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What things helped you in your healing?

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BrighterFuture posted 3/15/2014 00:27 AM

There's a saying here on SI that time doesn't heal, it's what you do with it.

I don't want to be bitter for years and years, but I keep going over and over the events of dday, the hurt and betrayal I felt.

I need help from your collective wisdom for those who are so many years past dday and are happier emotionally. What things worked for you? What didn't? Is IC a must? I can't afford IC right now and was wondering if I can do without it.

Please share with me your experiences. I'm 1 year past dday and still get very angry!

[This message edited by BrighterFuture at 12:31 AM, March 15th (Saturday)]

Bluebird26 posted 3/15/2014 02:35 AM

NC, NC and NC.

Letting go of the expectation of the ex to do better. I expect nothing of him and sadly so do our kids but that's his issue not mine anymore.

IC - although I probably need to do some more but finances are an issue.

Accepting this is how it is, nothing I can do can change the situation.

Accepting that is ok to be single and starting to enjoy that now.

Working on me, still a work in progress though.

Focusing on the future rather then my past.

traicionada posted 3/15/2014 07:53 AM

Before I was ready to talk & start IC, I run for miles at least once a day. I was really angry so I had a ton of energy bottled up so I turn that energy into something I could control. I also went back to my RC community to ask for support. They were amazing. Eventually, father was the one who arranged for my IC at something like $10 a session.

SBB posted 3/15/2014 08:17 AM

NC - pretty much total as we parallel parent. I tried co parenting but it just gave him an opportunity to mind-fuck me so I stopped that. NC includes no cyber-stalking, no gossip and basically not letting anyone tell me anything about him.

Stop obsessive thinking about the past and/or the future I missed out on by having ever met him. This one was tough as I spent lot of time angry at myself for even going out with him let alone marrying and having kids with him.

Rage cleaning. Rag walking.

Surrender - he was ALWAYS going to cheat on his wife. It is simply how he is built. He is ALWAYS going to be a fuckwit who will ping pong between Jekyll/Hyde. It used to make me crazy but now it is just an irritation. So unnecessary.

Forcing myself to make self care (eating, sleeping, keeping fluids up) - lack of any of these make this all much harder to cope with.

Spending time acknowledging the good stuff I have now and daydreaming about my new future. I was so busy trying to work out HOW he could have done this that I forgot to even notice all of the universal improvements to my life.

I went to IC for a few months but stopped as I didn't think it was essential anymore + it was costing a bomb weekly. There was also a lot of old stuff coming up which I'm just not ready to if at yet (if ever).

Reaching out to friends. I go into my cave when hurting/vulnerable. I'm learning to rely on others instead.

[This message edited by SBB at 7:11 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]

fireproof posted 3/15/2014 11:37 AM

Walking, Zumba, Pilates, Sitting outside etc.

Do things you enjoy- in time he will take up less space

Meetups - casual but around people (go to only those you are interested in so there is no pressure to meet people)

Talk to old friends- ask about their lives

I heard this once and I realized how true it was- it is over fair or not and they aren't thinking about you and no longer a part if your life so why think of them? You are allowing them to still be in your life.

For me I took one day a week- hours in the afternoon to mourn or reflect. After that was done I had to wait to the following week. Now there is no need I don't want to spend the time on him but I needed to- everyone is different.

Be good to yourself is the key.

stronger08 posted 3/15/2014 17:25 PM

Aside from NC which is number one in my book, I have found that keeping busy really helps. Perhaps simply painting a room and redecorating would help. I gave up so many things that I enjoyed while I was M. After my S/D I started to reclaim them as it was not only a distraction from my life but I actually got joy and contentment from them. Even if funds are low there is so much stuff to do that don't cost anything. Have lunch in a park or library. People watching is one of my favorite things that don't cost anything. Park your ass in a mall and watch what folks do. It can be very entertaining to say the least. The warmer weather is coming and getting outside is great as well. Volunteer to meet new people. Go back to church and find lost spirituality. Just the simple task of keeping busy helps so much. It keeps your mind from wondering and if you do physical tasks it also helps your sleep and health. Just thinking up new stuff to do is a distraction. Be creative and you will be surprised at how many things can bring you joy.

Catwoman posted 3/15/2014 17:29 PM

I rediscovered a healthy passion: music.

I sing with a local professional group and I serve on the Board of Directors. I am also active in animal rescue.

