Breaking Up

Breakups are heart wrenching. We’ve all been through them. Your whole world is turned upside down. Hopes, dream,s and expectations dissolve like dust. You wander aimlessly through your life, struggling to put one foot in front of the other.

Simply acknowledging we weren’t happy was the first step. Initially I felt relieved; like a burden had been lifted. I smiled to myself in my Yoga practice that next morning. So many things began to make sense! Life 2011-11-12-21.03.45made sense. It’s difficult to explain really. It was like okay, this is meant to happen. During the next few days, I had a whole slew of emotions coming up. I felt fear, frustration, relief, anger, disappointment, defeat, and a deep sense of sadness. I was fragile and vulnerable. I felt completely out of control emotionally. I’d like to think that I am a pretty mindful person. During this time I did not feel like myself. I would drive somewhere or be somewhere and completely forget how I got there or what I was doing. It was strange. I was so absorbed. I tried to busy myself with work or projects. I was careful, however to make time for myself. I practiced a lot of Yoga, although sometimes that meant lying down and crying on my mat. I tried to eat right and get plenty of sleep. I surrounded myself with friends and people who offered support. Each day I made an effort to do something small for myself that made me happy. I would treat myself to something nice, call a friend, or think of a happy future. I felt like a child having to relearn simple tasks. In a way, I felt more present. Taking things one day at a time. Never anticipating what the next day would be like. I felt feelings I had not felt in a very long time. When you attach yourself to these feelings and expectations you suffer. It is so much more painful when your plan disappears before your eyes.

When I was younger, I loved being single and independent. Now I was afraid to be alone. So many thoughts were spiraling through my head. What will happen when? What will the future be like? Slow down brain.2013-04-25-22.34.14 Breathe. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling right now. Everything is in a constant state of flux. Everything is really only temporary. I felt so many different emotions I couldn’t even remember how I’d felt before the breakup. It was very hard.

When you love someone so much you want him or her to be happy. I always think of the Police lyrics, “when you love someone set them free.” Whether or not you have a role in their life afterwards, is a different story. It physically hurt me to see him in pain. My stomach was in knots, even though I had caused some of that pain myself. This made me feel overly sensitive and very fragile again. I found myself getting choked up over the beauty in my life. I was moved by people’s words, thoughts, and actions. I cried at the littlest of things.

Each day slowly began to get easier in some way. When I had a real bad day, the next would be a little better. I tried to be very gentle with myself. As painful as breakups are, they teach you things. They challenge you, they beat you down and they give you strength all at the same time. The next time someone close to you is going through a breakup, reach out to them and tell them they are not alone. You can never say this too much! It is so helpful when you are feeling helpless. I am so grateful for the family, friends, and coworkers that said this to me. I honestly never got tired of hearing it. Those words are like a light you are following through a tunnel. You will get there eventually but it takes time. It may even take lots of light and many tunnels. This cool song by FC Kahuna called Hayling keeps playing on a few different Pandora stations lately. The lyrics say, “don’t think about all those things you fear, just be glad to be here.” This is so simple yet very profound.


Melanie is Vinyasa yoga instructor, and holistic health counselor based in Oakland, CA. She has a deep love for Yoga, and believes wholeheartedly that taking care of one’s body is essential to living a happy life.


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