Living Alone After a Relationship Breakdown

“Following three months with [girlfriend] I must now readjust to living alone again. These notes are written to give me the reassurance to work through the transition period:

1. You will recover! This is a fundamental truth. Your past experience confirms it. It may take one month or it may take six but you will recover the peace and tranquility you enjoyed prior to the relationship.

2. Travel freely. Make a point of not spending long continuous periods alone at home. Try to arrange work projects in distant places, even doing pro bono work in interesting locations. In 3 months I will be off to Scotland which will provide a good break and invaluable experience.

3. Socialise. Don’t just sit at home – get out and meet people. Invite friends home for dinner regularly – once or twice a week. Keep in telephone contact with many others. The wider the net is cast the greater your options.

4. Reading and study are good diversions – use them well and often.

5. Music. Buy and install a decent amplifier and radio receiver which will give good quality reception for the stations I enjoy.

6. Work. Keep working well and consistently. Remember that the best pain diversion is doing good work. Make a point of keeping up the workflow as it will help to occupy your mind.

7. Don’t Panic. Remember that you have coped well before living alone. There is no need to be distressed. The battle is psychological.

8. Special Support Friends. Make a list of special support friends who you can talk with and share your journey. Social support is very important through this process.

9. No Hassles. The hassles that have produced the roller-coaster emotions in the relationship will no longer be present. Over time you will become more aware of the benefits.

10. Movies. Watch diversionary movies from your extensive DVD collection as you feel the need to do so.

11. Relaxation and Exercise. Use these as regular coping mechanisms.

12. Other relationships will develop over time.

13. Enjoy the Moment. The ability to enjoy where you are at the moment and what you are doing is worth cultivating.

14. Sundays can often be used as work-on-the-house days. You have done this previously and found it very beneficial.

15. Let Go. You cannot afford to live any longer in an emotional twilight zone with [girlfriend] – the inconsistency is devastating.

16. Keep Faith in the Recovery Process. On an ascending scale the situation will improve gradually and eventually will reach the point where you are once again really OK. But you cannot avoid the pain of withdrawal. Unfortunately that’s a price you’ve just got to pay.”

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