Are you healed or distracted?

Hi – this post has been getting a lot of hits. I wish you luck with your healing. Please also check out my other posts and let me know if you have any suggestions / topics. 🙂

Yesterday, I had the urge to go to a lake by my work. I left work on time finishing up all my emails and tasks and happily headed to a lake. It was a bit past sunset and the lake was a beautiful hue of dark blue. There were birds floating peacefully through the water and a lot of people running and walking by. I strolled around the pathway passing by all sorts of faces. I sat in a park bench in the cold and just looked at the Denver skyline and I felt relaxed…I felt at peace. I wanted a mental break – a moment of peace – and I got it. I hadn’t felt this peaceful since my breakup so, I was feeling zen (or so I thought).

After about 15 minutes of this pure bliss, I went to my car to head back home. 10 minutes into the ride, I started crying uncontrollably. I hadn’t cried in weeks but, somehow my emotions overwhelmed me. I had gone through a heartbreak a few months ago, so I knew the pain was still there. I just did not know how desperately my pain wanted to be heard. All my emotional pain was spilling out in the car ride. I went from feeling shame and guilt for how I let myself be treated to feeling soul crushingly hurt. No matter how much I tried,  I could not stop crying. This outburst of emotions left me feeling confused and frustrated. Hadn’t I been through this already? Hadn’t I made peace with my relationship ending? The more I asked myself these questions, the more my heart said no. I had suppressed these emotions through distractions so deep down that I had confused the state of being distracted for healing.

We’re told to handle breakups by cutting our hair, focusing on our jobs, maybe even moving to a new city. That was what I was doing. I was focused on work more than ever, I was teaching myself how to code and I felt like I was the queen of breakups. Deep down what I was really doing was distracting myself. From the moment I woke up to the time I went to sleep, I had an escape. Either through work, studying, social media, Netflix, or even reading – I had an escape. I did not give myself a minute of me. The person closest to me, myself, was nowhere to be found.  I had no time for thoughts, feelings, happiness and especially not pain. I distracted myself to the point of extreme shunning of anything internal….anything real.

It is human nature to avoid pain and uncomfortable situations. Our brains are designed to protect us from pain. Protection in the form of distraction led me to confuse distraction with healing. Not giving myself the time to feel my painful emotions did not mean that they ceased to exist – they just kept being suppressed. I asked myself if I was healed or if I just distracted? Had I worked through my pain or had I just shoved it to the innermost corners that will most likely erupt one day?

This realization has made me realize how important it is to be alone and to hear your voice. Alone does not mean eating ice cream and watching Netflix (although, there is time for that as well). Alone means staying with your emotions and feeling them authentically no matter how painful or burdensome. It is allowing yourself to have the quiet and peace where you can check in with yourself. It truly means time spent alone in the quiet, in nature, or in a place where you do not have any external stimuli (podcasts, reading, TV, music etc). All of these things are positive and deserve their own time but, these things do not let us be fully with ourselves. The time spent alone in reflection can lead to true healing – to healing that is honest and authentic and not created out of insecurity and avoidance. Once we remove distractions, we can begin to work through our pain and find ways to mend it.  This honest admission of pain can lead us to healing.

I encourage you to take some time to be alone with your own thoughts. Let that moment with yourself be a guide towards your healing and wellbeing.

Is Closure a Requirement?

Closure.

You probably have heard of that at some point in your life. Maybe you got your heartbroken and spent many nights wanting for closure. Or, maybe you broke someone’s heart and they requested you for a closure that you weren’t able to provide. Both parts are difficult and wanting closure is a very normal thing.

A lot of conversations about breakups revolve around closure. People often say things like “of course you’re hurt, you didn’t have any closure!” which leads us to believe that closure will be the key to fixing our broken heart. We look for closure as if it will provide a light to our darkness and maybe some sort of remedy to our pain. We seek that explanation that would fix everything – a neat conclusion to our story that would allow us to turn the page and move on.

But, that isn’t reality. Our world is not black and white. Any explanation that is provided will not suffice and will not be enough to move on.

That leads us to think, is closure imperative to move on?  Is it like the final ribbon we need to add to our relationship to completely wrap it up and be done with it? Will it alleviate our heartbreak?

I am here to tell you that closure is not real and you do not need closure to move on. And, even better than that – that is a GOOD thing.

Not requiring closure puts you in control. You are not waiting for permission from someone to be able to move on. You can do that all by yourself.

When I think of my previous relationship, there are times where I have wanted to ask my ex for a closure. I wanted to send that text and wait for a response. I wanted to ask why or how could he move on so quickly. But, the more honest I was with myself – the more I realized that what I wanted was not closure, what I wanted was contact. I was holding on to some type of relationship that I still had with my ex. That request for closure would lead to a conversation and would reassure me that at one point we did have something. It would ensure that even if he was not in my life anymore, I could still hold on to some shred of relationship that we had together.

