Counseling 101: When You’ve Been Heartbroken, And People Won’t Let You Forget It

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I am a late bloomer when it comes to love. While most of my friends had had at least one boyfriend before we even reached high, I waited until I graduated from college before even considering having one.

This was a rule that I imposed on myself – not even my parents influenced me to do that. In truth, my mom actually urged me to have a fling or two in college so that I could experience it, but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to graduate, get my diploma, and start working before I looked for “the one.”

The advantage of waiting for love was that I did not go through a lot of heartbreaks. The disadvantage that I experienced, however, was that all eyes were on me all the time. People left and right would keep asking me during social gatherings to introduce my boyfriend to them, when I would get one, etc. Their relationship-related questions did nothing but exhaust me.

Then, Love Came 

Love came into my life when I least expected it. I was focused at work; I wanted to earn fast to leave the corporate world and start my own business before turning 30. But one day, I had a cute client at the bank where I was working, and I could not help but feel the butterflies fluttering in my stomach whenever he talked to me and smiled in my direction.

His name was Jackson. It was love at first sight for me; I had no idea that it could hit you so quickly and so unexpectedly. However, since I was a professional, I did not make the first move.

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I felt lucky since, after a month of seeing Jackson there almost every week, one of my tellers told me during lunch break that Jackson asked if he could have my number. Of course, who was I to say no?

The next day, I received a text from an unknown number, asking me if I wanted to go on a coffee date. I called that number immediately because I knew who it belonged to. And I wasn’t wrong – it was Jackson asking me out.

That first coffee date turned into an every-other-day date with Jackson until he asked me to be his girlfriend. Again, who was I to say no?

When my adrenaline rush died down, I wanted to make our new relationship “social media official” and let all the nosy people in my life know that I was no longer single. But Jackson persuaded me not to do that. He told me that he wanted to introduce me to his parents before others found out about it. In hindsight, I did not know why I agreed to that, but I did.

The thing was, six months already passed, and I still hadn’t met Jackson’s parents. He already met my family and friends, and they teased me that I never put out for anyone else because I was waiting for the perfect guy. That’s what Jackson seemed to be, after all. He was intelligent, respectful, funny, and sweet.

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But Love Crashed

While Jackson and I were in bed one morning, I woke up to multiple messages from my best friend. When I opened them, my world stopped.

My best friend sent me photos of a loved-up couple in a restaurant near my house. A heavily pregnant woman was leaning on the guy, who looked so much like my boyfriend. I looked down the floor and noticed that the clothes that the man was wearing in the pictures were the same as what Jordan wore when he came to my house last night.

I woke Jackson up and showed him the pictures without a word. He tried to explain that he got that girl pregnant, but he didn’t love her. Jackson wanted to continue our relationship, but I said no. I knew that we were already over the moment I saw those pictures.

Dealing With Family Reactions

Although I could have badmouthed Jackson in front of my loved ones, I didn’t do it. I just asked my best friend to keep what she found out between us, hoping that it would make the issue die down immediately. After all, many people had broken relationships – my experience should not be singled out.

Unfortunately, my family and other friends were too nosy – they did not buy it when I said that Jackson and I merely drifted apart. They kept postulating theories about why Jackson was out of the picture so soon, even citing that I might be boring.

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Despite all that, I kept my mouth shut. I secretly tried looking for a new boyfriend, but I hadn’t found one who met my standards. Hence, after a year or two, you would expect the gossip regarding my failed relationship to be gone, but that did not happen. The bees kept buzzing, much to my dismay.

Getting Counseling

I ended up seeing a counselor when four years already passed, and the situation was still the same. I had been heartbroken, I should have moved on a long time ago, but my foolish loved ones kept reminding me of my failed relationship. Their words started to chip away at my resilience, considering they were hitting the same spot over the years.

What the counselor helped me realize was that I should have learned the art of detachment years ago. Those family and friends who kept talking about my ex brought toxicity to my life, making me depressed. If I wanted to feel better, I would have to stay away from them.

That’s what I did – I just stopped showing up to social gatherings where I knew those people would go. My parents initially got upset with me, but they understood that it was for my mental health.

I eventually found a new boyfriend, who later became my husband, but I stopped listening to my relatives and friends way before that. I was better for it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Executive Dysfunction

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I was among the many little girls in the world who believed in princesses, true love, and happily ever after. This belief started when my mother allowed me to watch Disney movies on our old TV decades ago. I could not honestly relate to any of the princesses. I did not have crazy stepsisters like Cinderella, I did not need to live with the dwarves like Snow White, and I did not fall asleep for a long time like Aurora. However, the fact that they all had a handsome prince to save them from their misery was too romantic.

