My Story Can Help You in Getting Over a Break Up

By: Prakash Sutradhar

“A broken heart is just the growing pains necessary so that you can love more completely when the real thing comes along.” ― J.S.B. Morse

Valentine’s day is coming and people are planning to celebrate it with their loved ones. Valentine’s day- full of red roses, red ballons, chocolates, gifts, romantic dinner, romanticmusics and spending together whole day.

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there are many people for who valentine’s day is the day of misery. They hate it, they cry over their lost love, they feel unloved. For them, it is the day of depression, lonlieness and reminder of their rejection in love.

This article is for the second group of people, who are trying to recover from their break-up. In this article, I will share my personal story and how I recovered from my break up.

Heartbreak pain is the worst pain anyone ever experiences in his life

Whenever it comes to emotional pain, we become uncertain. If there is any physical pain, I know whom to consult, what to take and in how many days I will get rid of it. Physical pain seems real to us and it’s solution are scientific. However, emotional pains are some kind of dark box, no one having any clue about what is happening inside the box, what I can do to get rid of it and how much time it will take. There is lots of myth about emotional pains, which prevented me from recovering from my heartbreak pain. Myths are like, “You’ll always remember your first love”, “you can not completely enjoy your life without her”, “you’ll not be able to love again” etc. etc..

Therefore, First step I took was breaking the myths about emotional pains. It seemed to me that physical pains are real pain and emotional pains are just metaphor of pain. When we have physical pain, we can specifically identify the location where the pain is and causes of it but emotional pains are just confusing. Every kind of emotional pains are dimensionless. They occur everywhere inside the body but at the same time we can’t figure out where exactly is the pain. When we have physical pain, we know there is some trouble in any part of the body but in case of emotional pain, whole body including brain is in perfect condition except our sense of everything Okay with us.

The truth is that emotional pain is as real as physical pain. Both kinds of pains are generated by the same part of brain. A broken leg and a broken heart is same for the brain. Recently scientists were successful in easing emotional pains using painkillers that being used to ease physical pains. [Warning: Do not take any painkillers without doctor’s prescriptions]

Although emotional pain is real but intensity of it depends on our perception.

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Therefore, good thing about emotional pain is that you can treat it without medication, just by changing your thinking, beliefs and perception. I realized that emotional pain is same as physical pain and it will be gone very soon if I take right course of action as I do with my physical pain. My Next hurdle was to break the myths about love.

Your brain in Love

Ever wondered why people find it very hard to recover from drug addiction and what happens to their brain. Cocaine, alcohol activates the very basic reward systems of our brain, which in turn releases dopamine- a brain chemical that is responsible for our motivation.  Same brain reward seeking circuitry gets activated when you’re in love. When you’re in love, your brain releases huge amount of dopamine and which it turn motivates you to seek further. The interested thing about dopamine is, it craves for more and more. When I cut the sources of dopamine (in my case it was my love partner) from the outside world, it just kicked me strongly and which it turn made me frustrated. That is why, an addict asks for further doses and that is why an addict initially finds it very difficult to quit addiction.

Although we human beings are rational, intellectual, civilized but our very basic nature is same as other species. Our core brain, which sits below our intellectual brain, is reptilian brain. Having a reptilian brain means, we are biologically wired to seek for romantic partners every time.

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I realized that when I am in love, I am actually in addiction. My brain in love is same as brain of an cocaine addict. Both of us seeking more of it. And I break up with my partner, I just cut off my sources of dopamine.

I started doing same things what an addict does to get their doses (dopamine feelings). I tried sending messages, calling, or visiting my ex’s social media pages.

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Therefore, I realized that love is not any random thing, which occurs for no reason; rather it is controlled by our brains. The next step for me was to rediscover myself and making myself less dependent on other people.

Identity Crisis

When I was in relationship, I became ‘we’ but just after the break up I was no more ‘we’, I became ‘I’ again. Biggest challenge people face just after break up of their relationship is finding who they are now. For me, ‘we’-the couple were happy, lovely, strong, adorable but ‘I’ is lonely, frustrated, rejected.

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Now, when lack of dopamine and lack of ‘we’ are combined, they try their best to fix both of them.  Phrases like “I love you”, “I can not live without you”, “You are my world” I kept listening to everyday from that person and it released certain chemicals inside my brain and I felt good. That is why I tried my best to fix the mess, I tried to convince my ex, I tried to get back together.

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Those were the things mainly responsible for my misery… Now let’s talk about things to be done in order to forget your ex completely.

Everything is in the mind only

Another reason is media, my friends and society was feeding me with wrong information like “She is the one” or “love happens only once” or “true love never dies” or “I can’t live without that person” etc. etc. . If I think rationally, before meeting that person I was happy then what happened now? It is just that I became addicted to those adrenaline, phenyl ethylamine and dopamine chemicals released every day in my brain when I was with that person. This can be restored once I know how to do this.

