No I’m not talking about actual physical wounds. I’m talking about the trauma wounds you want to cover up as quick as you can, so you don’t have to go through the pain of dealing with them.
Some of my old bandaids I turned to were starting new relationships when I wasn't ready, binge eating, binge drinking and excessive exercise. Even though these bandaids did their job pretty well, all they did was give me temporary joy, and that’s the problem with bandaids, they are all temporary.
No matter how well you apply that bandaid, after a while it wil lose its stick and slowly fall off exposing the weaping infected emotional wound and sooner or later you are going to have to treat it properly in order for it to heal.
Now I know it’s normal for our friends especially when we are heartbroken, to want take us out and get us drunk so we can forget about being dumped. One of my friends classic lines was “to get over a man, you need to get under one.” As much as I love her, this was horrible advice.
Getting drunk, partying and “pretending” you’re having a great time is so awful for your recovery that it will actually set you back months. You will wake up feeling depressed and lonelier than ever and what’s worse is your physical body will feel awful too from all the shit you have been poisoning it with. How are you supposed to heal when you mentally and physically feel like shit?
The reason these bandaids never work is because as much as you don’t want to look at it, underneath that bandaid is still an oozing, gaping wound that needs immediate attention.
I remember when I had a wound as a kid, my mum would tell me to take the bandaid off and let it breathe in the open air, so that it could heal. Now I hated doing this because I could see how ugly it was and I felt vulnerable that everyone else could see it too. Every time someone talked to me, I was paranoid they were staring at it. My mum was right though, every time I took the bandaid off, it did heal quicker.
This is exactly what we have to do with our emotional wounds, take the bandaid off, let it breathe and air it out. I know it’s ugly and you don’t want to look at it, but you have to look at it and you have to let everyone else look at it too. Be honest with your friends and tell them you don’t want to go out drinking because it makes me you feel like shit and it’s not helping. If they are great friends they will understand. Then get to work on healing that sucker.
Trust me, It’s a lot harder dealing with heartbreak and trauma, with no bandaids and no numbing for the pain. My past break up I refused to use any of my trusted bandaids, I didn’t throw myself into dating again, I didn’t binge eat, I kept to my normal workout routine and most importantly I didn’t drink.
It was interesting to say the least. It was like taking a security blanket from a baby, because I was forced to feel ALL the feelings and I didn’t like it one bit. But I pushed through it and it was life changing. Trust me feeling ALL the feelings is necessary for you to truly heal and yes this means ALL the feelings, even the horrible ones.
Solitude is necessary to truly find yourself and what you want out of life and especially in a romantic partner. You must take this time out to be on your own and date yourself. Get comfortable with going on your own to the movies, turning up to events on your own, discovering new parts of the city on your own.
Throw yourself back into the hobbies and interests you love to do. Finish a project you started but never finished, start that business, whatever it is, do something that gives you a sense of achievement. Use this ending of something as a new beginning of something else. A chance to grow and learn more about yourself, because once you do, you will choose a much more compatible partner for you in the future and even if you don’t you will be in an amazing realtionship with yourself. So there are really no side effects.
Do not sleep in. I repeat do not sleep in. To me after a breakup the mornings are the hardest. Waking up on your own when you are used to waking up to forehead kisses and snuggles is hard. As soon as I felt the nostalgic emotions come through and the desire to just pull the covers over my head, without thinking about it, I threw the covers off of me, got out of bed, got dressed and started my day.
Laying in bed daydreaming and missing them will make it worse believe me. And please stop romanticizing them, they weren’t as wonderful as your mind likes to tell you, snap out of the fantasy, remember you’re not together anymore for good resaons and get out of bed! And if you feel like crap, and you most likely will, don’t look like crap. I found that by putting in a little extra effort into my physical appearance in the mornings lifted my spirits for the day. So throw on some lipstick and mascara, it’s small and silly, but it works.
I also kept a book by my bed for different affirmations in the morning before I left my apartment. My go to was Rupi Kaur’s book, Milk and Honey. I would choose an uplifting poem she wrote about moving on and it helped me realize that the love I thought I was missing was still inside of me, I just needed to find it again.
I encourage you to think outside the box of how you usually work through your feelings. Writing has always been a release for me, so I actually wrote something similar to a poem, which surprised me as I don’t usually write poems. I am also a pro journaler, as I really feel that getting your feelings out on paper and out of your head is an amazing way to heal.
The day I stopped using bandaids seriously changed my life and I can honestly say I love being on my own for the first time in my life. I don’t feel like there is a void that needs to be filled anymore. I know that if everything goes to shit and all that is left is me, thats ok, because I took the time to really get to know me and you know what, I really love her. I ripped off all my bandaids and looked at them until I didn’t feel uncomfortbale anymore and I was at peace with my past.
I still have scars from where they healed, we all will have scars, but we need to learn to love them. The scars are there to show you that it happened and remind you that you were strong enough and had the courage to face them and heal them. They are a beautiful reminder that you showed up for life. You lived and loved with everything you had and you have the scars to prove it.