Surviving a break up – Ten Tips towards recovery

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

No more carefree laughter
Silence ever after
Walking through an empty house
Tears in my eyes
This is where the story ends
This is goodbye…”

ABBA (Knowing me, Knowing you)

We’ve all felt the sting of break up, or gone through a separation or divorce (more fool those idiots who let you go, or bravo to you if it’s something you needed to do). Either way, and regardless of who we are, breakups are a bitch and it takes time to stitch yourself back together. It’s often a bone rattling experience. There’s one thing for certain, break ups often hurt.

If love is real, then it hurts to lose it. You need time to recover, and to honour yourself for all you shared with that person, and for the loss you grieve for. These were lessons I learnt the hard way through the end of a long term marriage and relationship, the loss of that friendship and companionship. I had to grieve the death of that relationship. I gaffer taped my heart back together until it could mend. You can’t rush it, and as I discovered, you can’t run from it.

“You are already somebody

Before you are Somebody’s”

-Sandy Lowres

I begged the universe to make it all go away. I bargained with god I don’t believe in. I read daily horoscopes and saw psychics seeking answers, I self-medicated with too much wine, I cried on the bottom of my shower floor and I ate too much, or didn’t eat at all. Eventually the pain subsided enough for me to get on with things. I promise you, it will for you too.

In the meantime, here are ten things that may help you get through this.

Breathe. I know right now, you want me to shut the fuck up. Fair enough. I hear you…but you still need to breathe. Slowly, in and out. It helps. Start meditating if you can. There are plenty of free apps for your phone for guided mediation. It’s not a cure all, but it helps to stay centred.

Cry. When you need to. When you feel like. When you can’t even help it. Let it out. Holding all that pain inside just prolongs the recovery.If you don’t allow the tears, they will eventually seep out of you without permission.

Get mad. I think this was a long time coming for me. Get angry if you feel angry. If you don’t allow yourself to feel it and express it, you carry that seething blackness with you every where. Take a boxing class, hike up a mountain and scream. Do what you need to, but let it out in a positive way.

Fill your time. This is important. If you’ve spent your time with someone then all that aloneness can feel overwhelming. Plan to catch up with friends (if you can’t due to Covid-19 restrictions, phone calls and video chats are important), read books, start baking, exercise, visit your family, start an online course, exercise, learn a language, learn yoga or pole dancing, walk the dog or foster a pet. What ever your thing is, try to plan something fun each weekend so you have something to look forward to. Try to get into a routine. Accept invitations, even if you don’t feel like it.

Figure out what you want your new life to look like. What have you put on the shelf? What dreams did you give up on? What have you stopped doing that you would like to try your hand at again?

Spend time with single friends. My single gal-pals were my salvation in many ways. They knew what it felt like to be single, they taught me that being single can also be more than okay. Sometimes it’s awesome, but it can take time to realise that.

They know things you might need to learn about the single world. If you don’t have single friends, seek some out! Jump onto a community Facebook page, join a hobby group. Yes, this might take you out of your comfort zone but  singledom has already thrown you out if your comfort zone, right?

Talk about it. Be kind to yourself. Unless you are a robot, you are probably going to be on an emotional roller coaster ride. You will probably make mistakes. You may even be a hot mess. This is normal of course for a short time. Talk to people you trust about how you feel. If you are struggling though, reach out and seek counselling or professional help. Speak to your GP to get a referral, and advice.

Laugh. It’s important. Find ways to bring joy into your life. Watch lighthearted and uplifted shows on Netflix, or your favourite streaming service. Listen to live music. Listen to a fun podcast. Not feeling humorous? Fake it till you make it. It gets easier, I promise.

Write. Journalling is good for the soul. Get yourself a note book and write about how you feel. No one has to see your thoughts and feelings, but getting them out often helps bring clarity to your life and the situation.

Be grateful. I know this sounds crazy stay with me. One thing that helped me get through my marriage breakdown was writing down at least 5 things every day that I was grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, start with basics. Be grateful to be here and to still be standing. Be grateful for your D cup boobs, or the people in your life, your job that pays your bills, or even the coffee you drank today. Find gratitude in everything you can. Gratitude changes negative thoughts to positive ones. Someone wise once told me it takes practice to practice gratitude. True. But it’s worth it.

Remember how amazing you are, because you are. If you’ve been in a rut, shake it up. Colour your hair. Buy yourself some sexy knickers. Buy yourself a nice bottle of champagne, or new jeans, “just because”. If you don’t have spare funds, reward yourself with a long hot bubble bath, a long walk along the beac, or in nature or cook yourself a great meal. Reward yourself for being you. Remind yourself how brilliant you were before you met your ex. You are getting there, day by day.

You are already somebody before you are somebody’s.

Hang in there. It really does get better. And though we can’t speed up time, we can remember to take it one step at a time. Be kind to yourself.

Please Note: please note that If you are struggling, please see your doctor or call:

Life Line Australia : 13 11 14

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277 (for the cost of a local call).

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Sandy is a writer, creative and podcaster based in Melbourne’s west. She is the proud mother of her three adult children. She has always been passionate about women’s rights and celebrating the diversity of women having been raised by a proud disabled feminist mother herself. As the founder and Creative Director of Wb40 – Women Beyond Forty Magazine, she’s had a diverse and interesting career that has seen her wear various hats – business owner, manager, coordinator, writer, blogger and creative. She has never been afraid to challenge herself and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. If “Wb40” reminds you of another thing entirely Sandy jokes that it’s the lubricant for your mind! In this world, representation matters, and right now in the publishing world, women over forty are not well represented. Sandy has been that woman fighting for her voice to be heard. As a mother, a single parent keeping her head above water, a business owner and a corporate worker. Although her background is diverse, the one constant is a desire to help others, to build a community, to give back and to bring people together. The journey of Wb40 – Women Beyond Forty, is not an accident. Sandy started an award-nominated blog back in 2013 which changed and evolved and has an established community of amazing women who are proud members of a tribe — industry leaders, creatives, disruptors, authors, survivors, inspirational keynote speakers, disability advocates and activists, teachers, nurses, doctors — many who are well known and respected in their fields. Women who, just like her, are seeking change in the world, and understand that the collective wisdom of women can make a positive difference in the world. When she reached out to women with her vision for Wb40 and her podcast The Good Girl Confessional, their collective enthusiasm, advice and encouragement was overwhelmingly positive and was honoured that they offered advice, their knowledge, time and expertise. They wanted to share their stories and write for Wb40. All of them without question wanted to be involved, believing in the vision but also understanding the need for such a platform. When Sandy couldn’t find the platform was looking for, with help from some friends, she created it here. Let’s start a revolution.