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"How do you ‘get back on the horse’ when your ex destroyed you?"
-Question submitted by Anonymous
Slowly and carefully.
It’s a hard thing to master, being totally okay and happy with how wonderful you actually are after someone has convinced you otherwise. It’s hard and confusing and scary and weird and uncomfortable. All of the feelings associated with where you are right now are SUPER negative. Which is kind of great because you’re feeling SO TERRIBLE that tiny good things feel like GIANT good things… I give the worst advice.
Allow time to do it’s job. You can’t get back into it immediately, even if you REALLY REALLY want to, you’re just not there yet. I’m not telling you to sit at home alone and cry, but just realize when you DO try to go out with someone and you’re totally not feeling it, that’s okay. It’s more than okay, it’s expected. Take that time and allow yourself to have a few shitty dates with some people you only sort of like, it’ll happen how and when it’s supposed to happen.
Take time to remember all the millions of reasons someone might fall in love with you. Fall in love with yourself all over again. It sounds sooo cheesy and dumb, but I’M SERIOUS. Write, draw, swim, read, ride your bike, cook, play your guitar, organize your closet, do things for you just because you WANT to do them. Recognize the things you’re REALLY good at doing and brush your shoulders off.
You’re literally the best. Once you remember how fucking amazing you are, you’ll be more than open to sharing that amazing you with another human.
Well, first things first – it is important to understand the difference between your ex ACTUALLY destroying you and the FEELING that your ex has destroyed you. I promise you this: unless your ex is a dark lord who carries unearthly powers and has cast a spell on you that even Hermoine can’t break… your ex has not actually destroyed you. In fact, your ex doesn’t have any power over you that isn’t able to be taken back by you, when you’re ready and able.
So, then, the goal here is to get you ready and able to get yourself back – and Dannielle said it perfectly: you do that slowly, carefully, and by focusing on the things that you enjoy.
I was once in a relationship for five years, and when it ended I was (or felt like I was) completely destroyed. It took me an entire year to begin to pick up the pieces. I had days during that year where I forgot my pain, I laughed, I talked with friends. I had days where I couldn’t do anything but drag myself to work and back home again. I had days where my laughter turned suddenly into a hurt that I couldn’t explain, and I had to excuse myself from the room to regain my composure. The good days increased slowly and, eventually, I looked up at work and saw a girl and thought, “Hey… I could totally mash my mouth on her mouth and like it.” That was the beginning of the bend back toward my life. Soon thereafter, I made out with some people — sometimes it was awesome and sometimes it made me a little sad. Then I met someone who I fell in love with… and now I look back on that time and it feels a hundred bagillion years ago.
Such is life.
Patience, perseverance, and faith. You’ve got this.