How To Survive A Bad Break Up.

How To Survive A Bad Break Up.

I recently went through a break up, though it was my decision to end the relationship, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I was only married for 2 years and now I’m getting a divorce. I had a lot of support from my family & friends and  it took a lot of strength and courage but I am happy with my decision and life has never been better for me, I really had the chance to find myself.

I also have a friend that’s recently broke up with her partner, it was a pretty bad break up and she is in pieces and it’s heartbreaking to see.  When I split from my husband I searched the internet for some self-help, It kept me busy and it helped me understand what was happening, so I thought I would share some of the information with anyone who is suffering or has suffered from a bad break up.

For me I would say distraction, self-help and family/ friends are key to a break up. I read books, started blogging, focused on work and did things that I wouldn’t usually do when I was with my husband. I hope this post helps 🙂

“Not Until We Are Lost Do We Begin To Understand Ourselves”

Few people think that their marriage will end when they’re making their wedding vows, but the sad reality is that 4 in 5 marriages now end in divorce.

Any break-up is difficult to get through and the longer you’ve been together, the tougher it is no matter how prepared you are. So if you need help, follow our expert guide on what to expect and tips on how to cope.

How to get over a break-up: you can move on after divorce

‘How you cope with the breakdown of your relationship depends so much on whether it was you who ended it or your partner,’ says Relate counsellor, Denise Knowles

If you ended your relationship: You will have gone through the scenario so many times in your head, made important decisions already about how you will lead your future life, already started to make plans, even. So dealing with the final split will probably be manageable.

If your partner ended it: You will probably be in shock and your emotions will yo-yo from deep despair to anger, anxiety to guilt or relief, even. It will take time to heal. It’s perfectly normal to mourn the loss of your partner and go through a grieving process before you can come out at the other end and begin to feel yourself again.

You may be feeling very raw at the moment if you’ve recently split from your partner, but remember there is life after divorce and thousands of people go on to have fulfilling new lives after splitting up. People recover at different times, some bounce back quicker than others, so take each day as it comes and take baby steps towards recovering.

 

One Month

How you may be feeling

Remember, it’s early days and you’ll probably be feeling very vulnerable emotionally, numb and in shock. Most people feel a rollercoaster of emotions now. You may feel:

  • Very angry and resentful as the dreams and hopes you had for your future are gone.
  • Embarrassed and ashamed that what you thought was a solid marriage is over. You may not want to share your feelings with others.
  • In denial that the relationship has actually ended. You can’t imagine life without your partner and feel complete loss.
  • Guilty. That somehow it was your fault, even if it wasn’t.

 

How to get over a break-up: expert tip

Denise Knowles, Relate Counsellor says: ‘Don’t worry. All these very different reactions are perfectly normal. A relationship split is like a bereavement.

You may feel huge loss, be in complete shock, feel numb and long for what you had. Hundreds of questions keep running through your head.

Or you may be filled with anger towards your partner, and blame them for ruining everything. You’ll be shattered both emotionally and physically so don’t push yourself too hard.’

Key steps to take

  • You need good support at this stage. Do talk to someone close to you, a friend or family member. It will help keep things in perspective.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Just because your relationship is over, doesn’t mean that you were wrong to trust your partner or that it was your fault.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard. Try not to worry if housework isn’t finished or the ironing is piling up. You really need this time for yourself.

 

2 Month

How you may be feeling

 

  • Your emotions will still be see-sawing. You may have started to sort out the practical elements of your split, such as childcare and work, but not dealt with how you really feel.
  • Your confidence may be low and you could feel depressed.
  • You may feel scared and that you could never trust again.
  • You’ll feel drained. All the emotional upset really does take its toll on your energy levels.

How to get over a break-up: expert tip

Denise from Relate says: ‘Keep some things familiar, so you know where you’re at. This isn’t the time to make rash, knee-jerk decisions – such as moving away – even if you feel like that would be the solution.

Having some routines you’re used to will help you get through the bad times. The pain still remains inside you, no matter how far you move away. Allow yourself time to gather strength before making any major decisions.’

