place and gave me somewhere to go.
I cried with my mom. I remember sitting down with my mom, wanting to just ask her advice on everything but not wanting to show emotion or cause a scene. Of course, the tears immediately welled up and she comforted me as only a mom can. She shared experiences from when she was my age that gave me hope and we bonded on a new level I hadn’t ever been with her.
I decided there was nowhere to go but up. Once I had come to terms with my broken heart, I found hope in hitting rock bottom: you can only go up. What was an awful situation turned into an opportunity to rebuild and move forward with my life in a positive way. Everyone is looking for a fresh start and there’s nowhere better to start than at the bottom.
I dove into my passions. I stopped letting my feelings revolve around my broken relationship and put all my energy into the things I was passionate about. I learned new skills, got better at the ones I already had and felt purpose in every day. When I decided that my energy could be used for more, I freed myself to grow.
I bettered myself for myself. I stopped telling myself I was the victim of the situation and seeing where I went wrong. I can’t change who he was but I’m in control of me. I wanted to learn from my mistakes and be a better person not for anyone’s approval, but for my own self. Bad situations can teach us about our own weaknesses and are a huge opportunity to take control of who we’ll be in the future.
I opened my heart to keep loving people. As much as watching a love crash and burn hurt me immensely, I knew shutting myself off from feelings wasn’t the solution to stop the hurt. Instead of hiding behind a wall of emotions, I kept myself open to loving those around me. Love is worth the risk even if it doesn’t work out, and I’ll never shut myself out from the opportunity to love again. Whether it’s family, friends, or a new relationship—people are all we have in this world, and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to love someone because of my fear of the past. The key to starting over was freeing myself from myself.
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