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You can read my other threads “struggling“ for the details.

 

Summary is I broke it off. One week ago. Five year relationship that I considered toxic.

 

I have to see this through and not go after her. I am so completely shattered and destroyed right now. She just got the last of her stuff out about an hour ago and left the key. She was so upset she couldn’t breathe or speak and ran out.

 

I don’t know who I am. I am petrified of being alone and getting used to that again. I’m in a very dark place. Actually that’s an understatement. My feelings for her must have been way stronger than I ever even new. Even though the relationship was toxic and I was absolutely miserable, I feel like I just had a limb amputated.

 

It’s a long long way back up and I’m hanging on the bottom rung. Cant eat. Completely Exhausted physically and emotionally. I don’t know how to cope.

 

I know, family, friends, exercise, new hobbies... I know all that but I’m so extremely low, all I can do is cry and hope my friends and family are available to listen to it.

 

I just don’t know what to do. This is about as bad as it gets. Why do I have to take this soooo hard. Somebody please say something that will help!!! I need at least a short break from the thoughts.

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It's only been a few hours.

 

Please forgive yourself. You are self blaming for the end of the relationship, but you know it needed to end. Forgive yourself because you don't deserve to be beating yourself up like this.

 

And yes, reach out to family and friends.

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You're feeling panic and excruciating pain. I know... been there. It's the kind that leaves you gasping for air too or wakes you up in the middle of the night or leaves you crying on the toilet unexpectedly. Are you feeling tightness in your chest or sudden bursts of extreme panic or fear and disorientation? First, all the tears. You have to cry it all out and don't keep it in.

 

I mentioned somewhere else that breathing exercises really help. I had a friend with me while I was going through one of these for weeks (anxiety attacks or low grade chronic fear and anxiety) and he was very patient and would sit for hours talking with me but reminded me when my speech started to speed up and when the breathing exercises would help. There are some apps for that now and you can look them up online.

 

Some days will be blinding but you'll get through it. And the hours will pass but you won't even know it. It's probably a good idea to learn to process the silence because the silence is worst. Make it a friend, not an enemy. Start being creative in the silences. What I found helped was discovering new music. If you have a smartphone or itunes it's so easy now. Find new genres and listen to music or watch short videos on YouTube or documentaries.

 

Keep your chin up. I know it feels like things are so low right now but you can get through this.

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sometimes staying away from everything that reminds that person including social media, at the same time taking good care of yourself, eating well, doing house chores etc all gives us the tiny push towards healing, work on yourself in silence and solitude. When you are on your own one fine day add a 10 min work out or meditation to your routine. Understand all this is normal and let it pass, its hurting now and will hurt more, the thoughts, feelings, anger, disappointments, regrets etc. Give yourself lot of time and patience. You will get through this

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Thank you both. Balled my eyes out for about an hour. Once the tears ran out, tried to walk the dog. Sad walk. Then I randomly started cleaning and rearranging the bedroom. That led into a stable evening thank god. Waking up way too early in the morning every day and the not eating is really bad. Long scary road ahead. Don’t have the energy

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I am afraid to distract myself.

 

Long story short, six years ago a 16 year relationship ended with the girl running off with another guy. Blink of an eye gone. Worst time of my life. I dealt with the pain head on never ignoring for a moment. It took at least two months before I could even begin to function....

 

This time, five-year relationship just ended and she moved out yesterday. Did some things around the house and it helped. Today I am almost afraid to do things to distract my mind. I don’t want this thing coming out of nowhere and smashing me in the back of the head. Not sure what to think or do. Is dwelling on it A more straightforward way to deal?

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Dwelling is not a productive way to deal. Try to keep busy. Call friends, DONOT talk about her. Stay busy.

 

This relationship has been toxic from the start, you may want to address through a professional why you chose to stay with this woman for so long.

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Make it a friend, not an enemy.

 

There's a lot that can help you in this powerful and compassionate sentence, I think. Everything you're going through right now, everything you're feeling: Can you label it "okay" in your brain? It's not easy—and it's okay for the act of labeling it to feel totally fraudulent—but still: maybe try it?

