SOCIAL STUDIES A Freedom You Forgot You Had Marianna Tabares

Soon after any disappointment and heartbreak from the end of a relationship is the temptation to run out and do something for the sake of being distracted from it. Perhaps meeting with the wrong kind of person, usually an ex. Someone with whom the waters have calmed after enough time has passed. That person is  familiar and strange all at once and you can handle being in his or her company again.

Your brain shakes around while you’re on the road as logic kicks into high gear but your biology punches it in the face hard enough to knock it out so you can just do what you think you need to do. Then you do it, whatever it is, and when it’s done you head home and deal with the loneliness you were avoiding.

Right after a relationship ends, whether it was serious or not, a series of emotions flood in and dealing with them all at once is too damned hard.

The rejection is what stings the most, especially when you did not want things to end. You wanted to remain connected to that person somehow and it’s just too hard to accept that you absolutely have to keep a distance, even if you’re trying to remain friends. There is nothing easy about it but keeping the hell away is the only chance you have to regain a sense of yourself and who you are in the world or who you were before that person was in your life.

So, what the hell can and should you do to keep yourself as far away from that person as possible?

  • Walk. A lot. Where? If you have access to a park where you know a lot of people go to work out every night, get out there in your jeans and sneakers and walk the perimeter of the park. Don’t rush it but just get into the moment and feel yourself becoming aware of the people who are running past you, the kids playing on the jungle gym, and the softball team that’s probably got the one person wearing sweats that are too tight.
  • If your friends invite you out, go. They’re probably going out to dinner and you don’t want them to have fun without you. You’re hurting a lot, but you shouldn’t deny yourself the chance to be with the people who have been good to you all along.
  • Clean up. Dust your room, make your bed, clean out your desk, and shower up. Keeping your bedroom clean and fresh is very good for you. I know this because when I get very low, I forget to make the bed and just live out a daily routine and forget the little things. it helps a lot to keep a neat bed and freshen the room with a pleasant scent.

These are just little things that will help to keep you from dwelling on the person who just walked away from you. But there’s another huge problem, and that is the amount of access you probably have to that person. Are they active on Twitter or Facebook? Are you able to see what they do online? That’s your biggest challenge, staying the hell away from their updates. It’s so tempting to check up on them. The thing is that whatever they’re doing never matters as much as what YOU’RE doing, because if you’re sitting there just checking on that person, you’ve successfully lost valuable time that you will never get back.

You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you as you recover from feeling super crappy. One thing I never like to do is to compare my problems to someone else’s because it just doesn’t seem fair or right. My feelings are my own and I’m aware that other people have gone through worse, but it never makes me feel any better. It’s like you just have to ride it out and feel whatever you have to feel and not deny yourself the time required to mourn the loss of someone in your routine, in your life. It’s not an actual death, but it is the end of something and it causes a sadness in you when it was something that you really cherished.

It’s finished and what you’re left with is a whole lot of you. You’re back to examining your interests, your desires, and the life that lies ahead of you and what you do with it on your own terms. Maybe that special person is gone, but all he (or she) has done is given you a freedom you forgot you had. You once again get to explore yourself as an individual and when those first few days (or weeks/months) of feeling horrible have subsided, you might still feel a bit of an ache, but you’re mobile again and smiling doesn’t hurt.

Featured Image via DeviantArt

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  1. I didn’t read this when it first came out but recently this is the story of me especially when you said, “you have to feel and not deny yourself the time required to mourn the loss of someone in your routine, in your life. It’s not an actual death, but it is the end of something and it causes a sadness in you when it was something that you really cherished.” I get easily attached and I get used to talking to someone all the time so when I go from talking everyday to nothing its really tough. But im going to try the three suggestions you gave. The one I always do after a break up is clean that is the only time I clean like a crazy person is when I lose contact with my relationship. THANKS for writing this its been a big help! :)

    • Thanks for sharing. I know that feeling. I recently stopped talking to someone who would chat with me every single day, even for silly little things. Then it ended sourly and I felt super sad for a few weeks. But now I’m where I feel great about waking up and I don’t have that heaviness or anxiety in my heart about the unknown. It doesn’t even matter to me that I don’t know if we’ll ever speak again because I stopped putting so much value into that idea and put that effort back into my OWN personal interests. The result is that I’ve had a whole lot more fun with my friends and I feel really carefree when I’m out with them. I don’t feel like I have to worry about other guys I might talk to or how I present myself (within reason, of course). :)

  2. Great to read. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for this – I had previously been dealing with the breakup of my first semi-serious relationship and by ‘dealing’… yeah, let’s just say it wasn’t a good dealing. The tips you’ve given here have really given me some great ideas (I’m a lazy neatness freak – I always feel so much more in control and happier when my room is tidy and clean so I’m with you on that one!).

    The only other one I could possibly suggest is to have ice cream in public with friends. Seriously, there is no problem that can’t be solved with friends in the sun with a cone of cold deliciousness (and they do soy ones now so lactose intolerance sufferers can have some as well). :-)

  4. Aw the girl in the pic is so cute :).

  5. After my last breakup, I did 2/3 of those things— My room never stayed cleaner, and I saw my friends alot more. It was great.

    • That’s awesome Rebecca! I always take for granted the good feel of a clean and fresh room. It helps to keep the mind clear as well.

      Marianna | 2/29/2012 07:02 am
  6. Lovely written and pure gold advice!! :)