Key steps to take

  • Deal with the anger. If it’s still eating you up you need to quash it now. Anger often masks what we’re really feeling ? scared and sad. If you can let go of it you can start to move on.
  • Keep talking. Try to open up to friends and family about how you feel.
  • Avoid the blame game. If you keep questioning what went wrong? Why? How? What did I do wrong? you get locked into more bitterness and heartache.
  • Look at what you think may have gone wrong. It will be painful, but try writing your thoughts down or talking them through with someone you can trust. It will really help you move on.

 

3 Month

How you may be feeling

  • Lacking in confidence. A break-up can really give your self esteem a knock.
  • Worried about your future and overwhelmed by the decisions you have to make.
  • You’ll probably feel more able now though to open up and talk more freely about your feelings.

How to get over a break-up: expert tip

Denise from Relate says: ‘It’s so important to tell your children the right way. Your children, if you have them, are the most important issue you will have to deal with during the divorce. They have to live through this split too and it can be a very difficult time for them.

Show a united front when explaining the break-up to them. Speak to your partner first and decide on what you are going to say. Don’t put each other down in front of the children. Explain that mummy and daddy can’t live together any more, but that they both love you very much and want to be with you whenever possible.’

Key steps to take

  • Keep looking after yourself. You may be finding it difficult to sleep as thoughts and questions play over and over in your mind. You may not be eating properly either and so your emotional state can impact on your general health. Take a multivitamin daily and try to grab sleep if and when you can.
  • See your GP for support. anti-depressants can help short-term if you’re feeling very low and are particularly good when used in conjunction with talking therapy/counselling.
  • Start to prioritise. You’ll probably feel ready now to at least address practical problems. Where you will live, arrangements for the children and finances so see a solicitor for advice or visit Divorce Aid for free independent help, legal and emotional advice.

 

6 Month

How you may be feeling

  • There’s some space in your mind now to start sorting through your emotions.
  • You may be starting to feel a bit stronger now, physically and mentally. You’re not so exhausted.
  • You’re still grieving, but the pain is maybe not as acute as it was.

How to get over a break-up: expert tip

Denise from Relate says: ‘Talking therapy would really help now. You’ll need someone you can talk to confidentially, so it may be wise to look outside family and friends and seek a counsellor’s advice.

You may feel bad if you blamed your partner and not feel able to rant in front of a friend, or not want your children to hear that you’re upset. You can be completely truthful about your feelings with a qualified counsellor. Contact Relate for your nearest branch on 0300 100 1234.’

Key steps to take

  • Make time to relax – whether going for a walk or taking a long bath, do whatever works to help you wind down. It’s really important to try to get rid of stress to help you cope with day to day problems.
  • Take baby steps – when you feel low it can seem like you’re getting nowhere and that any task you have to do is impossible to achieve. Make things achievable by taking small steps and setting small goals. It will give you a great confidence boost once you feel you have achieved something.
  • See your friends – you may not feel like letting your hair down right now, but force yourself to go out and have a laugh with your mates. It really is the best medicine.

 

1 Year

How you may be feeling

  • Your confidence may be lifting
  • You’ll probably be starting to accept your new status and your friends and family will be acknowledging the new you too.
  • You won’t be wanting to talk about your split all the time now.

How to get over a break-up: expert tip

Denise Knowles from Relate says: ‘It takes time for friends and family to get their heads around the changes in your life too. Around now they’ll be acknowledging your new status and have sorted out how they feel about the break-up. They feel they don’t have to walk on eggshells any more.’

Key steps to take

  • Plan ahead – write down a list of the things you’re going to do once you get through this difficult patch. Stick it on the fridge and when you feel low it will give you a lift.
  •  Fancy dating? There’s no right time to start dating, and after a divorce it can be a daunting prospect. But if you do feel like you’d like to meet someone, take it gently and start by meeting up with a group of people – men and women – first. Dating agencies can be a great way to meet someone safely.
  • Learn skills to help you re-build your life by joining a course. Relate runs: Moving forward: after a divorce or break-up. You’ll meet others who are going through break-ups and get loads of help on how to cope with your emotions and learn why relationships go wrong and how to have better relationships. Find out more at Relate

    Stay Positive, I promise it will get better… in the meantime take a look at my post 8 Reasons its great to be single and embrace your new status! 🙂

 

Comfort box. A Little Box Of You….. Support and Self Help When You Need It Most

Comfort box. A Little Box Of You….. Support and Self Help When You Need It Most

As I suffer from BPD I experience extreme emotions, through therapy I am learning to deal with these emotions and learn to stabilise them. I also live 60 Miles away from my family, so when I feel down or need some comfort or support its difficult sometimes and being alone can make matters worse. Part of my plan is to put together a comfort box, a selection of things that will give me the inspiration I need to carry on and reminding me of the good things in my life, whilst making life easier in my moment of need buy having things that can calm me, relax me and make me comfortable to give me the strength I need.

