Moving your mind from someone who moved mind from you

I decided to write this piece because even though I don’t want to, I am in the phase of life where I have to let someone I love go. Of course, there was a lot of googling, youtubing and debating this topic with my friends. I am sharing what I learned, found and what worked for me (at least on the temporary basis) in hope that it will give you some inspiration and maybe you can also advise me something I haven’t tried.

The story of how it happened is irrelevant. What is important is that I still have strong feelings for the person and it is quite difficult to accept that the only solution is to let go. As I was reading I found out that it does not really matter how long did you spend with the person, it is more about the intensity of your emotions that might be correlated with the difficulty of dealing with the situation. What does not help either is if you did not agree or chose to end the relationship.

So here are some things I tried, observed and experienced:

Break up Box

In one of the articles, they suggested putting all the things from your partner into the breakup box. It is a box in case you don’t want to throw things out (or in some cases, it is advised to burn them 🙂 ). I know it could be hard because, for me, even little things, moments, parts of my furniture would remind me things that made me cry. But to begin with obvious things like gifts, things you collected together, cinema tickets… everything like that, put it in the box and put the box out of your sight. Maybe one day you will be able to look at it without hard feelings. My box is actually blue laundry bag where I put all the t-shirts, mugs, tickets etc.

In case you have jewelry.. like me, for example (girlfriend earings, first x-mas gift earings etc…) those I still keep. But it is harder to look at them every day. Maybe you can take a break from them for a while if you don’t want to put them in the breakup box. I would not recommend to take them as exclusive jewelry for your solo trip 😀 Like I did! That was actually a bit silly when I felt I can prove myself how strong I am.

Write things down in different forms

1. Journal (good old paper)

If you are not a diary person, in this case writing things down can actually help. I personally prefer writing things down on paper. When you write things down it can have various effects:

  • you express things that until then are just flying all around your mind
  • you can see how your thought evolve and also how they are most likely stuck in the circles
  • when you write things down with hand, at some point you will probably get tired of it. It happened to me when I was going to write the same things maybe 10th time when I told myself: “You know what? I’m tired of it!” Not only of writing it but also of thinking it. It was a moment when I was able to stop. Gradually, but it was less and less hard to get out of the labyrinth of my mind.

If I write in my laptop I have series of Captain’s logs (or newly Battle Plan) entries in my favorite app Evernote ( you can sync it with your laptop, phone or iPad).

2. Mind Map (black holes and energy)

One of my favorite techniques to write things down is actually writing thoughts down in form of a mind map. That is how I got to the idea of mind universe. When you write things down as a map you see that basically, some topics are more interconnected than others. You would be able to see what eats up most of your energy. It could help you to realize how different thought patterns are sucking you into deep circles and are feeding what I call black holes of mind (topics that are not building you, but rather sucking all the light and energy out).

The good news is there are ways how to get rid of black holes. In my theory 😀 (which is not so sophisticated yet) you should first try to gain strength before fighting black hole. That means focusing your energy on little things that step by step will make you stronger. Start ideally with small digestible topics (for example: write a blog post, post nice picture on Instagram, make a painting, take your camera out for walk, sing a song…) your energy will slowly increase and the black hole will not be growing as quickly as you will be giving it less and less energy.

Now you can try two things, either grow much bigger than the black hole and consume it so it evaporates altogether or push it towards something else that is stronger to consume it. It can be any bigger topic in your life such as your faith and relationship with God, traveling, art, reading or work.

3. Letters never sent

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Another thing that helps me is writing down letters or even e-mails. You don’t need to send them, for that reason writing old-fashioned letters is a perhaps better choice as it requires more effort to actually deliver them. Write them as openly and honestly as you need. You don’t have to watch your language or worry about how the reader will interpret it, because the intention is not to deliver them. It will help you to articulate your feelings towards the other side. It will get all you hold inside out of your system. Maybe it is something like a simulation of closure.

 

I did send one of them. The truth is I don’t know if my pages were ever read, I did not get any response or comment about it. Which to be honest did not help. So maybe it is better not to send them, although it does not have to be a strict rule. I always think it is important to follow our own hearts and do all we feel we can to save what we believe is worth saving. It might not work, but at least we know we did all we could.

