Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Saying Goodbye and Working Through Your Grief After a Breakup

Woman grieving after a breakup
After a loved one passes away, it’s normal to experience extreme feelings of grief and sadness while mourning that loss. Relationships play an important role in our well-being and sense of identity in the world and it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions during the grieving process – everything from numbness, shock and denial.

And, experiencing a breakup or divorce can have a similarly devastating effect. In a study led by psychologist Art Aron, neurologist Lucy Brown, and anthropologist Helen Fisher, MRI scans of heartbroken individuals mirrored activity in the same area of the brain that is associated with physical pain when participants were shown images of their former partners.

If you are going through a difficult period in life and are separating from your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s important to take the time to properly acknowledge your feelings and experience the grieving process. By understanding what you are feeling and empowering yourself with healthy coping skills, you can avoid turning to drugs and alcohol to numb the emotional pain.

The Stages of Grief When a Relationship Ends 

(1) Denial. When your relationship starts to fade and a breakup seems inevitable, it’s normal to initially deny that it is ending. You may tell yourself that your argument was just a blip on the radar and that you will work through your issues tomorrow or the next day.

(2) Bargaining. The second stage of grief is all about second-guessing yourself and your relationship to search for an alternative solution to avoid ending it. But, it’s not healthy to dwell in this stage of wishful thinking.

(3) Depression. While mourning the loss of a romantic relationship, it’s normal to move through a period of depression which can bring up feelings of self-pity, lack of energy and changes in sleep patterns.

(4) Anger. During a breakup, you may experience feelings of anger towards your partner – you are hurt and fragile and may try to make the other person feel as bad as you do.

(5) Acceptance. It may take some time to work through all of the stages of grief, but at the end you’ll find acceptance. You can finally come to terms with what has happened and start to move on.

If you are working through a breakup or a divorce, be kind to yourself and understand that what you are going through is hard, but it is part of the normal grieving process.

Instead of trying to run away from the situation by using drugs or alcohol, take the time to journal your emotions and reflect on what was said and how you feel. In time, you’ll get through this challenging time in your life and start to feel whole again.

You Don’t Have to Battle Addiction Alone 

Most of the women who come to Rising Roads have grief and loss as a part of their story – you are not alone. Whatever the emotional fallout of your story is, we are here to help you on your path to addiction recovery and we offer specialized care - including help for grief and loss. Call us now at (866) 746-1558.

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