The depiction of people going through break-ups in the films is actually very different from how it can be in real life. You most likely will not be drowning your sorrows in ice cream while listening to sad music. Brea-ups can cause real, significant pain and there is a process often not talked about that follows after a breakup. Below are 6 of the things that no one ever tells you about breakups.
A rollercoaster of emotions
If you are going through your first break up, or perhaps you have never even been through one before then you might expect that you’ll just be crying a lot and feeling down. The reality is that it’s just not that simple. You will experience feelings of sadness for sure, but you will also feel feelings of happiness, elation, anxiety, confusion, embarrassment and more. Your mood will shift from day to day, and that is perfectly normal, so do not fret!
Your brain is going to be scrambled. Imagine a washing machine whirling around in your brain, as intrusive thoughts will come and go at the most inconvenient of times. You may be sitting in a lecture or a meeting at work and your brain will be completely elsewhere, unable to hear a word that is being said. Do not punish yourself for this, as part of the healing process your brain needs to reflect and go through these thoughts to come to terms with what has happened.
Shift in appetite
This one varies from person to person, but it is likely that a major shift in your appetite will follow after a breakup. You may suddenly be eating everything all the time, and honestly, that is probably a way of you just trying to fill the void. Comfort eating is a very common coping mechanism, but people don’t like to talk about it because of the presumed shame that comes with it. Alternatively, you might go the other way and lose your appetite completely. With the pain and sadness that comes with a breakup, sometimes the thought of eating and cooking can be too difficult a task. There are reasons behind this shift in appetite, Elite Daily summarise this here if you want to know more.
Mistakes will be made (and that’s OK)
Mistakes will certainly be made, and you will learn from them. Whether that’s you drunk calling your ex at 3am or having a rebound with someone who you absolutely know you shouldn’t, things like this are going to happen. Your judgement is going to be cloudy for a while, so try to avoid putting yourself in situations where you are likely to make big mistakes. For example, avoid going to a party where your ex will be! Follow the no contact rule to protect yourself. That means – no calls, no messages, no third-party contacts at all. It might not always be possible to stick to this, depending on how close you live and how many common acquaintances you have, but it gives it your best effort.
Your friends probably never liked your ex anyway
Realistically, your friends have probably been moaning about your ex for a while now. So, if your friends are not as gutted as you are, they definitely didn’t think your ex was the one for you. This always comes out post break up and can be quite a bittersweet experience, as your friends comfort you with insulting language towards your ex. If this kind of faux comfort becomes too painful, just be honest with your friends. Unfortunately, there is no switch to turn off those feelings of caring for your ex.
You Will Heal
With all the sadness and suffering, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will have a tonne of people telling you that time heals all, but let’s face it, that is no comfort to anyone when you just want the pain to go away now. However, often in these situations, you will feel better sooner than you think! You will come out the other end stronger than before.
If you are currently going through a breakup then it is important to bear those six things in mind. You will get there, and you will learn a lot about yourself along the way. Consider it a learning experience and remember to be kind to yourself.
There is no point in punishing yourself for having conflicting feelings or being unable to concentrate or eating double dinner. All of these things that you go through post-break-up are normal, and everyone has different experiences. You will reach that light at the end of the tunnel, just allow yourself to get there in your own time.
Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.