Breakups are always hard. But dealing with a breakup in recovery can be particularly challenging. You're already coping with so many drastic changes, and needing to reevaluate your relationship can be painful, confusing, and frustrating. You might also feel scared, alone, or resentful.
No matter your feelings, it's important to take care of yourself during this vulnerable time. Let's get into some of the best tips.
Try To Accept Your Emotions
Breakups can entail so many intense emotions. For instance, you may feel sad one moment and relieved the next. Keep in mind that it's normal to fluctuate through various feelings every day (or even every hour).
Don't minimize or suppress these emotions. They are a natural part of this experience. You need to feel them to heal properly. If you try to avoid these feelings, you may find yourself obsessing about the breakup even more.
To accept your emotions, consider the benefits of meditation or journaling. These strategies help you remain in the present moment. They can also allow you to process your emotions as you experience them in real-time.
Seek Healthy Support
Even in healthy relationships, it's important to have additional support. However, many people sacrifice their relationships with friends or family to spend time with their partner. As a result, they may feel entirely alone after a breakup.
You need support during this critical time. Reach out to your friends. Spend time with family. Talk about your feelings with a therapist or sponsor. People who care about you will want to help you, but you need to be willing to reach out.
Mind Your Cravings
Many people experience high cravings for drugs or alcohol after a breakup. These cravings are often a reaction to feeling scared, alone, resentful, or angry. Additionally, some people feel hopeless after a breakup, and they stop believing that their recovery even matters.
If you're experiencing cravings, it's important to take care of them immediately. As a first step, tell someone what's going on. Let them know that you're having a difficult time. Admitting this struggle may feel embarrassing or shameful, but it can also help save your life.
This is the time to identify and implement healthy coping skills. Chances are, you've already developed some in your recovery. Make a concrete plan for how you can integrate these skills right now.
Maintain A Routine
After a breakup, your entire life might change. You may need to move somewhere else, split your belongings, deal with child custody issues, or change friend groups. At first, it's normal to wonder if you're losing all semblance of your former life.
Try to stick with a consistent routine as much as possible. Find stability in whichever methods you can. It's okay to start small- focus on going to bed at the same time each night, exercising each morning, or going to the same meeting each week.
A routine helps you feel more in control. It can provide a sense of grounding during trying times.
Reflect On What You Gained
You may feel incredibly bitter after the breakup. But harboring negative feelings can be time-consuming and detrimental to your well-being.
Instead, take some time to reflect on how you grew from this relationship. What lessons did you learn? What did you learn about intimacy and connection? What do you want to do differently next time? How can you take this experience as a learning opportunity instead of a serious regret?
Set Boundaries With Your Ex-Partner
In our increasingly digital world, the contact doesn't necessarily end just after a breakup. It's easy to fall into the trap of checking their social media or asking mutual friends about their whereabouts. Additionally, some people opt to remain friends after a breakup, and this approach can also complicate the healing process.
Consider your goals for moving forward. If you two plan on getting back together, it's a good idea to work on a plan in couples therapy. If you two have children together, couples therapy can also help with issues related to co-parenting.
If you intend to move on, you might want to cut contact altogether. This approach may seem bold, but blocking their social media profiles and eliminating all conversations allows you to focus on yourself instead of your ex.
Consider the Benefits of Being Single
People change profoundly during their recoveries. You are discovering who you are, establishing a moral compass, and working to make better decisions in your life. Relationships can be fun, but they can also be distracting.
Many people struggle with low self-esteem and codependency in the early stages of recovery. They often depend on their partners for validation. While this strategy may work in the short-term, it can backfire quickly- especially if you're attracting people who aren't emotionally healthy.
Being single allows you to focus on yourself. It also allows you to take the time to focus on other interests, like school, work, friendships, health, and hobbies.
Final Thoughts on Coping With a Breakup in Recovery
If you're coping with a breakup in recovery, you may feel like your world has been turned inside-out. With time, this feeling will pass. Make sure you're taking care of yourself and reach out for support.
At The Resurface Group, we're here to help you during this vulnerable time. Contact us today to get started!