Heartbreak: Two Years Later

I cannot believe it has been two years. 2018 seems just a few days away. I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. I felt so small, so weak, so vulnerable. I remember, even at my wits end, wanting to please and make you happy. Why did I do that? I wish I was angrier, more upset, less concerned with how this was impacting you and more concerned with my own well-being. I wasn’t. I was the last thing on my mind. As I sat there and cried, I didn’t think it’d be the last time I’d see you. But, it was. I didn’t see you again. I had taken all my clothes, all my belongings, and left. You didn’t try to come see me. Nor, did you contact me again. The only time you contacted me was a few months later, in September, when you texted me to say that you were getting engaged (I cannot help but, laugh at this situation now because, it’s hilarious to me for some weird reason lol). I remember crying in my office (the huddle room) looking at Confluence Park. Now, I look back and feel a bit of relief at that moment. I cried for many days after that. I have come to accept that I move a bit slow through life. I don’t make haste decisions nor do I rush into things. This is good at times but, at times – it makes things prolong for way too long (like our relationship, for example). So, I didn’t go into an illusion of “okayness” right away. I didn’t lie to myself that I was good. I did rely on some of my vices (working and studying something I have no interest in). I got into “law of attraction” which is frankly overused and oversaid 2 years later. I attempted to pray. After, studying and working and still feeling super lost – I did the most privileged thing someone could do. I booked a trip to Spain, France, and Morocco. The trip was fun but, the most important thing it did for me was that it gave me TIME to think. I wasn’t working 50+ hours a week and trying to learn how to fucking code so, I could actually sit down and think… I thought about a lot of shit apparently cause, I realized how painfully broken I was. How six years with you and whittled me completely. How taking care of you was exhausting. How affirming you for every single insecurity left me completely drained. I ignored these things before. I put you in some sort of an imaginary pedestal that I had created. How can someone I have loved be draining? My ego is the “size of  house” like Drake would say that someone I loved had to be a moral standard for a human being. I had also learned to live in your shadows. You always came first. Your work was always more stressful – your ambitions always more important than mine. I was working a full time job, helping my parents, studying part-time for a Masters, and still managing to take care of your physical and emotional needs. I did not deserve that bullshit. I realize that now. And, when I came back from my trip – I must have been on to something because, I seeked for help. I found a therapist and called her crying. I started seeing her every week. Every single week I paid $160 dollars (which was a fucking lot for me). I cried to her, I thought about my feelings for once, I started journaling, I still attempted to pray, and I cried the most I have ever cried. In the midst of this, you called. You called crying because the woman you married wasn’t here. I was still sympathetic – talking to you like you were the victim of the situation. I didn’t take long to realize that you only saw yourself as the victim. You weren’t upset about hurting me but, you just wanted reassurance that I wasn’t hurt for your own sake. You mostly complained about how you were having a hard time dealing with changes in your life. You defended your significant other to me while, talking her down at the same time. It greatly annoys me when a man talks negatively about a woman. Even if she is your wife – I found myself empathizing more with her than you. I didn’t give a damn about how you felt and your presence actually annoyed me. I care about how she would feel knowing she married such a coward of a man. I hoped you learned to treat her properly and I hoped you had grown up so, she wouldn’t have to do the work of reassuring, affirming, and building you up. Maybe not, as you’re older than her – hopefully more mature. Maybe I carried my burdens easily so, you felt good adding on to it without thought or care. You never saw me as an equal which made it easier for you to mistreat me. I understand this now and I don’t feel anger. Although, I don’t think there is anything to forgive – I feel less of a burden now. When you called me, I could have continued to keep in touch – to salvage a type of friendship or relationship (which, at the time, I so longed to do) but, there was no friendship there to begin with. Friendships are not one-way transactions where one person gives and gives and the other takes without regards. Friendships feel good and they re-energize you, they do not leave you depleted. I can be honest about my thoughts about you and my experiences of you now. For so long, I was defensive and wanted the memories to be “good” and wanted to avoid admitting that I got mistreated. It’s not a glorious feeling to admit as a woman but, I think it’s important to be honest to ourselves. We have all given too much to people who didn’t deserve us. We have been hurt, beyond words, by people who didn’t deserve our love. I am good enough to admit that I am hurt. I will probably continue for a bit more (remember, how I do things slowly!). I am getting there though and I know it’ll only get easier from this point forward.

 

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.

Self-Love Equals Enlightenment?

Self-love comes up over and over again when you’re trying to get over a heartbreak. People will tell you that to love someone else – you must love yourself. It is cliché but, for a reason. Self-love is crucial to not only fixing your heartbreak but, also to being at peace with yourself. If you think about it, you are the most constant thing in your life. You have your family and your community but, your relationship to these external factor depend solely on your relationship to yourself. We should put as much effort to our relationship to self as we do to external relationships.

