Are You Heartbroken Or Is it your Ego?
I hope I’m not alone when I say this but real heartbreak pain feels good, it feels cathartic. Like you’re releasing all of this energy off your chest. It’s a deeply humbling experience and it’s a moment where you get to feel raw human emotion.
With true pain comes true insight into yourself and the world around you. There’s a reason why so much beautiful creative work comes out of heartbreak.
What doesn’t feel good is the prolonged suffering we put ourselves through after those real emotions fade. When your self-esteem gets knocked down making you question your value and self-worth. You become overanalytical and over-critical of every misstep you had during your relationship.
What I learned from my own experiences is that the majority of our suffering is self-inflicted.
For months after a particularly bad breakup, I was filled with anger and anxiety. When one emotion died down the other ramped up, I’m not even sure which one was worse. I was mad at him for treating me like I was day-old garbage being thrown to the curb, not worth even a second more of his time. Then the anxiety would creep in of him moving on and realizing I was nothing. I was constantly ruminating over everything that had gone wrong and beating myself up for every small mistake I had ever made. Not only was this not productive but it wasn’t even real. This was all ego, and it was all in my head.
Dirty vs Clean pain
That pain of losing someone you loved and losing everything that came with it. This is pure and it's good to let yourself feel it. You are grieving the loss of that person and your relationship; it literally feels like someone has died. In a lot of cases, the aftermath is the same because they are just out of your life for good.
This is clean pain and it’s coming from your real heartbreak.
The pain you feel when you think about them moving on, or being with someone else. When you agonize about never finding someone else and that you’ll be alone forever. Giving yourself anxiety by stalking their social media and seeing how great their life is now that you’re not in it.
This is all dirty pain, and it's coming from your ego.
You know that saying it’s not you, it’s me.
Well let’s break it down and find out where you’re suffering is coming from.
How it’s you.
Check-in with your attachment style
Anxious Attachment styles have a harder time going through breakups. When someone pulls away the immediate reaction is to hold on for dear life. The fear of losing something can make you panic and grab onto something that isn’t even worth saving. If you have an anxious attachment style you probably cause yourself a lot more suffering than is necessary.
Avoidant attachment styles view it as a release because they don’t have the burden of dealing with someone else’s emotions anymore. They also innately feel like they are the only one who can fulfill their needs and probably felt as if this relationship was doomed from the beginning anyway.
Doesn’t mean the feelings are different, it’s just your reaction.
You need someone in your life to feel secure but the good news is it doesn’t have to be them. They were just filling that position for you.
You were potential dreaming
You were dreaming too far into the future and imagined the relationship as more than it was. This can leave you heartbroken and confused about a relationship that was never going to get to that level. You may have also been pushing them to be someone they weren’t, trying to change someone to fit your fantasy.
I think a lot of us need to learn the hard way that you can’t change people.
Low self-esteem or an overthinker — these are self-explanatory
How it’s them
If your now ex-partner is emotionally immature, they could be coming across as distant and selfish. They find it hard to process how they’re feeling and find it even harder to communicate it. Someone who is emotionally immature may invalidate what you’re saying to get out of the situation or avoid the situation altogether.
This can be frustrating when trying to have a mature breakup.
Lack of compassion
No matter how emotionally stable you are, when someone you shared a loving experience with has little to no regard for your feelings, it stings. They are not going to validate your pain or put effort into comforting you. The key to compassion is understanding, if someone does not care to understand where you are coming from, they won’t feel compassion for you.
These could be indicators that your relationship had emotional abuse. Something you should be prepared for, and maybe seek some professional help.
Ending with advice
In the end, no answer or reason they give you will ever be enough. Closure is a myth, at least in the way we look at it. You don’t need it to move on and heal.
The best advice I’ve gotten on breakups is:
“ If in 2 years you were to find someone with all the same good qualities this person has, would you still want this person back?”
The answer for me was always no.
People are special because we make them special.
If someone has left you with piles of questions and never gave you a chance for a real goodbye, they probably weren’t ever going to be a good partner to you anyway. Breakups don’t need to be so painful.