Closure

When you go through a breakup, one of the ways to move forward is to find closure. Closure has different meanings for many, but to me, it is a process. In that process you allow your feelings, hurt and pain to surface. As much as those emotions are unpleasant to deal with, you embrace them. Because only when you allow yourself to fully feel those emotions can you let them go. I wanted to make sure that after such a devastating experience that I healed in a healthy way, which would ultimately leave me a better, wiser and stronger person in the end.

So I did just that. My heart was broken and I allowed myself to go through the motions of mourning. I broke down… a lot. My control freak, composed side of me urged me to keep a poker face and forge forward. But supressing is toxic. And if I was to push off feeling the aftermath now, I’d just have to deal with the same emotions but in a more intense form at some point in the future. My process of mourning wasn’t pretty. I had no appetite and had to force myself to eat. I had a looming black cloud over me constantly. I dreaded the night, because that’s when my breakdowns would be at its worst. My heart was broken, and I tried everything I could to fix it.

But nothing did. And to be honest, what I wanted deep down inside was for the man that I loved to fix me. Then finally it dawned on me – the man who breaks your heart cannot be the same person that fixes it.

That was one hard pill to swallow.

In my experience, I felt like I came undone. For the first time in my life I truly fell deep in love with someone and at the end had my heart completely shattered. Not many people could understand why I couldn’t just move forward and “get over it”. But I think it takes a lot of courage to choose a path of healing and closure that is healthy. It takes courage to face your emotions dead-on, to talk about your insecurities and pain, and to embrace your vulnerability instead of being ashamed of it. And lastly, it sure takes a whole lot of courage to set aside your pride and ask for help.

I’ve learned that nothing and no one can give me closure. There’s no magic pill. There’s no yoga retreat that cures. There’s no set guide of instructions. There’s no allotted time that suddenly makes the sadness go away. Closure is a process, and often a long, drawn out one. And during that process, the only things that heal are time, reflection and going through the emotions. And hopefully, as healing progresses, you reach a point of forgiveness and compassion. I still have a long road ahead in this journey of getting back to good, but I know I’ll get there. Slowly, but surely.

Photo credit: darwin Bell

6 Comments

  • Reply February 10, 2012

    Mirian

    Hi Amy,

    In one of your paragraphs you said not many people could understand why you couldn’t get over it and just go on. I completely understand you and I’m sure many others do, too. When you are in a vulnerable hurt state you feel alone but, please, be aware that we were all hurting for you and were caring very deeply.

    For me, it took loving the family again to understand where I came from even though I thought the family was what made me dysfunctional in my relationships. As I get older, I find life is a circle which brings me back to the beginning. Rather than straying from that circle, I followed it back and found myself.

    You are so young and there is so much ahead of you. I hope you find yourself back on that circle and I will be there to give you a big warm loving auntie hug.

  • Reply May 24, 2013

    Diva

    I know I have a long road ahead of me….closure, hummm at my own pace its hard to think of days with out my ex….its was 13 months and now that s over by my own choice.. I have to search myself as say why did I not end it sooner??? was I trying to fill some type of void?? Im not sure at this point but each day I wake up I think of diffrent things.. I am faced to deal with. My heart is broken I was truly in love with him, and I thought he loved me…lol I often think back about all the good time…and them have flash backs of the tiny clues I had that something wasnt right….yes..clues…that I should have taken in to account a long time ago…but its funny how I did what I had to do when the time was right,,,,now im dealing everyday and I know Karma has its way of showing up …he will see, Its funny at times that Im gonna be alone trying to pick up the peices of a broken heart.. well he will soon be out buying pampers for a new baby with the sideline he choose to cheat on me with…with while..I’ll be at the gym or work…or reading or doing whatever it is life brings my way….so even though my heart is broken because he CHEATED,,,each day I cry or hurt,,,somehow i Know in the end I have allready won…My daughter will be going to college in a few weeks.,..im going to be alone but I wont have the cheaters,,,,,problems,,,,hope this helps somebody,,..!!! Im taking it one day at a time!!….love is out thier

  • Reply October 11, 2013

    Cindy

    I’m very sorry to disappoint you that closure will not be happening at anytime with that train of thought. To be exact, a closure explained in your sad story does NOT signify ‘closure’. It only verifies your strength, SO FAR, clearly, you’re much stronger than a painful hump in the heart.

