Monday, January 26, 2009

The Five Stages of Mending a Broken Heart

Hi guys, I just want to share this old article of mine here at my blog with the hope that somehow it can reach more wounded hearts like mine...

Before my blog, I already posted this somewhere online…I forgot the site.

I wrote this when I was still in 4th year college (2009), but the date won’t matter because my COPYCATS were wise enough to indicate that they posted this article earlier (some were dated 2007, and so on).

But, whether you believe it or not, this is my article.

Before, I’ve already seen some rewritten versions of this online, but I was surprised to find out just now (11-01-12) that the numbers grew exponentially.  A lot of internet marketers even made eBooks out of it, and there are some who even claim this article as their own. Try to google them.

I also saw this on associated content.

Honestly, I am so pissed and disappointed, but all I can do now is to spread to as many readers as possible that I am the ORIGINAL WRITER of this masterpiece.

This article of mine has gone VIRAL, online. Unfortunately, none of my COPYCATS gave me credit on being the ORIGINAL WRITER. L

It pains me!

Below is the REAL, UNEDITED VERSION OF THE ARTICLE (forgive me for the grammatical errors). 

Check the links of the rewritten versions of this at the end of the article.

This article was adapted from Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grieving

You were there sitting alone in the crowded place, deserted, neglected and unloved---yet it was just a mere feeling brought about by your irrational generalization that no body loves you just because you were dumped by someone.

Short with the strength to jump off the building, or overdose yourself with sleeping pills, you resort to something else. Overpowered by your faith that suicide is a mortal sin, and held back by your guilt and the future that awaits you, you can not bear to cut yourself and bleed to death. So you cling into isolation, lie on bed all day long with your bottomless stocks of chocolate bars and black forest cake. Then, beside you is your cell phone in the hopeful case of receiving text messages or even a call from him/her. Yet your expectations turned to disappointments. Text messages were all dropping like raindrops, yet nothing was from him. To your dismay, you focused on your sweets, savouring each bite as you reminisce your times with him at People’s Park. You were relieved with your emptiness. Yet you begin to bloat and get ill---so comes another problem. But, you don’t care. You even wish that the earth would eat you up and be its sumptuous meal or that while sleeping you will traverse the road towards everlasting peace through a medical condition called acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis. So, the moment you wake up, you don’t have to suffer the strong blow of reality. You don’t have to dehydrate yourself from crying an ocean of icy cold tears, brought by the arctic position that you are in. With that painless Passover from life to death, you were able to escape hell in your temporal existence. Yet you will not experience heaven in your eternal life.
Cases like these are not new already. At some point in your life, you had also shared a part in the floods and tsunamis brought about by the uncontrolled transformation of your emotions into torrent of tears.
What do you do?
The key to any form of healing is through the acceptance that there is a problem. More so, you have to acknowledge that you have to go through different stages in mending your broken heart. Once you realize these things, you are now on the starting point in your pursuit towards complete healing. You can even chart your progress and see that it's only a short trip to recovery.

STAGE ONE: Denial Stage

Symptoms: This is where you are now. You know for sure that everything between you and him has come to an end. Yet you choose to close your eyes on the real thing and create the same world like you had with him before. But, it isn’t just the same. Now, it is only you living in it. The fact is that, the two of you are now separate entities treading in parallel directions. Still, you force yourself in making those lines cross once more. You consciously blind yourself because you can not accept the fact that it is all over. The things you used to do, have or experience before that he’s still in your life are completely different now.
You wake up in the morning, grab your cell phone and send him a message saying, “good morning baby, it’s time to wake-up…” Then, his reply would be, “good morning, too but you’re not my baby anymore…” It hurts of course, yet you won’t give up. You’ll think of excuses for his cold reply. Maybe he’s just kidding or is just trying to piss me off. Or maybe he’s just having a bad day from our misunderstanding the other night. This would be your daily habit. Time after time, you send him a message that he won’t bother to reply even with a smiley or a single word. To your despair, you’ll call him every now and then, only to hear the voice saying, “the telephone number you dial is either unattended or out of coverage area, please try again later…” True to it, you try and try.
You go into the nearest internet cafe, open your friendster account and post a comment on his page. Again, you’ll sound as if he’s still yours. Only to find out later that his primary picture only has his face, with the widest grin as if nothing happened. Worse, you opened his photo gallery only to see a picture of him with another girl or even worse, with another man.
Every morning, you pass by his house as you go to school, waiting for him to come out alone or with another man/woman. You pass by his room as you go into yours, waiting for him to notice you and say even “hi” or just throw a smile. At night, silence is killing you. You feel the pain intensifies as it gets darker. So, you'll find a shoulder to cry on and release the burden inside that has been torturing you consciously. Then, you were relieved. The next morning you go back into your daily habit.
You hang-out with friends and sing out your emotions at World Palace or Gmik Barkada, and when the song plays; you begin with, “hindi ko kaya na limutin kita, masdan mong mga luha sa aking mga mata. Pilitin ko man ako’y masasaktan, ang katotohanan ay mahal pa rin kita.”

