It’s Important To Allow Yourself To Grieve A Breakup, Explains A Therapist On Twitter
Painful breakups are common and almost each one of us has gone through this emotional mess. If you have been in love it gets even more difficult. But what do we even know about being in love? I feel even relationships that weren’t official lead to painful breakups. It’s a big change because all that love and emotional support you were used to, has ceased. Even if you fought every day, the mere absence of an individual who occupied such a major chunk of your mental space has moved on, is such a time of fumbling.
It hurts and you don’t know how to deal with the pain. I mean, there isn’t really anything you can do about the situation. Neither can you numb your heart. All those shots you had, beers you chugged in five bars do nothing to heal your ailing heart. Not for long at least.
The comic tragedy of this whole situation is that we go through a lot of grief. We even assume so strongly that love will never happen again. I have said it so many times that now even I don’t believe me. And while we are a total mess, we kinda have to keep a straight face and act as if nothing has happened. Considering our parents didn’t even know we were dating, how do we tell them about our breakup? And then even if you do, it’s not like mental health has ever been a concept in Indian families.
A Twitter user whose bio reveals him to be a therapist has expert insights on breakups and the thread went viral in no time. Omar Bazza wrote how so many people ask him about dealing with breakups and he decided to address the issue on a social media platform.
He explained how breakups shouldn’t be seen as trivial, “When it comes to breakup, intense pain and symptoms of depression are to be expected. This is because breakups are akin to grief. Despite the person not passing away, we lose the person we are closest to, the one we have shared a lot of our life with. Suddenly, that relationship is gone, we are no longer in touch with them and we lost them the way we knew them.”
It’s important we understand that we are going through grief and find healthy ways of dealing with it. But the first step has to be acknowledging the fact that you’re grieving instead of acting all indifferent. “Similarly to grief, it is going to take a long time to completely recover from a breakup. We go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance),” Omar wrote.
However, he pointed out that it’s not necessary that these stages will happen in that order. Emotions are complex and the phases of grieving not linear. You may feel okay one day and still bargaining the next day. But you just gotta keep pedalling forward. Omar explained, “What we are not told is that we don’t go through these stages in a linear way. We can regress fast or go forward sometimes many times a day. That’s still relatively normal when it comes to breakups.”
He pointed out that while we all grieve it’s possible that a breakup can cause a clinical problem. “However, in certain cases, it can turn into a full blown mental illness. This can happen for multiple reasons. First, we may be predisposed to depression/anxiety and the breakup triggers that first episode, which means that it will require treatment. Second, the relationship could have had forms of abuse in which case, we become conflicted because we may remember the good moments but also the impact of the trauma, which can make us doubt ourselves a lot.” In such scenarios, it’s important to seek help and even let your loved ones know what you are going through.
breakup triggers that first episode, which means that it will require treatment. Second, the relationship could have had forms of abuse in which case, we become conflicted because we may remember the good moments but also the impact of the trauma, which can make us doubt
— Omar Bazza (@bazzapower) August 2, 2020
So how do we heal from a difficult breakup? Apparently, time will heal you if you let it. “However, in most cases, the only thing that will help is time. Similar to grief, time is important. We need to give ourselves time to grieve and feel the pain that happens post breakup. Oftentimes, I will get a message about a break up that happened just last week and wondering what they can do to move on. One week is not nearly enough. Not even one month. Nothing can replace the time that it takes to move on,” Omar explained.
I completely agree! We need to accept the situation and not beat ourselves up for feeling melancholy. It’s okay to be sad; your feelings are valid. The only way to get over grief is to go through it. He further explained, “Think about it this way. You lose a person who filled so much of your day, that you spent a lot of time and energy on. You won’t suddenly find something else to replace that emotional loss and the time that you spent with them. It takes time to rebuild our life as single people and to focus on ourselves. We can’t takes shortcuts there.”
He warned that if this lasts longer than a year it could mean there’s more damage to cure and you need more than time to heal. “However, if it lasts more than 1 years or 18 months, then we definitely need some form of treatment because that could be a full blown depressive or trauma episode.”
mental health issues. I hope that this thread clarifies what happens post breakup a little bit. But again, it can be complicated depending on other factors and we need to keep that in mind.
— Omar Bazza (@bazzapower) August 2, 2020
Omar concluded by asking people to not bottle up their feelings or being in denial about grief. He asserted that acceptance will help people avoid the pain which can return later. “One last thing: it is important not to repress emotions. If we try to just move on and not feel the pain now, it is going to come back to bite us later on in the form of mental health issues. I hope that this thread clarifies what happens post breakup a little bit. But again, it can be complicated depending on other factors and we need to keep that in mind,” he concluded.
It may not always be possible to grieve at home, openly. But take your breakup like any grief and handle it without trivialising it. Don’t feel like you’re a loser for crying over a guy. It’s natural and time must be taken to heal.