Your Body During a Breakup: The Science of a Broken Heart

Breakups are emotional roller coasters. Actually that’s not true. If a breakup was anything like a roller coaster the end would be visible from the start, you could say ‘no thanks’ to the ride and at the end of it, for a hefty sum the memory could be savoured forever with a flimsy cardboard-framed photo.

Breakups are are more like being under a roller coaster. 

Before we knew the science we knew the feeling, and used words associated with physical pain – hurt, pain, ache – are used describe the pain of a relationship breakup. Now we know why. The emotional pain of a breakup and physical pain have something in common – they both activate the same part of the brain

Brain scans of people recently out of a relationship have revealed that social pain (the emotional pain from a breakup or rejection) and physical pain share the same neural pathways.

In one study, 40 people who had recently been through an unwanted breakup had their brains scanned while they looked at pictures of their exes and thought about the breakup. As they stared at the photos, the part of the brain associated with physical pain lit up.

[irp posts=”1144″ name=”Dear Broken Hearted One … When You’re In The Thick of a Break-Up.”]

As explained by researcher Ethan Kross, ‘We found that powerfully inducing feelings of social rejection activate regions of the brain that are involved in physical pain sensation, which are rarely activated in neuroimaging studies of emotion.’

He continues, ‘These findings are consistent with the idea that the experience of social rejection, or social loss more generally, may represent a distinct emotional experience that is uniquely associated with physical pain.’

In further support of the overlap between physical and social pain, Tylenol (an over the counter medication for physical pain) has been shown to reduce emotional hurt.

Research has found that people who took Tylenol (an over-the-counter medication for physical pain) for three weeks reported less hurt feelings and social pain on a daily basis than those who took a placebo.

The effect was also evident in brain scans. When feelings of rejection were induced, the part of the brain associated with physical pain lit up in participants who didn’t take Tylenol. Those who took Tylenol showed significantly less activity in that part of the brain.

Nobody is suggesting that the broken hearted turn to pain medication to reduce their lean towards Kleenex, Baskin-Robbins and repeated viewings of Love Actually. Long term use will cane the liver. Somebody else is waiting to fall in love with you, but you and your liver have to stay friends forever.

The Physical Side of a Broken Heart

The human brain loves love. Being in love takes the lid off the happy hormones, dopamine and oxytocin, and the brain bathes in the bliss. But when the one you love leaves, the supply of feel good hormones takes a dive and the brain releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine.

[irp posts=”1042″ name=”Letting Go: How to Master the Art”]

In small doses, stress hormones are heroic, ensuring we respond quickly and effectively to threat. However in times of long-term distress such as a broken heart, the stress hormones accumulate and cause trouble. Here’s what’s behind the physical symptoms of a breakup:

  • Too much cortisol in the brain sends blood to the major muscle groups. They tense up ready to respond to the threat (fight or flight). However, without real need for a physical response the muscles have no opportunity to expend the energy.

    Muscles swell, giving rise to headaches, a stiff neck and that awful feeling of your chest being squeezed.

  • To ensure the muscles have an adequate blood supply, cortisol diverts blood away from the digestive system.

    This can cause tummy trouble such as cramps, diarrhea or appetite loss. 

  • When stress hormones run rampant, the immune system can struggle, increasing vulnerability to bugs and illnesses.

    Hence the common ‘break-up cold’.

  • There is a steady release of cortisol.

    This might cause sleep problems and interfere with the capacity to make sound judgements 

  • Breakups activate the area of your brain that processes craving and addiction.

    Losing a relationship can throw you into a type of withdrawal, which is why it’s hard to function – you ache for your ex, sometimes literally, and can’t get him/her out of your head. Like any addiction, this will pass.

In a relationship, your mind, your body and the core of you adjust to being intimately connected someone. When that someone leaves, the brain has to readjust. The pain can be relentless but eventually the body chemistry will change back to normal and the hurt will diminish.

Getting through a breakup is as much a physical process as an emotional one. Remember that, and know that it will get easier. Keep going. You’ll get there.

460 Comments

Amy

I broke up with my bf of 3 years last week and I’m going through it. I caught him jerking off to a picture of my sister and I am completely crushed. I just can’t believe someone can possibly do this to someone else. The shitty part is that I caught him so he couldn’t deny it. He said he would jerk off to us both. So sick. I don’t know how to get over this all I can picture is him doing that. I haven’t been able to eat and my heart feels so heavy. I wish this feeling would just go away. I know I deserve more than this I’m just so depressed right now.

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Bri C

I feel like death. My heart is actually broken. It’s an emptiness and I have an anxious knot in my stomach at all times and he keeps randomly texting me how he misses me but we know we are too toxic for eachother . SOS

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Abigail M

I have been scrawling through the internet trying to get answers and heal my broken heart. I feel like a total fool…its only been two months well in two days it would have been official two months. It was full of I love you’s and you beautiful nd goodmorning and goodnight texts checking up on me all day . Till this weekend when he tagged someone in a relationship and did not explain to me what is going on. He later said it is a joke and he would call me and apologize. He never called and when I asked about it he was rude and told me to please sleep. I love him and it hurts but I know I have to let him go but it hurts so much. What did I ever do to him? Do I not deserve love? I just wanted him to tell me the thruth apologize and explain his actions but he does not care at all. I dont know how to get over this ….I have no appetite and no reason to live wake up and complete a routine . I have been in bed for the past 3 days. I can’t take this hurt.

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Charlene

You don’t need someone to complete you. It’s been two months, allow yourself to get out of the water, soak up the sun, love and complete yourself, then jump back into the ‘ocean’ again. At least you’ve seen his true colours early. Know you’re worth more, yes you’re worth love, everyone is, but find it within yourself first. If someone crosses your path and isn’t truthful, your best thing to do for yourself is walk away.

As harsh as it sounds, be grateful its been 2 months and not 2 years. or 2 decades.

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Steven

Hi Abigail are you still going through the breakup? I am going through one just now and I am struggling how are you getting on and over it?