The tricky part about writing e-mails (and not sending them) is that because it is so easily accessible from our phones we might end up glued to our screens and constantly talking to our partners as if they were still here. And as we live in that at some point we might even persuade ourselves that we actually want to send things to them. Now if your partner asked you for peace, space and for you to move on, writing and trying to reach out again might not be the best thing to do, even if your heart can’t resist. Please try going back to paper or write someone else (your friend) when you are at top of your urge.

4. Write a story about yourself in the third person

Why I came up with this method was because I love reading Murakami’s stories.  I love Murakami because he usually depicts casual characters that I can easily identify with. I tried to see myself as one of his characters, so even in my story, I am a regular 30 something man who is suffering from heartbreak. I am describing what I am doing what the man is doing and it almost makes me feel like I am in Murakami’s book. When I read Murakami a lot of the times I have the feeling that I am reading so silly normal daily things about people that are imaginary. Suddenly as I was writing about myself, words were flowing by themselves. It gave me strange calming energy and focus. I also felt so close to the character (obviously) that for few moments I felt like I want to help him and started to write a storyline that would cheer him up. I would, for example, describe him sitting by the lake and then I would take him for coffee where he would start talking to someone. And then actually I went for a coffee… I know that might sound so stupid, but in little ways, it was helping me to see myself from outside.

Maybe you find that I am too much focused on words. I found out that words have great power. It is words that have the power to create. Not only in Bible (creation of the world, miracles, etc.) but even in our own reality. What we bring into our minds and outspoken words is shaping how we live and what we live. After a breakup a lot of these words are describing pain, past, suffering, wishing for something that we lost, something we can’t bring back and sometimes the powerless of doing anything to change how things are. It is quite difficult to change that into something positive. In fact when I hear positive thinking everything inside me rebels. I think, I actually like to be miserable, but that is not the point now. I also like to build things and I don’t want to spend my life in attitude that would be just endless complaining and sadness.

You probably heard about principle fake it till you make it. I do believe it works. I also think we should be approaching it with the right set of expectations. Things and mind will not miraculously change in a second. Also, I can’t start telling myself I am so happy and then in 3…2… 1…. stop crying and smiling all the time.

But there are other words I can start using. I can, for example, say that even if things are hard, I am going to grow stronger out of them. And I can slowly shift my focus on this strength. I can say I will learn from this experience. I can say I am thankful for having a chance to feel happy and loved and I believe this will come again.

Talking

Now there are various ways to cope with heart pain via talking.

1. Prayer (there are no limits to what can be said)

Try paying. My early prayers were full of anger and crying. I actually did not know what to pray for. All I was able to do was being quite annoyed and mad. Surprisingly my mind started to change when for the first time I was able to pray for him. Instead of asking why and being lost in my mind circles I was asking for blessing, peace, love, and joy for him. To be honest I didn’t get to stage where I would pray for him to be happy with someone else. Maybe I won’t get there. My mind process was going something like this: I do believe what I felt was real love and I don’t want this love to turn into something ugly or bitter. I don’t think I can be just his friend, but I am not at that stage yet either. For now, all I can do is ask/pray for good things for him. It is turning the thinking energy into something that in my heart makes sense and is building rather than torturing me inside.

Yes at some point I started to pray for him to come back. You know, with prayer I realized, nothing is forbidden, there is no right formula to how and what to ask for. And also as my dear friend reminded me God is not a praying-vending machine. Instead, I am opening my heart to Him and as I go, day by day, my prayers are evolving and changing.

2. Friends and Family (use love that is there for you)

You might get to the point where you think that you only talk about the breakup. That might be the case. Just imagine if someone you love would go through the same thing. You would be willing to listen and to talk. Some people will try to give you space, some will be checking on you as much as they can. Help others help you. Don’t worry to reach out for help. Help could be as simple as a phone call or chat as well as walk in the park, coffee or sleep over.

