Breakups are hard and anyone that says otherwise should be asked to sit in a corner and think about their actions! Seriously though, it is hard and even harder if you have a history of depression or a mood disorder.
Even when a relationship is no longer healthy or safe, breakups can be very painful because it signifies a loss; not just of the relationship, but also of the plans and commitments you shared. Most romantic relationships begin with excitement, freshness, and hopes for the future and when it fails, it is natural to experience disappointment, stress and/or grief.
It can toss you into unfamiliar terrain, cause a disruption to your routine, home, work, relationships with family and friends and even your identity. It also brings with it an uncertainty about the future, you begin to wonder and ask yourself questions;
- What will my life be without my partner?
- Will I ever find someone else?
- Will I end up alone?
These unknowns can often seem worse but trust me when I say you are better off trying to figure these questions (and some more) on your own than holding on to a failing or long dead relationship.
Breakups have the potential of flipping your world upside down whilst triggering a plethora of emotions, it can also be a difficult time as it may seem like your life is falling apart. It is mostly accompanied by an increased emotional state i.e. sadness, crying etc. all of these can be termed as normal reactions after a breakup but it is also important to recognize the symptoms of depression.
This sadness, disruption, and uncertainty all go to show that recovering from a breakup can be difficult and you need to take your time, I mean take as much time as YOU need, not what society/ people think is the appropriate length of time. It is also important to constantly remind yourself that you will get through the experience and come out stronger.
So how do you deal with a breakup while coping with depression? I will share my tried and tested methods as well as share people’s experiences and my own observations.
- Exercise: Remember what they say about revenge body and all? Well even if you don’t exercise to get back at them (which you shouldn’t in the first place), exercising is great for your body and even better for your mental health. It is known fact that physical activities help in boosting one’s energy levels and increase of endorphins aka “happy hormones” which will, in turn, improve your mood. 2014/2015 were great years for me, Chai! I exercised my feelings away in that Virgin Active close to my house, my clothes, body, emotions thanked me a lot for it!
- Don’t ignore how you’re feeling. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated, confused etc. and trust me when I say these feelings can become intense. Accept them, feel them. I understand that these emotions are sometimes painful but attempting to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the healing process. Don’t forget we are already coping with depression and by now should realize that suppressing our emotions is unhealthy for our mental wellbeing. Always remember that they will lessen with time so go through the grieving process.
- Keep busy: I discovered so many fun activities I could do without spending money or exerting myself a lot and I saw myself blossom again. I went to the park with my friends, we would go see movies, I would go on long walks, dance on the road and just find ways to take my mind off certain feelings as I knew dwelling on them would sink me into further depression. Rediscover things that make you happy, those things that the depression and breakup may have suppressed; read a book while lying on a blanket in a park, do some DIY art, explore hobbies and keep your mind occupied etc. and you’ll see yourself gradually feel better mentally and physically.
- Talk about how you’re feeling. As someone coping with depression, this is a tool you should constantly hone; identify safe people you can talk to no matter how difficult the conversation or process might seem to you. Find a way to talk to someone; there is a level of comfort knowing that someone is aware of how you feel, it can make you feel less alone in your journey to full recovery. Writing is another way to talk about how you are feeling; this is very cathartic. Get a journal, open a word document or my personal favourite; Google Docs. I use it because I know I can always pick up where I stop especially as I write when I’m most vulnerable and sometimes cannot be bothered to save the document. So on that note, I will be ending the first part of this post with something I wrote a few months ago when I was feeling extremely down. I hope it shows you that you are not alone and with each passing day, you will get better.
It’s okay to cry
Sometimes what I feel gets so intense that only crying can aptly express them.
Each heart-wrenching sob representing things I cannot put into words, the tears streaming down my face as I frantically try to wipe them away.
Anger mismatched with sadness and a touch of subtle but intense frustration.
Why can’t I seem to form my thoughts into words? My words into articulate sounds.
I don’t think it’s okay anymore…
That ache; dull yet sharp, subtle yet intense.
The ache that won’t go away, it gathers momentum with each deep breath I take as I try to catch my breath.
Do I have to breathe?
Can I cry in peace?
Silence, respite, it’s all over.
Then you remember.
And it all starts all over again….
That’s it for this week, please share your experiences, coping tips with me in the comment section. I will also appreciate your suggestions on topics you will love me to write about, you know so I don’t keep throwing about my own matter every time ☺