Navigating a break up: Step 3

After the initial waves of sadness and despair, you reach a point of denial that’s almost worse. At this stage you swerve back and forth between feeling normal and feeling like your world is about to end. This tends to be because you allow yourself to forget that they are gone and then it feels unbearable when you remember. Subconsciously, you’re convinced that this is temporary, that you’re in this pain together and therefore you’re still connected somehow. You wait for the moment to come when they realise they’ve made a huge mistake and pull you back into the safety of their arms.

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And you let yourself laugh and you deny yourself the feeling of pain because you’re secure in the bubble wrap you’ve coated yourself in. Sometimes you feel like you’re desperately trying to stay afloat but something below the surface is trying so hard to drag you down. It’s a state of deep confusion and conflict because you are maintaining something that isn’t real, and it’s taking all of your strength to hold it up. The moment someone says something to wobble your belief that your ex is coming back, such as reminding you why they left, you feel overwhelmed and the emotions start to drown you all over again. I could tell you that you need to accept that they’re gone and stop lying to yourself, but then I’d be the world’s biggest hypocrite.

At this point you really do believe that they have found only heartbreak and misery without you. You won’t even let yourself consider that they could be happy or moving on, because you haven’t really accepted this new state of reality. You feel like you’re going crazy and you’re just floating adrift in the middle of the ocean, waiting for them to pull you back so you can resume normality. You don’t understand your own behaviour or feelings but you just know that it will be okay when they come back. There’s even an anger at the world around you because you feel like it is that that’s keeping you apart and not the choice of your ex partner. They love you and therefore they must want to be with you deep down, right?

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All of this confusion means that you become uncertain of the person you are. You don’t really know how you should behave or even how you should feel because you’re hanging on to past memories and an imagined future. The only thing you’re sure of is how much you love them and how happy you’ll feel when they are back. You hold on so much to the connection that you shared and the reciprocation of your love and commitment that you used to feel, that you won’t let a life without them become a reality. So you find yourself living in the past because it’s the only place where you can still feel their arms around you, it’s the only place where your happiness still exists.