Maybe you will get tired of explaining what happened all over again. That is ok too, friends and family are there to support you even if they don’t know the whole story.

3. Therapist (sometimes we listen better to people we don’t know)

Don’t worry to reach out to a therapist. No matter how it sounds, the therapist can help you to bring new fresh perspective. Why I do reach out to a therapist is also because usually (not always) your close ones are trying to make you feel better by telling you things like: it’s better this way, you deserve better, he was not worth it. For me, that was hard to listen to, because I still believe that he was all I ever wanted. I didn’t fight with them about something they didn’t see first hand. But I also did not want to hear about what I did wrong hehe. Anyway, a therapist is someone impartial who can ask you right questions and can help you see some things that friends and family cant because they love you too much.

4. Meet new people (refresh your horizons)

I don’t mean start dating right away, that is probably not the best solution because if you are like me you might still be holding on to your partner (or his vision in your mind) too much. But meeting new people via for example meetup.com could be an alternative how to get out of your circles and talk about things that interest you. I was not very excited at first, but once I got to the meeting it was an actually nice experience. Another way is to go to cafes where you can interact with new people as well.

5. Video Journal

As I was browsing through youtube I found many people talking about their experiences and also giving some advices. That made me think and I came up with video journal. I am not posting it online or sharing with anyone. It is just something I decided to do for myself. Recording myself on video on my phone was surprisingly refreshing new way how to get things out. At first, it was strange and I mostly cried. But later it was something I was really looking forward to doing.

I even took courage and watched my entrances. And you know, instead of me judging myself on how I look or how I talk in a funny way, I actually felt compassion towards myself. I felt love towards someone who is clearly going through a hard time. I also saw some topics even sentences are repeated throughout videos. It gave me a better understanding of myself and some new ideas on how to move forward.

Traveling

 

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TIP: Ok, for traveling I have one recommendation right away! please! Don’t be as silly as me and don’t go right away to country/city where you planned to go with your partner. Well, the good news is even if you do, it still can be a good time, just be ready it will be a bit more challenging.

Traveling to a new place could be refreshing because the new environment and people will entertain you and you might forget at least for a while on what happened.

I would recommend getting away for at least three full days. The first day might be a bit challenging. I personally found it a bit hard especially because I kept thinking of how we could have been here together, what and where we could go and it was basically leading my mind in no useful direction. But anyway, if you spend your first day in a new place just wandering around and basically seeing nothing important, remember what is important:

  • You are taking yourself out for a trip.
  • It is ok to not do anything significant.
  • It is ok not to take happy selfies with all major sightseeing, even if you don’t take any pictures at all.
  • There is not the one perfect café with perfect view. Make any café perfect for yourself. Get something nice to drink (my favorite right now are fresh orange juice and usual cappuccino). You can have a drink in one place and try dessert in another one. In cafes, there is usually free wifi that you can use to check up what is happening in the world or check if there is something interesting happening close by.
  • Take your notebook with you. Write down your thoughts. You might have something you want to tell yourself. If you were your best friend (which you are) you can note something like I did: Rediscover what makes you excited when no one is looking. Give yourself the freedom to follow your curiosity, wind, and sun. Don’t worry about missing out on the best of the city, this trip is about you not about the city as such.

If you can’t leave the country, you can try taking train or bus to the new city, town or village and pretend to be a tourist there. Or simply walk to the forest or meadow. Give yourself a micro-vacation. Which means you pretend for as little as one hour you are worries free and you are totally free to enjoy yourself.

… And finally!

My story does not have a happy ending yet. It still is work and life in progress. I am right now actually finalizing my first day in Istanbul. I wanted to capture all these thoughts as they are fresh and to me very real.

If you are going through the same phase of your life, please hold on! we can make it through the fire (like Anastasia is just now singing in the background). Your pain is unique just as you are and just as your relationship was. But know there is at least one person (me 🙂 plus others who write songs and poems about this) out there. And from what I hear, this shall pass. There is hope we will get through this stronger, deeper and ready for next adventure.