Because of that, I looked for my one true love for years.

The Downside Of Looking For Love

The primary downside of looking for love instead of waiting for it to come my way was that I had to deal with awful guys through the years. I started dating around 16 years old, hoping that one of the popular boys at school was my Prince Charming. When they all turned out to be duds, though, I still did not lose hope. I finished high school and went to college with searching for love as one of my main goals. 

Once I was officially a college student, I honestly did not care much about studying. It is shameful to admit now, but it’s true. I was more focused on getting invited to different frat parties. I realized that the quickest way to do that was by becoming a sorority member, so I went through hell to be a part of the Alpha Phi Zeta sorority. My efforts eventually paid off because I had free passes to every party and had a chance to look for that special man who could sweep me off my feet. At least three times a week, I had a party to attend. I would still go to classes, but my mind would often drift off to what dress to pick, how to do my eyeliner, etc. 

In all fairness, I found a few potential boyfriends during my first two years in college. However, all of them had something in common – they were not ready for a long-term relationship. I was not too bothered about it when I thought that I had enough time left to find love. When I graduated, got a stable job, and remained loveless, though, I began to worry big time.

My inability to snag an incredible man ate me up slowly. It did not prevent me from going on blind dates, but the more I failed to connect with my dates, the worse I felt. It did not help that I had a head-on collision with a sedan one evening after going home from another failed date. Thank goodness I did not get any physical injury, but I dealt with a terrible concussion that left me dizzy for weeks. Then, one morning, I woke up feeling like there was no hope for me to fall in love with the right man.

More Chaos Ensued

The downward shift of my emotions acted as a catalyst for the awful situations I found myself in for a few weeks. I started to forget how to schedule my daily activities, causing my work-related projects to overlap and get delayed. When I went to meetings, my usual knack of remembering even the littlest details about previous discussions evaded me. Worse, since I could not recall my mistakes, I kept repeating them, much to my colleagues’ frustrations.

All this time, my boss and friend Karen had been patient with me. She forgave my shortcomings and believed that I could bounce back soon. However, she had no choice but to perform an intervention when the company almost lost a high-paying client due to my growing incompetence.

“I was so close to firing you today, but I knew how effective you used to be at your job. I am willing to give you another chance – one last chance – if you promise to see a psychologist and determine what the heck’s wrong with your brain.”

Grateful, I did as my boss told me. I scheduled an appointment with a psychologist affiliated with the company and eventually learned that I suffered from executive dysfunction

What are the signs of poor executive functioning? 

  • You cannot control your emotions effectively.
  • Your planning and organizational skills become poor.
  • You find it challenging to pay attention to anyone talking.
  • You deal with memory loss for a short time.
  • You can no longer multitask.
  • You forget how to behave appropriately in a social setting.
  • You tend to make the same mistakes.
  • You cannot absorb new information.
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Is executive dysfunction a symptom of anxiety? 

It is still undetermined if executive dysfunction is a symptom of anxiety. However, the mental disorder hinders your attentional control.

What are the seven executive functions? 

  • Concentrating
  • Controlling feelings and actions 
  • Multitasking
  • Planning and organizing
  • Problem-solving
  • Processing information
  • Recalling details, big or small

What are executive dysfunctions? 

Executive dysfunctions refer to behavioral and emotional challenges that people experience after their frontal brain lobe gets injured.

What causes poor executive functioning? 

Traumatic injury or any damage to the frontal brain lobe or basal ganglia causes poor executive functioning.

How do you fix executive dysfunction? 

  • Take a systematic approach to everything.
  • Use organizational materials like calendars, to-do lists, and even watches.
  • Decide on how you will shift from one activity to another beforehand.
  • Try writing notes if you have trouble remembering things.
  • Subdivide your tasks.

Is executive dysfunction a symptom of depression? 

Yes, executive dysfunction is a symptom of depression.

What is the difference between ADHD and executive function disorder? 

The main difference between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive function disorder is that the former has been proven to be a real mental illness while the latter is not. Most people see executive function disorder as a symptom of another condition, particularly depression.

Can an executive function be improved in adults? 

Yes, the executive function can be improved in adults, even though it is most common in young adults. People achieve that by doing aerobic exercise.

What does executive function disorder look like in adults? 

When adults experience executive function disorder, they have trouble with the following:

  • Finishing basic tasks
  • Tracking time
  • Meeting goals
  • Organizing tasks
  • Focusing 
  • Changing activities

Is executive dysfunction a disability? 

