This is the fourth (and likely final) series of “break ups” related posts. Writing about all of this has strangely helped my thoughts a lot, and also visiting Montreal has helped a ton too.
To view the whole series, click HERE. As I’m feeling a lot better, this fourth post in the Break Ups series will much more positive.
Embracing The Pain Through Exercise
One thing which really helps a break up is HARD exercise. Since my tough break up I’ve ran more laps around the neighborhood than ever before, and also have taken up rigorous yoga training.
I can now “invert” for at least 15 seconds. Inversion is when you hold your whole body up with just your hands!
This makes me extremely happy because I wanted to achieve this goal in 6 months, but instead I achieved it in 1-2 months! Once I got over the mental hurdle and believed in my arms a bit more, it became extremely easy.
Before running & doing yoga I was completing an “alpha shred” program to make my arms & chest bigger. I can’t remember how I stopped doing it, but somehow it happened, specifically when I started yoga.
Doing intense exercise seems to be the “magic bullet” for break up recovery, especially if you combine it with periods of intense socialization.
Sometimes when I run a high number of laps around the neighborhood, I began to feel emotions coming up and it’s so nice just to release it all out during the run. Listening to sad songs doesn’t slow me down- it speeds me up, strangely.
Running specifically is very healthy for the brain and pumps your body full of endorphins, which basically makes you feel very high. For whatever reason, it aids in the release of emotion for me too. For others, I think I’ve heard the same.
Also, the high created from the endorphins + achievement make it easier to embrace the pain. Rather than a total dark cloud over your mind you at least have a little high buzzing in the back as the tears flow.
Let The Tears Flow
I’ve observed that some of my best days since the break up have been days where I start out with crying a lot. I also received some great advice on this, which is: start every day listening to sad music and let yourself cry as much as possible, until you can cry no more, then tackle the day, hard. Soon there will be no more emotion to release.
Readers who have responded (thank you!) have told me they too struggle with allowing themselves to cry. I’ve learned in life that true strength is embracing your emotional pain, letting it flow out, and then returning to balance.
It seems that there is a certain amount of pain which needs to be released- let’s say for example pain level 500. Every day you can release max 20 pain. When you start the day crying and letting it out, you get out the max 20 pain, and so the day is actually awesome. There is still a nagging heartbreak feeling.
Another thing which helps is screaming, punching things (not animals or people or valuables please), and I haven’t tried it yet but one friend recommended buying a lot of fruit and destroying it in the desert. That sounds awesome, and I haven’t done it yet.
Apparently in Phoenix there is also “destruction” centers where you can pay by the hour to just break random shit. That sounds awesome! I’ve been in Montreal, and haven’t done this yet, but now I’m back in Phoenix and may seriously consider destroying some fruit alone or with a friend.
Forward Movement & Improvement
As I wrote in one of the previous break ups posts sometimes you don’t even feel like you’re improving in life, when actually you are. For example I’ve made the most amount of $ I have in my whole life in the past couple months, yet I don’t even feel good about it.
I have my motorcycle driver’s license (finally), I’ve become very fit through yoga, I’ve been able to fully invert for 15 seconds, and I’ve learned SO much about myself, personality theory, and more!
Some days are just tough, but you must keep the forward movement & progress going. Break ups are a huge chance to re-invent yourself.
I think that you take a little part of your ex with you, and feeling that part die is what is so painful about it. It creates a hole which you have to fill up with a part of you, a part of you which you must create because you gave a part to your ex, who is letting that part of you die also.
Recently I’ve been feeling better. I think traveling to Montreal for 2 weeks really helped. It was super inspiring, exciting, etc. and it helped me believe in myself more again.
When I came back the first thing I did was buy a one-way ticket to Bali, Indonesia. I had always wanted to go but always had excuses. I wanted to make the relationship work and don’t regret that, but now I deserve to be happy, as do you.
You must create forward movement, and also be present to the moment and look to the future.
The Pain Follows You
And you can’t escape the pain. I knew I couldn’t escape the pain in Montreal so even though I was creating forward movement I still accepted all that was inside of me.
I don’t expect myself to feel perfectly awesome in Bali, but I’m there to do what I wanted to do and right now is the best moment.
The pain will be there, no matter what you do. Wherever you go, there you are. No matter what you do it is there. You are the only thing which is everywhere because you are by your own side at all times.
