People Share How They Overcame Their Biggest Heartbreak

Heartbreak is never an easy thing to go through but sometimes pain can lead to moments of infinite growth. 

The following responses on Quora explain how users have survived their most brutal heartbreaks and, instead, turned those critical times into the perfect launching pad to ignite change. 

Source list can be found at the end of the article. 



When we were dating, I would have done anything for him. I would have put my career on hold, moved wherever his work took him, and held my tongue on certain beliefs that I knew he didnt share. It took me three [full] years, after he dumped me, to realize that now I could take my career in any direction, move to any country, and explore any religion. Those realizations have given me a sense of freedom that I now cant believe I was so ready to give away.

Bee Rogers

It helped immensely to stop seeing him every day — and also to stop seeing all our favorite spots. Before, Id go through my day thinking, Thats where he first asked me out. Thats where he dumped me. Thats where we met that crazy squirrel. In a new environment that preoccupation was gone. I could move on to appreciating new restaurants, parks, and shows on their own merit, not because they held memories.

Bee Rogers

The notes, the gifts, [and] the pictures, Id been told it would be better for me to throw them away, but I also knew that I have a powerful martyr complex. If I got rid of them, I could very easily add their loss to my list of "Good things that have left my life, oh gosh, why me?" So I kept them — in a box on the top shelf in a back cupboard, where I didnt see them often. Now, that Im in a more stable place, I feel much better equipped to take them down and sort through them. [I have a] healthier attitude of Hey look, mementos from a past relationship. Cool. Guess Id better throw away the Kleenex he gave me when he dumped me. (Yes, I kept them. What, dont judge!)

Bee Rogers

Besides walking me through some ways to process my grief, she also provided some much needed outside perspective. I found it particularly helpful when I told her about something egregious hed done, and she just gaped at me for a few seconds in shock. I hadnt been [so] sure that what he [had] done was so bad; Id thought I was overreacting. But her reaction helped me see that maybe I hadnt been treated as well as Id thought.

Bee Rogers

During those three post dump years, his image stayed unblemished in my minds eye. Sure, he had his faults, but we all did. Overall, he was still a wonderful, hardworking, smart, funny, helpful guy, wasnt he? It didnt really help that my friends kept roasting him. I loved their support, but it made me feel like I had to defend him. The turning point came when I realized that I could appreciate him as a person and also mentally call him out for some of the ways he treated me. 

Bee Rogers

Forget the sad [and] slow I miss you like a hound dog misses hunting songs — Theres nothing more helpful after being dumped than a spirited, up-tempo Screw you, I deserve better [hit].

Bee Rogers

I thought about everything Id put up with during the relationship, all the compromises Id made, all the times Id held my tongue, all the times Id put his needs first, with very little return courtesy. 

"You could do better."

This was a revolutionary thought. Things improved rapidly from there, and Ive never looked back.

Bee Rogers

Serving others is one of the best ways to help reduce negativity as it takes the focus away from you. In todays ultra-individualistic and self-conscious world, taking the focus away from you and projecting your energies toward other people when you feel self-subjective will help quieten down the mental dialogue and inevitable negative self-talk, as they arise. The more you do this, the less self-centered you become, and the less power your negative thoughts will have over you. It is important to keep in mind not to do something for others with the object of dispelling negative thoughts. This is really still serving you, as you are helping others to help you dispel your negative thoughts. When you become a blessing to others, you will feel good because the world is your mirror.

Wilfred Paul

[One of] the first things I did was let myself unravel completely. It helped that I didnt feel I had a choice, but nonetheless, I knew that trying to hold it all together wasnt going to allow space for healing. You can numb-out and dive into go-mode, but eventually, you will have to deal with your emotions. When you avoid your emotions, they dont disappear, they get packed away to be dealt with later. Like all piles of unfinished business, some of your energy goes into the low-grade anxiety of managing those unresolved feelings. Do not suck it up, buckle down or get over it. Just admit youre not right. We understand.

Wilfred Paul

I took complete responsibility for the good and bad that happened in the relationship and assumed complete responsibility fro the breakup. Negativity always results when you begin making yourself a victim. On the other hand, you can begin becoming the master of your own happiness by taking responsibility for your actions. One of the most beautiful things about life is that we are given the freedom to choose where we want to take our lives.