How to cope: An AB Psychology Professor of ADDU said, “In the early stages, accept your pain. If you'd broken your leg, you'd expect it to hurt for a while and you'd manage your life around it. It's the same with emotional pain: to cope with heartbreak, let your heart be broken for a while. It will heal easier if you let nature take its course.” She also added that you must realise that healing from emotional pain is a rollercoaster ride - not a straight line. Physical injury will get steadily better day by day but emotional hurt doesn't heal like that. You get a run of good days, then WHAM! A bad one hits. Expect these, and you'll discover you can cope with the heartbreak much better.”
These words are really easier said than done, but you must take the risk if you want to save your heart. In any hurting situation, most of us delve into tears. So give in to it. As said earlier, you must feel the pain. You can not go on to another stage unless you were able to pass through the first phase. To really feel the pain, you must give up the things you were used to before. Like if you were accustomed to receiving sweet text messages every now and then starting from the moment you wake up until you close your eyes and sleep at night. Now, you must get used of not having those. Worse, you must not insinuate things to happen again. You will just hurt yourself more. It would just add up to the wound that is still in the process of healing. With that, the curing process will be lengthened; the pain would be more severe as you keep on adding trauma to the lesion. It’s like you have just undergone an open heart surgery and because of straining too much, the site of incision will undergo dehiscence and evisceration. If you would not stop from adding trauma to the freshly operated wound, eventually complications will arise. Before you knew it you were already bleeding relentlessly like the flow of blood in a dying person. If you want to save yourself, then just feel your current pain but don’t add up more. Your pain threshold might be so high to acknowledge that you are that injured already, but later on you will realize the consequences of your actions. Just hope that it isn’t too late to revive yourself once more.
I know there are still lots of ways to cope up during this stage, so I asked some SPCians about it. Mr. Cubresis, a nursing student said, “I just eat a lot to divert my attention. But when the pain becomes so severe already, I just cry it out.” Most of what I had interviewed engaged themselves to activities that could divert their attention. Mr. Anga, a nursing student said that during this crucial time, he goes out with friends and just have fun. There are also who really tries to see the bright side of the situation and just think of positive things. Some regain their composure by reminding themselves of how beautiful they are; that this time is a perfect opportunity to give chance to others who are on the line, dying to be with them. Indeed, it can soothe your pain for some time. But still you can’t deny that in your solitude, sadness will still eat you up. So, temporary escape could be a choice. Yet your last option would still be to feel the pain until it hurts no more.

STAGE TWO: Anger Stage

Symptoms: You’ve been hurt so much on the first stage. Your line of thought this time is rage, fueled by the intensity of pain you had endured. It follows that your pain and your anger are directly proportional to each other. Don’t worry, it’s not a bad sign to be angry. It is just a reminder that your heart is beginning to heal. You start on saying bad words to him at the back of your mind. What nerve he had to dump me! He’s not even handsome, rich or intelligent. He’s simply nobody. Eventually, you’ll see yourself backbiting him. Once your mouth begins to open up and utter its first word, it would be hard to stop just like addiction. Sometimes, you even fabricate your words just to make it worse. You’ve become the antagonist without you knowing it. So you reassess yourself at one time, and you’ll realize that you’re anger had taken you towards being someone you are not. You begin to be guilty with what you’ve done. But, it would only last for some time, and then you’ll turn the blame on him. It’s all his fault. If only he did not do this to me. If only we are still together, doing the same things we used to do. If only he still has the eyes to see the beauty that is in front of him each time we pass by at each other. If only he did not break my heart.
Later on, you’ll have a temporary reawakening from the truth and had come to accept it by heart. So, you start on dating. During your free time, you go out to the nearest internet cafĂ© and chat with different people. You’ll have lots of new acquaintances. Some you’ve known in the chat room, others through your cell phone. There are a few who had been introduced to you by a friend, and still some you’ve come to mingle and dance with at the night clubs.
Weeks or months after, you have a new boyfriend. Good for you---but how about to the guy or to the relationship itself? Of course you know at the back of your mind that rebound relationships are not healthy. First, it is unfair for your partner. Second, you’re fooling yourself. It is not love that you have towards him. You just gave in to him because you know that your night is cold and you need warmth to save you from chronic sadness and soon depression. Sooner or later your affair will break. It is like a piece of glass ware; so fragile and breakable. It can not take even the slightest tension.