Moving on is a mix of emotional release while also moving forward and trying to be as happy as possible anyways. You need both. You can’t deny your emotions, but you shouldn’t wallow in them and not create your new life.
Was It… For Better?
The theory behind every break up is that it is for better. One or both partners think that they’d be more satisfied with something else, and so it is supposed to “free” both partners so that they may find what works with them.
It’s still hard for me to say it was for better because of how deep my feelings for my ex ran. A part of me doesn’t want to admit that there’s no turning back, that moving on is really the best choice.
In that way, I am an idealist. Actually, I am 100% an idealist according to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (NF types). Having friends that are opposites (SJ types) helps a lot because they tend to be more grounded in “what was.”
They remind me that my boundaries were crossed and that there’s no going back because she wasn’t willing to listen & improve and care for my emotions from what she did. Neither of us were perfect and bad circumstances also contributed.
At the same time, “bad circumstances” could actually mean “not meant to be.” Real couples have to go through real challenges- we failed the challenges of life at that time.
No point in blaming anyone, it is as it is. A lot of the mourning I’ve done has been over “what could’ve been,” or mourning “her best self,” instead of the actual experiences that I had.
The memories were shared were great and I am a better person, and will continue to be a better person, as a result of that relationship. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be “always and forever,” as we so hoped.
Real relationships take a ton of effort. This one taught me a lot.
Perhaps, it was for better to split paths. The pain sucks but sometimes you have to go through it and sometimes it’s the only way to improve.
It really sucks we can’t all just match with “the one” to start with! That’s how it is though.
One thing which has really helped with moving on is listening to happy, break-up recovery type songs.
This song captures my feelings for my ex- “there were too many lines crossed, you can’t change the past; oh but sometimes I still wish I could take you back.”
Me & my ex actually spoke after the break up, and flirted with the idea of fixing things. The problem was I didn’t feel listened to, or cared for, or that she understood how I was hurt. I let her tell me everything I did wrong, and used that information to improve.
I had become “the bad guy” who had to “make things right,” and then I realized this had become a small pattern in the relationship- when she made mistakes, she said I “struggled to forgive,” or that I was “reactive,” but when I did I had to “do something,” which was often taking a late-night taxi to “make things right.”
I got tired of that- I wanted to feel cared for, that she wanted me to feel good, too. Perhaps I could’ve “won her back” by “doing something,” but ultimately it would then be a relationship where my feelings weren’t validated.
This song is inspiring & uplifting. It reminds you to “don’t be so hard on yourself.” I made some mistakes too and wasn’t perfect. It was too easy for me to self-attack and blame everything on myself. I too quickly took the role of being responsible for everything, without acknowledging her faults and bad circumstances.
It also reminds me it’s okay to feel bad, and you shouldn’t get down on yourself for your faults.
It just sounds happy too, it’s impossible not to want to dance to it! It reminds me that there’s a new life to be had, a life of freedom, excitement, and adventure. No need to get down on yourself for your faults, or for the pain.
My favorite line is “learn to forgive, learn to let go…”
Speaking of forgiveness, it’s super important in break ups. Everyone makes mistakes- including you. You have to forgive them, forgive yourself, and forgive the situation.
In doing so I can enjoy the memories with my ex without getting attached to wanting them to still be. Being an idealist it’s easy for me to idealize her, but then for the pendulum to swing the other way and focus on the faults and lose perspective of how she is both amazing and hurtful.
Now I feel balanced- I really respect our memories & great times. I do see the best in her, and I genuinely hope she finds it. I hope she improves and heals. All that being said, I set the boundary down now and refuse to be hurt in certain ways. I also now know what I really want in a relationship, more specifically- for example more communication, respect, and improvement.
This song is just great! I haven’t looked up the lyrics but it’s generally positive. Same thing- break up, moving on, etc. A great song to dance to.
Finally, I am feeling some fresh air. I’m back in Phoenix and feeling happy with things as they are.
No need to get into a future moment, just need to enjoy the present experience of life…
Even if the wounds are deep, time heals, and there is better waiting.
I think finally I feel myself healing (though, I won’t be surprised if next week I’m super sad, sometimes you’re all over the place). The little () aside, the healing feels genuine.
No matter how dark the cloud, we do move on, and we do heal.
P.S. And I’m very excited to explore Bali!!