There are times in our lives when for many reasons we may feel depressed, alone, anxious, unloved or unsupported. There may be others around us, but they are unable to comfort us in the way we need, or we may be too distressed to tell them what we need. When this happens – a ‘comfort box’ can be very helpful to cherish and nurture you through your time.

The comfort box principle

When your child is feeling sad or down or worried, your instinct is to wrap them up, give them a warm milky drink and a favourite teddy and settle them down with a book, or favourite DVD. This helps make them feel loved and safe and warm.

You may have heard of the expression “the inner child” – the theory is that inside each of us is our own inner child who needs some attention and love.

A comfort box is a useful way of helping you to give yourself the care that your inner child needs… just as you would to your own children.

The idea is that you find a box, bag or something big enough to put what you need into it. Then sit and think what are the things that would generally bring you comfort?

Ideally, you will put your box together when you are feeling reasonably ok – in readiness for those more difficult times. Store it somewhere safe. All is not lost if you are not able to do that, as some suggestions follow.

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My Comfort Box: These are the things I am putting in my comfort box.

  • I have made a scrapbook out of an old notepad, decorated it and used a few uplifting words as decoration on the front. Inside I will be including things like, quotes that I like, photos, pages with certain happy memories, such as a day out with photos and tickets. My daughters christening, messages from family. Old birthday card messages.. I think you get catch the drift
  • Photographs, friends, family, holidays, days out
  • A small candle & Lavender Incense stick
  • Paracetamol ( I usually get headaches with stress)
  • Pictures that My daughter has drawn
  • A printout of Time to Relax, ways to meditate any time of the day
  • Memories of My Home town for when I feel homesick (Which is Middlesbrough)

Here are some ideas to start you off, but the best box will be of you own making…

  • A soothing smell, such as vanilla or cinnamon or lavender.
  • A new candle or tea light in a small holder.
  • A favourite CD of relaxing or uplifting music.
  • Something to wrap around your shoulders to hold you tight, like a shawl, blanket or pashmina.
  • A favourite book, such as a novel, book of poems, or something from your childhood.
  • You may also have your old teddy bear, doll or cuddly.
  • Family videos or photos of good, happy times.
  • Some find chocolate helps; if so a small good quality bar of your favourite brand.
  • Some soft  hankies.

If there is space in your home – you might like to designate a comfort corner or room that has a generally more relaxing atmosphere about it.

You don’t have to wait until you are feeling dreadful before you use your ‘comfort box’ – you can use it to nurture yourself whenever you feel like a bit of care and attention.

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A Letter from Non BPD’s from a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Dear Non BPD,

You may be frustrated, feeling helpless and ready to give up. It’s not your fault. You are not the cause of our suffering, you may find that difficult to believe because we lash out at you, switch from being loving and kind to non trusting, nasty & unbearable, we may even blame you from time to time, but it’s not your fault. You deserve to understand about this condition, what we wish we could say, but we may not be ready.

It is possible that something that you said or did ‘triggered us’ A ‘trigger’ is something that sets off in our mind, A post traumatic event maybe or something that causes us to have distressing thoughts. While you can attempt to be sensitive with the things you say and do, that’s not always possible and it’s not always clear why something sets off a trigger.

The Mind is very complex, A certain song, sound, smell or words, can quickly fire of neurological connections that brings us back to a place where we didn’t feel safe and we may respond now with a similar reaction. (think of a military person who fights in combat – a simple backfiring of a car can send them into flashbacks This is known as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) This can happen a lot too us too.

But Please know at the very same time we are pushing you away with our words or behaviour, We also desperately hope you will not leave us in our time of desperation and despair.