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RS

Same here. My ex just told me his marriage has been fixed. Felt like someone’s put a dagger through my heart, through and through.
Sometimes I cant even breathe. And it’s worse cause I made the call to move on and even turned him down until last month. I will never be the same

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Patience

I’m so sorry about what happened. I’m 14 years old, yes I’m young, but I just got off a long distance on and off relationship of 4 years.. I’m still lost I feel headaches and heartaches all the time. I never thought I would ever experience this ever in my life. I’m really young, but ig I thought that person was going to be my soulmate for a long time and sometimes it’s really hard for me to sleep… I have nightmares after nightmares and I think it’s a time for a change. I decided to get some support… but I think I’ll forever have this heartache because it’s hard to think about what I’m going to do in my future now… I thought he was going to be there… he grew cold I asked him why he was growing so distant and he said it’s just some shit going on and football and I completely understood and he lived in California. I experience a lot of troubles, so I fully understood. I asked him a few days later if he wanted to talk about it…. I asked him if he wanted to break it off and he said it’s up to you and sent me a huge love paragraph. I soon began to notice how cold he had become after I said if so say yes if no say no the respond he gave just broke me he said ‘I can’t say anything…” I was furious because it was the fact he said he still loved me and didn’t want to lose me. I can’t figure out why love does this…but I miss him and I just want you to know it’s going to be okay. Love hurt, but it’s worth it in the end as soon as you find the perfect one. Make sure you know your worth and find the things and make them enjoyable!

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Gemma

Hi Everyone,

I am also going through this. I met someone over 5 months ago (before lockdown) he was messaging me every day and always calling me. When lockdown happened we more or less lived together and I was with him all the time, We only really went on one date and the relationship progressed so fast. He is 14 years older than me (he’s 45 and I’m 31) he has a rep where we live as a bit of a player who doesn’t settle down, and he is also wealthy. During lockdown he started to become more distant with me and stopped saying nice things to me, its like he just became used to me. I would do so much for him with his work and do little jobs for him and I never really even got a thank you. He has a home abroad and the whole week before he was due to fly he was really off with me, making excused why I couldn’t stay with him like he was tired etc.. i nearly didnt see him the whole week and he wouldn’t be on his phone past 7pm…not to even say goodnight or anything. I started to wonder if he was even home or out, he was just uncontactable. He went away for three weeks and not once when he was away did he say he missed me or looking forward to seeing me. His behaviour towards me was very cold. The more he pulled away, the harder i pushed. Last friday, he said he wanted to have a “chat” i instantly felt sick as I knew what was coming, He said he doesn’t know how he feels, I’m a lovely girl but its not you its me..I was devastated. I stayed and slept with him and didnt want to leave the next day. Then by the afternoon he made it clear he wanted me to leave by telling me he feels awkward with me in his house. I left crying. I have begged for him to please just give it a chance, told him I won’t be so full on, how much I care and how much I have done for him but he is now ghosting me. I still have all of my things in his house (which he hasn’t told me to come and get) and also when I’ve asked him are we actually broken up or do you just want space, he won’t answer me. I am meant to be going to his house abroad in 2 weeks and now I don’t know if I’m going, what is happening..I feel so devastated. I can’t eat or sleep, I am checking my phone constantly to see if he is online.. I sent him a message today to say please can he just tell me either way what is doing on as i need to try and accept it, nothing. I want so much in my heart for us to work this out and he give things a go.. I can’t imagine my life without him and the pain is so hard to deal with.

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Sue

It’s been 2 days with and l am not coping. We were so in love, he is my everything. He treated me like a Queen. I never doubted him. Now there is someone else, he says he still wants me but he has stopped communicating with me. I can literally feel my heart physically hurting. How do l cope? How do l take away this pain? I can’t even eat or concentrate

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Anne

I hope you are feeling better. I am going through a similar situation. My boyfriend left me without any explanation l. He said he needed to heal himself to be in a healthy relationship, but didn’t care how much it would hurt me. It was a break but a week later became a breakup. It was selfish and painful. It’s been painful, but I chose me instead of him. Ive been exercising everyday, practicing yoga, reading self-help books, listening to podcasts and journaling all the time. One exercise that helps me a lot is to write down everything that wasn’t good in the relationship and everything he did wrong to me. We tend to focus on the good things when someone leaves, go back through pictures and happy memories, but if you think about, there were some issues that took us into place. What hurts is rejection, but truste me, you deserve something better than this. Treat you like he used to treat you (in the beginning of the relationship). Go for a walk, do something that you like to do and he hates. And try to focus on something else that brings you joy. You will eventually start to feel better.
For me it’s been almost 2 months and we were communicating until last week, but he said he doesn’t love me anymore (which If it’s true he never really loved me the way he used to say). So i choose to focus on me and to find someone who will give the love I want and deserve.
Hope it helps!

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Bibi

Run like its the wind sister. Obviously he has someone else and he is only using you. He needs you to be there when its convenient for him, this is why he will not be transparent with you. In all honesty though, he told you to leave many times, stop ignoring the reality…it will not change. Have some self respect and walk away. Do not look back.

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Gino

I made an extremely painful decision to end a 6 year relationship with my first real love. We had lived abroad, been through some real ups and downs and had just bought our first house together.

We had an intense relationship over the years, bad arguments but long periods of absolute bliss and happiness. I thought we were unbreakable.

A week after valentines (our 6 year anniversary) my girlfriend kept going out to the pubs. She would literally go to work at 7:30, finish at 5 and I’d be waiting to see her but she never came home. I’d get the usual delayed text of “oh I’m with mates, just fancied an after work drink, will be home soon.” Deep down I knew she’d roll in a 3am.

I didn’t mind this occasionally and she was a musician so I tolerated it most of the time, but that week was ridiculous. In the space of 7 days she repeated this pattern 6 days. I asked her that I wanted to spend an evening together and she replied “we’ll come to the pub if you want to see me.” Full of rage and rejection I went to the pub and was in a bad mood. I got drunk and was mean to her.

The next day I apologised but she disappeared again to the pubs! I don’t usually spy but something in my stomach didn’t feel right. I opened up the computer and much to my surprise I read various messages with friends slagging me off, and one message to an attractive musician with very flirtatious innuendo.

When I screen shotted this, she never explained it. She never came home to talk about it. I was willing to work through it but she didn’t want to. After a weekend of crying and not eating, I decided to end it and she just accepted it. No attempt to sort it.

She moved to a friends house and didn’t pick up her things for over a month including her cat. I had to live with all her stuff which was heart wrenching. To make matters worse it was the corona virus lockdown so I couldn’t see friends or family.

I sank into an oblivion of depression and nearly ended it all when something just got in my head. Keep going, start eating and survive. It’s 4 months now and I’m healthier and starting to casually date but I still ache intensily for her. I still love her but it’s not enough. I have to move on. Just wish she would talk so there was closure but she’s become very cold. Our brains do this cruel thing where you can only remember good times, but try to remember the bad and why you ended things.