No. Since executive dysfunction is not an official mental disorder, it is not considered a disability.

How do you test for executive function in adults? 

Doctors typically use various tests (e.g., VFT, TMT, etc.) to determine adults’ executive functions.

Can an executive function be improved? 

Yes, any executive function can improve.

What is an executive function test? 

An executive function test is a mental evaluation that assesses an individual’s ability to process various information.

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What is executive function disorder in adults?

In adults, executive function disorder refers to neurological deficits that keep them from analyzing, planning, organizing, and completing different tasks.

Final Thoughts

Executive dysfunction was the effect of one crazy accident that I did not realize would affect me my entire life. I had to get therapy and counseling and focus on finding mental and emotional stability again. It was a long, arduous process, and there were still days when I would slip up and feel down. Despite that, the situation allowed me to stop looking for love incessantly and taught me how to love myself.

How To Be Strong For Your Ill Spouse?

Learning that my spouse had the coronavirus was the darkest day of my life. Ever since John came back from a business trip to Italy, he already showed signs of COVID-19. We both sensed that that was the problem from the moment he ran a high fever, and it was painful for him even to breathe. However, it still stung when the results came, and we found out that he tested positive.

I could remember that day vividly because it occurred close to the end of his 14-day self-quarantine. My husband and I had a countdown for when we thought we could see each other. The reality was, although we could video chat every day, it sucked that we were not allowed to be together. When the ambulance came to pick him up so that he could get proper medication, I could not even say bye to my husband. It also meant that we could not meet for an extended period.

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Couple that experience with the thought that my husband might die because of the coronavirus, all I did was cry and pray every day at home. But you know, my husband never saw me shed a single tear throughout this ordeal. He only learned of that routine a couple of weeks after the doctors discharged him and cleared him of COVID-19. The reason was that I would always goof around and be my quirky self to make him smile whenever we would FaceTime. We would talk about his illness for a few minutes, but that’s about it. He would eventually change the subject, and I told him stories about home as if he was still on a business trip.

No one encouraged me to do it, but I knew that I had to show a strong front for my spouse to keep him from worrying about me while recuperating. And it worked—he overcame coronavirus. Now, we are both genuinely happy and helping people in our community in every possible way.

Assuming your husband or wife’s ordeal with COVID-19 is not over yet, I feel for you. Here’s what you can do to be strong in front of your ill spouse.

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Don’t Cry When You Talk
The first thing you should stop or avoid doing is crying whenever you talk to your spouse. Doing so will not be insensitive at all. You see, your spouse may already be an emotional wreck at this point in their life. Their life is in danger; the doctors can only do so much to help them. If they see you breaking down, they may not be able to handle it. That can hurt your husband or wife’s healing process.

Use The Word ‘When’ Instead Of ‘If’ Often
I realize now that my sentences typically started with, “When you get better…” while my husband was dealing with the virus. I tried not to use ‘if’ as much as I could because it sounded to me like I had no faith in his recovery. And, no, you won’t be idealistic by talking in that sense; instead, it makes you optimistic.

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Prove That Life Does Not Stop Because Of The Disease
During my spouse’s ordeal, I tried to continue working from home and telling my husband about it. We also used Netflix Party one too many times to watch movies together and then chat about the scenes in between. The simplicity of such activities has proven to be fantastic for my recuperating man, considering it has allowed him to think less of COVID-19.

Final Thoughts
I get how emotional it can be to see your husband or wife fight a lethal virus. As I said earlier, I was a crying mess when my husband was ill, too. However, you can always wipe your tears before calling your partner and choose to put a smile on your face. That’s the single yet most powerful thing you can do to help them.

What To Do After Leaving A Toxic Relationship

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The Love Relationship Conference 2019 discussed the fascinating insights about the five love languages. It is essential to know the love language of your partner because it can help you become a better person to your loved one. Sometimes though, no amount of effort can make a relationship work, especially toxic relationships. And the best way to go is out of the partnership.

When you finally find the courage to leave the toxic relationship, here are the things that you have to do.

Always Remember: It’s Not Your Fault

It will be easier for you to blame yourself after leaving the toxicity. But the truth is it isn’t. How your partner treated you: the emotional manipulation, isolation, control, is not your fault. When you start thinking about blaming yourself, say this out loud, “it’s not my fault.” Self-blame is your mind’s way of covering up the pain that you felt when you were in the relationship, so it is also toxic in itself.