How to cope: In the words of the psychology professor of ADDU, “Don't add guilt to anger. If you've been dumped or abandoned, it's quite reasonable to expect to feel anger. (That doesn't mean get physically or emotionally abusive though - that will land you in a lot of trouble - even jail!) Anger's not a bad emotion - it's better than despair.” Indeed, you must release what you truly feel because if not, it will wreck yourself. You can’t have your focus, so you’ll become a mess. Eventually all the unexpressed feelings and unspoken words that you have inside will clog up and can even lead to a malignant tumor. You have no excuses to express what you truly feel. As they say, “You can close your eyes for the things you don’t want to see, but you can not stop the beating of your heart to avoid the feelings you don’t want to feel.”
The psych professor also added, “Don't stay angry. Anger is a phase you'll probably go through – it’s part of how to cope with the pain of heartbreak, but it isn't the only answer! It takes a lot of energy to stay angry, and the only person who'll be hurt is you. Eventually, you'll get bored and exhausted with the anger - so look for signs of that and welcome them as moving on!”
However, if you’re still at the peak of releasing what you feel. Then, don’t hesitate to express it in any way you like. Just remember that all your actions should be coupled with responsibility, since whether you like it or not everything has its repercussions. You can release your anger through some activities that you love to do. If you love playing computer games, then release what you feel in every stroke that you make in your keyboard or joystick. Or if releasing your physical strength is your passion, then, you can punch your pillow, your bed or even the hard walls of your room. Mr. Baldon, a nursing student, chose to have tongue piercing because for him physical pain is far easier to endure that emotional pain. But still, if you are not contented with what you did, you can resort on some thing else that will give you satisfaction. You can opt to do things which you will regret later. But, at least it helps in lightening up what you feel. I mean, you can formalize your break-up by getting rid of everything you have that reminds you of him. You can get his picture and throw dart pins on it, tear it into pieces, or draw something on it. You can take out all his love letters inside your cabinet and burn it one by one together with the memories that each letter has. Be aware though, that months or years from now, you’ll wish that you haven’t done it. That it’s also good to have something that will remind you of your past and how you were able to pick up the pieces of your broken heart and continue on living and loving. It’s good to know how those memories from the past add up to your strength in facing life’s ups and downs.

STAGE THREE: Bargaining Stage

Symptoms: You think you had completely forgotten him. Yet you are totally wrong. Things are all coming back to you again. You can’t sleep at night thinking about him. You begin to pray and wish that things between the two of you could be settled once more. You’re now going back at the first stage of denial. It only differs because now you would take it a step higher. You will do whatever it takes to have him back. Before, you were just looking from afar, yet now you will be hands-on with your strategies.
You begin eyeing on him, following his every move, waiting for the perfect moment to approach him and do your thing. When that time comes, you’ll fight hard to have the nerve to say what you want to say and do what you want to do. At first, you will be tongue-tied, yet once you’ve said a word or two, the eloquence of your speech will be so superb; it can even be delivered while receiving the Nobel Peace Price. Then, you’ll also borrow the words of Akon, “…so I want to take this time out to apologize for the things that I’ve done…and then later on you’ll hear yourself singing the song “sorry, blame it on me” (the female version) in front of him. Moments after, your tears begin to well up in your eyes until they have nowhere to go but cascade in your face. You will make sure that your words could make a best-selling book and your actions could give you the best actress trophy. Your plan to revive your relationship now lies in your power, as far as your belief is concerned.
Things will now turn upside down; you’ll now be the one courting him, begging on your knees for him to come back again. You would adhere on the clichĂ©, “Please give me a second chance…I can’t live without you…You are my life…” Then, you’ll sing, “I love you more than you’ll ever know…” But, at the end of the day, you go home all by yourself. Your efforts had served its purpose. But, it did not turn on the way you wanted it to be. To see yourself from a distance, “You open up your television, turned your DVD player on and played One More Chance by Bea and John Lloyd.” You begin to hope that your love story will be like Bash and Popoy. That in time you and your guy will still end up in each other’s arms.
Hope is all you have this time. And it is also the only thing that keeps you from moving on. You are caught in the dilemma between giving up your hope, which means giving up on him and on the chances that he might come back or giving up your hope to have a new beginning…To start again. The choice is yours.

