When you split up from someone you have loved, it is normal that you will experience extreme feelings of loss, even if you were the partner who initiated the split. This is because you have shared your life with someone who is no longer around, physically or emotionally.
Loss is just one of the many emotions you will experience, most often in a repeating cycle. This is called the loss cycle. The following emotions can occur in no particular order.
Shock and numbness – you feel unable to take in what has happened.
Anger – you feel angry with yourself, your partner, if your partner had an affair, with that person, or with the world in general.
Despair and sadness – you find that you cry a great deal or feel depressed and low for long periods of time.
Euphoria – If you have been very unhappy you could experience a huge release of euphoria once you split up. This can alternate with sadness so that you find yourself experiencing extreme highs and lows.
Yearning – You long for things to be back the way they were, even if you were previously unhappy. You visit old haunts or try to repair the relationship.
Your Questions Answered
I haven’t lived on my own for 25 years. How will I bear the loneliness?
Use the support of friends, relatives and work mates to help you feel you can spend time with others. I also suggest you think about time alone as solitude, rather than loneliness. Solitude can help people to reflect and switch off the cares of the world and you will need this even though you may not have wanted to live alone.
I am a 41 year old man and I find it difficult to go into a pub and drink by myself. It makes me feel very alone. Is this unnatural?
I think it’s perfectly understandable. Maybe you see a pub as a social environment and currently feel excluded from participating. If you feel uncomfortable, try other activities which will keep you more occupied. If you really feel like a drink, take a newspaper or book. But remember if you want to start a conversation, its down to you ‘ what have you got to lose? Remember, people living alone will constitute 40% of our population in a few years, so although you’re alone, you’re not alone, if you get my meaning.
How can I learn to enjoy my own company?
It will happen naturally, so don’t try to force it. Think of the things you enjoy doing and start to appreciate having the opportunity to do these things. Keep to a simple routine and try to arrange your time so that you have a balance of time spent with others and time spent by yourself. Set yourself a goal: learn to be happy as a single person before you become coupled again.
Why is it important to spend time alone when it is so hard to bear?
There is an ancient eastern saying:
Through the Gateway of feeling your loneliness, lies your capacity to have fulfilment, love and companionship’
You need to learn to be able to face solitude and not feel frightened. When you are not fearful of being alone, you will be able to make friendships which are based on strong foundations and not a desire to escape from you.
Please Submit Your Own Story…
Please consider sharing your story with others suffering now. How you coped? How you felt? What helped? What were the circumstances that led up to your separation? How do you cope with loneliness? The more you can share the better.
Your story really does help others who are going through the same gut wrenching pain. Your story reinforces the fact that they are not alone in their suffering.