 

 

 

 

When all you can say is: Fuck !t

 

alone togehter

When we are hurting there are so many ways how to approach the pain and the situation that consumes our reality. I am not the expert in love or relationships. I sometimes have to google things like: How to stop obsessing about him choosing someone else (and surprisingly it was helpful :D).

What I heard down the road…

I heard different opinions, bits of advice, perspectives… just to give you taste of them:

  • he doesn’t deserve you, you are better off, now you can focus on yourself
  • you were not yourself with him but you kept saying you were happy so I didn’t say anything
  • give him time to figure things out and then later maybe it will all fit back together
  • nothing is as hot as when being cooked
  • you should distract yourself
  • you deserve something better
  • what the hell? he is so weak… he is childish…

girl face detail big

These feelings are so new to me that I almost feel like I am the first human being to go through all this. Of course, I know that is not true… and I must also say “Thank God, it is not true”. When I listen to songs of Glan Hansard (my top favorite now are: Leave, Lies, Once) or Damien Rice (Grey Room, Accidental Babies, The Box) or Richard Muller (Adieu Adele, Anjel Strazny, Rozeznavam) it gives me a deep feeling of empathy and compassion.

And even though I am Christian, I must say that I feel closer to those guys than to a group of people who would most likely try to teach me a lesson and pray for me to see where I did go wrong. (Ok, I know that sounds judgemental, but sometimes, like maybe in Job’s case, we did nothing wrong!, sometimes things just happen and they are not punishment or consequence of our in core sinful nature).

How do you calculate your feelings

Most likely you would need to know all available data points. Who was he, how we met, when, how long ago, what happened, what did not happen, how serious we were and so on… But when one feels, I think all the facts, data and stories are blurred into one messy pile of puzzles… bits of memories we kept for this or that reason…

I am looking at all those pieces spread across my mind, soul, and heart and I am … well first of all still in shock that even if I know every single piece of it, the picture is gone. And also not completely, because I still see it in front of me. But I guess we have to look at good old 2+2=5 backward… 5 – 2 -2 =1.

And I think, that “1”, is what confuses me the most. That even though the equation says I should have 1, in fact, I have 0. And at the same time, I know exactly where that “1”, that is missing, is. And I also know that what matters is … that it is missing from where it belonged.

Memories can be bitches

They know what and when exactly to trigger to shake your being.

Yes call it sentimental, weak, unstable… but even little notion of someone’s favorite movie (that was actually your first date ever and you know exactly where the ticket from that date is in your drawer) or innocent comment on the espresso mug (which you started collected together, but only got to numeber 1 and you know exactly where it is and why and how)… or then a smell reminds you of a moment when he accidentaly told you he loves you for the first time, and it was so natural and innocent that even though it was not under stars or on top of Empire State building you will remember it (moment, where you were, what was light like, what he said before and how you stopped breathing and did not know how to say anything because you were not sure if he really meant it or it was just a mistake).

tears of fountain

I think I am doing it, or allowing it because in a way it keeps it all still “sort of” real… It makes this new reality a bad dream, from which I hope to wake up. And I guess that is the part which you could label as denial. But sadly denial is all that left that is still connecting me to the gone reality of love.

Reinvent your fucking wheel…

So yes, please spare me lessons and criticism. Every heart is unique. And even though statistically we have methods how to deal with the pain that work for most people, I think we all have to tailor the one (two or three) that would work in this space and time for our specific heart mind and soul. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this:

grief.jpeg

does not apply to me because I am so special and unique… perhaps it does apply because it is something that gives us at least some hope to survive what we can’t change. And you know what… it does not even matter. If I decide that eating strawberries will miraculously heal my whole mind universe… maybe that would work too.

You have to get it all out yourself…

This now does not have a conclusion or list of 7 things you should do when your love decide to leave you. Maybe I can write a list what you should not do. But I will not do that either. There is so much inspiration out there… And you know what? If you are in a similar situation than me… you probably know by now, that you have to try more than one miracle-google-wikihow article to get through this.

tears focused

I am a man of my word

You said

I stayed, did not go away

You said

Goodbye

You said

˜

At some point I said

I will cross the line

At some point I said

I will break your heart

Then I did

& mine

 

Fragile equilibrium of the bipolar mind

I love swing dancing. Being bipolar is similar. When your mood swings you just have to detect new rhythm, accept it and follow the flow. There is a lot you can manage by medication, sleeping and routine. But sometimes even when you try to control everything as best as you can, the mood is just stronger.

