You can dye your hair, go out with friends, focus on your hobbies, watch romantic comedies while eating tons of ice cream, drink your problems away, or whatever you think can help you ease the pain, but the only effective and direct way to move on is through therapy.
News of the former Spice Girl, Mel B (also known as Melanie Brown), deciding to go to rehab have spread all over the internet. According to her, a terrible and abusive relationship with her former husband sent her on a destructive path where alcoholism and sex seemed like the only thing that could numb the pain. But then, as it happens to many other people in her situation, there came a time when she realized this was just self-destructive behavior that was harming her instead of helping her forget and move on. So, as she explained, she sought help and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mel B's situation is unique, of course, but many other people go through similar struggles at one point or another in their lives. The thing is that, regardless of how bad our particular situation is, when we have a traumatic experience, we tend to believe that we can handle it, and that time will help us deal with it and move on. However, very often that’s just a lie we tell ourselves mainly because there’s still a huge taboo and stigma regarding mental health and treatment. This happens especially when we think that it’s not "that bad."
Now, I’m not saying that every breakup requires that you get therapy. That depends a lot on each person and the specifics of each breakup. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to go through a violent experience to need therapy. Actually, even if you ended things in good terms, a little extra help will never hurt. The only thing that really works to move on from a breakup is to focus on ourselves and those things that make us feel better, and therapy is just that. It gives you time to discuss your situation and life with a trained specialist, so it's a great way to really work on yourself and get your grief process on track.
What’s the deal with this? Most of the time, talking your problems out with someone is a great way to ease the burden you’re carrying on your shoulders. And though friends and family can be a great shoulder to cry on, it’s also true that their opinions will be biased one way or another. At a moment like that, what we really need is talking to objective ears who won’t patronize us nor tell us what we want to listen, but will actually confront us and make us really think about everything. Now, if you just ended a toxic relationship, you’re going to be dealing with a traumatic experience and just talking won’t be enough to deal with the situation. In every case, a therapist will know what to do and what path you need to follow.
Yes, we can be very stubborn, and think we can do anything we intend to, but there are times (and these are definitely those) when we really need to put that stubbornness aside and allow those who can to help us. After all, a breakup, whether it was amicable or traumatic, is always a loss we have to grieve and mourn properly, and going through the right process can be key to spare us from difficult and unpleasant situations.
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Images by @vivi_koenig