Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Friendship Break Up: Give Yourself Time To Heal

A friend suggested I go out to see more movies so I can forget this friend I was grieving over. I agreed. Only to start crying at the scene where a guy was telling a girl he's got her back after saving her from hoodlums. Lol.

Sometimes, these things don't help as much. But we should never stop trying to find healing.

Give Yourself Time To Heal


When you lose a friend, there are no songs, movies or books to help you. You look around and realize your friend is no longer there. Your entire world feels like it’s crashing down around you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get through it. I know how it feels, I have been there, and did I survive?

I am making it through to the other side.

It may not seem like it right now, but you will learn to let go. It may take months or even years, but you will get there. Surely. 

Psychologists say much like when someone close to you dies, losing a friendship will take you through the five stages of grief:

denial
anger,
bargaining
depression and
acceptance.

I went through each stage over and over again before getting to acceptance. But I did.

There’s a good chance you may even repeat a few of these steps before you reach acceptance, but it will come.

Don't deny it. Let Go

Letting go isn’t something you can speed up. It takes time. It is not by avoiding things or places you would go together, though it can make it easier to let go. Letting go is so much more. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that blind our hearts.

While we may have moved 100,000 miles away, my "ex-friend" and I still attend the same church ― not because I’m torturing myself, but because it’s actually my church and I refuse to change church just because we don't share moments together anymore.

So go. Do the things. And know that every person you meet in life has a purpose ― their’s was not to be a friend for life.

Don't bargain, accept it.

I tried to make it work. Instead of focusing on my healing, I was spending time and energy on restoring the friendship. Phew. There were tears. There were agonizing, all-night conversations that resolved nothing, and always, I fell back into it.
 
Accept that it is happening and accept that you played a role in it too. As the saying goes there are two sides to every story, you need come to terms with the fact that you also had a hand in the break up. 

Excluding yourself from any responsibility only means you haven't learnt any lesson and are liable to make the same mistake again.

Spoiler alert: if you don't learn the lesson here, something will happen to ensure you learn that lesson. Better to accept it now so you can heal up faster.

Be depressed, mourn fully. 

The book of Ecclesiastes says there is a time to laugh and there is a time to morn. Allow yourself to mourn what you have lost. It's fine. Grieving is a natural and healthy process when going through a break up with a friend, it allows you to heal.

The same book of Ecclesiastes says there is a time to break away and a time to build up. There is a time to heal. You will heal. Amen?

Get over with depression. Focus

Focus your energy on your work or on a new hobby. I recently found a new passion in choreography, even though I'm teased about being old for it, it's the way to my healing process.

Dwelling on the end of a friendship for too long is not healthy and negative thoughts will drain you and make you feel worse. Find something new to get your groove on.

Move on. Find New Friends

S/he wasn't your only friend in the whole wide world. Even if they were, widen your social scope, join a new book club, a new group, go out there and make new friends!

Reach out to existing friends too and nurture the friendships that you still have. Someone out there will appreciate you and the efforts you make as a friend.

Learn from your experience

Sometimes I think I am one of the few people born to learn from experience. I always have lessons to learn through every painful bend. It's a good thing but not entirely good.

Learn from your experience and learn from others too, learn that change is an inevitable part of life. Everyone changes, whether it is for the good or for the bad. You cannot stop change from taking place. 

Some friendships stand the test of time but many don't and simply fade away into oblivion. I have a handful of ex-friends in my life, whose presence I miss dearly.

Yet I didn't die of loneliness.

But I changed. 

I wrote an article and let the world, and my friend, read it.

And I lived.

This too shall pass!


How long is too long to mourn a breakup? Six months? Six days? 


Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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