Breakup Survival Secret: Using Catharsis to Make Yourself Whole Again
Getting over a broken heart is not easy. Most people turn to “coping tricks” that turn out to be more destructive than the breakup process itself. The most dangerous consequences of using these “tricks” are actually disastrous. Some people get buried in addictions, in hopes of forgetting their pain and the void that loneliness and the emptiness created by the departure of a loved one.
Whether the loved one died or left you, it doesn’t matter. I believe we all go through what Elizabeth Kübler-Ross called the “Five Stages of Bereavement”. According to her, we go through denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. We may skip some stages, and sometimes we may go through the stages in different orders. However, one thing is clear: that if we do not deal with the hurt and the pain, and process it in a way that we are comfortable, the issue, the pain, and the memories all crop up, and we would have to deal with it in a later stage in our lives. Psychologists call this avoidance of dealing with the pain “repression”. And as noted Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud and other psychoanalysts who followed him believe, repression would only result in mental disorders, unless dealt with properly.
Scary, right? But before you reach for that mouse to look for a psychologist in your area, let me tell you that you do not need a shrink to deal with your hurting heart. Yes, it is possible to process the pain of a breakup on your own.
One method of processing pain is catharsis. The New Oxford Dictionary of English says that catharsis is: “the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief, from strong or repressed emotions”. There is a long history of the methods of catharsis, from the one used under hypnosis by Josef Breuer, to the ones used today, some of which involve massage and other techniques. However, there is one thing that’s basic in this tool. And truly, you can use it on your own to process your pain, and move on to acceptance.
So you break up. So you go boo-hoo for an entire week. Does that solve that? Definitely not. It may take you weeks. It may take you months. In fact, it may even take you years, to get over your (grr) ex. The cathartic method does not promise to speed up the healing. In fact, it’s not recommended for the faint of heart. It has proven to heal people almost completely, however. The completeness of the healing only depends on you. How much do you want to process of the pain? Or is the pain too great that you would rather forget about it?
Now to the secret. It is actually very simple. Talk.
No, I’m not telling you to go talk to and bore everyone about every single time she showed up late. Or about every single instance that she would chat animatedly about her ex. I’m telling you to… Talk to yourself.
No, I don’t mean talking to yourself out loud, unless you’re comfortable with it. I mean, whenever the memories come up and the pain stabs you sightless again and again, seize that moment to:
When you’ve had enough, tell yourself: “I forgive myself for…” and tell yourself what you want to forgive yourself for. Be it for the decision you made to love him, or for that time you forgot to buy her the bag of potato chips that she asked for. Forgive yourself for everything you can ever think of, until you can’t remember anything else.
Simple, right? You can do this every time that you think about your breakup, or you can set around 15 minutes every day to do this. Doing this does not guarantee that you will never think about the person or everything that happened. But this really cleanses you, and leaves you healed from the pain. It worked for me. Hope it works for you too.