    Closure is very a valuable concept, and not many who break up will ever be able to have a closure. The primary way of having closure to move on, is by writing down a list of all the things you’ve learned from your relationship with your ‘ex’ partner. Then, review it, and write down what you want NOW, you will then realize….. that you have remained alive, not dead. You’re still breathing. You were blessed to be part of something very magical, and not everybody in the world experiences heart-aches because of a ‘break-up’, but much more serious such as losing a loved one.

    Second way, eat some fruits and think HAPPY. It’s very hard, of course.. but somehow, think of the time you wanted to go on a roller coaster. It would be best to write a letter to him/her. Type/Write it. Explain how you feel and what you were expecting the way it should had ended.

    Give it to your best friend to hold on to it, or however/whoever can assist on holding on to the letter.

    Third, Embrace the moment…the world is beautiful. a Star only shines in the dark. You have loved, and you are an angel because you have so much love within you that it’s time to invest your energy for The One. You’ve learnt so much throughout the tricycle ride.

  • Reply October 27, 2013

    Kaelyn

    Dear Amy,

    Thank you for writing this. This speaks my heart. I am glad I found this site. It felt like I am not really alone. Thank you.
    I never get to really move on until I finally embrace the fact that it is finally over. I have had enough. 3 years and I see no effort at all. His promises was just left sweet nothing. I was angry, I was sad but I realised I need to move on because I was trapped. I need to break free. Not because I don’t love him anymore but because he could not show me love anymore. I bear with his silent treatment for months periodically for the past 3 years and I allowed him to come back every single time. But not this time. It breaks me having to write to him to end it. I wished there is more we can both work out but it is proven he did not know how to love me anymore. And that was the moment I knew, I needed to leave. I needed to set him free. Set myself free. I am still healing. I only managed to pull myself off him 3 months ago. It will take some time for me to finally heal. Like you said, closure is a process. At least I have embraced the fact, “we” can never be “me and him” anymore. It is heartbreaking but I know I will survive.

    Thank you Amy for having this site.

  • Reply November 18, 2013

    Kate

    John Gray’s Mars And Venus Starting Over is actually very good for anyone wanting to mend and rebuild from a broken heart.

  • Reply October 18, 2014

    Heartbroken

    Dear Amy,
    My boyfriend of over a year and a half recently shattered my heart when he abruptly broke up with me one day. We have been in a long distance relationship since the start and met abroad, which I know rarely is triumphant. I foolishly believed though that we would be the couple that would make it in these hard times, that we were indeed the couple to surpass the trials and tribulations of long distance. We had always fought for one another and fought for a future together the last year and in my eyes we were the perfect example of communication. After hearing him say that he no longer saw a future with me after what I believed to be the start of a normal day, I began to doubt myself to my inner core. I have read all of your articles on break ups and to be honest…I’m typically not the person to leave a comment or write to the author, but I truly and whole heartedly relate to every single comment you’ve made, every piece of advice you’ve given and every experience you’ve shared. I know it is in time that all will heal and in the midst of this time one must take measures to heal oneself, but I guess my inquiry is how did you do it? I read all the steps you took, but how do you make the feeling of hurt and betrayal feel less hurtful? How did you pick yourself back up again and remain so positive? I really truly identify with you when you said you felt like the world was ending and perhaps that’s true of all break ups or else how do you know it was something important to you? But really, perhaps this is still too fresh of a wound for me.. how do you pick up the pieces again and still remain you?

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