I can make a corny joke about the state of denial (in the US we call the UK equivalent of counties states), but I will park that and get to the nitty-gritty. The state of denial is a strange state to be in. The feelings can range from disbelief to downright not being able to accept that the break up happened. The denial process happens as your brain tries to help you cope and give you the time you need to truly be able to comprehend what has happened. This stage is extremely important as it gives your heart and mind the time to adjust to your new reality.
Personal Tip: It can be difficult to get over a relationship and move past the denial stage if you are constantly living in the past, despite how recent it may be. In my experience and ex and I broke up and he continued calling me as he usually did. I kept answering. Once I got past the initial shock of “the talk” and realised that things weren’t getting back to normal anytime soon, or ever for that matter, I was able to accept what happened and move on to the next stage.
The anger stage is as necessary as any of the other stages, but don’t let it get the best of you. During this stage, you can be consumed with hate and disbelief as to how you were treated by your partner. Try to work through this anger in a positive way by working out, putting all of that energy into a hobby or passion or if you don’t know how to productively work through it, why not go clay pigeon shooting or take up a kickboxing class.
Personal Tip: Steer clear from the internet. When I had my last breakup social media wasn’t what it is now. Yeah, it was that long. But I did regretfully send many a text message and email where I made it a point to not only point out all of the pain that I was feeling and shame the person who broke my heart, but also tell (repeatedly) that they were pretty much the scum of the earth. It felt good at the moment, but in hindsight, I looked quite out of control and probably justified in that person’s mind why he was right to let our relationship disintegrate.
Oh, bargaining. The stage where you feel as though there is room for reconciliation. From trying to get the relationship “back on track” after what you may consider a hiccup, to attempting to be friends or accepting the other party’s offer of friendship. After all, if you loved someone you can make a friendship work for the sake of the bond that you may still believe is there.
Personal Tip: Don’t. Just don’t. I say this from experience. Nothing good really comes out of it.
The seriousness of depression can never be minimised, but sometimes you don’t get to the stage of really getting depressed in the clinical sense of the word. Sometimes you can just be sad or mopey and wonder how it is you will live without that person and how you can ever get back to being the you that you were before. During the depression stage of grief, you feel the pain of realising that nothing is going to go back to how it was. It may be the moment when you truly process the loss, but it can also come as a lightbulb moment that then leads you to acceptance.
Acceptance is the most important step. When you truly accept that what has happened was a real occurrence you give yourself the opportunity to move on to a happier stage in your life. Whilst I don’t recommend jumping into a relationship soon after getting over a breakup, if you feel your heart is truly mended then you can move on without regrets and having learned some important life lessons.
So, there you have it. Being aware that there are 5 stages of grief and that you can also apply them to a loss such as a break up can be the first step to help you gain a better understanding of the feelings of loss. They say knowledge is power and having the power bouncing back from heartbreak is one superpower we can all learn to have!