break-ups : the three phases
Phase one: The Pledge
While it may feel like you are the epitome of depression, the poster child of melancholy, once you have taken the first pledge to feeling grief, becoming completely consumed by your emotions and knowing it’s normal to feel each and every one of them, you have begun the arduous but rewarding healing process to a stronger heart.
During the pledge, a cacophony of emotions you never knew existed may suddenly rear their medusa heads. According to author Tristan Coopersmith, the state of denial and shock is an initial part of healing, ‘Shock is the body’s natural protection against pain… Don’t be surprised if you feel a sense of blurriness about the actual breakup scene, a literal loss of breath, or trouble sleeping.’ Coopersmith maintains the importance in keeping one’s head above water and striving to remain sane, despite feeling the need to neglect all sense of responsibility. Whether this means neglecting to feed the dog, cat or yourself, or generally becoming a hermit, it’s important to remember your human needs, regard yourself as fragile and remember ‘no matter how dark the day, you will get through this.’ (source)
Phase two: The Turn
The turning point will occur in a moment when you begin to feel some assemblance of normality. This could be a brief period when you’ve stopped crying, feeling numb or begun to hunger for something other than unconsciousness. You will begin to feel again, piecing the past together as opposed to dissecting it and torturing yourself with “Why?”
The Turn is a part of our internal rehabilitation, ‘your wounds start to heal… of course the scars are still there, but you learn to live with them.’ (source) Initial desires and hopeful prospects will begin to reappear as you strive toward the future and begin to focus less on your fragmented relationship. The person who may have been at the very core of your life won’t have such a psychological pull anymore.
Author Dawn Lipthrott proposes that the ‘rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions’ begins to dissipate or at the very least, becomes bearable. Lipthrott says, during the turn ‘you move from pain to possibility…you take more actions, discover more of your strength and make a difference in your life.’ (source) Life without the significant ex is no longer unbearable, but filled with new prospects.
Phrase three: Cutting the Cord
This could take weeks, months, even years given the nature of the relationship. This is a moment of personal evolution. For some, it could even mean finding compassion for the ex and most importantly, forgiving them or at the very least, feeling utterly indifferent. At this point, any resentment you may have been harboring would have disappeared and you’ll eventually stop questioning your self-worth, realizing that everyone deserves love.
Acceptance involves feeling whole again and knowing that it’s acceptable for your ex to be content. Most importantly, you will be content in yourself.
‘The loss of love is not nearly as painful as our resistance to accepting it is.’
By Sophia Anna