Hang in there people, it’s the hardest pain breaking up but slowly, light begins to appear and you can start to function again. Take each day as it comes and acknowledge your feelings, don’t be ashamed.

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Em

Keep going everyone, you are all worth more than the pain those miserable ex’s have put you through, Keep strong and live happy! Much love to you all <3

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Bobbie

I’m with a guy has been ghosting me for 5 days
I thought he was a Great guy he was exactly what I always wanted we have only been dating 3 months I feel this stupid lockdown ruined everything…my ex cheated on me after 6 years but that didn’t even hurt as much as this is hurting it doesn’t make sense
His phone is off most of the day and when its on I hear nothing 5 days ago he tells me he loves me and then just silence

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BEN

She broke it off 1 month ago.Last saw each other 3 months ago.Then the lockdowns began.1 month after not seeing each other,I messaged her that I will be broke for a month and that I couldn’t help her and her son. It was a stressful time.The pandemic.And I turned to porn since we didn’t/couldn’t make love for 4 months.Became an unhealthy habit.
She soon turned slightly cold in her messages.Not calling me our term of endearment anymore.1 month later,I sent money for milk,diapers,etc. A few days later,I got angry at her for befriending again on social media her deadbeat father ,since birth, of her child.She broke us up right then and there. Saying nothings going on.3 days later I apologized for my behaviours and said I will quit my porn viewing habit(which I did until even now)and my other personality flaws.In my message I told her I accept her break up decision. Then I stopped contacting her. She contacted me 9 & 14 days later asking me how and where I was. And that she needed to fix her cellphone. I broke down and contacted her 3 days later and we agreed to meet the next day. She wasn’t even excited to see me,even after 3 months. She accepted my cellphone in exchange for her broken one.
I also gave her some cash and staple foods.I felt redemption for being able to help her during the crisis albeit 1 month late. She lost her job at the start of quarantine.
When I got home,she told me to move on and let’s be friends. I said no to friendship,but call me if she changes her mind. I broke down again 5 days later and messaged her. Begged and pleaded for her to come back.And that Im changed and we should look to the future. We were together almost 2 years. She then rejected me again. I got so desparate that I told her to block me on social media.Which she then did. I never cried so hard in my life.That was 3 days ago.
Our official break up was 1 month ago.
I’m experiencing all the symptoms described in this article since then.
Sleeping 2 hours a night.Eating minimally and sporadically. Head,shoulder,arms,hands,and chest hurt or feel tense and light.
I’ve accepted the break up and stopped crying,but she’s still in my head.People now say they observed her body language as not being so into or interested in me during our time together. And that she will miss my wallet,lol. My good friend tried to warn me a year ago,even two years ago that I was texting with her too much,spoiling her too much,and that she was kind of fake. I wish I could recover and heal soon.Impatient because it’s hard feeling this way,physically and emotionally for a month every day. I put her on a pedestal and overvalued her and made some other mistakes. I feel now that I’m suffering because of that.
However,I feel a little bit better, because this article states it takes 3 months and 11 days on average…..Thank you

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EthianK

I feel you. I just broke up with my gf 5 days ago. We had a really intense relationship for around 3 months, everything was fine, we share almost all the same interest, we would texting and sexting non stop, we would tell how much we love each other and make each other feels good all the time, sex was great, we’re a dirty couple. But ever since the lockdown started, she stays at her home with her parents and she felt that what she did with me was considered not felial to the family, like premarital sex, i’m not from the same religion and race and whatever we did will caused her parents a lot of heart ache and severity in the afterlife. So during the lockdown, she slowly turns cold towards me, we use to send each other sexy picture but not anymore, not even a selfie to let me know that she’s doing okay. The worst part is we are still co worker and now she treat me like a newly known friend, a neutral. We discussed and she said the only way we could be together is me convert and be a top devotee of her religion, I’m an Atheist, I feel that as long as we don’t hurt each other mentally or physically and respect each other’s beliefs, we can just live together happily, why can’t love be that simple. I fell like I just had a sucker punch in a relationship version. But I don’t blame her, she choose her religion and I respect that, if I force it, it will only cause more pain, I would just take it as one person hurt is better that 2 person hurt together. Trying hard to get through this but the sadness is just to hard to bear. Hope both of us will get through sooner that we expect. Cheers!

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M

maybe he’s got the virus and is not feeling good
check on him
just saying

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Eric

Bobbie, I agree with you about this Corona Virus lock down. I have been dating this girl for like 2 months and then I got deployed for 2 months with the military. We stayed in contact the entire time until the last 2 weeks, we had a disagreement and just like that she decided to call it quits. There was no doubt that I had brought some past relationship hurts with me, I guess we both kinda did and perhaps her own insecurities pushed her to shut down. I truly loved her and connected with her in ways I never have with others so I am hurting in a way that I have never hurt before even though we were together for just a short period of time. I guess the time doesn’t count as much as the level of connection over that time. She had all the qualities I was looking for. I’m experiencing all the symptoms in this article. I have to trust that it is a normal experience and eventually the Fight or Flight feelings will subside with time and distance. The ghosting you are experience is troubling to me and I hope that you can just put your heart on lock down and get past him, but sometimes people just need closure and that why it ghosting can be extremely hard.

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Lita

I’m literally in the same position as you. Seeing a guy for a few months. One day he’s telling me he loves me, the next day he says he can’t deal with who my ex was? No other explanation, and since then he’s not said a word to me, and even stopped reading my messages, let alone replying. It’s been 2 months since he spoke to me. If it wasn’t for the lockdown, I think things would have been different. It’s the not seeing each other that has made him stop and think. My ex cheated on me too… but this hurts so much more.

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Leslie

I have been thinking of breaking up with my 2 year boyfriend for about 2 months. Each time I thought about it I would see him again and change my mind. Now for the past two weeks I’ve been in literal agony mentally, because I know it’s time. We live together, our lives are completely intertwined. I don’t know how to do this, how to end it, how to deal with my anxiety, and how to separate everything. I feel like I’m losing my mind. Please send some advice.

