Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2016 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Heartbreak is soul-piercing. It’s as if one’s spirit is lingering in a place of unrest and pain. Other aspects of life become more difficult and overwhelming.
I am not talking about positive thinking! No, this is refocusing. The difference is that with refocusing there is no denial. Heartbreak happens, dreams are dashed, and there is great pain. It’s ok to feel that and choose to focus on something else at the same time.
- I was once told by a therapist that it is okay to sit under the covers and feel miserable. It is normal and actually healthy to sit with a strong emotion, and ask questions of it (like what am I feeling and why).
- It is important when you are doing this to put a time limit on it. Make a plan. For example, determine to concentrate on your day’s work. Plan to hide under the covers for two hours when you get home. Then make sure you get up at the end of two hours.
- Avoid self-medicating. Ice cream, alcohol, drugs, fantasizing about revenge, feeding your bitterness – these hurt you. You do not need more suffering and will be better able to thrive if you do not engage with these forms of escape. Burying feelings is tempting; consider healthier ways to cope.
- Misery loves company, so go ahead and talk it out with friends. Aim to have one or two conversations per day where you do not mention your heartbreak.
- Walk, run, do sit-ups – exercise helps our brains to gather its thoughts. It produces some of those feel-better chemicals, too.
- Do a good deed. It will empower you to better enjoy your life’s purpose, and give you a different perspective.
- Talk to God. Prayer is not complicated although religions have made it seem so. Just talk to Him. Tell Him of your sorrows and ask Him to show you the way. Learning to have a loving relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, means you never have to be alone again.
That is how I overcome heartbreak when it visits. I continue to use these strategies because let’s face it, life is full of struggles.
You will be okay too! Take care of yourself.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.