I still remember the day that my two-and-a-half year relationship ended. June 2nd, a little over two months ago, I lost a piece of myself when he walked away from my house and I was left feeling like a shell of the person I once was.
He promised me marriage and a life together, and I was left in shambles feeling like everything was my fault. I began having nightmares, thoughts of complete worthlessness, and I felt like I was broken forever. But over the course of time, I've been able to discover moments when my self-worth and confidence come back, and how I have begun to heal in five distinct ways.
The first way is through my friendships. I am so blessed to have such supportive friends as well as a church family that has reached out to me and prayed for me during this time. Since my ex-boyfriend is still friends with some of my friends, one of them said, "It feels like a divorce almost."
That's kind of how it felt. However, they've been more than helpful in texting and calling me to make sure that I'm doing okay and always offering encouragement. Seriously, if you're having a terrible day or a mental breakdown, find your closest friends and don't be afraid to reach out.
The second way is through pursuing my writing and other passions. I didn't remember how much I loved painting until I decided to try and start painting canvases for a school choir tour fundraiser. I used to do those Paint-By-Numbers as a kid, and I forgot how many hours I'd spend doing those!
I also dove straight into writing and beginning plans for a devotional project. Granted, I do procrastinate, but it's still something I'd love to accomplish! I was able to keep my mind busy and focus on something that made me happy and not allow negativity to set in and ruin my day.
The third way is through self-care. My depression quickly wanted to emerge and take over my life and my mind, and so I always tried to stay one step ahead and take care of myself. I painted my toenails, went out with friends, put makeup on, got dressed up, took long and relaxing showers or baths, and remind myself that I was worthy of feeling good about myself.
When I take care of myself, I'm more motivated and confident. I still fight depression in those moments, but I always remember who I belong to and how precious I am in the eyes of God.
The fourth way would be through prayer. After I would have a bad anxiety attack, I'd turn no other way but to God. I'd sit on my floor or my bed and just cry out to God, and it would feel like a release on a pressure valve and I could breath again.
I've prayed for forgiveness toward my ex-boyfriend (I'm still working on that but it will come one day,) I've prayed for healing, and I don't look for miraculous or big signs of God. If I got out of bed and put makeup on, that's a victory. If I go a day without any depression or anxiety, that's also a victory. The little victories and the big ones are always where God is present and working.
My final way has been through music. This could fall under the "passions" category, but my best moments of peace and comfort have come through listening to my favorite music. It stirs me emotionally, helps me to focus on a deep message, and it can also spawn a spontaneous dance party, which are incredible healing during a rough day. Even during a great day, put on some tunes and dance around in your best sweats!
I hope that this can help someone out there who is struggling after a breakup. I want you to know, reader, that you are worthy of being loved, you are deserving of an amazing life, and know that through this process of healing, you are not a burden. Remind yourself of these things, and know that one person does not define your worth. You are strong, loved, and wonderfully made.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, please call:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA's behavioral health treatment services locator is an easy and anonymous way to locate treatment facilities and other resources, such as support groups and counselors, to treat and manage depression.
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
If your depression is leading to suicidal thoughts, call the National Hopeline to connect with a depression treatment center in your area. The Hopeline also offers a live chat feature for those who don't want to (or are unable to) call and can dispatch emergency crews to your location if necessary.