For last few days, I was fighting with myself a lot. It is Christmas time, people should be joyful and merry. I should be happy and positive. And the less I feel that way the more angry I get at myself. Bad mood always catches me as a surprise. Everything is dark and hopeless. Every aspect of my life is negative and I can’t see any hope. I realized the more time I spend thinking I just get deeper into the spiral of this sadness and it gets hard to get out.

So instead of staying in bed at my private pity party, I decided to simply get dressed and get out. I tried not to think too much about it. (Although it might seem ridiculous when you are getting depressed even simple thing like getting dressed and putting your shoes on is a huge deal). So I simply focused on next step: Get out of bed. Great! Now, find something to wear in cold. Cool, my favorite hat and gloves. A little smile 🙂 Then shoes. Uff…

But hey, I got out of the house. Yeeey! Even if I would turn and got back home now, I already did a lot. And yes, for me at times that is a success to be happy about. So I set my Spotify to first song I downloaded in 2017 and decided to think of past years in songs I downloaded. And may the walk begin…

Walk took around 45 minutes. Slow and not far, but relaxing. Instead of overthinking my desperate state of mind… I saw people playing football outside, I saw my old school and kinder garden, and also our village Christmas tree 🙂 I even met an old grandma on bike! Hm… you know it was not a huge fitness accomplishment, I didn’t come up with new philosophy of life, but I was not caught in my mind. For few minutes I was focused on outside world rather than my inside world… and it was refreshing. It was as simple as that. Walk and don’t talk. Or even talk.

A lot of times I read about all the remedies from depression. When I am sad, none of them seem like they could help. But that is the lesson I learned this year. My mind has a lot of assumptions and expectations about experiences I am about to try (or most of the time not to try). But when I pause the side of me that has all the arguments why it won’t work and simply try it… reality turns out to be a lot different than my mind told me before.

To sum up:

1. Don’t let your mind discourage you from trying things

2. Start simple

3. Focus on one step at a time

4. Be happy for every little success

5. Remember good things

What I learned about my depression from phone game.

Although I am officially bipolar for almost ten years now, it was for the first time today when it finally became official in my own worldview. You must understand, intellect was all I ever had and to accept something in my brain is not working right was not easy to accept. I went through stages when I enjoyed feeling of being in a unique group of individuals like Van Gogh, Churchill or Virginia Woolf. There were also times when I felt like damaged goods not worthy to take up space.

Today I sat myself down and for the first time and told myself that it is ok. Especially when one is in depression it is so easy to fall into the spiral of darkness and hopelessness. Nothing is worth doing/living, nothing brings joy and no, there is no at the tunnel. In times when I am depressed it is specifically difficult. I am usually mad at myself for being “lazy”, for not being able to do anything but watch tv shows all days and feeling pathetic when asked to do even simple thing. How should I feel excited about the fact that I made my bed in the morning? It is the most simple thing to do! It is ridiculous to cheer for something so trivial. My ego was constantly on me. Guarding my every inaction and mocking me down for loosing.

.Osmos

Few days ago I downloaded yet another game for my phone. I liked it for its calming music and universe environment. This is you:

osmos

A little blue sphere or planet if you like. You float in the darkness of universe and usually try to become the biggest sphere by “eating” smaller spheres, while avoiding black holes or bigger spheres which would consume you and finish your game.

If I should describe how my depression feels, the best would be to use this set up from the game:

osmos2

Almost no space to breathe. The whole perspective seems impossible for me to move. But when I looked closer… it turned out to be true what my best friend used to say: Even the longest journey begins with first step! Little by little, step by step I focused on next step and staying safe and in the end I was able to become the biggest.