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Practice Self-Care

One of the critical things that you lost in the relationship is your care for yourself. So, what you need to do now is to rediscover it. Start by doing something that you used to love. Be it shopping, reading, or singing out loud, do it. Know that you matter. You deserve care.

Talk About Your Feelings With Someone You Trust

What you went to is traumatic and may be hard to process. But what your feeling is valid and needs to be dealt with. So, find a friend or relative that you trust and tell them about what happened. Talking with someone about it can help you process your emotions. If there’s no one to speak with, you may seek professional help for support.

Grieve

Lastly, allow yourself to grieve. You are a strong person, but you are still a person. You need to cry over what happened or be angry about it; express them. Grieving will be the first step towards healing after leaving that toxic relationship.

Nobody deserves to be in a toxic relationship, but sometimes, people still get tangled in one. When it happens to you, disengage immediately. Always remember that you are worthy of love, not hurt. Don’t forget this.

How Accepting Rejection Benefits Your Mental Health

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The pain you get from being rejected is, at times, unbearable. You may have been rejected by someone you like or by your dream job. You can’t but feel helpless under such situations, as if it’s already the end of your journey for you.

However, life doesn’t end there; rejection is a process we all go through. Pain is not always bad; sometimes, the pain we receive only makes us stronger. For some, rejection is a vital step that helps improve your mental health.

What Happens If You Don’t Accept Rejection?

Rejection occurs when an individual is pushed away by someone or something. It can be a romantic partner who may have rejected your proposal for marriage. It can also be a friend who thought of letting go of your friendship.

Each person has a “critical inner voice,” a side of themselves that is turned against them and their circumstances. This “voice” frequently becomes intense after a breakup, twisting a person’s experience through a distorted filter. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

No matter what the situation may be, the outcome for failing to accept rejection may include the following:

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  • Anxiety And Stress

The first of three problems that may occur involves anxiety and stress. When you are rejected, especially by a romantic partner, you can’t help but feel as if you weren’t enough. You end up overthinking and believing that there’s a problem in you when there’s none. Fixating your thoughts on the rejection because you’re unable to accept it only keeps you stressed.

  • Depression

Depression is the next problem you may face from rejection. These may often result in self-harm as a means of escape from an overwhelming sense of being rejected. You can’t seem to feel any better, and the more you go back to your rejection, the worse you feel.

  • Trauma

Trauma is one of the worse conditions you can receive from rejection. Usually, this results from being rejected over a long period. An excellent example of this situation would be when parents reject a child who keeps failing at school or has no friends. Exposure to such a condition can have terrible psychological effects on the child.

Recognize that if someone is just not into you, trying to prove how “right you are for her” is most likely going to do little more than repeatedly prove just how “wrong for her” she believes you to be. — Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

Accepting Rejection

You need to take rejecting grace so that you can avoid the conditions or problems you may face from failing to do so. By completely accepting the situation and moving on, you will discover that you will be happier. Doing so makes you realize that rejection isn’t the end of your journey. Instead, it was an experience that can help you grow even stronger and better.

Here are four ways on how accepting rejection benefits your mental health.

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  1. Let Rejection Serve As A Motivation To Do Better

Let rejection drive you to feel that you can do better. Don’t let it drag you down, especially if you know that you can prove the people around you wrong.

  1. You Discover A Different Path In Life

By being rejected in one opportunity, you open up paths to new ones. There is a better opportunity for you out there, and the only way for you to see it is through rejection. Try something you’ve never done before and continued your journey.

  1. Rejections Help You Reconsider And Reevaluate Your Life

You end up learning more about yourself. You discover and understand better the things you like and hate. With rejections, you may end up pursuing something that suits you better.

  1. You Learn To Become Patient

After being rejected by your dream job or a lover you’ve been pursuing for a long time, you can’t help but give up. However, by accepting such a situation, you become capable of moving on. You learn you can’t always have what you want. You need to be patient and continue to work hard.

Be vigilant to not give anyone who doesn’t really know you that much influence over your self-image. Certainly a 30 second chat, or even several dates, doesn’t qualify someone as an expert on “you” to judge you. — Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D.

If it’s too much for you, you can stop. Give yourself time to recover. In time, you’ll be ready again to pursue your growth.

