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Breaking Up and Breaking Down: Maintaining Health While Ending Relationships

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It's never easy to break up. Whether its a three-months and you're out, a five-year itch, or a long-term relationship, the complexities and ensuing emotions can be devastating.

Tangled threads of identity, self-esteem, connectedness and validation get shredded, often leaving us feeling the opposite of all the good things our relationship provided for us. There are feelings of being anonymous, left out, of little worth, disconnected and almost unreal.

How we deal with our emotions when we're not in an emotionally nurturing situation is one of the most enormous challenges life has to offer. To stay true to our own lives and committed not only to moving on but maintaining our health is crucial in order for us, as women, to heal and eventually find another healthy and loving relationship.

First we must love ourselves enough to give ourselves what we truly need and require to stay strong.

The following is a list of things that may feel good in the short run, but eventually may lead to very self-destructive patterns and cause the other aspects of your life to unravel or become compromised.
1 - Drinking too much
This is a very easy way to anesthetize yourself against the harsh details of your break-up. It allows you to ponder the words that were said, the facial expressions used and the motivations each of you had over and over in an obsessive pattern. This may help you figure things out, but in the long run can cause health problems such as liver damage, brain damage and can lead to irresponsible driving and other unsafe behavior.

2- Overeating - Drowning yourself in ice cream, cereal, fettucini alfredo and bagels will make the bitterness disappear while the chewing lasts. You'll overload your system to give you false sense of euphoria, numb the anger and the feelings of rejection, assuage your guilt if you have it, and regain a sense of belonging, comfort. Unfortunately, that is not all you will gain. Gaining weight will make you feel less attractive and healthy promoting a self-defeating cycle of feeling bad about yourself and feeling angry about the break up.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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