I was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. I have spent the last two years spending my life with a man whom I truly believed I was going to marry. Welp, long story short, his and I story ended.
How I Began
The first few weeks were the easiest because all I had to focus on was finding a new job and a new place to live. The time between not having these things and having them was the least stressful because I knew how to accomplish both.
Granted, finding a job and a place to live at the same time is ALWAYS stressful. But doing both of those at the same time doesn’t even compare to remembering what life was like before meeting my ex-fiance. The moment I received the text that he was leaving, I automatically put myself into survival mode. The only aspect of life that mattered was: Work and Finances
Leaving a relationship costs money and I didn’t have anymore to sustain. Baby, I was broke. I had no other choice but to go into survival mode so I could literally survive! I didn’t have time think about checking in on myself to make sure I was okay. My depression and anxiety had a field day. I was so busy moving around like crazy that I didn’t realize that I was grieving the loss of a family (Not him specifically. Just his family).
I had been someone's fiancee, daughter-in-law, and aunt for so long that I forgot to continue to be Ashlee.
I stopped doing everything that makes me, me. Including: taking photographs, blogging (obviously), yoga, trying new food, self-care activities, etc. All I did was go to work and go home. I knew I had to make a change so I could make a new normal.
How I Created a New Normal
1. Let Go of the Past
I don’t expect to forget the relationship happened but I accept that the relationship will not return. I know that I have to allow relationships to end whether they are romantic or platonic. No one is able to look into the future while looking into the past.
2. Allow a Grieving Period
I refused to pretend that I was ever ok if I wasn’t. A whole other life was being created and it ended so quickly. Allowing yourself to feel the aftermath of emotions is part of the process to moving on.
3. Time for Self
To do literally what ever I needed. Sometimes I wasn’t ready to take a phone call because I in the middle of thinking. Other times I was too sad to leave the house. So I just wouldn’t. I sometimes went days without talking to one person and weeks for another.
4. Be Honest with Those Who Care
Explain to your friends and family that you need extra attention from them. But be specific of the actions. On the flip side, let them know if you need space to deal with your emotions. There were moments in which I couldn’t for them and myself.
5. Move On!
Some people believe you move on by spending time alone and allowing yourself time to refocus on yourself. But other people advise having lots fun spending time with other men. Honestly, why not do a little of both? I believe that you can focus solely on your life while going out and being a but flirty. You know your own limits of the heart. Listen to it and be safe.
6. Find New Hobbies
Once I joined a new dance team, I felt more comfortable going back to my old hobbies. Mashing old hobbies with the new is both exciting and comforting. By finding a new hobby, you’re taking control of how you spend your free time. More importantly, you’re making new memories and finding a new focus.
7. Be Open to New Relationships
I don’t mean romantically. I mean be open to new friends or rekindle old relationships with family members. Instead of focusing on what you lost, focus on who you can gain in your life instead.
8. Put You First
Starting today and everyday following. Ain’t no ninja worth your mental health. So take care of yourself and your heart. You’ll soon be able to realize you didn’t need him/her to be happy anyway.
Maintaining your mental health in the midst of a break up can challenging. You’ve built up a routine with your partner in mind. But now that routine is in shambles and you must start anew. Although hard, starting over is not impossible. Just remember you are still you.
You are the you with new memories, new experiences, and new life lessons. In my opinion, after the break up, you are not the same person you were before that relationship. So don’t push yourself to be that person. Plus, your life won’t go back to the way it was before anyway. Embrace the change.