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My Journey of Overcoming Heartbreak Thanks to Self-Care and The Support Of Friends

“I’ve learned that finding the right people to confide in, those who offer genuine support and empathy, can make a significant difference in navigating these challenges. It takes time and trust to build those connections, but they are invaluable.”

Struggled with:

Hello! Who are you?

Hello, my name is Gabrielle, and I live in the vibrant and bustling city of Manila in the Philippines.

I am currently employed as a Senior Editor at Carnivore Style. It’s a dream job for me as it perfectly blends my love for food with my passion for writing. I get to explore new flavors, create recipes, and share my culinary adventures with a wide audience.

I am currently single because I am focusing right now on my career and I believe that now is the time for me to advance professionally and invest in my passions.

I am a happy person because I am fortunate to have supportive family and friends who bring joy and balance into my life. Plus, their presence and encouragement make all of the effort worthwhile and keep me grounded amidst the hustle and bustle of my career.

πŸ’‘ By the way: Do you find it hard to be happy and in control of your life? It may not be your fault. To help you feel better, we’ve condensed the information of 100’s of articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet to help you be more in control. πŸ‘‡

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What is your struggle and when did it start?

I wouldn’t necessarily label my experience with a specific official name, but it was definitely a period of emotional upheaval and adjustment following my breakup with Miguel. Initially, I felt a deep sense of loss and confusion, which manifested as loneliness, intrusive thoughts, and a lack of motivation. These symptoms made it challenging to navigate daily life and maintain a sense of normalcy.

My struggle began shortly after Miguel and I parted ways, triggered by the sudden shift in my life circumstances and the loss of a significant relationship. Factors such as the end of a long-term partnership, feelings of abandonment, and uncertainty about the future all contributed to my emotional turmoil.

Over time, my struggle evolved as I actively worked on coping mechanisms and self-care practices. While there were setbacks and moments of intense sadness, I gradually started to regain my sense of self and find moments of joy in everyday life. Reconnecting with hobbies, seeking support from friends, and engaging in self-reflection were pivotal in this process.

The frequency of this struggle varied depending on external factors and my own emotional state. There were days when it felt all-consuming, while others were marked by moments of relative ease and clarity.

How did this struggle make you feel at your worst moments?

This struggle had a significant impact on my happiness, especially during the first few months after the breakup. I experienced profound emptiness and disorientation, making it difficult to find joy in activities I once enjoyed.

It wasn’t immediately clear to everyone around me that I was struggling, as I initially tried to put on a brave face and maintain a semblance of normalcy. However, those closest to me, like my family and girlfriends, quickly noticed the changes in my behavior and emotional state.

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Was there a moment when you started to turn things around?

I distinctly remember a moment when I felt something change for the better: it was during a solo trip to a small beach town I’d always dreamed of visiting. Sitting by the ocean, feeling the breeze and hearing the waves, I felt a sense of peace and empowerment that had eluded me for months. It was a turning point where I realized that I could find joy and contentment within myself, independent of past relationships.

This positive change was primarily a result of my own actions, about 80%, such as actively seeking out new experiences, reconnecting with hobbies, and leaning on my support system. However, supportive circumstances, like having understanding friends and family, accounted for the remaining 20% and played a significant role in my recovery.

My struggle impacted me deeply for about six months before I found something that truly helped turn things around. During this time, I experienced highs and lows, but the consistent effort to focus on self-care and personal growth eventually led to a noticeable improvement in my overall well-being.

What steps did you take to overcome your struggle?

What really helped me was relying on my support system. During this time, my girlfriends were extremely helpful. We planned movie marathons, ate copious amounts of popcorn, and went on weekend getaways where we laughed and talked until our sides hurt. Their presence and unconditional love reminded me that I was not alone and that others genuinely cared about my well-being.

Another important step I took was reconnecting with my old hobbies. I started painting again and playing the guitar, even though my neighbors may not have appreciated the noise!

These activities allowed me to creatively express my emotions while also providing a sense of accomplishment and joy. Plus, it allowed me to rediscover aspects of myself that I had neglected during the relationship.

Taking a solo trip was another significant turning point. This trip taught me to embrace my independence and recognize that I could find happiness within myself.

Have you shared any of this with people around you in real life?

I felt most at ease discussing my struggles with my closest friends and family. My girlfriends, in particular, were extremely supportive and understanding, always willing to listen and provide a shoulder to cry on. My family also provided a safe environment in which I could express myself without fear of being judged or criticized.

On the other hand, I did not feel comfortable discussing my struggles with my coworkers. I was concerned about maintaining a professional image and did not want my personal issues to influence how they perceived me at work. Plus, given the more formal nature of our relationships, I was unsure whether they would fully comprehend the breadth of my emotional experiences.

I do find it challenging to openly share my mental health struggles with someone, especially if I don’t know them well. There’s always a fear of being judged or not being understood. However, I’ve learned that finding the right people to confide in, those who offer genuine support and empathy, can make a significant difference in navigating these challenges. It takes time and trust to build those connections, but they are invaluable.

If you could give a single piece of advice to someone else that struggles, what would that be?

If I could give a single piece of advice to someone else struggling, it would be to remember that healing is not linear. There will be ups and downs, good days and bad days, but each step forward, no matter how small, is progress.

Be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You are not alone in your journey, and there is hope for brighter days ahead.

Looking back, one thing I wish I knew earlier is the importance of prioritizing my own well-being and happiness. For a long time, I put the needs and desires of others above my own, often neglecting my own emotional health in the process. I now realize that taking care of myself is not selfish but necessary for leading a fulfilling life.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, YouTube channels, or other resources for you?

 Here are two resources that have been extremely helpful to me:

  •  “The Happiness Lab” (Podcast) – This podcast, hosted by Dr. Laurie Santos, delves into the science of happiness and offers practical strategies for leading a more fulfilling life. Listening to episodes on topics like gratitude, resilience, and self-compassion provided me with valuable tools for navigating my own mental health journey.
  • “Headspace” (App) – Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app that has been instrumental in helping me manage stress and anxiety. The guided meditations and breathing exercises have become a daily ritual for me, providing a sense of calm and clarity, even on the most challenging days.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

You can find more about me on Carnivore Style, where I edit articles and share my culinary adventures. If you’d like to stay connected, you can also follow me on Instagram (@gabbysus) and Facebook (@gabrielleeyap). I’m always excited to engage with fellow food enthusiasts and share my latest recipes and food experiences!

πŸ’‘ By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. πŸ‘‡

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Hugo Huijer AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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