A few days passed, I was in a restaurant with my friends. A few minutes later, I started feeling uncomfortable and I escaped from there. Romantic environment, music, food everything reminded me of my ex and the time we spent together. Places, musics. Friends, movies, almost everything constantly reminded me of my ex. That was a big hurdle for me, because I could not escape from everything. I talked to my friend, he introduced me to his mother who is a psychologist. She had been a big help to me.

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Anchor is a term often used. Anchor means when an outside event and your emotion are connected together.  You do something, you experience an emotion. In a classic experiment, every time famous scientist named Pavlov fed his dogs, he rang a bell. When Pavlov had done this a few times, he only needed to ring the bell, without feeding the dogs, and the dogs started to think about food and salivate. This is anchor, dog associated ringing of bell and it’s emotion of hunger together. Now single outside event (bell ringing) was enough to force the dog to create emotion.

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Same happened with me. I associated almost all the outside events-places, musics, movies, friends with my ex and the nice feelings I had when I was with my ex. It formed such a strong association that just a clip of my favourite music was enough to made me think of my ex.

My friend’s psychologist mother then told me, in order to forget my past,  I had to remove all those anchors. Anchors can be removed the same way it was created. In Pavlov’s experiment, Pavlov further started to feed the dog without ringing the bell and then few days later when he rang the bell he discovered that the dog did not salivate because anchor was removed.

To remove my anchors, I started doing the same thing as pavlov did. I started to listening to the old music when I was happy and forced myself not to think of my ex. I started going to the places with new people. When I did it for a few days, I discovered that anchors were removed and those musics, places, gifts no more remind me of my ex.

Killing Hope

I felt better, my pain was easing and I was moving forward. But to be honest, it was not 100%. Somewhere inside me, I felt bad and wished if things could have touned out as I wanted. I didn’t know after doing all these why I was thinking of getting back together. Agian, my friend’s psychologist mother had the answer.

If you watch football matches, you will find that teams are fighting their best to a certain point after that they just give up.
What is that point?

It is “HOPE”. We keep fighting till we have the last hope of success. People easily forget death of their closed one but can’t forget their break up, why?
Because in death there is no hope of coming back of that person but in break up, we think that there is still a hope and that is why we can’t recover fully from break up. Therefore, I realized that to forget my ex, I have to kill all hopes of getting back together otherwise all efforts of becoming happy will be in vein.

Now there can be many ways to kill hope, first thing I did was I stopped imagining things  of getting back together, or someday receiving phone call from my ex or suddenly meeting my ex in any party. I just stopped imagining things about my partner. I stopped visiting my ex’s Facebook/twitter pages. I stopped revisiting old memories and old stuffs of my ex. After a few days, my hope of getting back together started fading away.

Everything happens for a good reason

If I think in other way, my break up actually became my life-changing event.  I already said that, heartbreak pain is the worst pain ever and I have just learnt how to deal with the worst pain. It made me stronger and less vulnerable. When I recovered from that bad phase of my life, I became wiser and matured. I found, I have better control over my emotions. I became better in controlling my anger. My social skills were improved. Whatever might be the reason for the failure of relationships, I learnt to introspect my life. I identified my weaknesses. I became better in talking with opposite sexes. I am now better equipped with what not to say, how to behave and how to emphasize with people.

It is like, if you recover from worst financial crisis, then you learn to save money, you learn to enjoy with whatever little money you have. If you recover from life threatening diseases, you learn to love your life, you learn to enjoy every moment of your life. Same happens when you recover from your break up, you learn to love yourself. You start giving value to your goals, careers. Your career shines. You develop new hobbies or discover your lost ones. You give more importance to your families now than you used to. You start believing in quality than quantity. Your limilited friends become sufficient for you and your friendship with them grows further. Your perspective changes, you become aware of yourself, you become more kind, honest, calm and passionate. Showing off to people, craving attention are no more interesting to you. You learn to see the real world and real you. Next time when you go in a new relationship, you are better person, matured, kind, and pragmatic and off course, all of this makes you more loveable.

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All of the above benefits are only available if you successfully recover from your break up. Many people can not imagine above picture and they make their life more and more miserable. It is not the failure of relationship, which makes your life painful, it is the things you do just after break up which decides your fate. So, one need to imagine a bright future ahead in which you are kind, better, successful, loveable person. I know when you’re down, it becomes very difficult to imagine such kind of thing, all seems meaningless except the person who has broken your heart. You have two choices available, either you go back to  the person who broke your heart and be the same person for life long or you completely change your life and be a new person. You can change your life because you have the motivation to do this. When iron is hot, you can give it to any shape. Same with us, It is very easy to change when we are broken. The right amount of motivation needed to do this available now.  So, take a decision and change your life completely.