 

I was pretty wrecked a good while back—nearly a decade ago—when a relationship ended. First step, as someone who had not learned to sit with pain with humility, was to get on a plane and rent a funky apartment in a city where I knew no one. New me! New start! Humidity and a kidney shaped pool! That buzz lasted, I don't know, 12 hours. Among the many modes of distraction I tried out, from learning to cook intricate vegetarian dishes to enjoying more bourbon than usual, I walked into a yoga studio, bought a monthly pass, and committed to 30 days straight. Yup, I was that guy—tears streaming down my face in pigeon pose as a teacher led us through chants.

 

In one class, while knotted up in some posture that felt about as impossible to "hold" as my mental state, the teacher said something to the effect of: You are, right not, exactly where you're supposed to be; you have, right now, an abundance; breathe into that radical idea. My initial reaction was: Are you kidding me? But, hey, when in Rome. So I did what she told me to do: inhale, exhale, and repeated what she claimed was true.

 

It was a genuine revelation. The emotional clouds didn't suddenly part or anything, but I was able to accept, or begin to accept, that the state I was in was okay, even more than okay. Humility—oh, there it was. I was meant to be feeling what I was feeling, and had it in me to handle it. Can't tell you how many times I've leaned into that one moment since—it's basically a daily mantra, whispered to myself on yoga mats and surf boards and while the coffee brews—and found solace in discomfort rather than solace in trying to run from it or judge it.

 

You're five minutes out of a breakup and feeling what you should feel, in short. That it's the end of a relationship you knew, for a good long time, if not right from the start, didn't make much sense—well, that's going to compound the pain for a bit, give it a reckoning quality, a pretty tight knot to untangle over time. Been there as well. Internet hugs galore. But also internet encouragement to just lean into it for a bit. If this is what life is like for the next two months, with respites coming after the tears and/or the cleaning of a counter—well, great. That's what getting through it looks like, and what getting stronger looks like. Know this internet stranger believes that even when you don't.

 

As for the dwelling? I say do it, but set a timer (10 minutes here, an hour there) and when the timer goes off? That's when you do something, anything you know is good for you, even when it feels bogus. Ten pushups, or 100. Call a friend and ask about their life, even when yours is the only thing on your mind. Google a recipe and cook it. Put on Mozart and try to figure out what the fuss is about with the help of Wikipedia. Those moments add up over time since, at the end of every day, we are only the product of the choices we make. How you handle these days are the beginning of who you'll be on the other side.

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Today I am almost afraid to do things to distract my mind. [...] Is dwelling on it A more straightforward way to deal?

 

Distractions will buy you wider and wider gaps between the pain, while dwelling only drills you into a deeper hole to climb out of.

 

It makes no sense to place some unrealistic taboo on dwelling, but it's far worse to commit to doing nothing but that. Consider a balance. Come up with useful and productive ways to focus your time, and allow yourself to fall into some occasional bouts of the boo-hoos with a tissue box.

 

The difference between planning and committing to productive time versus dropping all effort is that your falls into grief become less and less focused on the pain, and you become more and more focused on what you'll pick yourself up to do after you blow your nose.

 

Choosing to adopt resilience as a goal respects grief even while it moves you beyond it.

 

I’m so extremely low, all I can do is cry and hope my friends and family are available to listen to it.

 

I tried a different approach with family and friends that helped me in ways that I could not have fathomed. My last private disaster was so large, I actually feared losing my sanity, my job, my independence. This made resilience my primary goal and an ability to demonstrate resilience my priority.

 

So, instead of blubbering my weakness all over the people who love me, I opted to put THEM first, so that they wouldn't worry about me.

 

Think: which is harder? Attempt to heal while causing everyone who loves me to doubt my ability to do so, OR, to limit my grief to private moments even while committing every possible moment of my time to help everyone I care about?

 

This transformed me from a self-centered dweller stuck in my own head into a quietly patient observer who was normalized by giving my time and focus to the people I'd neglected before.

 

If you want to heal quickly--and permanently, try that. It's a path that needs to be experienced rather than thought about, because emotions follow behavior, not the other way around.

 

Head high.

