• I can’t stop thinking about my ex

    I can’t stop thinking about my ex

    Thinking about my ex, Drew Rabidoux, Therapist

    You can’t stop thinking about your ex. It’s totally normal. The process of working yourself through a breakup is much like losing someone, so there is a grieving process and during this time you’re going to think about your ex…. a lot. The best advice is to allow yourself to have all the feelings and believe me, you will live through this. You can do hard things. Hopefully knowing what might come is helpful.

    Grief happens after the end of a relationship.

    It is natural to miss your ex after you break up, especially if the breakup wasn’t your idea. When you change your relationship with someone, especially if you were frequently together, it can be like losing someone. Grief is a normal part of the process. With grief come the following stages and may vary in order:

    1. Denial: it may feel so difficult that the relationship is over. Even if it was not that enjoyable in the end, you might forget about how bad it was.  You may even be in denial about your experience of what wasn’t working for you. It’s called a breakup because it’s broken, there were real reasons why the relationship ended. Write them down and keep them for the moments you might slip back into denial (believe me, it’s going to happen).

    2. Anger: Why couldn’t this have worked out, if only he/she/they were different, it would have worked out. If only I had done (fill in the blank) it would have worked out. It didn’t work out because it didn’t work out. Period.

    3. Bargaining: You miss your ex, why can’t you just be together?  This is the stage where you are going to need the list of why the relationship ended because bargaining is all about trying to talk yourself back into the relationship. You might even try to get back together, believe me, that is not going to solve your problems. The problems will just be there when you get together. They might fade for a while, but they will be back. Stay busy.

    4. Depression: This is when you might find yourself with a pint of Ben and Jerrys and having difficulty finding joy in things you had before. Or you might be so sad you can’t eat or get out of bed. This is depression. Breakups are hard and it’s totally normal to be sad. This is also the time to get help. Therapy, self care, and spending time with supportive friends are a good idea here. Caveat: your friends should not be your therapist. They are a good shoulder to cry on or can take you for a night out but get yourself good professional help. Your friends will thank you. A note about self care as well: self care is not getting wasted or hooking up with someone else. That is just kicking a horse when they are down. Self care is what feeds your mind, soul, and gives you pleasure. The only thing you get with 5 margaritas is a hangover and probably some embarrassing drunk dials/texts. AND have you been through a recent breakup with a hangover? I don’t recommend it.  Take impeccably perfect care of yourself.

    5. Acceptance: I know it feels like you won’t ever stop thinking about your ex, but you will.  It can be hard to imagine that you might move on or that you will ever heal, you will. There will be a day that you accept the end of the relationship. You will be ready to try again.  You will be ready to put yourself out there. It’s so hard to believe you will get here, but you will.


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