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and then the wave hit

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wow. just wow.


pretty standard story here, was dating a very special someone for 4 years, 3 of those years were perfect, then we had a falling out, came back together for one more year but neither of us threw ourselves into it like we should or could have. now here i am, separate and doing my best to deal with it.


took the general advice, initiated no contact and have focused on my fitness, some old hobbies, took up some new ones, and spent as much time with friends and family keeping busy as i can. deleted her number from my phone, her email from my contacts list, took her off the aim buddy list... and removed as many of the things from my life as i could that remind me of her.


despite all this... every waking moment im thinking of her. i try to think of the negatives, to get angry or just disgusted enough to let my mind wander on... but all i think of is how great she smelled, how warm her smile is.


sure she's a pretty girl, cute, bubbly, just makes everyone happier by being around, but thats not what made me love the girl. it was how completely she threw herself into me and how for the first years we were together she convinced me that she was mine forever and i was hers, like she would never give up or walk away. thats more important to me than anything in a relationship, and thats what i fell in love with. we lived together, we have pets together, we looked for a house and had plans for marriage. but again, here i am. shes walked away, asked me for "time and space" to "find herself" and whatnot. even throws in little tidbits like "i believe in second chances" and "i think i will come back to you, but not right now."


i keep analyzing it all over and over, again i know thats pretty typical... i won't argue that she did sort of get lost. she left her home and job to move closer to me while i was at school, and started a whole new life with a new job and friends out there. when the time came that i graduated and wanted to get started with my own life, she became more comfortable with her new life out there than she was following me anymore. shes made a series of really really bad decisions in the last year, they seem almost self-destructive. and according to her friends, they've never seen anyone so conflicted in their lives, she flip-flops every day about how strongly she feels about continuing to follow me or giving up on the half-relationship that we've had over the last year.


i definitely contributed to the decline of it all, so no matter how much i want to blame only her for her emotional flip-flopping and her decision to walk away from me, i can't. our timing has been off for so long that neither of us have been able to meet in the middle on any topics at all, whether or not we agree or want to same thing.


to sum up my thoughts... we definitely do need the time apart, because as things are right now even if we both decided we wanted to plug on through the problems we wouldn't be able to do it. we need to be away from eachother and enjoy the possibility of coming back to each other when the air clears.


and thats how it sticks in my head. that no matter how much i want this healing thing and to move on for my own health and well-being, my mind always comes back to how much i miss falling asleep next to her. i was doing SO well these last two and a half weeks of NC, not talking to her and even managing to control myself when speaking to my friends. keeping it all to myself for myself to battle with... and it all hit me like a wave today. a powerful wave. i cracked, broke down and checked her myspace and aol info/away messages, talked to some mutual friends, went through our old belongings, violated just about every one of my own rules except for actually contacting her. i even wrote a text message and just barely kept myself from sending it.


i don't know how common this wave is, but it total tore me apart. i thought i was doing such a good job pulling myself together. my heart just won't let the girl go. i don't feel like i've made any progress at all.


is there some sort of trick to dealing with these waves? i've never suffered from anxiety, but this is how i would imagine it feeling... any suggestions on how to proceed? haha, did anyone manage to read through his whole thing?

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Yes to all those questions at the end there.


If you don't care to read the whole story you can't honestly believe you should respond. Advice should come from a sense of caring not loathing. As such you'll find most people here care enough to read however many words are posted so long as they believe they can help.


Let's face it this is never an easy thing and most people will fail with NC. This isn't the last time you'll experience a breakdown like this. You've invested a great deal emotionally into the relationship and that doesn't come back. NC is the emotional equivalent of well... severing an arm I suppose. You're going to miss that arm but you can survive without it and if you don't let it go you'll ultimately destroy yourself and your arm with you. (I really, really wish I had a less morbid explaination then that right now but I hope you can understand)


So to deal with these feelings (and I know someone is going to disagree with me here but that's okay) accept them. You miss her and you know what? That's okay. You're human. You were in love. You can't just forget someone that would be denying a part of you. You can't help how you feel what you can help is how you act on those feelings. Everytime you miss her simply take a deep breath and let yourself feel tense. It's okay. Then focus on pushing that tension out with your breath. It's not going to help you forget but it will help you cope.


Denial will get you nowhere. Acceptance is the key to relief. You know the saying the truth will set you free? Think of denial as lying to yourself, and acceptance as telling the truth. This will allow this anxiety to come and go in managable doses.


I hope this helps.

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I read the whole thing. I feel your pain. I'm going through a very powerful heartbreak as I'm typing this. I can tell you that if you are suffering like you are right now, then it means that you have great capacity to love. And in terms of dealing with those waves, let them hit you with open arms. Try it.

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Hey man-


I feel you. Believe me, I feel you. And I am sorry that you are in this place.


Two tips from the vault regarding dealing with the wave:


1) Expect it to be absolutely the hardest thing imaginable. Expect it to come everyday and incapacitate you. If you envision yourself being able to anything above laying in the fetal position in tears thinking, "expand chest, intake air, decompress chest, expel air", your vision isn't graphic enough.


Why do this? Because if it ever gets this bad, it won't last long, and any experience above and beyond these expectations, will seem like Christmas and the Fourth of July to you.


