Who hasn’t gone through heartache– the kind that makes you feel like life can’t possibly go on, or at least EVER, EVER be the same. Of course, it will go on… and, hopefully, you will be better for the experiences you’ve been through. But, how do you get from HERE to HAPPINESS?
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We saw this whole cycle play out recently with Katy Perry. Behind her colorful and bubbly pop personality, Perry has had her share of relationship darkness and pain. She recently opened up about the devastating early days after her separation from outrageous comedian Russell Brand. The two divorced in December 2011 after 14 months of marriage. Katy’s new album “Prism” includes one song about her suicidal thoughts after the break-up. The lyrics demonstrate how consuming the end of a relationship can be, and how difficult it sometimes is to imagine life without that other person. It also shows that no matter who you are, even if you are a celebrity, a star shining bright, your light can still go out when you feel rejected or abandoned, or that you have lost the person you think might be the love of your life. How then do you find what you need to go on with your life and mend a broken heart? Books and books have been written about this, but here are a few quick tools to help you start to get back on your feet.
The first step you can take toward healing is to know that, even though it may seem like forever, time does help to ease and heal pain. Allow yourself time to grieve with the knowledge that each passing minute, hour, and day is helping you get closer to feeling better. What is important to keep in mind is that while it may seem you can’t get over it, you can get on with it.
This leads to the second step, which is to get on with the business of your life. This is part of the process of moving forward, and even though it takes a genuine effort, you want to begin to put yourself out there again. Reach out to friends and family for support and companionship. Think ahead and begin to plan activities so that you are not spending too much time alone, especially when it comes to the weekend. This can feel daunting; when you are upset it is hard to go out and engage with other people. Think of it the way you would think of going to the gym – you want to keep building and strengthening your emotional muscles for coping so that they can get stronger. Balance out your sadness by staying connected and being involved with others. That will also help distract you from your painful memories. Focus on the present and what new things you will do, rather than on the past and what old things you’ve done.
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Along those lines, the third tip is to start anew and forge a fresh start. Try different restaurants. Change the type of movies you see; if you always went to romantic movies– try action or comedy. Consider learning a new activity: playing bridge or going hiking. By pushing yourself to do these things you open the door to not only making new acquaintances but new friends as well. Maybe you didn’t ask for this experience of heartache, but it can actually become an opportunity. It is a chance to enhance your independence and freedom of choice. It is an unusual time when you can do exactly what you want to do free from sharing or balancing someone else’s preferences. Even if you feel anxious, nudge yourself. You are already out of your comfort zone with the break-up, so by trying something you wouldn’t have done in the past, you might be surprised to find that you like it.
Katy is now dating musician and noted playboy John Mayer. Though famous for his peppered dating history, the pair have some creative compatibility. She calls him a “genius” and reports say that her new single Unconditionally is a love song written just for him. It has been a long road, but she’s found her heart again. In the same way that Katy has rebuilt her self-esteem, you can, too. The most important thing to keep in mind during this time of healing is to be open to making new things happen.
Thanks, technicolorrain, for the image.
Dr. Jane Greer is a nationally renowned relationship expert, marriage and family therapist, author, blogger, and radio host. She is creator of “Shrink Wrap with Dr. Jane Greer,” a media commentary on what we can learn from the trials and triumphs of celebrity relationships as seen on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and in Metro. She is a regular contributor to GalTime, Cupid’s Pulse and her weekly radio show “Doctor On Call” features actors, authors, bloggers, scientists, doctors and more. Her popular call-in show “Let’s Talk Sex,” airing the last Tuesday of each month @HealthyLife.net, features sex experts and cutting-edge conversations on sex and intimacy. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, and follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy. For more on Dr. Greer, visit https://www.drjanegreer.com.
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