So, whenever you want closure – ask yourself – do you want closure or do you want contact?

Are you doing everything in your power to have some type of relationship with your ex? Even if it is toxic, one-sided, and painful – are you holding on to that as a way of reassuring yourself that you are still a part of their life? If so, please give yourself permission to let go. Tell yourself that you are more than capable of moving on from something without a formal closure. That you have all the tools that you need to let go of a relationship.

Overall, please be reassured that you do not need contact with your ex to survive. You can gracefully let go of a relationship. It seems difficult but, it is the best thing you can do for yourself and also for your ex. Imagine you wanting to let go of a relationship and someone forcing you to stay in it. How difficult would that be for you? Give the gift of grace & let them freely live their life. They deserve to do that and in return, you will be free to live your life in your own accord.

Healing is a choice & closure is not required here at all.

An App for Heartbreak?

After going through a fairly terrible heartbreak this Summer, I was on a quest to find a solution. I am a fairly logical person and I think break-ups are a part of life. Still, an end of a 6 year relationship was too devastating to use logic (even for me). I spent a lot of my time googling “how to get over a heartbreak” and listening to countless hours of YouTube videos. Some of them advocated for posting your best selfies in Instagram to show how well you’re doing without your ex and some just concluded only time could heal wounds.

I didn’t like either of those ways.

Yes, time is the only thing that heals breakups but, there are ways to cope with it that are much more healthier. Break-up is an obstacle we face that may cause us to feel extreme emotional pain. This pain needs to be taken seriously and be dealt with in the most healthiest way possible.

That is when I found Mend. Mend is a self-care app that helps people with heartbreak. Each day you go into the app and listen to a snippet that explains how we may be feeling. The person who reads the snippet to you has the most soothing voice ever (which helps). Mend was created by Elle Huerta who herself went through a difficult break-up and wanted a more healthier and better way to deal with heartbreak. And, she’s a Latina. Like, how perfect? 🙂

I have been using Mend for over a week and it truly helps me start my day off correctly. Whenever I listen to the daily lesson, it reminds me that my pain is not unprecedented. We all have gone through similar pains and heartbreaks. We have all dealt with difficulties. Although there might not be a pill to take and completely bypass our feelings – there are healthier ways to deal with heartbreaks. You do not have to succumb to resentment or anger and you can actually learn to be grateful for your ex (plays thank u, next by Ariana Grande).

Mend helps me take a better approach to heartbreak. I do not want to be a victim. I do not want to be bitter. I want to let go of my relationship gracefully with love and kindness. That is exactly what Mend is helping me do.

Despite all this, it would be careless for me to not mention how difficult the process actually is. There are days where I fall victim to the occasional social media stalking. There are days I cry myself to sleep at night. There are many days where I have to catch myself from crying at my desk at work. The pain is real and that is okay. We can accept the pain and treat the pain with kindness and love. We can embrace the pain and use healthy tools like Mend to help us heal in the way.

Happy healing.

Mend: https://www.letsmend.com/

Elle Huerta: https://www.instagram.com/ellenhuerta/?hl=en

Not anyway sponsored by Mend…..I wish though =)

Facebook is making me sad?

In this world and age, heartbreak goes alongside Facebook. We cannot talk about getting over a breakup without mentioning social media. Going through a fairly bad break-up and seeing my ex get engaged has been a whirlwind. One smart thing I did was that I deleted my Facebook. I was feeling great. I was moving on. I was feeling super zen. I was empathetic and even grateful . But, this weekend I made the mistake of logging back into my Facebook. Facebook was almost a trigger for me. Once I logged in, I went through the normal process of looking through my ex’s profile and people he’s close to. I saw something I didn’t like and the negative spiraling began again. I found myself feeling unworthy and going back into that phase that I worked so hard to avoid. I didn’t want to feel sad anymore. I didn’t want to relive the scenarios and think of “what ifs’” again. I just wanted to move on but, going back on Facebook intensified my negative feelings. It made me feel unworthy, sad and depressed again. It reinstated my negative though pattern and loop and I found myself going back to imagining my ex with his new significant other. It drove me crazy. This happened on a Sunday and last night after work, I felt the worst I have felt in awhile.

That Monday, I had gone to the gym, I ate properly, I worked, I applied to jobs, I read for 30 mins and practiced my gratitude. But, at night all my negative emotions came back rushing in. I found myself praying to God to make the pain go away. To make it a bit easier on me. I didn’t know where these emotions were coming from but, I can tie it back to logging into Facebook again. It started on Sunday and yesterday, it just got so much worse. The loop of negative feelings were back to when I first started my healing process.

I deleted my Facebook again and I am still working through feeling better. Like my post from yesterday says, progress is not linear. We cannot expect it to be. It requires constant effort and betterment. I am trying to do just that. It’s not easy but, I hope I will get there someday. I can’t wait till one day I look back on this and it becomes a faint memory that has helped me become a better and a stronger person.