This is Extreme ‘black and white thinking’ (Black and white thinking  is when someone is only able to see the extremes of a situation, and is unable to see the “gray areas” or complexities of the situation)  We will learn how to deal with this in therapy, but until then we may not have the proper tools to tell you this or ask for help and support.

We may do very dramatic things, such as harm ourselves in some way (or threatening to do so) going to hospital or something similar,  While these cries for help should be taken seriously, we understand that you may feel worn out from worrying about us and our repeated behaviour.

Please trust us. With professional help, and despite what you may have heard or read or have come to believe, we CAN and we DO get better.

These episodes get father and fewer between and we can experience long periods of stability and regulation of our emotions. sometimes the best you can do if you can muster up the strength in the frustration and hurt is to grab us, hug us and tell us that you love us and are not leaving.

One of the Symptoms of BPD is intense fear of being abandoned and we therefore (often unconsciously) sometimes behave in extreme, frantic ways to avoid this happening, even our perception that abandonment is going to happen can because us to become frantic.

Another thing that you may find confusing is our apparent inability to maintain relationships. We may jump from one friend to another, going from loving and idolising them to despising them- deleting their numbers and un-friending them on Facebook. We may avoid you, not answer your calls and decline invitations to be around you- and other times, all we want to do is be around you.

This is called ‘Splitting’ its another part of the disorder, sometimes we make the first move in order to protect ourselves, by disowning people before they can reject or  abandon us. Were not saying its ‘right’ We can work through this destructive pattern and learn how to be healthier when it comes to maintaining relationships. It doesn’t come naturally to us, it WILL take a lot of time and effort.

Its difficult, after all, to relate to others properly when you don’t have a solid understanding of yourself and who you are.

In BPD many of us experience identity disturbance issues, we may take on attributes of people around us, trying to find out who WE really are. sometimes we may even take on mannerisms of other people, We are one way at work, another at home, another with friends, this is how we got our nicknames as Chamelions.Some people work differently at home and work anyway, but you may not recognise us from the way we are at work to the way we are at home. it’s THAT extreme.

For some of us, in Childhood we experienced times with parents, caregiver, or other grown ups who could suddenly switch from caring or loving to abusive. We had to behave in ways that would please the caregiver at any given moment to stay safe and survive. We havent outgrown this.

Because of all this pain, we often experience feelings of emptiness. its smart for us to stay busy and distract ourselves when boredom starts to come on.

On the other side of the coin, we might have outbursts of anger that can be  scary. its important that we stay safe. It’s important that we do not hurt you or ourselves. This is just another manifestation of BPD.

Through Therapy we can learn how to regulate our emotions, so that we do not become out of control. We can learn ho to stop sabotaging our lives and circumstances. And we can learnt to behave in ways that are worrying or hurtful to you.

Another thing you may notice, is the spaced out look on our faces, this is called ‘dissociation’. Our brains literally disconnect and our thoughts go somewhere else, as our brains are trying to protect us from additional emotional trauma. We can learn grounding exercises and apply our skills to help during these episodes and they may become less frequent as we get better.

Remember that your words, love and support go a long way with helping your loved one to heal,even if the results are not immediately evident.

Not all the situations described apply to all people with BPD, a Person must only have 5 symptoms of 9 to be diagnosed, and the combinations of symptoms are seemingly endless. This post will just give you a typical understanding of BPD.

My Hope is that you will gain insight into your loved ones condition, grow in compassion and understand for both your loved one AND yourself. This is not an easy road but it CAN and WILL get better.

Do NOT read the negative  BPD forums or BPD hate forums, unfortunately there are people out there that don’t understand and are not willing to try. I would refrain from taking to going to these forums and bashing someone based on their mental health diagnosis.

WE ARE NOT MONSTERS. Everyone of us  is doing our best with the tools that we have.

Thanks for Reading.

BPD.

I originally found this letter on a website ‘Healing from BPD’ I felt it explained it quite well and I used some of the original and added a few items and words I felt were relevant to myself and my personal diagnosis. I hope you enjoyed reading it, I will post the original letter & blog site it came from when I set up Friends of Bridget Of The North’ Page 🙂