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Distractions will buy you wider and wider gaps between the pain, while dwelling only drills you into a deeper hole to climb out of.

 

It makes no sense to place some unrealistic taboo on dwelling, but it's far worse to commit to doing nothing but that. Consider a balance. Come up with useful and productive ways to focus your time, and allow yourself to fall into some occasional bouts of the boo-hoos with a tissue box.

 

The difference between planning and committing to productive time versus dropping all effort is that your falls into grief become less and less focused on the pain, and you become more and more focused on what you'll pick yourself up to do after you blow your nose.

 

Choosing to adopt resilience as a goal respects grief even while it moves you beyond it.

 

 

 

I tried a different approach with family and friends that helped me in ways that I could not have fathomed. My last private disaster was so large, I actually feared losing my sanity, my job, my independence. This made resilience my primary goal and an ability to demonstrate resilience my priority.

 

So, instead of blubbering my weakness all over the people who love me, I opted to put THEM first, so that they wouldn't worry about me.

 

Think: which is harder? Attempt to heal while causing everyone who loves me to doubt my ability to do so, OR, to limit my grief to private moments even while committing every possible moment of my time to help everyone I care about?

 

This transformed me from a self-centered dweller stuck in my own head into a quietly patient observer who was normalized by giving my time and focus to the people I'd neglected before.

 

If you want to heal quickly--and permanently, try that. It's a path that needs to be experienced rather than thought about, because emotions follow behavior, not the other way around.

 

Head high.

 

Damn! Thank you. Right now I’m at the bottom ring still but holding on tight. Blubbering away to family and friends is helping me process. When I get just a little strength and can stay to adjust to being utterly alone, I will keep this in mind and implement ASAP.

 

Right now it’s a huge battle. Very fresh. Finding piece is only a day dream right now. It’s amazing how your mind can completely torture you.

 

I ate a granola bar today, two pieces of cut fruit and a boost shake. Was so hard. Need to do that for the energy to continue to clean and rearranging my bedroom. Feels good to clean my home and reclaim it. I have been so depressed for years in this relationship that I could not even clean the place.

 

I’m trying so hard not to sucked down by the undertow. Thank you again!

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One thing I can tell you for sure:

Do.Not.Contact.Her.

Under any circumstances. I don't care how badly you're craving her, do not. As soon as you are tempted to reach for your phone, walk away. Or contact someone else. In fact, put her number in your phone as "DON'T".

 

I guess contacting her has already crossed your mind. Do not, for your own good.

 

Keep plugging along, you will get there.

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One thing I can tell you for sure:

Do.Not.Contact.Her.

Under any circumstances. I don't care how badly you're craving her, do not. As soon as you are tempted to reach for your phone, walk away. Or contact someone else. In fact, put her number in your phone as "DON'T".

 

I guess contacting her has already crossed your mind. Do not, for your own good.

 

Keep plugging along, you will get there.

 

Unfortunately there are a few lose end that need to be squared away. I’ll do everything I can to keep the contact to a minimum. I actually don’t really want to see her. I know the pain will rattle me bad again... she forgot a few things here. I’ll probably leave on porch or drop off at her friends house... got to revise the joint phone bill and I’m hoping we don’t both have to go. I’m assuming she can call to get her own service and it will be removed from my bill?

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You don't need to speak to her to remove her from the bill. You both can contact the phone company separately. You can also drop her things off without contacting her other than to say "I dropped off your things at X".

 

What I'm talking about is those times when you're feeling sad and are "missing" her, that's when you start thinking it's a fantastic idea to text her "Hey, how are you?" or to spill your guts about how much you're missing her, or sending her a song that reminds you of a time you two spent together. Don't do any of those things. And for the love of god, put your phone away if you are drinking. For some reason intoxicated people think it's a terrific idea to contact exes. It's not. It's an awful idea.

 

Good luck going forward.

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You don't need to speak to her to remove her from the bill. You both can contact the phone company separately. You can also drop her things off without contacting her other than to say "I dropped off your things at X".