How to cope: Think of how pathetic you’ve become. Ask yourself. Reassess what you’ve done these past few days. How long are you going to stay in such situation? What is it anyways that you like in taking risks from reviving something which has long been dead? Again, you only add trauma to the injury. You’re just prolonging your agony. Are you a masochist? Well then, consult a psychiatrist the soonest time possible. Or are you just stupid? Sorry, but until now there hasn’t been a cure for stupidity since people become more stupid as they try to formulate a remedy towards this addiction.
Definitely it is good to never give up. Never say die, as they say. But, in cases like this; only fools have the eyes to see a spark of optimism. We must choose our battles. We must have enough reason to fight for something. Victories will not live its name if not driven by solid grounds for its existence. I can say that in this instance, your triumph is in giving up the fight. If your heart tells you to fight, but your mind tells you otherwise. Then, remember that you are more a rational being than an emotional one.
The soonest time possible, you must take the first trip from dreamland to reality. For sure, there will be lots of seats for you since most people would prefer to stay longer from their fancies.
To motivate you in getting rid of your fantasies, of course, you must think of the bad things about it. The same thing goes in getting rid of him. As Ms. Alonzo, a nursing student said, “For you to forget him easily, you must think of his negative qualities. By that, you can surely have enough reason as to why it is okay that the two of you are not together anymore.”
You must bear in mind that bargaining has its limitations. You can compare it from “ukay-ukay,” though sometimes you can get something at the price convenient for you, most of the time the owner also has his limit in giving you a bargain.
So if your guy offers friendship to you, it’s like the sales boy closing the price tag of one hundred pesos to eighty pesos. It’s far from the fifty pesos tag that you want or the “more than friends” status that you desire. But, that’s the deal---and it’s non negotiable.

STAGE FOUR: Depression Stage

Signs and symptoms: You will be like a walking zombie. There will be dark circles around your eyes, large eye bags and sleepy eyes, pale lips, limp extremities and soulless body. You are always caught staring blankly at the walls and once you have a picture of him in your mind, more so if he’s in front of you, for sure you’ll have a tunnel vision. You can’t see anything at your peripheries, but him. The words of your tongue always speak of him; you are preoccupied by his memories and eaten up by the fact that you’re out of his life. Indisputably, you failed in your effort to cope up in your bargaining stage. You only see the gloomy side of everything. You think that your effort in having him back in your life was useless. But, if you are at the right state of mind, you will realize that it is not futile at all. If you did not take chances, you will not know the outcome.
You pity yourself for what is happening on you. You feel that you’re the center of the universe and that everyone and everything are against you. You think that the world is so focused on you alone; in making your life miserable. You begin to perceive yourself as so different from other people; that you’re despondent and they are not; that you’re alone and they’re together with their loved ones. You will have these feelings until you take him out as the center of your life.
You are not comfortable in the crowd. You prefer staying alone in your dark room and feel the sympathy of silence, gloomy night and mellow music. You love the sensation of tears as they gush out of your tear ducts and pour the unending sentiment of salty encumbrance. Crying becomes your detachable compulsion.
Slowly, you begin to ruin your life. Your grades start to fall down since you can not focus on your work. Your social life becomes feeble as you isolate yourself from the outside world. Your health begins to deteriorate as your nutritional needs are not met and your sense of responsibility vanishes with the wind.
Sooner you’ll have chronic depression and you’ll be asked to take some drugs. Worse, you’ll be admitted to a psychiatric hospital as your symptoms worsen and your chance for recovery is only by the hands of the psychiatrists. You’ll have suicidal ideations. You’ll think of different ways to terminate your life in the way most convenient and accessible for you.
Are you going to wait for this moment for you to acknowledge the truth? It hurts but you must bear in mind for always, that in this life nothing is meant forever. Nights become mornings, seasons change, leaves die and hearts will break. This is the creed of life. You have no choice but to live with it and take its flow.