Recently, I watched a video by Teal Swan on YouTube. She talks about how self-love is the shortest path to enlightenment. She encourages everyone to ask this one question whenever you are faced with a decision: “What would someone who loves themselves do?” This question should be the guiding factor in how we treat ourselves.

What would someone who loves themselves do after a heartbreak? Would they wallow in their pain or would they try to move on gracefully? What would someone who loves themselves do with their finances? Would they spend recklessly or only make mindful purchases?

This question can be a guiding factor in how we move in life. When we treat ourselves with kindness and love – we can move on from the negative to our purpose. I plan on using this question with many decisions I face.

One thing I will say about this is that the answer to that question isn’t always the easy thing. You might be tempted to answer that question by saying “someone that loves themselves would take a bath and drink wine every night!” J ….and sometimes that is the answer. But, I think the answers might not always be what we want to hear. It might be difficult things we face. It might be choosing to make that cold call, choosing to finishing that assignment we procrastinated on, choosing to confront someone, and moving away from things that do not serve us.

Good luck with your self love journey.

Teal Swan’s video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQHv75ahYDQ

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.

 

 

identify your pain

I am currently reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh titled “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching – Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation”. The title is a mouthful and I do not really know much about Buddhism. I am at the beginning of the book and one part of the book really struck me. The author writes that in order to heal, it is important to identify your pain. It is important for you to “diagnose” what is causing your pain similar to how a doctor would if you had physical pain in your body.

I think I am the type of person that wants to take a “healing pill” and get it over with. I don’t want to spend time identifying the pain nor talking about it. It would be much easier if I could just get over it and forget it. But, that is not how life works. It is important to recognize what is causing us pain to be able to heal from the pain. We cannot heal a physical imbalance without a proper diagnosis so, why do we expect to heal a spiritual or emotional imbalance without first learning about it? I am guessing it has to do with our egos. We don’t want to admit that we let this thing cause us pain so, we would rather ignore it and hope it magically heals itself and goes away.

So, consistent with my new ode to complete ownership and honesty – here is what is causing my pain: it is attachment to someone and it is the feeling of rejection. I feel rejected by someone and it hurts. There is no poetic way to phrase that sentence – it stings and that’s the truth. I am attached to someone and that attachment leads to to feeling rejected. The cycle is very ironic – I think the Buddha would enjoy this a little bit at least.

I encourage you to identify your pain. Only by identifying it, you can learn from it and begin to heal it. It isn’t going to be easy to admit it and maybe you’ll go through the pain all over again but, think of your doctor diagnosing you for a cold or a headache. Only after the diagnosis can he prescribe you with medication that will heal you. Only after recognizing your pain can you really take the true path of healing.

Alma,

journey to healing

The past few months of my life have been a blur. A blur created by me distracting myself through binging Netflix, YouTube, sleeping way too much, and occasionally drinking a bit too much. Why did this happen? This summer I went through my first official heartbreak. An adult heartbreak. End of a six year relationship heartbreak. A pain so intense that I didn’t expect it to impact me the way it has. I was always the girl that dismissed “heartbroken” people. I thought they were being overly dramatic. I mean there are bigger things in life (poverty, war, death, serial killers…etc). I thought people were weak to consider heartbreak a tragedy. I mean come on….there were worse pains in the world right? But, going through it – it has been one of the worst pains I have felt in my life. This summer I also lost my grandmother, who lived a very happy and a long life. I almost feel ashamed to admit this but, the heartbreak was more painful than death of my grandmother. I feel horrible just admitting that but, it is true. Heartbreak feels engulfing and the pain feels unbearable. It has been a few weeks and I haven’t felt overly sad because, I have numbed myself to the pain. We often think numbing equals drugs or alcohol but, it also is constant stimulation. I find myself being unable to be in silence. Every second of my day has to have a background noise of music, podcast, YouTube videos, the same Friends episode I have watched 1000 times, and other noise. I am unable to be alone even when I am by myself. Even when I shower, I find myself needing some noise in the background. It is almost like I am too scared to be alone with my thoughts and my feelings. Too scared to get the pain get to me.

 

I started this blog because I want to get better. I want to heal. I don’t want to be a victim of my heartbreak and I don’t want to use it as an excuse to ruin my life. I am not doing this for “revenge”. I actually don’t believe in getting “revenge” towards your ex. I don’t resent my ex nor do I have anything negative to say about him (more on that later). But, I want to do well because I owe it to myself. I don’t want to be sad person who used one unfortunate event in her life to create a life of excuses. I want to be better. I want to heal. I want to become successful and most importantly, I want to help others through my pain. All my life, I have been scared to open up. I get scared that if I open up, people will judge my flaws. Being vulnerable is so intimidating to me but, I am learning to be open and out there. To expose my wounds and myself to the world so, I can reach people.

 

I have learned a lot within these few weeks and I want to spend some time sharing those lessons here. I am not fully there yet and I am not perfect so, I don’t want to give advice. I just want to share my journey in getting better.

 

Happy healing.

 

Alma.