 

What I'm talking about is those times when you're feeling sad and are "missing" her, that's when you start thinking it's a fantastic idea to text her "Hey, how are you?" or to spill your guts about how much you're missing her, or sending her a song that reminds you of a time you two spent together. Don't do any of those things. And for the love of god, put your phone away if you are drinking. For some reason intoxicated people think it's a terrific idea to contact exes. It's not. It's an awful idea.

 

Good luck going forward.

 

No. Thankfully I don’t feel that way. Hard to explain. It’s just the detachment and feeling completely lost in the world. Saying this whole thing is throwing me for a loop is an extreme understatement. All kinds of fears but I have come to terms that we, at the very least absolutely need a very long time apart to heal and “ work on ourselves”

 

I gave it 5 years and IT DID NOT WORK

 

I know the contact is a bad idea. It’s gonna kill if it has to happen. I don’t want that.

 

Still, I feel so unbelievably horrible in so many ways.

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There's a lot that can help you in this powerful and compassionate sentence, I think. Everything you're going through right now, everything you're feeling: Can you label it "okay" in your brain? It's not easy—and it's okay for the act of labeling it to feel totally fraudulent—but still: maybe try it?

 

I was pretty wrecked a good while back—nearly a decade ago—when a relationship ended. First step, as someone who had not learned to sit with pain with humility, was to get on a plane and rent a funky apartment in a city where I knew no one. New me! New start! Humidity and a kidney shaped pool! That buzz lasted, I don't know, 12 hours. Among the many modes of distraction I tried out, from learning to cook intricate vegetarian dishes to enjoying more bourbon than usual, I walked into a yoga studio, bought a monthly pass, and committed to 30 days straight. Yup, I was that guy—tears streaming down my face in pigeon pose as a teacher led us through chants.

 

In one class, while knotted up in some posture that felt about as impossible to "hold" as my mental state, the teacher said something to the effect of: You are, right not, exactly where you're supposed to be; you have, right now, an abundance; breathe into that radical idea. My initial reaction was: Are you kidding me? But, hey, when in Rome. So I did what she told me to do: inhale, exhale, and repeated what she claimed was true.

 

It was a genuine revelation. The emotional clouds didn't suddenly part or anything, but I was able to accept, or begin to accept, that the state I was in was okay, even more than okay. Humility—oh, there it was. I was meant to be feeling what I was feeling, and had it in me to handle it. Can't tell you how many times I've leaned into that one moment since—it's basically a daily mantra, whispered to myself on yoga mats and surf boards and while the coffee brews—and found solace in discomfort rather than solace in trying to run from it or judge it.

 

You're five minutes out of a breakup and feeling what you should feel, in short. That it's the end of a relationship you knew, for a good long time, if not right from the start, didn't make much sense—well, that's going to compound the pain for a bit, give it a reckoning quality, a pretty tight knot to untangle over time. Been there as well. Internet hugs galore. But also internet encouragement to just lean into it for a bit. If this is what life is like for the next two months, with respites coming after the tears and/or the cleaning of a counter—well, great. That's what getting through it looks like, and what getting stronger looks like. Know this internet stranger believes that even when you don't.

 

As for the dwelling? I say do it, but set a timer (10 minutes here, an hour there) and when the timer goes off? That's when you do something, anything you know is good for you, even when it feels bogus. Ten pushups, or 100. Call a friend and ask about their life, even when yours is the only thing on your mind. Google a recipe and cook it. Put on Mozart and try to figure out what the fuss is about with the help of Wikipedia. Those moments add up over time since, at the end of every day, we are only the product of the choices we make. How you handle these days are the beginning of who you'll be on the other side.

 

Love this. Great thoughts.

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There's a lot that can help you in this powerful and compassionate sentence, I think. Everything you're going through right now, everything you're feeling: Can you label it "okay" in your brain? It's not easy—and it's okay for the act of labeling it to feel totally fraudulent—but still: maybe try it?

 

I was pretty wrecked a good while back—nearly a decade ago—when a relationship ended. First step, as someone who had not learned to sit with pain with humility, was to get on a plane and rent a funky apartment in a city where I knew no one. New me! New start! Humidity and a kidney shaped pool! That buzz lasted, I don't know, 12 hours. Among the many modes of distraction I tried out, from learning to cook intricate vegetarian dishes to enjoying more bourbon than usual, I walked into a yoga studio, bought a monthly pass, and committed to 30 days straight. Yup, I was that guy—tears streaming down my face in pigeon pose as a teacher led us through chants.

