Writing Your Way to Closure After a Break-up

The path to healing after a breakup is hard. You have to go from being utterly shattered, to picking up the pieces, and using those pieces to construct a masterpiece. Healing after a toxic relationship is a painstaking process and you will get cuts along the way. You will cry out of frustration. You will feel like giving up.

Know that everything will get easier. If you feel low today, stick around because in no time, you will start to feel like yourself again. If you keep the vision of who you want to be in your mind, giving up will not be an option. We’ll discuss ways of coping after a breakup and how to give yourself closure.

This will involve writing so, break out your journal or pull out your phone.

Examine How You’re Feeling In This Moment

At the beginning of your journey you may feel worse off than you did when you were in the toxic relationship. That could be due to the fact that you didn’t realize how much that toxic relationship was tearing you down. You can become so used to dysfunction, that in the absence of it, you almost feel strange not having it around.

Freeing yourself is liberating. Once you’re on the other side and the healing process takes place, it’s normal to feel worse than you did before you decided to leave. Don’t allow this feeling to cause you to run back to the toxic relationship.

Before you start feeling down on yourself, sit with the emotions. If you feel like a black cloud is closing in on you, let it swallow you up. You have to allow those painful feelings to come in so that you can prove to yourself that you are strong enough to move past them.

  • Write down how you’re feeling right now (are you feeling anxious, liberated, depressed, lonely, lost?).

  • Write down how you felt while you were in the relationship. (did you have happy times? Or is the way you’re feeling now similar to how you normally felt in that relationship?

If you find yourself reminiscing about the good times you had with that person, allow that to come too. Don’t feel bad and don’t shame yourself for having those thoughts. Most importantly, don’t allow anyone else to shame you if you share with them that you are still having feelings for that person.

To you those feelings and those moments were real. Sadly, you fell for a false image of who they were because they only showed you that image. Now, you have to confront those feelings so that you can slowly begin to let them go.

During this time, I completely cut off contact, went to therapy, spoke to my friends, journaled everyday, prayed, and most importantly got rid of things that would remind me of him; especially photos.

Unless you need certain documents for court, then get rid of anything that will remind you of them. That includes their number. Don’t be like me and keep their number on file ‘just in case.’ Just in case what?

Keeping a line of communication open ‘just in case’ will impede your healing process. (The caveat is that depending on your situation, you may not be able to completely go no contact with that person. I get it. That was my situation.

I have to work with this individual. I see them at my job. However, I didn’t need to keep their number in my phone. If you do have to keep contact with them and keep their number, only keep it on the business at hand.

If they try to get personal with you, cut them off and move the conversation back to the topic. Don’t share personal details and do your best to show as little emotion as possible).

For a while you will feel like you’re getting worse because you’re cleaning out a wound. That’s the painful part. You have to confront some truths such as:

  • He was just using me to fulfill his own needs

  • He really didn’t care about me

  • He exploited my kindness

  • I allowed him to keep walking over my boundaries

  • I kept giving him chances

You will also have to confront the lies that tell you:

  • You’re dumb. How could you fall for that?

  • Duh, didn’t you see the red flags?

  • The mistakes you made were so big, who will ever love you?

  • You should feel ashamed.

Remember that you are loved. You are smart. You made a mistake and that’s all it is: a mistake. We all make them. For your healing, you have to own what you did, not how they treated you.

Remember that feeling guilty or ashamed won’t do anything to aid you in the healing process. It will continue to make you feel worse and may even convince you to go back to that person.

Every time that feeling of shame or guilt comes up – because those feelings love to invade space – call a friend you trust, write, take deep breaths, and tell yourself that you refuse to be ashamed.

Why Is This Taking So Long?

No one heals overnight, unless you’re a superhero. If we didn’t have to go through pain first before healing, we’d take the healed us for granted. You may not heal in one month or even one year, but trust the process and don’t give up on yourself.