How Depression Can Take Over Your Life After A Breakup (And How You Can Combat It)

It’s normal for us to need some time to ruminate and go over the break-up in minute detail when we feel like we were the one who was dumped. Break-ups can definitely qualify as traumatic events and telling and re-telling the break-up story is a relatively normal reaction if it was traumatic for you. — Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

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Lost Love

I can’t honestly say that I remember exactly what I went through during my breakups. Maybe because I almost always sulked into depression and would just drink with my friends, watch television and cry myself to sleep. I only remember that those were among my most effective coping methods to help me move on. Continue reading How Depression Can Take Over Your Life After A Breakup (And How You Can Combat It)

Why Rejection Hurts

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Rejection happens to nearly everyone. It occurs whenever someone refuses to be our friend, or whenever we don’t get picked into groups.

This inner voice tells us we are unworthy of being accepted by others, even ourselves. It tells us we don’t have a right to even take up space in the world. — Robert Cornell, LMFT

Most poignantly, rejection happens inevitably in the process of finding romantic relationships. Whenever someone rejects you, there are undeniable feelings of inadequacy and soul-crushing sadness. Ever wondered why people feel that way in the face of rejection? 

Evolution gave lifeforms unique skills to thrive in this world, and humans are no exception. Rejection is just one of those tools that helped us survive in the past. Knowing what purpose rejection serves can help us cope better with it and possibly even use it to our advantage.

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Life In Prehistoric Tribes

During prehistoric times, people had to work hard to survive. They needed a stable food and water supply, as well as protection from the elements. Since humans have no natural weapons such as claws or fangs, we instead developed intelligence to allow us to outsmart our opponents. Our minds allowed us to use a strategy that helped us become the dominant species on the planet: teamwork.

Early people lived in small groups as they went around looking for food. By working together, humans were better able to take down large prey and to defend themselves from powerful predators. When someone contracted an illness, other members of the group assisted the patient until they got well again. People can take care of children, leaving the parents free to find food. Cooperation in prehistoric tribes markedly increased the survival rates of early humans.

We often feel compelled to keep telling ourselves, our friends, or even a therapist, the same story over and over again. In reality, these stories can have a lot more to do with our own psychology than they do with the actual circumstances of the breakup. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

The Cost Of Isolation

The system of cooperation practices by early humans also meant that isolation is a severe punishment. When people act contrary to the interests of the group, other members might forcibly evict them. Deprived of protection and support, isolated humans typically didn’t last long in the harsh wilderness.

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As evolution proceeded, people started to crave social support, protecting it at all costs. They also gained the ability to sense whether they were in danger of being kicked out of the tribe. These sensations are now what we associate with the feelings of rejection.

People felt pain whenever they did something that might displease other people in the tribe. The discomfort warned them that they faced certain death if they continued with their current actions. Hence, many of them stopped and tried to make amends, allowing their continued membership into the community. There were more likely to survive and have offspring, so the number of people who could sense rejection grew until everyone had this ability.

Nowadays, our survival doesn’t depend on the whims of a single group. Behaviors that encourage individuality and even deviance flourish in the modern world. However, humanity is still a social species. Everyone always needs to form relationships with one another and to support each other.

Keep in mind that emotional pain and anger at rejection are totally normal reactions to abnormal situations. No one likes being passed over, but it’s going to happen more times in life than we like to imagine. — Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

As long as we seek out relationships with other people, we will continue to experience rejection. By understanding that rejection is essentially a self-protective measure, we realize that it’s not so bad as it seems. Once you recognize that rejection happens to everyone and is a normal part of human history, you can break away from it and move on with life.

“We are Fuckin’ Perfect”–Pink

Mostly, songs that discuss depression and suicide released in recent memory have meant well. With this song, Pink directly confront depression and suicide. She doesn’t dance around the subject matter, but she cuts right through the euphemism and candidly faces the topic. In her music video, she graphically interprets the song well Continue reading “We are Fuckin’ Perfect”–Pink

Why I’m Leaving New York City For My Mental Health Recovery

Don’t get me wrong, New York is my favorite city, and I’m proud to say that growing up in it is one of the best moments of my life. It becomes part of my world where I see and meet thousands of people every day. Aside from the fact that most individuals love to come and stay in the city, it is one of the places that make every people’s dream come true. That’s because it is the land of opportunities. The streets are flowing with inspiration. However, though New York is one of the most well-known cities that provide almost everything that I need, it can sometimes become hectic. Continue reading Why I’m Leaving New York City For My Mental Health Recovery

5 Causes Of Stress That Can End A Relationship

Stress can be destructive to a single person, and we all have stressors in life that are sometimes too much to bear. They can cause us to drift away from our usual lively self. Imagine how stress can affect two persons in a relationship. They may be a couple, but they still have different personalities, perspectives, and sometimes priorities. Continue reading 5 Causes Of Stress That Can End A Relationship