When you pour yourself into a healthy activity that means something to you, it tends to awaken you and fill in some of those awkward spaces that we are often left with.

My chorale literally saved me.


Williesmom posted 3/15/2014 17:34 PM

I rescued 3 of my 4 dogs, but they have saved me every single day. Taking care of them keeps me busy and gives me purpose.

I read a lot, go to the gym, and try to stay active.

Lonelygirl10 posted 3/15/2014 17:35 PM

Stop obsessive thinking about the past and/or the future I missed out on by having ever met hi

How do you do this one? I have so many what ifs. What if he's changed. What if I made the wrong decision. What if it could be better. What if I gave up too soon. How do you stop the obsessive thoughts?

tesla posted 3/15/2014 17:52 PM

I run. And I mean run ALOT. I haven't been able to train this winter and I can tell the difference...

NC helps so much.

Doing shit for you. I painted and redid the house. I get immense pleasure out of having my weekends where I have the freedom to do whatever I want even if it's just a marathon of whatever series I've developed an interest in.

I have a very stressful/rewarding job that keeps my mind occupied.

SBB posted 3/15/2014 19:17 PM

How do you do this one? I have so many what ifs. What if he's changed. What if I made the wrong decision. What if it could be better. What if I gave up too soon. How do you stop the obsessive thoughts?

It wasn't easy - I used a mental image of a stop sign whenever I caught myself. Others use a rubber band around their wrist which they snap. In the first days I gave myself an hour to think/write/wallow in it. Then the stop sign came out.

The what ifs are hard too - Surrender is important here. He isn't going to change in any meaningful way - I was a good wife not perfect but he chose to do this regardless of the kind of wife I was. There is nothing I could have done to avoid it - leaving means no more DDays for me.

Creating new habits isn't easy no matter what it is. It takes practice. We all reach DONE at different times for different reasons. Fake it till you make it - then there's that wonderful day when you realise you're not completely faking it.

BrighterFuture posted 3/16/2014 02:38 AM

Thanks for your responses guys. I certainly enjoyed reading them. I can't promise that I will do much due to my crazy, busy life but I will try some exercises.

Another question? Did you or did you not forgive your ex for what they did (I don't mean getting back together). Did your choice to forgive or not to, help in your healing?

SBB posted 3/16/2014 04:16 AM

I'm almost 2 years out and whilst the betrayals still sting they are not the things I won't ever forgive him for, IYKWIM? It is the betrayals beyond infidelity that I will never forgive.

Having a 24 y/o whore doesn't bother me - making her a part of my girls lives does.

Blowing up his life with drugs/booze doesn't bother me. Being drunk/high or hungover/coming down around my girls does.

Ending our M doesn't bother me - making me spend $50k on legal fees just to fuck me over by reducing his offer several times does. I ended up getting what I would on a bad day in court - stupid me thought our handshake agreement would stand. Goodwill cost me an extra $40k in legal fees. Easy for him to make back - near impossible for me and he knows it.

His final acts of emotional abuse so he took full advantage of the opportunity. Because is is all my fault. It's my fault he loathes himself. Never mind he has always loathed himself - we'll before I entered the picture. I never understood why the self-loathing, I absolutely do now.

The end doesn't bother me anymore - it needed to end. More from my side than his, as it happens. It is the mission of destruction that I'll never ever forgive him for. It isn't an active thing but it's there and it will stop me from ever being anything but civil to that disgusting excuse for a man.

fireproof posted 3/16/2014 06:39 AM

Forgiving is in my opinion - overrated but letting go and accepting he changed and made some bad choices that negatively impacted your life is more helpful.

Some use anger to motivate them - I was more sad and disappointed.

However it is what it is and forgiving I am not there and not sure I will get there and don't feel a need. He destroyed my child's life and our family. I let go and for me it is gone.

If that means you write everything in a notebook and pitch it then maybe that will help.

Focus on you and positive activities for YOUR healing. If he knew all the things he did or what he should have done or who you thought he was he would be there- he isn't. He changed.

You focus on you

cmego posted 3/16/2014 07:20 AM

I always tell people that I will never forgive my ex for his choices, and there were some doozies, but more that I accepted what happened.

I stopped expecting him to do anything "right" and let go of all expectations. That helped me to move forward too, so if he does do something "right", I"m more surprised and not so let down.

I learned to let things just roll off my back. It takes effort, but I'm happier and more moved on than most people I know.

I'd say I was at about 2 years post dday before I really felt better, now I"m at 3 years post S and 4 years post dday and I'm good 95% of the time.