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PebblesJB

Hi Leslie,
I hear your pain as I have been in a similar situation in the past. BUt you have answered it yourself – you know its time. The hardest part will be the first week, then it gets easier , trust me.
In my situation we were living together and I felt the distance and pull back from him, so I took some good advice and straight out asked him how he felt about me and how he felt about our relationship. When he answered that he wasn’t sure and didn’t know ..etc very vague and unclear but it was the signal i need to make a decision. Without having pre planned or though it out I merely stood in my power and knew my value. I told him that if thats how he felt then we shouldn’t be living together. I rang a good friend and moved out with a suitcase that night. After 3 days of crying I picked myself up and sorted getting a new place to live. A week alter i had family around me as i moved my things out of his house.
I moved on with my life and grew strong and happy. Six months later he had a new gf as his fb profile pic and sent me PM/s saying e missed me and it wasn’t the same with the new girl. I didn’t let him play those games because by then I felt strong and happy and glad I’d made the tough decision to leave.

The toughest bits will make you stronger and you will look back in time and feel relief and happiness. Don’t settle for less. Stand in your power and know your worth. Leaving was such an easy decision to make in a snap moment for me once i knew that he didn’t value me.

Get some sleep, have a shower or go for a walk and you will think clearer.

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Miss. Vaughn

Hi Leslie,

I ended a 7 year relationship a week after new years 2020. It was one of the hardest decisions to walk out. We too shared a living space, cars, and things we accumulated together in the relationship. I left and am now rebuilding on my own. It’s not easy but my peace is worth it. I still love him but I know I had to go. Do what you feel is best for your mental, physical and emotional health. Remember you are not alone. You are stronger than you think! Feel free to reach out if you need to talk.

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Sue

Hi Miss. Vaughn, how are you? This sounds a little like me. My boyfriend and I reach 7 years next month. We were about to move in together and spent a lot of time making it ‘our’ home. He moved in first, then things took a turn when layers and layers of big personal and relationship issues surfaced. We both know that logically, it’s best we break up for our mental wellbeing. But neither of us has the strength to do it. Why did you have to leave someone you love? And how do you refrain from wanting to be by his side, take care of him, and make sure he’s ok? I want to care for him but I myself am in dire need of some TLC myself and I know he feels the same way. I also know that he sees me in every corner of the house and I can’t bear to leave him to suffer alone.

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Ted

Sorry for my English skill , I ended 4 year relationship , after i found out she plan left me for some one else who propose her, i have anxiety for a month and i still feel bad, some help

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Jenny

I too am dealing with a breakup- we have lived together for 7 yrs. He is 54 & I’m 46. I was totaling blindsided. He said that he didn’t want to be in relationship anymore & wanted to do want he wanted, when he wanted, with whomever he wanted to- that I was not enough for him. Truth is he was always hanging out at bar- hanging with friends instead of wanting to spend time together, so I was always alone. I always had fear he would break things off – now I no longer have to have that fear. I feel like my world was shaken, now I’ve got to pick up the pieces & start over again. I almost feel like it would be easier to deal with if he had died vs dealing with rejection of breakup.
I told him ‘ I am enough for someone’ and it was time that he grew up & realized what was important in life- vs all the partying w/ everyone else out there.

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Anna

I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years now. The first 4 years I knew it wouldn’t be forever but I kept wishing it would. It’s my first serious relationship. The last 2 years my brain has been screaming at me to break up. Tomorrow I’m going to do it. I’ve put myself through torture for too long. I know this isn’t the life I want. I’m done. Do it when you’re ready, but do it sooner rather than later. Don’t waste your life.

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Gino

I am in a very similar situation. I am breaking up with my girlfriend of 2 years tonight after I pick her up from work. I have been working up the courage to do this because I know I have love for her but it is better in the long run to go our separate ways. Make sure you weigh out the pros and cons of your relationship and make for certain this is what you need to do for yourself.

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Anon

Reading this article, and particularly these comments, is providing really helpful.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years. We suddenly became in a position where we could buy a house and he freaked out. My future felt so clear and is now in total disarray. He says he needs some time to think about what he wants (and acknowledges it isn’t fair to me), but really I think he wants to end things but he’s too afraid to do so. I don’t doubt he cares about me, but I am shocked beyond belief how suddenly this has happened.
In the last week i’ve lost my appetite, initially I couldn’t stop crying but now I just feel numb. I almost feel like i’m drunk, my head feels so hazy. I’ve found my chest tight, my back hurts, my chest hurts, almost like my heart is literally breaking.
I’m sorry to everyone else going through this. It sucks, it’s the worst pain i’ve ever felt. I keep telling myself it’ll pass. One day this won’t matter as much as it does right now.

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Gentle

Your experience is similar to mine, each time my partner dumped me the pain was worse than the previous seven times in six years it seemed to be every 8 months. Each time opportunities came up for us to move forward and live together, basically every time I questioned anything to do with the relationship he would say I want to be on my own and would end things. Few weeks later he would say he can’t live without me and should not do that, won’t happen again. So this time everything of his is packed up no pictures no memories; it’s not what I want but I won’t survive another hit it had to stop.

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Lexi

I found messages between my boyfriend and a girl from the week we got back together. Whilst he was trying to get me back and succeeding, he was secretly dating this other girl and sending her sexy messages.

He hardly looked at me in the face for 2 years. Definitely did not look at me or gaze at me affectionately after sex or even dinner. Once we had sex and he literally jumped up out of bed straight after and didn’t come back in the room. I just lay on the bed and cried quietly. He criticised everything I did. Let his anger out on me. I thought maybe he still loved his ex. Now I wonder if he is a sociopath and can’t feel empathy.

Did not comprehend all of this (or face it) until we broke up a few days ago. When I confronted him about the messages, he made me leave his house because I wasn’t buying his lies. I sent him the screenshots and all he could say was to pick up my things from his house. I have to find a way to get them as I don’t have a car. I moved country to live with him. I have to collect my things tomorrow and he hasn’t contacted me.

We have broken up before and I was in pieces. This time I feel numb. The evidence on his phone was worse than I’ve found before but I just feel sick in my stomach and nothing else. I was almost ill with crying the first day of break up. Since then I feel nothing. I can’t even cry.

