Don’t Cry For Me Argentina…or At Least Not For Long

 By Nina Atwood

If breaking up is hard to do, recovery is even harder, or so it seems. Heartbroken, licking your wounds, you may express your pain in a myriad of ways: withdrawal from friends and normal activities; eating empty carbohydrates or sweets (Ben & Jerry’s looks really good right now); drinking to excess; not eating (your appetite is gone); working too much; obsessively thinking about the lost love.

But how long should you engage in this wound-licking, often dysfunctional, behavior? The answer is, of course, it depends. It depends on how long you give yourself permission to wallow in self-punishing behavior. Drinking too much, eating unhealthy food, withdrawing from friends and healthy activities – all are expressions of anger to self. Internalizing the pain, you hurt the person who most needs comfort – you. You act out the pain by refusing to acknowledge the pain, yet that is the only way out of the pain.

Too much of this kind of behavior allows you to avoid the real issue – and that is that it hurts. “OUCH!” your heart and psyche need to scream to the universe. “THAT HURTS!”  You must be able to say it hurts in order to release the hurt. Even better, acknowledge the pain to another person, someone who will listen non-judgmentally without attempting to fix the pain. We all need a witness to our lives and especially to our most painful moments.

If you want to release the pain more quickly and get back to productive living, find someone who will listen to you for a couple of hours while you simply express how much it hurts. It doesn’t matter who that person is as long as he/she agrees to just listen – a pastor or priest or rabbi, a good friend, a family member, a therapist, even a business associate if you have that kind of close relationship.

Once you have adequately expressed the pain, re-set your compass to forward movement in healthy ways. Re-set your intentions for healthy eating and living patterns so that you take care of you. Taking care of you is self-esteeming, and that is very attractive.


Entry Filed under: Advice for Men,Advice for Women,Breaking Up,Dating,Divorce,Relationships


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