I think time…and personality…help. I've always been tenacious, pig headed, stubborn and a "fix it" type personality. I was determined to survive and thrive and move forward in my life.

9.10.11 posted 3/16/2014 11:18 AM

BrighterFuture....your name says it all! You do have a brighter future.

I got free IC from my Pastor. It took about a yr and a half to go through all stages, as he told me later. I needed Gods help, and it was there. I tried professional IC for me and my kids...didn't work for us but works for many.

I met with my Pastor 1-2 times a week for that yr and a half. My kids went 1-2 times a month. As they have gotten older, they now see the truth. (they were both early teens when it all happened)

Don't get me wrong, she still makes me mad...but I don't dwell on it. I realize what type of person she is and am so happy that she is a very small part of my life.
I have forgiven her for what she did to me, but will never forgive her for what she did to my kids. And I'm a person that doesn't use "never". Only two things in my life I will say never to, forgiveness for what she did to my kids and I will never go back to her no matter how hard she tries.

But anyway, for me it was the help of my Pastor and most of all God. Through Him I am a much better person, stronger, and happier. Don't dwell on your X, concentrate on yourself.

mixedemotions posted 3/16/2014 18:14 PM

There's a really good thread on should be around here somewhere. Basically what I took from it and from other learning on forgiveness is that it's about how you choose to word it, since forgiveness sometimes implies that we've minimized what happened. The key is to choose to no longer let what happened keep a tight grip on you because that resentment we hang on to doesn't change the past and only keeps us stuck and unhappy. I saw a good quote that says "forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it does enlarge the future." I'm not doing the thread justice...hopefully you can find it or someone sees it and bumps it.

As for healing, Michael Singer, the author of The Unthethered Soul has what I've found to be a very powerful take on it. He says with feelings of pain and discomfort we often bear down and expect to fight through it, or we avoid it and fill our time trying to make it go away. I agree that keeping busy, especially with things that bring you joy, is so helpful. But I think he's talking about when we do that without also allowing ourselves time to grieve. He says when you're in emotional pain to relax, lean back, and give the pain its own space to pass through, because it will.

I happened to find a lot of comfort in honoring my grief, saying to myself that it was ok that I was hurting and ok that I was thinking about him and about events of the M, the betrayal, etc. the same often goes for other compulsive and unhealthy behavior, that sometimes it's the taboo of it that makes it worse. When you allow yourself permission to do something, sometimes it loses it's power over us.

I didn't try to make myself stop, I just trusted that one day it would. If it's really interfering with your functioning then that's something different, but I let myself sleep "too" much sometimes, check out sometimes, be miserable sometimes, and one day it just got easier. I still have bad moments, but they're mostly centered around new issues. So I honor those too and trust that it will get better.

Try to let go of a timeline about when you "should" be "healed" (bc what does healed even mean, really? That might look different in terms of what you want it to mean in another year)

I highly doubt you'll be bitter for years and years. I really do.

phmh posted 3/16/2014 20:02 PM

In addition to the many great responses you've already gotten, I recommend the book "Getting Past Your Breakup" which has exercises to do.

I also read like crazy on and When something spoke to me, I'd copy/paste it into an e-mail draft, so I could go on any computer and read them when I needed a lift.

I also ran a lot, started doing things with friends, and took up something artsy (in my case, painting.)

SoHappyNow posted 3/17/2014 14:09 PM

I agree with what mixedemotions says she learned from author, Michael Singer. When I stopped running from the pain - a natural first response to something so devastating - I stopped, turned and faced it squarely. I found out that this awful pain was just a very ugly new friend and teacher, as long as I was able to keep my mind and heart open enough to absorb the lessons.

It was by going through that experience, in my belief, that I gained the wisdom, compassion and strength to forgive my husband and then a few very short years later to help him die from cancer in the most dignified and comfortable way that he possibly could. To my mind, although I would NEVER want to repeat the experience, the pain that I accepted and learned from was fire that forged my steel.

Thank you, Pain.

nowiknow23 posted 3/17/2014 20:43 PM

Getting out of my own head helped me more than anything else. Some of that was forced on me (crises with my kids, family health issues, etc.) but the best healing came from helping others - reaching out to others on SI, signing up and pitching in with Habitat for Humanity, and spending extra time helping out at DD's school.

The payoff was in the perspectives I gained from each situation, each post, and each person I interacted with.

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