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Jane

You must leave him for good. This experience with this man has robbed you of your self-esteem. Build up your personal sense of worth as you physically separate from him. Believe in the future. Praying to God can help you move from despair to hope. Take care of yourself and keep careful watch to begin with of future men you meet. You have the power to attract a much kinder man who you will desire even more, and he will desire you even more than this current man could 🙂

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Maria

i just recently got out of a relationship of almost 3 years. i been so hurt and i dont know to fully let go , it hurts me so much knowing hes moved on

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Le’Shae

My boyfriend was together for 7 months.. maybe not that long for most people but for me it was… I’m 16 and he is 15.. he takes all ap classes and is involved in football so he has always been busy.. I gave my all to him, i was always patient with him.. some days he would never text me but I would still send him Gm and Gn text.. on a Tuesday that was the last time I got a text from him.. and I didn’t show up to school For three days that week because I had health issues. So Friday rolls around and I’m on FaceTime with my friend and he had a class with my boyfriend and I could see my boyfriend on his phone listening to music but he couldn’t text me??? So I was pissed obviously, and so they get out of school and I still didn’t receive a text.. so I text my friend Braelynn about it and she tells me he has been texting her (not in a cheating way) but I was mad so I texted him and told him we could take a break since it was obvious that he didn’t want to text me… then Braelynn calls me and tells me he wanted to break up with me… I cried right there and hung up the phone.. he calls me and I answer and we talk about why he wanted to break up.. he says it’s because he’s too busy but it’s like I’ve been dealing with it for the full 7 months.. and I’ve been so patient with him..and now he decides he’s too busy?? So I cry.. and cry day after day.. then Monday comes and I see him walking with a new girl.. and she has his jacket on and someone showed me how she posted him on her sc story and i was just… hurt… I felt like I gave my all for him.. I bought him things.. played video games with him.. did everything to make him happy… and he’s the type of guy to act nonchalant and cocky.. but I felt like we could still last despite the little issues we had.. I’m still hurt… my heart is racing everyday.. I get scared to see him.. I avoid seeing him.. and I feel like I’m undergoing a lot of stress because I still have love for this boy.. and it’s like he doesn’t care about me.. when I literally gave my all…

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ryanz

just do your routine daily staff go to gym- take care of yourself head to toe, never give up from yourself a person wasnt exist 7 months ago- a few years later u ll met nicer person and u ll be stronger in every way

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Beth

My ex since 2916 got back in touch end of last year and we have been dating since, but he started withdrawing and getting “busy” with excuses a few weeks ago, and no regular communication. I got suspicious and asked if thee was anyone else, he blew up over the phone, and more or less said he couldn’t do this relationship, but clarified we could be friends. I was devastated, apologised, called hm. When upset. Now I am attempting 30 day no contact, but have withdrawal from the relationship, numness and tingling in my head.. Its horrible. Dies anyone else experience this physical symptom.? Good luck to all with your journeys….

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Donna C

Myself and my fiance of 5 years have just split up 4 days ago, And i am absolutely heartbroken. Never felt pain like this in my life. We were so happy, or atleast i thought we were. We both left our marriages to be with each other, he has 2 young children to his 1st wife, which played a big part in my life and i love them dearly. I cant eat, sleep, im getting chest pains, and im having a problem with physically shaking that i cant control! We had just moved into a new flat in November 7th 2019, so things couldn’t have been that bad but something went wrong from there, and its resulted in me being left in this awful state. He still has his things in the flat so everywhere i look, im reminded of him and the kids. Aswell as that, im now terrified i may need to move out myself as the bills are gonna be too much for me on my own. I dont what to do or where to go from here ?

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Charlie

My girl left me in April this year after a 6-year relationship. She didn’t love me anymore.
I was already suicidal and had severe mental health conditions before this.
And on top of that breakup, I got arrested for a crime I didn’t even commit.
Already being disabled before hand, now, I am so far down hill I am in a state of constantly screaming and crying every two hours of my life and crippled in bed with anxiety unable to do anything.
Think of that next time you lay in bed.

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Julie

How are you doing Charlie? I’m terribly sorry what your going through. It feels like you lost a part of yourself, or a part of you is gone. I’ve been there before feeling like that. I hope now your doing better, if not please keep talking. Reach out to others because talking about the pain surprisingly helps you.

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Sarah L

I hope you are feeling a little better Charlie… I feel your pain and struggle also but praying it will get easier

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Elchino

Hi Leslie, I just broke up with my gF 2 weeks ago. We were together for 1 year and half. I went into a bad depression & anxiety. Evrything was been cause by the relationship. Went to ER two times because of this I thought I was going crazy I thought I was losing my mind. For two weeks I fought with myself to try to end The relationship because I wanted to feel better. Two weeks ago I finally did. Even though I know in my heart that it was the best thing for me. I really miss her a lot and still in love with her. But there is nothing I could do now since I’m not ready in my head to deal with a relationship. Sometimes I regret what I did. And the pain is horrible. But it was even worse when I was in the relationship. Just make sure you are ready to deal with a breakup.

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Laura

I feel so low cant imagine ever coming back from this. It physically aches. I loved him so much he loved me so much we were gloriously happy living with each other for 8 years, Unfortunately his adult children would just never accept me as he was a widower so after all these years he left me very suddenly. I am devastated but lets all keep talking I need to share my feelings with people who understand. I feel so cheated and hurt,

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Christine

I feel your pain and hurt My husband just told me he wanted a divorce on our anniversary which was New Year’s I am absolutely empty and crashed

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Leemore

My anniversary was New Years too. Had to break it off with my ex February 1st. The drinking, the rage, the workaholism and the total inability to address it all. I did the right thing & I’m still in terrible pain. I wake up every morning with my stomach aching horribly. Heartbreak is so real. Love to you ❤️

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Pamela A

My husband of 36 years told me on 9th Jan 2020 that we didn’t have a future, he had met someone else and was having an affair. I told him to leave but he has wiped away my whole life. I never saw it coming but looking back he ticks all the boxes for a narcissist.
I know I will be better off without him but the life changes are so many it is so sad.