 

In one class, while knotted up in some posture that felt about as impossible to "hold" as my mental state, the teacher said something to the effect of: You are, right not, exactly where you're supposed to be; you have, right now, an abundance; breathe into that radical idea. My initial reaction was: Are you kidding me? But, hey, when in Rome. So I did what she told me to do: inhale, exhale, and repeated what she claimed was true.

 

It was a genuine revelation. The emotional clouds didn't suddenly part or anything, but I was able to accept, or begin to accept, that the state I was in was okay, even more than okay. Humility—oh, there it was. I was meant to be feeling what I was feeling, and had it in me to handle it. Can't tell you how many times I've leaned into that one moment since—it's basically a daily mantra, whispered to myself on yoga mats and surf boards and while the coffee brews—and found solace in discomfort rather than solace in trying to run from it or judge it.

 

You're five minutes out of a breakup and feeling what you should feel, in short. That it's the end of a relationship you knew, for a good long time, if not right from the start, didn't make much sense—well, that's going to compound the pain for a bit, give it a reckoning quality, a pretty tight knot to untangle over time. Been there as well. Internet hugs galore. But also internet encouragement to just lean into it for a bit. If this is what life is like for the next two months, with respites coming after the tears and/or the cleaning of a counter—well, great. That's what getting through it looks like, and what getting stronger looks like. Know this internet stranger believes that even when you don't.

 

As for the dwelling? I say do it, but set a timer (10 minutes here, an hour there) and when the timer goes off? That's when you do something, anything you know is good for you, even when it feels bogus. Ten pushups, or 100. Call a friend and ask about their life, even when yours is the only thing on your mind. Google a recipe and cook it. Put on Mozart and try to figure out what the fuss is about with the help of Wikipedia. Those moments add up over time since, at the end of every day, we are only the product of the choices we make. How you handle these days are the beginning of who you'll be on the other side.

 

Jesus Christ and wow! I can relate. I’ve been through this once before with even worse circumstances (16 Year relationship, left for another dude...)

 

I’m older now which is the scary part. Want family and kids but I’m pushing 40.

 

But yeah, first time around I took the bull by the horns and it was a ride from hell. This time I’m trying harder from the start to break up the pain with distractions but just don’t know if that’s the fastest way to healing.

 

But thank you. Sometimes you just need to embrace it to move forward. Own it. Ride it. Thank you.

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When I get just a little strength and can stay to adjust to being utterly alone, I will keep this in mind and implement ASAP.

 

This sounds like a complete misunderstanding of what I wrote. You don't need to adjust to being utterly alone. Reach out to friends and family, but instead of dragging them down, adopt the mission to make your time together about them-not-ME.

 

The problem with grief is not the grieving, it's about believing that sucking others down is healing when the opposite is true. Put your focus, instead, on the lives and projects and priorities of those you love, and they will lift YOU up, instead.

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This sounds like a complete misunderstanding of what I wrote. You don't need to adjust to being utterly alone. Reach out to friends and family, but instead of dragging them down, adopt the mission to make your time together about them-not-ME.

 

The problem with grief is not the grieving, it's about believing that sucking others down is healing when the opposite is true. Put your focus, instead, on the lives and projects and priorities of those you love, and they will lift YOU up, instead.

 

No I get it. It just takes a little time to get there. Still in full on panic mode. Having a shoulder to cry on helps right now. But as soon as I can start to actually breathe and even remotely function, I will be taking this advice as soon as possible. And I know it probably drags people down a little. But true friends are there to lean on and I’ll be there to let them lean on me when they are in need as well. Hopefully within a week or so I will begin to find a groove and start to stabilize. Until then, I need every bit of support I can get to process and keep myself from getting sucked under. I currently feel like I’m treading water in the middle of the ocean just trying to keep my head above the water. I’ll grab anything I can to stay a float. That my sound selfish but my true friends won’t let me sink. When the time comes, I’ll be strong enough to be their life preserver too.

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