In the same way my mind works like this game or universe… if I get too close to black holes, I will most likely not succeed. If I got caught in orbit of depression or thoughts that constantly bring me down, I need other, stronger force to pull me out of it.

Lesson #1 Admit your size and context

I had to admit I am depressed. I had to tell myself that it is ok to be feel all the feelings I feel and be nice to myself as I would to any friend in my position. Depression is attracting most of the negative feelings, moods and thoughts and although it is not pleasant I have to endure it for a while. That is how it is now, even washing my hair is a big task! Making my bed or waking up two minutes earlier than I absolutely have to is a big task! Don’t be mad. Don’t be angry. Understand and rescale your sense of accomplishment (temporary, until you get back to normal – whatever that is).

Lesson #2 Only way to get bigger is to consume smaller

Does it feel ridiculous to be proud of making your bad?  Since you already looked at step 1, your current state is world where simple things deserve to be celebrated and acknowledged. When you grew bigger, you can shift your attention to finishing half marathon, but you are not there, yet!

Lesson #3 Avoid black holes and bigger planets

Black holes suck your energy out. No matter how small they are whenever in touch with them, you will become weaker. What are these things in my mind? Perhaps thinking endlessly about things that could have been, but are not. Avoid bigger planets as well, those might be things that are not within your reach at the moment. As you grow stronger, you will be able to tackle things that are now hard, but it all will come with time.

Cherry on the top!

Do you want to change (your) world? Make your bed (motivational video)!

Visible slap of Invisible hand

When in 2008 markets collapsed we all blame invisible hand of market for not working properly.
I would like to argue quite opposite. Thank God for invisible hand and its quite visible slap we quite righthously deserved.
Let’s admit it, we went quite wild with our imagination. We created products that in their own essence were not healthy.
Thank God for invisible hand to give us strong and visible stop! I hope we learned from that!
There were people who saw this set up and called out for change, but we ignored them. And just like Noe seemed crazy when predicting flood those were ones who were right in the end. Slaps though are not the only way how market is teaching us… we just have to stay tuned to reason, common sense and moral in us.
Enjoy your week all you entrepreneurs, consumers, policy makers and bankers!
It is up to all you how the next lesson will look like.

Micro Vacation: Japan A.K.A Sushi

Following the idea of micro vacation.

Did you know your team member lived in Japan as in fluent in Japan?

Let’s go “there” for 60 minutes! She can give you all the best tips for food. Locals will show you slightly hidden ice cream fridge. And hey! they have all you can eat buffet 🙂

cutmypic

 

食欲をそそる

Introducing: Micro vacation

Stressed is just …

To all of you who LOVE or HATE their jobs.

In either case you need some time-off during the day. To get energy or to release negative energy. We all have 1 hour = 60 minutes to spend for our lunch. There are many ways how you can spend your break. One of them is eat lunch at your desk while writing/reading emails. Another way how to look at your lunch break is as a micro-vacation.

.micro vacation

It is time you should not! be working, time off, off work related things. And when I say off I mean off. Even if your job is your biggest passion… you should reset your mind to be able to see different perspectives, to experience eureka moments (perhaps during your micro-vacation to japan i.e. sushi restaurant).

.what do I mean when I say micro-vacation?

Imagine what would you do if you would be on vacation. Now try to think how to fit all that ( or most of that or at least some of that) in 60 minutes. I’m sure if Ted Mosby (How I met your mother) was able to take girl for 2 minute date, we are also creative enough to have a good time in 60 minutes.

.like for example….

  • Maybe you can get a pic nic blanket take your Alexa and have some alone time by the river (almost as good as Jamie’s Cullum All at the sea) with your favourite music (my Chillaxe playlist), while you maybe write a blog (like me now 🙂 ).
  • Or maybe you want to read that article you saved millions years ago.
  • Run half of half marathon.

I am not saying this is the only good way how to look at lunch. But technically this time is vacation for you. Use it wisely. Use it for yourself. As you and only you want it.

Don’t be shy to get inspired by others or invite others for your time!

Bon voyage!

PS: your matrix can be as good or as bad as you let it be 😉

… dessertes spelled backwards.