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Fm

My ex broke up with me last 29th Sept. We were 5 yrs and 7 mos in long distance relationship. Last year we got engaged. But suddenly he felt so cold and somehow distant. I was giving him some space because I knew how hard his work was that time. Not knowing he is meeting an old friend of his and suddenly he felt out of love for me and started to like the girl – his old friend. She knew that the guy has gf but still keep insisting to care for him as a “friend”. Then due to this unfaithfulness and lost of confidence for our relationship, more excuses came up and that made him gave up for our relationship. Now I’m suffering from heartache. I can’t sleep properly. Every time I close my eyes, I still keep thinking about him, I feel jealous and anxious and lonely without him. i don’t have appetite. I lost interest in doing the stuffs which I normally do. Sometimes, I can feel my heart has abnormal beating, sometimes I can feel chest pain and easily run out of breath. 😣 And now still in shocked. I’m having hard time accepting things. i feel pity for myself, sometimes feel useless for not keeping our relationship strong. 😥

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Fredo

OMG, I have just read your whole article like a thirsty person on a hot scorching day. All of what you describing hits the core of what I am experiencing at the moment. I have know this girl for about 2 years, she comes and goes and so I am, however for the last 3 months we have connected emotionally, sexually , mentally , in other words you could now see a happier couple. Last week all of the sudden she became “confused” and she told me, I knew right then that the house was going to crumble, I call it “turning off the lights” once a girl turns the switch off, well there is a point of no return. Her thoughts were about edge difference, huge 18 years apart (31 vs 49), cultural differences and so on. Something that has never crossed her mind because we were flaying high in our own mudpuddle of love or whatever that was. But after we had a talk about a possible future together, rationality took over, her feelings were suppressed, and she became robotically disconnected. There is absolutely no traces of the girl I met, the communication pretty much lost on the basis that she needs time to think and make a decision, a decision that I am certain what would be. We have chatted a few times about it, but those chats became pretty cold from her side, I didn’t have the same affect as one week before when she was completely dedicated and all over me. And so I found your article and I reflect back as to why this is happening to me over and over and over not with all of them, but a selected few. I have been also cruel to other girls to which I have not developed any kind of feelings. Your article describes exactly what is in my brain now ( Sep.17.2019 at 8.27 am), is like you were describing me to the detail, I know I need help, I realized that, this last Sunday out of solitude I really got scared that I could not find the exit. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem meeting girls, I am very sporty and fit, which for now my refuge is Gym , dancing salsa and work.
I will read your article once again once a send you this long note because I need to , have to , fix this think once in for all. is INSANE !!.

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ann

Mornings are especially the worst. I feel numb, i cannot cry but tears always trickle down my face anytime i see something that reminds me of him. It was a long distance relationship for 3 years, engaged to be married this december. He was a recovering addict the subtle tones of be-littling me were always there, you never get my jokes, if you have a problem with understanding english say it. ( it was a bi-racial relationship). I could never say how i felt because it always led to a fight, my needs were always interpreted as being insecure. I miss him a lot, i tried getting back with him but he said he needs to focus on himself and his job, deep down i know i deserve better, that to the right man i will be enough, but for now living a day at a time is hard. I hope 1 year i wll come back and give a testimony that IF NOT THIS THEN SOMETHING BETTER.

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Laurie L

Look up relationships with a sociopath. Sounds like it? I’ve just ended a relationship with one, because you will never be truly loved by one

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Unhappy man

My ex left her boyfriend for me, then returned to him 4 months later! It was such a shock as it had been great from day one, she told me she loved me daily. We worked together and got on really well, I was a shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going great at home and eventually she declared she was leaving her boyfriend for me as we had more in common. At first she was still living with her ex (she didn’t have the heart to throw him out) while staying at mine regularly and sleeping with me.

After 4 months I thought things were going great and the ex had been out of the picture for 3 months. She had a trip to go and see her friends (they were mutual friends of her ex) I didn’t think I had any reason to worry so encouraged her to go have some fun with her friends, after all I had my daughter for the weekend. The day after she had left I noticed her message reply’s became short, no kisses etc, I assumed she was busy and not much time to reply. A couple of days later she returns and I ask if we are seeing each other this weekend. She reply’s with a standard response but no reply to seeing me. I then ask her is anything is wrong, she dosent seem her usual self and it feels like she is splitting up with me. She reply’s that she is really sorry but she can’t offer me 100% of her self and needs time and to be single.

I just could not believe it as things had been so good and this was so unexpected. After she returned to work she completely blanked me like i didn’t exist for around a month. Eventually she spoke to me stating that she was not 100% sure about everything. I really have never felt so low, 5 months one and she has now left our workplace for a new job so I thought it would get easier, I was wrong. I still wake up everyday feeling empty, I have memories everywhere I look, at home and work. I Still have no closure as I don’t really know the reason she left me, all I know is they day she left work she added her ex on Facebook as her relationship. So looks like she left me for him, so why leave him for me in the first place?? I believe it was the age gap (12 years) and I have a daughter that she didn’t really try with. Although she did state neither of these were a problem when she had asked if I had any concerns before starting a relationship. I Just really don’t know about anything and it still really hurts especially when she still txt me, just random things like “hey hope your well”. I don’t reply.

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Marie

Hi ! I really enjoyed your article. I am trying to find why i am so sad and why my body is being affected. my girlfriend left the country for a few months and my body is having such a rough time. I have gotten the crying down to only a few times a day but I have had no appetite since she has left. I eat hardly anything and it has almost been a week. I have lost over 10 since she’s left. I found your article interesting about the digestive system. thank you !

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Lost

My boyfriend of 2.5 years broke up with me a week ago. I have felt lost and confused ever since, going through a wide range of emotions from anger to fear to hurt to hope to depression. Every single day feels like a struggle to keep going. Towards the end, he felt like I was not showing him love. And I realized I wasn’t because I always had this deep-seeded fear of losing him which subconsciously caused me to become distant. I didn’t even realize that was the cause until after the breakup and now I know for a fact I can never become that person again out of fear. I caused him so much pain because he thought I didn’t love him and now I’ve lost him. I want nothing more than to get back together with him and show him the love I am capable of giving and the love he deserves to feel every single day. My chest hurts all the time and my body doesn’t know how to occupy itself without him. I feel trapped and suffocated and scared. I don’t know what to do. I want nothing more than to show him how this short time has changed me permanently and I’m terrified I’ll never get that chance.

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Anna

Dear Lost, reading your experience brought me to tears. I’m going through a very similar experience right now. How can I be so raw and so numb at the same time? I feel the range of emotions every day; the sadness, doubt, anger, then hope and denial. How are you feeling now?

He wants to work on his anxiety and issues and doesn’t even know if he wants a relationship with anyone. I hate seeing him struggle with himself and I’m glad he’s looking into help. I want him to find happiness. I recognize that he’s giving me the opportunity to find someone who is ready to love me, but it still hurts because I was committed. We’ve had a connection since the moment we met and I can’t let go of that. I’m so scared I’ll never find it again.