How to cope: More than anything, acknowledge that depression is a state of mind. It is more of what you think than what you do. When you’ll accept that fact and keep it in your heart, for sure you are a step closer to full recovery.
The same as with the denial stage, diversion is one of the keys towards fighting depression. You must deflect your attention towards anything, except him. Like in any stage, it will not be easy. Yet the rewards are worth it. So, just follow your instinct. Proceed and don’t even hesitate.
As what Ms, Alava, a nursing student said, “In times like this, I go out and breathe fresh air; reflect on what has happened in my life and what are still to transpire. I go to mass everyday and pray for God’s healing grace. Despite of all the pains that I’ve been through, I still believe that He has a reason for all of these. I believe He knows best. As we say it in our prayer, “Your will be done.” So be it. Eventually, I was able to move on and forget him.”
When you’ve started to direct your mind, your energy and your heart to other things; you begin to be engrossed about it. Before you know it, he’s not in your thoughts already. A day would pass without you being bothered by memories of him. Well, that is definitely an excellent sign of healing. Your wound had already formed a scab. Eventually, it will just be a scar---a marker that some time in your life you were able to love, be hurt and move on.
Moreover, you can undergo a total make-over with the best hair stylist and fashion experts in town. Then, full of confidence and energy, you can ramp your way onwards. Take it from Ms. Tabucan, a nursing student who gave herself a head-to-toe transformation. After some time, her crush became her boyfriend. They had been together for six years now and still going strong.
Likewise, now is the best time for you to gather enough strength that will radiate from within. More than ever, now is the moment to think of your blessings and be thankful of it. Be aware that in this world, you are not the only person who experiences the same agony that you have at this point of time. Be inspired with the survival stories of the people who had been in your situation and made it a life-transforming event. Believe that you can overcome this crucial stage of your healing. Acknowledge your weaknesses, but bear in mind that your power is more than enough to compensate for them. But above all, trust that prayer is still the best tool in your quest towards complete recovery.
In addition, the AB Psychology Professor of ADDU said, “Recall that in Chinese, the word for "crisis" is also the same as the word for "opportunity." Endings, however they come about, are also new beginnings. Each night, before going to sleep, let your mind tiptoe back through your day and find at least three good things that happened to you today. It maybe as simple as a child smiling at you, seeing a rainbow, hearing a cuckoo or some tune that you love on the radio. Write them down. If you compile these "magic moments" in a notebook that you keep by your bed, in a year you'll have a thousand great memories! And as you keep reaching for these positives, you'll find your life - including your love life - will improve, slowly at first, then faster and faster - as if by magic! This is the best mechanism I know for how to cope with heartbreak! Remember, the greatest revenge is massive success - and when it comes to coping with heartbreak, that success is defined as your personal happiness”

STAGE FIVE: Acceptance Stage
Symptoms: One morning, you wake-up, look in front of the mirror and ask yourself what you saw in him in the first place. You begin to laugh at the things that you’ve done before. You hear a song that reminds you of him, yet it does not bother you anymore. You pass by him at the school’s corridor; and you just smile and walk away. It did not even ring a bell in your heart. When asked about him, you have the confidence to say, “Yes, he’s out of my life, that’s why he is my EX.”
You go on dating. But, this time you know that the relationship that you will have is not a rebound anymore. You know that your heart is now ready to accept a new occupant. One who will love you the way you wanted to be loved. However, you must still be open that no matter how good he looks both in and out, he still carries some possibilities of hurting yourself on the process or worse in hurting yourself until you give up and be brokenhearted again.

How to cope: You have now proven to yourself that you can overcome a break-up, move on and totally forget about him. You are now a living confirmation that hearts do heal in time. When you reach this stage, you are back again to becoming the person that you are meant to be; full of happiness, vigour and positive energy. Any moment from now, you can have another love; this time you can be wiser. You will now know when to hold on and when to stop; when to let go and when to move on.

Now that you know these five stages of break-up, you will now able to identify the processes involved. If you do fall in love and be broken hearted again, at least you can monitor your quest to recovery.

Falling in love has just become easy for most of us, yet falling out of love for the purpose of healing has never been painless. It’s always a complicated process. But don’t be afraid to love and to be hurt. Each scar in your heart has a story to tell, it reminds you of the points in your life where you had been at your weakest, yet still managed to survive and live to tell your stories.
Life is full of surprises; of second, third and even more chances. Believe as well in the power of positive attraction. If you want to know more about it, you can buy the book or the DVD entitled, “The Secret.” For sure, it can help you as you go along your healing process.
Once the words had been said, actions had been done; there is no other direction but forwards. So, move on. You can look back to the place where you’ve been through. But, stepping back to it is another story. Again, the choice is yours. ®


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