Wilfred Paul

Break the cycle of past memories and old habits by cutting links with people who contributed to your negative circumstance and begin surrounding yourself with more positive people. When you are in a negative spiral, the last thing you need is people who make it worse by feeding your negative thinking [and] reminding you of the past. Bring in more people who are capable of putting things into perspective. When you are pursuing positivity in your life, it is import to make a clean break with all negative energy.

Wilfred Paul

I tried to be thankful for all that life has offered me instead of focusing on what I lost. Leveraging these thoughts can help you discover how you can use what you have to achieve even more in life. Practicing gratitude is one of the very first steps that will help steer your thoughts away from negative thoughts.

Wilfred Paul

No one has an entirely smooth ride in life. Everyone, at some point, has a very rough ride. But some people learn how to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. Learn to make the most of those events that you consider misfortunes such as divorce, breakups. When things happen to us that rattle us out of our comfortable existence, learn to focus on the positive aspects.

Wilfred Paul

Working towards your goals and meeting daily little milestones can help you in breaking the cycle of negative thinking and help you get over your heartbreak. If you have a big goal that is eroding your energy, take little daily steps towards your ambitions. This fuels positive energy and is reinforced each time you take the smaller steps with the larger picture in mind. Where there is light, darkness cannot be found. Where positive is, negative cannot be found. When you focus your energies toward your purpose, you dont think much and dwell on your past.

Wilfred Paul

I gave myself big pats on the back and lots of loving self-talk while I was in the pain. I was being the kind of person I admired: willing to feel my feelings and still keep going. The more I saw myself in this light, the better I felt and the more I was able to stay present in the moment. Yes, youre sad now…but, you are so much stronger and more resilient than you likely give yourself credit for. Youve survived tough stuff before, and youre totally going to survive this, too. You are a rock, but fierce enough to remain open-hearted and present to take care of business. Youve got this, but not alone…

Wilfred Paul

I didn't want her back. Did my heart ache for her? Yes. But I have never listened to it much. My head told me it was the best thing that had ever happened to me and I trusted it. My mind still kept going back to her, but I compartmentalized.

Anonymous

Bought some new clothes and makeup.

Anonymous

I needed it for myself and for some clarity. I needed to be around my support system of family and friends. I needed to be away from things that reminded me of him. I needed to cuddle with my dog, go to the beach, and hit the gym. Anything to take my mind away from what had just happened. This step is continuous, and I haven't stopped doing things for myself yet. I'm still going through this heartbreak, but spending time with my loved ones and finally being selfish and doing things for myself has helped tremendously.

Anonymous

Studied hard for [my] college exam and AIMA- MAT exam.

Gave [an] interview and took [my] admission in an MBA course.

Anonymous

Meditate [in the] morning and evening. There are plenty of meditation videos online.

Write daily about your feelings. You will have a good laugh at the end when you read what was on your mind during that time.

Jacob S

Heal first then hit the dating market. 

Jacob S

After all of the gnashing of teeth, the loss of self-worth, [and] the horrible ways that I lashed out at the rest of the world, I realized that my desire to not allow it to "define" me resulted in an inability to understand it as something that profoundly altered the trajectory of my life.  

There is this very ineffable (but very palpable) feeling that one has when something traumatic happens to them. They want to get through it, but they don't want to have to suffer the experience of moving through it. For me, it was nearly impossible to accept that something so difficult had happened to me.  For a few years, I went through multiple stages of believing I understood and had accepted the experience. For years, I thought that I had put it in my past.

Truly, I did not actually make peace with the experience until I realized that I would never totally "move past" it. It is a part of me and it always will be. It has changed me. That is, in fact, what "life" is.  [This is] what all that "stuff" that adults talked about was. It happened to me, [and] it probably happened to you too (since you're asking the question).  

If that is the case, I am sorry for the pain you are feeling right now. If it is of any help, I want to tell you that things will get better again.  Keep moving forward.





Be gentle with yourself on this journey.

Matthew Manning


Source

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And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.

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