I recognize ways I dropped the ball, didn’t show support, or made stressful situations worse. We made it almost 2 years. Looking back, I took so much of that time for granted. I just assumed we would always be together and “I can do better tomorrow.” I got complacent. I got into the daily grind of life, let work stress get to me and feel like I lost my fun side. I’ve learned how important it is to keep feeding that fire every day. I’m so hopeful that he’ll change his mind and I can put these realizations into practice.

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Sunshine

Hey I wanted to ask for an update from you. Your situation sounds basically like mine. I hope you’re doing better now.

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Kira

My boyfriend broke up with me over me not having a better paying job n avoided me before the break up. Claiming he’s frustrated with bills n its my fault…. Now I have this dull heavy feeling in my chest. It doesn’t feel like sadness but I feeling of not caring about them anymore.

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Marisela M

I been in a 3 year on and off relationship. He was nice at first but started to get upset for little things. I didn’t hang the towel straight, toothpaste cap didn’t put it on. Till name calling started and even told me to get of his truck in middle of the night. I for gave him many times. Till l asked for commitment or Separate ways. He said he was done, didn’t have time for me. I didn’t understand his work hours. Hurts but am mourning a time l spend on someone that doesn’t deserve me.

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Ken

Marisela, You are your own best psychiatrists. Sounds like he has ocd and some other issues that would drive anyone away. You want someone who makes you feel great about yourself especially someone who always will care for you. You must decide the pro’s and con’s of a relationship and what’s best for you. There are plenty of guys out there so don’t be discouraged. Some people base a relationship purely on one thing but this is not a good idea especially if it’s something like sex. You need to ask yourself what “YOU” want or are willing to give up to make you happy. Again, you are your own best psychiatrist. Talk things out and best of luck. KB

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Richard B

Just recently exited a 5 year relationship. Just going to leave a few bullet points down below that ultimately led to our demise.

– Twice, in 5 years, did she ever tell me initially, she Loved me first, I always said it.
– Never posted a picture on any social media platform of us, and she was an avid daily user.
– Never liked, commented, or responded to anything I ever posted on Social media…actually once, she liked a photo a posted then unliked it, true story.
– Made me feel guilty for not offering her financial help when her work reduced her hours for 2 months…but said she wouldn’t have taken any money if I offered, but upset that I didn’t offer…(She lived at home, with her Mom, no rent, no bills to pay, just her own, makes 45k a year…I really didn’t think she needed help.)
– Asked me how much money I had in my 401k.
– Asked if my sister and husband signed a pre-nup.
– Her Mom paid for her breast augmentation. (found that out much later.)
– Admitted 3 months prior to the end, she was “spoiled and lazy, and knows it.”

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ADRIANA A

Hi Richard B. You describe my passed relationship. Hopefully you are doing good. I went through hell but it’s way better now. Had to build myself up. Having alone time. Meditating. Parenting myself. Loving myself. Been true to myself. I had to feel this pain cry as much I couldn’t to release it. Than start working on myself. Started a project for myself for like brain therapy which helped me emotionally as well feeling accomplished. So every task I planned through my day it was for only purpose to build myself up and prep. You will awake every sense. So this wont happen again. You will know what is up before anything else happens like a sensor. Even thou all this hurted so much now I feel is the best thing that ever happen to me because I gained knowledge and experience. I learned so much nobody will ever mess with you again. Sending good thoughts your way and everyone else that needs it at this time.

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Alone

I’ve just a similar thing happen to me. My boyfriend of 4 years suddenly out of the blue dumped me so being too content and saying he wasn’t sure whether he was happy anymore. Part of me believes it was my fault as near the end I wasn’t being too affectionate with him- I was having a hard time adjusting to the fact that my grandfather had cancer after loosing my other one to cancer in May. The emotions of both of my grandparents having cancer was something I tried to hide and maybe this caused him to think this? My entire body aches so much, I’ve completely lost my appetite and anytime I’m alone all I can do is sob. Everyone keeps saying it will get easier but it’s killing me not understanding why it happened and not have being a chance to work through it. We’ve been together for so long I don’t know anything else, we messaged everyday for 4 years and during lockdown moved in together. I feel so alone and lost without him I don’t know what to

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Abrianna P

Me and My ex had been up & down. It was long distance. We had broken up several times. We hurt each other back and forth. He would constantly belittle me and call me names and made me feel bad for guys always wanting to talk to me, yet i only had eyes for him. We decided we were gonna meet up after a year in about 4 weeks. He started getting distant and acting different last week. He kept telling me he was busy, turns out he was in a thing with another female who was MY FRIEND. I confronted him and he started acting like an a**hole. And now my chest feels so heavy, this happened yesterday. I’m about to graduate high school this Thursday and I am struggling and crying while studying. I feel like throwing up, I am just tryna push it through

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batphink

If he treats you this was and you’re not married could you imagine the tension of you were and all the legal hoops he;d make you jump through?
You are you and believe me though I’m a guy I went through so much hell with cheating women that I no longer bother.Like I said you are young and guys want to chat with you,remember that you have plenty of chances of finding a truly decent guy don’t rush it.Trust me when I say you WILL get over this,I’m a bit of an expert. Best Wishes and keep your mind focused on improving your life 🙂

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Halsey

On my third week since I found out he’d been cheating on me with someone from the same workplace.. And now after we officially broke up, they’ve been PDAing like I wasn’t even there.
For weeks now Ive been having a hard time eating because I feel like (and sometimes I actually do) vomitting. I couldn’t keep my mind from playing a scenario Ive been dreading-seeing them together again. I lost sleep. So I decided to take up boxing lessons, hoping it will tire me to sleep.

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A.D

I had a break up with my boyfriend few days ago..I’m trying to fight the pain that I feel in my heart and then suddenly I’m feeling the pain in front of my forehead area and I feel like I want to vomit. Can’t sleep at night even without thinking anything. Literally until.4am.just lying on my bed and looking anywhere. I lose 3kg for only 5days without exercising..

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felix

i am currently going through the same feelings now she just left and said i should forget about her though i dont also want to go back to her because i know she might hurt me the more but still i cant get my mind of her how are you coping now ? were you able to totally forget about her ?

