Today I’m hosting Suzanne Gravelle on Ascroft, eh? She is on a blog tour for her new book, Unfinished. The book is the true story of Suzanne’s journey of self-discovery after her relationship unexpectedly ended and threw her world into turmoil. She sold her home, gave up her career, kissed her children, grandchildren and friends goodbye, got into her vehicle and just drove away, alone, to try to piece her life together. We all experience emotional pain during our lives so I was interested to hear how Suzanne has dealt with it. I’ve invited her to share an excerpt from Unfinished about recovering from heartbreak.
Here’s what Suzanne has written:
I believe as enough time passes we get used to carrying around the broken pieces. Every now and then we replace them with distractions, temporary or permanent, but it does not take much to remind us that we have or had a broken heart. A name on a sign, a smell, a place, photos, gifts or a favourite sweater are all triggers that can bring memories back to us and it can feel as if the fall to the floor is happening all over again, even if we have become involved in another relationship.
Broken hearts are most often associated with the end of a relationship but we know it can be most devastating when someone we love dies. That to me is the most severe heartbreak we can ever experience. When it is this kind of heartbreak we have no choice but to come to terms with the fact the person we loved is never coming back, they have died, we bury them and in time, we can have closure.
When we are not grieving the death of a loved one but grieving the death of a relationship it can be confusing. The person is still walking around, living their life, but doing it without us. Unless we are the initiators in ending the relationship, knowing they are still engaging in normal activity without us when all we want to do is be with them, continues to add more pain and we compound the heartache by adding other emotions we confuse with heartache. These emotions can be jealousy, loneliness, self doubts and self loathing and many other emotions we feel are inflicted upon us because of our broken heart.
In so many instances the reason for the heartbreak can make it so much heavier than it should be. Disloyalty is among the top reasons; just no longer compatible is the opposite but still hurts if we thought we were so compatible.
Finding your way without “that” person can seem insurmountable, especially when we did not want it to end. Coming to accept that fact that, “it’s over” can takes a long time if you refuse to believe it’s over.
Sure we have to have the grieving period and during that time we will experience emotions we thought would never happen to us and do things we never normally do, after all, “we had the best relationship ever.” But obviously we did not and as I have had a great opportunity to look around, even the most solid relationships can suffer heart aches and disillusion and that disillusioned me! Is there just one example out there for us to follow? God I hope so, but I have not seen one yet.
It was a constant battle to break the habit of contact, not to pick up the phone when I wanted to speak with him, just to discuss day to day issues; it was what we did, it’s what we all did, even you. At some point I even refused to believe it was over and he will be calling me…he never called. This refusing to believe it was over…was my ego. After all who wouldn’t want to be involved in a perfect relationship? It was perfect to me, and I was pretty sure it was perfect for him, again ….my ego.
Eventually it became apparent to me and to everyone around me I was detaching and I could not stand the impression I was leaving, it was dark, sad and consuming and no one wants to stay in that environment for very long, I was sending my friends running. I was just waiting for someone to say to me, “Enough Suzanne! Get over it already!” And those were words I never wanted to hear. So I made a decision, I was going to take some time to be alone, truly alone to get over, come to terms with and accept the demise of my relationship.
Not everyone is in a position to be alone for extended periods but almost everyone is in control of their own thoughts enough to make the decision to explore their emotions and decide they are no longer going to feel so sad anymore. Once that concrete decision is made, and it has to be a true desire or it will take longer, it will take conscious effort to keep working on that decision until one day you realize you have woken up and that you actually slept longer than you did the night before and the pain is less, it is suddenly bearable.
From that moment of awareness, every day after that you become stronger, more in tune, more in control of your emotions, and you will find you do not want to pick up the phone just to say “hi.” That is the moment we think will never come but it does, I promise, it does come.
I equate my recovery like I am an alcoholic and he is my drink of choice. Every day that goes by and I do not have contact with him is like one day without a drink. Every now and then he will text me or calls me and to me it is like being handed a drink. Now it is my choice whether I take the drink or not and sometimes I do take the drink but like all addicts, I have remorse and guilt and I start all over the next day…day one. Soon many days will pass and I am proud of the fact that I have not poured myself a drink by contacting him or accepted one when he contacts me. I hope that makes sense.
I have no doubt the feelings I have had since day one of no drinking, no contact is withdrawal, the emotions are wild, out of control at times, but I get through the day and I thank “What Ever Gods May Be” for my strength not to drink because I know I am better without it.
What do we need to do to recover? I am not a therapist or an expert of any kind to be able to give professional advice but what I am is an expert at experiencing heartbreak, I have allowed too many to affect me for profound periods of time, believing it was going to work out, he would come back and all will be fine. Well even when they do come back, often it is too late, the damage has been done to us and we are rarely the same again.
Many people have told me that when they did get back together it soon ended again and this time they were the initiators of it because it was not as they remember it, but at least it gave them time to be in the relationship again and they could settle their emotions down and they felt in control of the breakup which is a twisted way of being manipulative and controlling but I can attest, it does feel better to be the one doing the breaking up especially after they have broken my heart. It is not spite or revenge that I ended it “my way” it was accepting the fact that it was right to end it and perhaps I did not see it the first time around.
When we are in recovery mode, most often we find ourselves wanting to be alone, even with family and friends around we find ourselves looking for space. We want to be alone to wallow in our sorrow, it keeps us attached to the reason or the person we are sorrowful about. I know I was this way, when I was alone I could cry, sleep, dream, read old texts and e-mails and it felt better in a weird way. It felt as if we were still connected, I could procrastinate on reality. Eventually I stopped doing that too, it got old and I felt ridiculous even pathetic with my behaviour. But there is no question I had to go through the pain to feel better.
Awareness of your pain and acceptance of the situation, whatever you have to do to get there with your dignity in tact you must do it. It will increase your self esteem and help propel you to another level of living again; a higher level and this will happen I can promise you as well. One day at a time and time will pass.
About Suzanne Gravelle: Suzanne Gravelle is 49 Years old and has 3 children and 2 grandchildren who live in Nova Scotia. At the time this book goes to print she is single and homeless by choice, still travelling, seeking that place of comfort she will eventually call home.
She spent most of her life living in Nova Scotia but her formative years aged 10-25, were spent living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She resigned as a Real Estate Agent in Nova Scotia, to embark upon this most incredible journey, driving, exploring Canada and writing this book.
For more information about Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle, visit http://www.amazon.com/Unfinished-Suzanne-Gravelle/dp/192700506X. You can also follow her journey on her blog – http://ontourwithsuzanne.blogspot.com.