After a breakup from a serious relationship, depression is a very natural consequence, and it is fairly common. As what I’ve discussed to you earlier, depression is brought about by the unwanted changes caused by the separation. The bad thing about post-breakup depression is that it spreads like wildfire throughout every aspect of your life – work, friends, family, philosophy – all of these will become inevitably infected with extreme sadness. You will be enveloped with a very pessimistic outlook in life and you will begin to believe that nothing’s worth it.
Given the reasons I’ve mentioned above, you may think that being depressed is something undesirable, that it should be eradicated immediately, that you shouldn’t have such a feeling. It has numerous negative effects, after all. People fail to realize, however, that depression is innate in human behavior and should be felt by every human being undergoing a life-changing experience. It’s okay to be sad! It’s okay to feel lonely! It’s your way of validating the previous relationship. Because you cry and mope over it, it must have meant something to you. The more important the loss, the more intense the grieving. Depression is natural, and nobody, not a single being in the world should counteract it in its early stages.
That doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t try to remove it. In fact, you should! But it should be in a form of a gradual loss, not something you forcibly remove just because you don’t want to be depressed. The first step in removing depression is embracing it. Drench yourself of all its sadness until you’re dried out.
Your depression needs to be expressed. The main reason for this is that, the more you keep your emotions to yourself, the bigger the chance for you to have an emotional (and even psychological) breakdown. Men, for example, tend to be more suicidal because they keep their thoughts to themselves. Women, on the other hand, have lots of outlets to express their sadness; therefore they can cope better and faster than men.
The most common expression of sadness is crying. I know you’ve been bombarded with tons of scientific trivia about how shedding tears helps in alleviating depression, so I won’t go further into that. I just want to emphasize, however, that when it comes to crying, you shouldn’t hold back. If you’re a man, and you feel like bursting into tears, do it, however privately. Your tear ducts are there for a purpose – use them!
Another way of expressing your depression is through talking to a friend or a family member about your breakup. Not only will it help to get the ice off of your chest, you will also solicit lots of new insight from other people which will help you form your opinion about the breakup.
What needs to be remembered in sharing your depression is this: it should be a private affair, and should be done in private, with one or two friends. Don’t involve a lot of people in your sadness, and most importantly don’t go off posting on Facebook or Twitter how incredibly depressed you are.
Countering Change with Change
A breakup is a negative form of change. How do you cancel it out? By creating positive change, of course! This is where the introduction of new hobbies or new friends – basically just a new environment – comes into play. Because your breakup has put you in an unfamiliar state, you will have a tendency to get traumatically stuck into where you were before. Before you succumb to that vicious cycle, you must move to avoid it! It’s up to you if you want to get stuck in the desert or perpetually move until you find an oasis in sight.
How do you do that? First you need to find something that will distract you from the depression. This is what we call a diversion. Contrary to what others may think, this is not a method of avoiding the problem, because there is no problem to avoid in the first place! The breakup becomes a problem once you react negatively to it.
Here are some common diversions I highly suggest you should do to keep your mind off of the problem:
- Engaging in new hobbies (cooking, painting, guitar lessons)
- Engaging in sports
- Going on vacation, traveling new places
- Changing jobs
These are life-enriching activities that will help you reach two goals. First, you can prove that you’re able to enjoy life without your ex, and second, you are battling depression with happiness. Because, really, how will you solve a psychological depression? More depression? No, that surely isn’t the way to go.
Getting Along with Sadness
The sadness won’t totally go away, no matter how hard you try. That’s okay, that’s because you’re still in love with your ex-partner and it should upset you that you’re not with him/her at the moment. But what we’re countering here are the bouts of depression you may be experiencing – the unnecessary moping, the needless self-destruction anyone will be going through after a breakup. After you’re sure you’ve gone past that stage, you’re good to go. That little bit of sadness will be your key motivation into answering the question “how to get my ex back”. You’ll need that.