Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Relationship Recovery Step 1: Feel The Pain

When you get out of a BPD Relationship, it hurts like no other. The pain you feel is, well, quite painful.

You feel like you've been knocked down, and all of your efforts, all of your accepting the unacceptable, were in vain.

All you want is that person back in your life. You know, if they are BPD, that it's the worst thing for you. You'll be abused emotionally, maybe physically, definitely verbally. Your standards, whatever you believe in, will be thrown out the window.

Yet you want them back.

They say that the most normal person -- the person who has it all together -- can be taken apart by someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. The reason is simple.

Borderlines are perceptive. They know people. They're supersensitive, so they are sensitive to your needs. That's probably why you fell in love with them in the first place.

Unfortunately, they're not fully developed, and their disorder precludes them from developing fully, or usually so they can get to a place where they can be in a fully functional relationship.

How to Feel The Pain

Before covering how you can feel the pain, we must first cover how you will not feel the pain. If you start:

  • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • Taking drugs
  • Partying way too much
  • Dating someone else right away
  • Exercising in excess
  • Doing anything in excess -- way way too much won't feel the pain. Please understand that doing many of these things, such as exercising, is actually quite good for you. However, when done in excess, they become problematic.

Now, there is a time to avoid the pain, but only if you eventually deal with it. There are times when things are so bad, or you think that they are, that you just can't deal with them. If you feel like this, then go out with your friends, let them relax. I remember that when the BPD and I first split, my friends took me out to the local bar and grille then introduced me to the staff. "You're gonna love this place," they pumped me up. I have such wonderful, supportive people in my life.

When the time comes, you will need to really fill the pain. Believe me, it hurts. It will take time, and when you're in it, it will feel like a long time.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and in retrospect, it wasn't too long. They say that in a relationship, it takes you about 1 year to heal for every 2 years that you were in the relationship. With dysfunctional relationships (like borderline relationships), I'd say it takes longer than that.

Now it's time to really feel the pain. Lock yourself in your home and let it all out. Feel the loss. Mourn the relationship. Cry, cry and cry some more. Maybe you need to write a goodbye letter. If you do, then do it.

Put on some of the saddest songs you know. Put on those breakup songs that break your heart.

Your heart is broken. Let it be broken.

There are many phases of the mourning process, and after you deny that the relationship is over, it's time to feel the pain.

However, you can get through the pain, and you can feel great when you come out of it. 

How Long Will This Last?

You should feel the pain intensely only for a few weeks, no more than three weeks. They say that it takes about 23 days to change a habit, and you now need to get used to the habit of not having this person in your life. You know that it's for the better, but it still hurts.

You'll feel the pain for months, if not years, but the intense pain should subside after about three weeks. You need to start putting your life back together, which will be covered in some later topics.

If you start to have suicidal thoughts, if you cannot get out of the funk and stop feeling the pain intensely, if you just can't get it back together, get support immediately. Professional support can be quite helpful and can help get you over the humps that you need in life.

So you've felt the pain, and you've gotten through it. Time for the next step, Let Yourself Heal.


  1. The steps to not feel the pain are exactly what the BPD will do after the relationship has ended. They will continue to this when they have a twindge of conscience. The older they get the more history of them abusing someone the more twindge of conscience. No wonder they loath themselves. They know what they have done and continue to do to people who's only "fault" was to love and care for them. We NONS can heal and move on to having a good healthy relationship the BPD can never.

  2. You guys are great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I think this is must important/difficult step. When I went into recovery, i started to forgive her as soon as possible. Thinking it wasn't her fault, and telling myself it was because of her sickness...which is true..but this can push you into depression.
    Let yourself feel the pain. The BPD
    can't acknowledge your pain, as they have difficulties with empathy. This pain you should feel and remorse. They will run over your emotion (they are very good in mirroring this - they tell you that you run over their emotion all the time). However, feel this pain or your brain gets stuck, which happen to me....but in fact learning this and understanding this is a key element in life. Life is full of sorrow. Handle it right! From know on i practice.. Thanks for this blog!


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