Grieving the loss of a relationship

Grieving the loss of a relationship

Are you going through a breakup?

Are you confused by your feelings?

Or wondering when you’ll stop feeling this way?

Here are three secrets about breakups, and two key ways to help you feel better.

Secret number one:

Breaking up sucks. It just plain sucks. And how you’re feeling is normal.

A relationship break-up is a kind of death. It’s the death of the relationship but also the death of your vision for the future, of how you imagined life would be.

These can be profound losses, and of course there may be many more associated losses I haven’t mentioned, so no wonder it’s hitting you hard.

You might feel sadness, loss, anger, relief, isolation, guilt, shame, and all kinds of other emotions.

Ups and downs are normal. Not wanting to feel what you’re feeling is normal.

Snapping or crying at the drop of a hat is normal.

All this is normal. You’re not going crazy.

Secret number two:

Grief isn’t linear.

If you’ve googled anything about grieving, you may have seen something about the 7 stages of grief. While you may experience some of those things, that model was developed for people diagnosed with terminal illness.

So, if it doesn’t apply to you, feel free to let it go.

Secret number 3:

Let go of the idea of closure.

The mind’s job is to think and plan, to try to avoid danger and problems.

It wants answers in order to be able to predict risk and avoid it, or in order to make sense of what happened, so that we don’t have to feel those sad, confused, desperate, angry feelings.

However, in many cases, there are no answers.

It might be more helpful to think in terms of healing and growth, and ask yourself:

What do I need to heal from this? What will help me grow?

Then, once you’ve identified what will help, you can take action.

Taking action to help yourself can feel good. It can feel like moving on.

Here are two keys to helping yourself through the grieving process:

  • Be Kind to Yourself

You’re suffering. (Remember: breakups suck.)

Self-kindness helps alleviate suffering.

  • Ask for help

Your brain is quite naturally struggling to think straight, since emotions overwhelm it.

Logistical help: Ask someone you trust to sit with you as you get yourself organized and make a plan of action. The rational, problem-solving side of your brain isn’t working too well right now and having someone help you do this will alleviate some of the stress.

Emotional help: You may have a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings. Having a safe, non-judgmental place to share those can also help alleviate your distress.

If you could use some support, feel free to call or email. Contact details are below.

shulamit@shula.ca / 613-868-9642

About Shulamit Ber Levtov

For over 17 years Shulamit has helped women and men transform the effects of stress and trauma. She has logged thousands of hours of 1-to-1 and group work with hundreds of clients in a variety of public and private settings. She also speaks and facilitates classes and trainings locally, internationally and online. Shulamit is the owner and clinical director of Kemptville's holistic stress and trauma clinic, the Kemptville Stress Relief Centre. Shulamit holds a Masters in Counselling and Spirituality, is a registered social worker and a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher. She also has the distinction of being the third person in the world to be dually certified as a trainer in both Nonviolent Communication and Focusing. To contact Shulamit call 613-868-9642 or email info@compassionatesupport.ca .