2) Don't stand and let the wave hit you in the face and knock you down, instead, ride the wave and get on top of it. You feel like texting her? What do you want to say? Write it down. And then write more, and more, and more, and more until you are tired of writing and thinking about the situation. Save what you write, perhaps in a journal here on ENA, and reference it even when you aren't feeling enslaved by the feelings. Take control of it by getting ahead of it like this. Then write some more. Get so tired that you have nothing left for despair. Sooner than later, relatively speaking, you'll get in top of this situation.

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My friend Duncan explains this sort of pain the same way you do - as a wave. And slowly, slowly the crushing force of these waves will dwindle away until they pass right through you.


I have no advice to give other than to say that you are doing everything right, and like the Frisco DJ says, this isn't going to be easy. But it will eventually pass. And thanks for such an eloquent description of how you are feeling. I can really identify with your pain.


And one thing to keep in mind is when this is over and you look down from the mountain you climbed, you will have new confidence and strength, because you can survive even this.


Best of luck to you.

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God, yes, I understand. I, too, think of my ex almost every waking moment even though I am doing NC and really trying to stay busy and focus on me.


All you can do is ride those waves of pain when they come. Read the forum here a LOT and try to let go. That's the HARDEST part. Because I wish with everything I am that my ex would "come to his senses", so to speak, but my brain is telling me I can't waste my life sitting around waiting for that to happen.

Just know that there are so many people on this board willing to listen and to offer advice and support.

Hang in there!

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Honestly...you have to look at the happy times not as a regret. Looking at negatives, in my opinion, are incendiary and really don't help. It's really unfair to the experiences you shared together. It's no use denying the past, at least from my experience.


But you can change the way you PERCEIVE your relationship. I just spoke with my ex today and I'm finally ready to move on with my life, and the funny thing is we're still on good terms. And I honestly would rather have it that way. My ex used to tell me I was hers forever, and I told her that I would love her forever, but things didn't work out. Now that she's with someone else I've decided not to be sad that it's over, but to be glad that it ever happened and that I had such a great time sharing my life with someone, but now it's time to share my life with another person


But one must wonder, do you genuinely believe you two still can be together romantically? For the good of you both?

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And one thing to keep in mind is when this is over and you look down at the mountain you climbed, you will have new confidence and strength, because you can survive even this.


Yes indeed. I don't think are many harder situations life can toss at you, except perhaps a freak accident where you get your nuts ripped off, but that may be it...


The key to gaining increased strength and confidence from this is looking at the mountain you just climbed, or even the progress you've made up such in light of some slips and falls along the way, realizing you picked yourself up from being face down in the dirt, and saying, "If that couldn't stop me, what can?" Hell yeah... 0X

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Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I have to say that just the simple act of writing my thoughts down and having others reach out to me has gone a long way to lessen some of the anxiety. I'll be following your advice and accepting the grief for what it is. Be prepared, that may lead to more posts in the future...




The arms are open. I promise. And whether it was meant to be such a fantastic compliment or not, I was touched by the comment that I must have a great capacity to love given my capacity to hurt. Unfortunate that it has to work that way... best of luck on your end though and thanks for taking the time to speak up.




I don't know why but you look incredibly familiar... That aside, thanks for the support. I've lead a pretty decent life so far, not a lot of heart ache... and that may be why this is hitting me so hard. But I won't argue with you, the "wave" is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with personally. It won't surprise me with its power next time. Last night I did sit down (while i was trying to force myself to sleep) and wrote a long letter detailing all I was feeling. A lot came out that I didn't even realize I had in me. It kept going until I couldn't stay awake any longer, and I think it went a long way to calming me down. I suppose that means I have you and your recommendation to thank for that. That and the image of having my balls ripped off. Priceless.


Reluctant Rebuilder


Thanks for the vote of confidence. I don't doubt for a second I'll survive. I guess I'm just reluctant to rebuild. Reluctant to start down the path of releasing the past and moving on. Thats not entirely honest either; when I examine it all my mind screams at me to do whats best for me and let go. My heart isn't quite up to par yet... but as with everyone else, thank you for your input.




I never thought for a second that I was the only person on earth that couldn't remove their ex from their every waking thought... but I take a lot of comfort in hearing from a comrade in suffering. Message me when it gets tough for you, now that you know you're not alone. And thank you.




You're absolutely right. I don't think there's a healthier way to look back on a relationship that has been lost than to say "there were good times, I learned great lessons, and I shared something beautiful with someone I loved." I'm never going to forget those things or deny them. I couldn't if I tried. I think my "thinking of negatives" was only an attempt at pushing her from my thoughts for just a moment. Just so I could get a break. But maybe thats what healing is. Is being happy again without the "break". If so, I've got a way to go. And to answer your question... do I think we can still be together romantically? Right now, no. Theres way too much hurt between us for either of us to work through together, even if we both wanted to try. The mistakes of the past have to be forgiven and put aside before any progress can be made. In the process we could lose each other forever, but it's worth the chance if it means that there is a chance. My heart aches for her. Big time. And its not because im clinging on to a part of my life that I've had for so long I don't remember how to live without it. It's because I know the times when I was most happy and content with my life, it was because she was right next to me just as happy and content with herself. Thats what I long for. Hope that answers your question.


Once again, thanks to all who replied to my post.

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