“A shoutout to everyone who is trying right now… Trying to do the right thing. Keep your eyes open. Continue to try. Continue to try and hold onto your faith. Try to relax. Try to discover their flow. Staying afloat. Each day is a new opportunity to learn. Finding their balance. To love oneself. Explore new ideas and ways of thinking. You are my friend. I’m there too. We’re in this together.” ~S.C. Lourie
The pain of a breakup is devastating and it can be very difficult. But if you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP), it can take an extreme toll on your system because HSPs feel everything twice as deeply.
The HSP can feel overwhelmed by the loss of a partner and experience a high level of emotional distress.
You can feel isolated and unimportant when a relationship is over. No matter who caused the end, it can have a profound impact on your life. This can lead to despair, confusion and anger. It may be that you also feel emotional and even physical pain.
When my partner stopped answering his texts, it was like the end of the world. My texts were not answered by him and he avoided all contact. It was difficult to know where or what to do. I felt confused and lost. Every day was harder than the one before.
I knew that things were going badly for several months, yet I held on to the hope of it improving. My partner left me without saying a word. That was it. It was not the end for me, but I wasn’t in need of closure.
I’ve heard stories from fellow HSPs who took a long time to get over a breakup, and I didn’t want that same experience for myself. However, the emotional pain from carrying around my broken heart and intense stress was getting harder.
A day felt like a month, and I wasn’t sure I could survive until the end of the month because the experience was so devastating. I wanted to quickly get to the other side and move on with my lives.
These were the steps I took to help me heal faster than I thought.
1. I Forcing myself to Leave
When the realization that we’d never be together again hit my brain multiple times a day, I lost functionality. My entire system broke down. My ability to think and act normal was impossible. It was all I could do to make the situation worse, and that was just vegetating and crying.
My brain needed to be reset. I got out of my house every chance I could. Both my brain and body would not allow me to get out of bed. Already feeling exhausted, I felt hopeless. I had to pull myself up from my bed with a lot of willpower. The moment I succeeded, I realized it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be. The mind game was my only way to win.
I engaged in simple activities such as dropping in for a cup of coffee at the local café, taking a drive to nowhere, sitting alone watching children play in the park, or just enjoying the sunset. The beauty of nature has the ability to distract us and soothe our nerves. The beauty temporarily took my attention from the problem. It provided immediate relief.
2. Believe in myself
When my mind began to remind me it was done, I blamed the universe. It was possible to do something different. It was also possible that I had to blame it. I blamed myself and shifted the whole burden onto my shoulders.
I was aware that there was no way to change the circumstances and I attempted to create a new narrative even though it didn’t seem plausible at first. I believed I was worthy to be loved, that I could have someone care about me, and that my self-worth was unaffected by the validation of others. These affirmations were loud enough to hear my own voice.
At first, it was hard. Every time I made an affirmation, I used to sneer, critique, or ridicule my self because I didn’t believe it. In between tears and doubt, I continued to believe. It got better with time. Gradually, I stopped critiquing myself and began to believe the affirmations. My acceptance grew as I heard myself speaking.
3. Practicing Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is a proven way to improve mental well-being and emotional stability. But it doesn’t come easily to HSPs.
Although we tend to feel infinite compassion for other people, we struggle to extend the same compassion to ourselves. We often judge ourselves as weak when we’re struggling with emotional pain. But that’s when we need self-compassion the most.
After coming to terms with my reality, I began to indulge in positive self-talk. To myself, I behaved like a best friend. It was me who had the story and it was up to me to make amends. Despite the circumstances, I told myself that I could make it better and overcome them.
Focusing on my own self, I told myself I could get through this experience just fine. My mind convinced me that the pain would eventually go away and that the terrible feelings would stop. There were not many changes in my life at first. I persevered and slowly gained mental clarity, which helped me to see that I was on a right path.
4. The Treatment of Relapse
My healing process began and I started to notice a gap in the times I could stand up and how much I fell apart. I would often break down several times a day. Sometimes I was able to make it through the day without crying. It was an amazing breakthrough for me because I saw a significant improvement.
Unexpectedly, some days passed without me knowing that I had suffered from a relapse. This happened after I believed I’d seen an improvement. This completely surprised me. Gradually, it became clear that I was still healing and that my brain would revert back to the long-term memory.
When that happened, I revisited what I practiced earlier—getting out, affirming my self-worth, and practicing self-compassion. I found self-talk to be a key part of my healing.
To believe my words were real, I needed to be able to hear myself speak. It was important that I didn’t give in to my mental chatter about the breakup or my worth.
We act based on our beliefs about ourselves. If we believe we deserve to hurt, we don’t do the things we need to do to heal.
Move on with my life
Within a little more than 2 months I was free from brain fog, and could go an entire day without feeling fatigued. My normal daily routine was resumed and I was able focus on what lay ahead.
My entire healing journey was an exercise in willpower. While some days were peaceful, others were challenging. Most of the time, I was two steps ahead and one back. When I was struggling, I would remind myself of my desire to feel better and heal. I was able to get myself up off the ground and out of my house.
Breakups can be devastating for highly sensitive people, who are more likely to experience stress or extreme anxiety. While healing can take time, and sometimes we must allow the natural process to heal itself, it is not necessary to delay the pain any longer.
When you’re ready for healing, and you do all you can to make it happen, the episodes will go much faster. You will be able to move forward with your lives.
Esther George works as a freelancer and is a fellow HSP. She’s also a dreamer and a storyteller. She enjoys writing about mental and spiritual health and personal growth. Esther believes that every person should be able to find happiness. Esther enjoys meaningful conversations about living your best life. She also writes regularly for Medium.
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Tiny Buddha published the post How to Get Over A Breakup and Move On.