This is that one term that kept me away from myself for a long time. Every time I would receive a call or a text from my ex asking if I am doing okay, I would suppress my emotions and, haughtily, would either ignore all of his perseverance or reply in the most snobbish tone.
I convinced myself that no matter what, I could not expose my vulnerabilities to that one person who left me in such a bad state.
However, my false pretense didn’t work too well for me. For the initial few months, I was in a complete state of denial. Throughout the day, I would not let myself feel even the slightest human emotion. Whenever a thought of my ex would come up, I would willfully stop myself from confronting them and pretend to be oblivious of my true feelings. But then the nights would come, and I would find myself weak and fragile. I would read all of our old conversations and all of those pitiful, awful things he told me, just so that I could cry myself to sleep.
Within a few months, these bottled up feelings turned into rage, which forced me to resort to some desperate measures, like constantly blocking and unblocking my ex and hacking into his social media. Yes, I tried logging into his Instagram, and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I got the password right away. I encountered every ex’s worst nightmare: I opened his conversation with a girl and saw he was confessing his feelings to a random girl he met on Instagram. That is when I realised that he had moved on and I was an a**hole, hoping he would come back into my life—for pretending to be unaware of the reality.
At last, I decided to acknowledge and confront my emotions with the intent to evolve and move forward in my life to find my closure.
Whenever we talk about closure, we always think we have to know the answers to all our questions. But is it necessary to know all the whys, whats, whens, and hows? Is it necessary to feel a sense of resolution?
If you were to ask me, I would choose the latter. A sense of resolution is important, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a two-person thing. It can, by all means, come from within.
There are a few mindful ways in which we all can seek closure:
1. How did the relationship end? Was the breakup mutually decided? Or was it over a Post-it? If the former is the case, then the chances are that we have probably answered most of each other’s questions and reflected upon what went wrong. But, if it is the latter, then calling or texting our ex might lead to a war of words.
If we are already stressed because of the breakup, hearing appalling things come out of our ex’s mouth will only add to our existing stress, and believe me, words that come out in anger are 100 percent honest.
2. Is honesty one of the traits of our ex? Suppose we have noted down the list of questions to ask our ex that has been hogging our mind. Questions like, did you ever love me? When did you know that you don’t love me anymore? Do you ever miss me? Was there someone else? But is our ex honest enough to respect our feelings and answer all our questions? If yes, then there is nothing wrong with hitting that send button. Because if they had respect for our feelings during the relationship, then hopefully they will respect them after the breakup.
3. Don’t be in denial—at least, not for too long. It’s okay to be hopeful. It’s okay to wait for them to come back. It’s okay to not delete the memories, the feelings, and the pictures of us with them. But it is not okay when we start using it as a reason to be in denial. It is not okay when we force ourselves to believe that we have not broken up, that the relationship was not toxic, and the split is only temporary.
This denial will only make us more fragile. So let us be hopeful that we will get over it, if not now then eventually, we will.
4. Talk to someone, don’t keep the feelings bottled up. Talk, express, share. There are no words in the world that are as liberating as these. Talk to someone we trust, someone who would listen to us and help us in embracing our feelings. Maybe our best friend, siblings, or parent. Trust me, they will accept us and our feelings and console us without being judgmental.
5. Write all the feelings down. This might seem a little contradictory to what I mentioned earlier, but I have always firmly believed that no matter how much we try and share our feelings with someone, they will never be able to understand the depth of our emotions the way we do because they have not experienced the exact pain we have.
There will always be some concealed emotions, some dark thoughts that we will be afraid or too embarrassed to unveil. Talking and sharing will surely help us in feeling better for a bit, but what about the things that we were not able to tell? How do we let those feelings out? That’s when a diary or a journal comes to the rescue.
6. Accept our feelings. Let’s do ourselves a favour and sit down every day for some time in quiet. Understand what we are feeling. Are we feeling hurt or rage, sad or weak, happy or content? Are we feeling a mix of these emotions or nothing at all? Do we want to cry? Cry like a child, cry out loud, or cry ourselves to sleep?
Know our feelings, give ourselves time to explore our emotions, and in the end, acknowledge and accept them. Accept them with utmost grace, accept them because we are human beings who have the right to feel every emotion, and confront all the thoughts that are going through our body.
7. It happens eventually. Getting closure is a slow process. No matter how long our relationship lasted, we cannot expect ourselves to get past it quickly. The worst thing we can do is to compare ourselves with others; we are all different and everyone works at their own pace. It will happen with time. We need to give ourselves time to wallow, time to cry, because once we have made peace with our emotions, we will come out a much stronger person than we already are.
8. Seek help, if needed. The world now is becoming more accepting of therapy and has begun treating depression and anxiety as illnesses rather than an illusion. If we find it difficult to sleep through the night or can’t stop crying, or if we don’t feel like ourselves anymore, then we need to seek help from an expert, a professional.
So, let’s stop convincing ourselves that we are alright, stop being ashamed of ourselves and our emotions because it is completely normal to feel vulnerable and hopeless at times.
9. Move forward first. Instead of trying to move on from our previous relationship, it is important to move forward first. Don’t hook up—not right after the breakup. Move forward in terms of growing as an individual. Heal first. Indulge in some mindful activities or maybe try out something new. We don’t need a rebound to heal ourselves, we just need to spend some time with ourselves and our feelings.
This is our time to make up for all the things we have missed out on in the past. This is our time to accept and embrace our flaws and slowly work on them, to become a more grateful and evolved person.
10. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to get rid of the feelings fast. This is something that I can vouch from my personal experience. To get rid of my pain, I swamped myself with work. Whenever a memory of my ex would hit me, I would haul myself into additional work so that I didn’t have to think about it.
Instead of addressing my emotions head-on, I looked for ways to run away from them. In no way did this apathetic attitude help me get closure, instead, I would sometimes find myself feeling helpless and with no one to turn to.
11. Feelings can come rushing back. It is normal for us to start missing that person again, even after we think we have found ourselves the closure. There is no need to start panicking or doing anything irrational—stay calm and think about why it’s happening. Were there feelings left unaddressed? Did a joke or thing remind us of them? Or are we just feeling lonely?
Whatever the reason might be, we shouldn’t be afraid of facing it. Remember, it is completely normal to miss someone with whom we have built some memories and with whom we shared feelings of love and attachment.
We need to be gentle and a little kinder toward ourselves, especially when we feel completely hopeless and ungrateful for everything, or during the times when we can’t see things clearly, no matter how hard we try to look past the cloud in our head.
Believe me, once we start feeling compassionate toward ourselves, the world will feel like a better place to live in. And remember that someday we will find our true love and until that time, we can create our own love story by falling in love with ourselves, every single day.