Just about every single person who has been through a relationship breakup or divorce describes that, for a period of time, they felt numb and just went through the motions of life as best as they could. If this sounds dramatic, it can be just as difficult and intense to experience as it sounds.
With the end of the love relationship or marriage, it can seem like the life has temporarily been sucked out of you. You might feel like a zombie– just a shell who is walking around trying to make it through the day.
You might even start to believe that you’ll be in this zombie-like state forever. It can feel like the grief, shock and anguish will continue interminably.
As difficult as feeling like a broken-hearted zombie can be, we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to feel like this forever– or even for too much longer.
There is no magic number of days, months or years after a breakup when the pain will disappear. This varies for everyone. But, you can take steps to help yourself feel better quicker and easier. You can stop feeling like a lifeless and numb zombie and start to return to the vibrant person that you were (and still are).
Here are 4 tips to help…
#1: Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling.
Too often, people feel so much fear about their own emotions after a breakup or divorce, they do everything they can NOT to feel them. The mere idea of their grief, anger or sadness can be overwhelming and so they avoid, ignore and cover over how they really feel whenever possible.
This can make the zombie breakup experience more difficult and longer-lasting too.
Instead, find the courage to sit down and feel what you’re feeling. Nobody enjoys experiencing difficult emotions, but the best way to release them is to let them come up and out. In fact, the more willing you are to just feel what you’re feeling, the more your difficult emotions will release you.
Get creative and write, paint, sing, or dance out your feelings. Experiment with different ways to express your emotions and keep doing what seems to help you the most.
#2: Remember to look up from your pain.
It’s so important to cry, yell, rage around and even feel your fear, if that’s what’s real for you at the moment. Make sure you are letting out your emotions in ways that don’t involve you hurting yourself or another.
There are often points when an intense emotion eases up somewhat– this is usually when you’ve allowed it to come up and out, by the way. When you are in a calmer place, deliberately look around you.
Notice what’s going on in your life. What’s happening with your friends and family and your world? Make the choice to expand your view and offer your attention to all of the other things that are going on around you as you go through this difficult time.
Just by checking in with the rest of the world, you can begin to engage more with your expanded life and not be as single-mindedly caught up in the breakup.
#3: Give yourself the support you truly need.
Often, a person who has been through a breakup will feel overwhelmed by all of the changes happening. The zombie mode that can set in is frequently related to feeling unable to handle potentially new responsibilities and painful choices as well as intense emotions.
When you reach out to people and resources in your life who can be supportive of you, this can help you to snap out of zombie mode and begin living more fully.
Be clear and specific with those who are offering to support you. Ask for what you need in as precise terms as you can know. Then, be sure you allow yourself to fully receive what is given to you.
#4: Start to create your desired future.
When you’re ready, you can also give yourself permission to think about the kind of future you want for yourself. Thinking about a future that does not involve your ex might not be something that appeals to you right now and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself.
Continue to allow your emotions, to remind yourself of what’s going on right now in your expanded life and to receive support. These are all so very important to your healing and these strategies can help you snap out of zombie mode too.
At a certain point, you might find yourself thinking about next month, next year or the next 5 years. You may even feel excited about some goal or aspiration that has occurred to you. When this happens, go with it. Let yourself dream about what’s ahead for you and then start taking steps in that direction.