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batphink

Felix was that intended for me? If so it’s been 3 years and 6 months and though I still have the odd bad day I have 100% accepted the fact she is never contacting me again. I have been through this so many times with women that I now no longer bother with them. Good Luck you WILL feel better sooner than you think concentrate on improving you and your life:)

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Ken B

My ex-girlfriend of two years accused me constantly at looking at blondes whenever we went into a store. She’d Always start arguments that lasted hours without resolve. Then she started calling me names and putting me doing every way until I had had enough. I had yo call the police three times to have her removed from my residence. All three times she got a restraining order on me but once in court she would get my attention and say she was sorry then drop the emergency restraining order. But the fourth time I had enough of her abuse and we went in front of the judge. I had all the police reports that showed that I never physically abused her in any way but the bullheaded judged ruled in her favor and extended the restraining order for a year. I lost my gun license, my job and her all because she lied to the judge. Now I’m going through so much stress because I don’t trust her. She told me that she put her last boyfriend in jail too. She has anxiety, PTSD, and some other mental illness she won’t discuss with me but I believe it’s either borderline bipolar, split personality or narcissism. I was with her every day for two years and we did get along most of the time but I couldn’t take the mental abuse any longer and it got worse because she stopped going to her psychiatrist twice per week. She definitely needs help but I still miss her surprisingly. The only good thing to come out of the relationship is that I’m a musician and I’ve written about three good songs lol. Oh well, such is life and it’s speed bumps. I guess everyone goes through this crap and it’s just my turn…that’s how I see it.

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Amanda P.

I can’t cope with the pain of my break up. Can’t eat or sleep, I feel depressed. Can’t sleep without sleeping pills or wine. And to make things worse I think I’m getting addicted to them. How can I make myself feel better and sleep better?

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Lost

I’m going through the same thing. It’s so hard to sleep and I’ve been drinking to cope and taking sleeping medicine. And waking up is the worst because you’re thrown into this new reality you’ve come to hate. I told myself I was going to stop drinking because that’s an awful reason to start a bad habit and I’ve been okay for a few nights now. Just remind yourself that you are strong and you are capable and you have your whole life ahead of you. I promise, one day this pain will subside and you will feel like yourself again. Please don’t ruin more years of your life by becoming dependent on substances. I believe in you. <3

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Anxiety will always tilt our focus to the risks, often at the expense of the very real rewards. It does this to keep us safe. We’re more likely to run into trouble if we miss the potential risks than if we miss the potential gains. 

This means that anxiety will swell just as much in reaction to a real life-threat, as it will to the things that might cause heartache (feels awful, but not life-threatening), but which will more likely come with great rewards. Wholehearted living means actively shifting our awareness to what we have to gain by taking a safe risk. 

Sometimes staying safe will be the exactly right thing to do, but sometimes we need to fight for that important or meaningful thing by hushing the noise of anxiety and moving bravely forward. 

When children or teens are on the edge of brave, but anxiety is pushing them back, ask, ‘But what would it be like if you could?’ ♥️

#parenting #parent #mindfulparenting #childanxiety #positiveparenting #heywarrior #heyawesome
Except I don’t do hungry me or tired me or intolerant me, as, you know … intolerably. Most of the time. Sometimes.
Growth doesn’t always announce itself in ways that feel safe or invited. Often, it can leave us exhausted and confused and with dirt in our pores from the fury of the battle. It is this way for all of us, our children too. 

The truth of it all is that we are all born with a profound and immense capacity to rise through challenges, changes and heartache. There is something else we are born with too, and it is the capacity to add softness, strength, and safety for each other when the movement towards growth feels too big. Not always by finding the answer, but by being it - just by being - safe, warm, vulnerable, real. As it turns out, sometimes, this is the richest source of growth for all of us.
When the world feel sunsettled, the ripple can reach the hearts, minds and spirits of kids and teens whether or not they are directly affected. As the important adult in the life of any child or teen, you have a profound capacity to give them what they need to steady their world again.

When their fears are really big, such as the death of a parent, being alone in the world, being separated from people they love, children might put this into something else. 

This can also happen because they can’t always articulate the fear. Emotional ‘experiences’ don’t lay in the brain as words, they lay down as images and sensory experiences. This is why smells and sounds can trigger anxiety, even if they aren’t connected to a scary experience. The ‘experiences’ also don’t need to be theirs. Hearing ‘about’ is enough.

The content of the fear might seem irrational but the feeling will be valid. Think of it as the feeling being the part that needs you. Their anxiety, sadness, anger (which happens to hold down other more vulnerable emotions) needs to be seen, held, contained and soothed, so they can feel safe again - and you have so much power to make that happen. 

‘I can see how worried you are. There are some big things happening in the world at the moment, but my darling, you are safe. I promise. You are so safe.’ 

If they have been through something big, the truth is that they have been through something frightening AND they are safe, ‘We’re going through some big things and it can be confusing and scary. We’ll get through this. It’s okay to feel scared or sad or angry. Whatever you feel is okay, and I’m here and I love you and we are safe. We can get through anything together.’
I love being a parent. I love it with every part of my being and more than I ever thought I could love anything. Honestly though, nothing has brought out my insecurities or vulnerabilities as much. This is so normal. Confusing, and normal. 

However many children we have, and whatever age they are, each child and each new stage will bring something new for us to learn. It will always be this way. Our children will each do life differently, and along the way we will need to adapt and bend ourselves around their path to light their way as best we can. But we won't do this perfectly, because we can't always know what mountains they'll need to climb, or what dragons they'll need to slay. We won't always know what they’ll need, and we won't always be able to give it. We don't need to. But we'll want to. Sometimes we’ll ache because of this and we’ll blame ourselves for not being ‘enough’. Sometimes we won't. This is the vulnerability that comes with parenting. 

We love them so much, and that never changes, but the way we feel about parenting might change a thousand times before breakfast. Parenting is tough. It's worth every second - every second - but it's tough. Great parents can feel everything, and sometimes it can turn from moment to moment - loving, furious, resentful, compassionate, gentle, tough, joyful, selfish, confused and wise - all of it. Great parents can feel all of it.

Because parenting is pure joy, but not always. We are strong, nurturing, selfless, loving, but not always. Parents aren't perfect. Love isn't perfect. And it was meant to be. We’re raising humans - real ones, with feelings, who don't need to be perfect, and wont  need others to be perfect. Humans who can be kind to others, and to themselves first. But they will learn this from us. Parenting is the role which needs us to be our most human, beautifully imperfect, flawed, vulnerable selves. Let's not judge ourselves for our shortcomings and the imperfections, and the necessary human-ness of us.❤️

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