This is the time to be patient with yourself. The same patience you gave to the toxic person who kept running you into the ground over and over is the same patience you now need to give to yourself.

The same way you give other people chances, is the same attitude you need to have towards yourself. Use that energy from the anger you feel towards that person to take care of yourself. Think for a second what that looks like for you.

For me, taking care of myself meant taking baths, tending to my plants, journaling, meditating, praying, listening to calm music, and being with people who make me come alive. It was also because of this toxic relationship that I started working out on a consistent basis and that changed my life.

It jump started my healing process by not only helping my body release tension, it also helped my mind. When a workout was particularly tough, I told myself that I could do it. Even if I didn’t finish the workout, at least I’d spent that time encouraging myself and doing a healthy activity.

If I was having a tough day and feeling down on myself, instead if wallowing, I got up, and worked out. I figured that I’d rather put my body through pain that pays off later than unnecessary rumination that will make me feel worse. Also, working out increases your endorphins so you naturally feel better.

Whatever your thing may be, choose one healthy activity that you can do, and do it! Trust me, it will help.

Doubt Is Your Enemy.

Let’s say you have a dream. You want to go on a trip to Europe. Or you dream of buying a house in Santa Barbara or of one day being in a healthy, loving relationship. However, you don’t know how you’ll get there, yet you’re excited about your dream. That’s great! We were made to dream.

As time goes on, you start to feel anxious. You question why you even dreamt such a dumb dream in the first place. No one in your family has ever left the country, so, why would that happen for you?

Instead of being excited about your dream, you push it out of your head and focus on all of the reasons why it can’t happen. That’s doubt; your enemy, who does not want you to succeed. At a certain point in your healing process, doubt will do its best to invade your space.

It will tell you that you’ll never get better or that you’re too damaged to ever be loved by anyone. It will also feed you the lie that you’ll be alone forever, even if you do desire a mate.

What you choose to believe at this point in your journey is crucial. Choose to hold on to your dream of getting better, no matter how you feel and no matter what negative thoughts creep in. Choose to replace those negative thoughts with your goal. Your goal is to get better. I suggest writing out a statement of who you want to be.

Before writing your statement, I suggest writing down all the lies you may have heard and may be repeating back to yourself. What is your self-talk? What – because of your past – have you chosen to believe about yourself?

Try taking pause throughout the day to listen to your inner talk. It’s so eye opening. When you hear yourself speaking negatively about yourself and your future, stop those thoughts and replace them with uplifting thoughts.

Here’s a snippet of my statement of who I want to be (please make this the length you feel comfortable reading out loud to yourself everyday). I say this to myself whenever doubt starts to creep in or whenever I just feel like speaking life over myself:

I am someone who has boundaries and is not afraid to say no. I am loved. I am enough. I take my time when getting to know people. I speak highly of myself and I do not allow my emotions to control me. I am in control of my emotions and my thoughts. I have integrity. I am a light everywhere I go. I am emotionally mature and mentally, spiritually, and physically strong…

What I did was write that out on a colorful notecard. Everyday, I read that statement out loud. I look at the words and I hear myself saying the words. I know I will become that person because that is what I believe and that is what I focus on. I believe that you are what you think. I no longer want to think that I am the girl who has to go through heartache and pain. I choose to believe that I am healthy and whole.

Let Your Light Shine

After experiencing this horrible trauma, picking up the pieces is hard to do. The person that hurt you truly doesn’t care and that hurts to confront that truth. However, you can’t spend your energy wondering whether they care or not.

Honestly, screw them! They are no longer your business. You are now your business. Your healing is now your business. And getting better so that you can be the best, healthiest version of yourself is now your business.

You may feel like giving up, but that feeling will not last forever. Some days will be easier than others. In the tough moments, nurture yourself. Take care of yourself because you do matter. That’s why they took advantage of you. They saw a light in you that they wanted to steal for themselves. They tried to permanently turn that light off. Get revenge on them by shining even brighter than ever! You got this.

Written with love,



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