My Journal Entries
Journaling is one of the only things during my breakup which I have motivation to do.
I wake up late, I’m always tired, I don’t feel like seeing friends... but I need to get all these thoughts and emotions out of me. Journaling as been a respite every morning and evening.
My journaling practice during the breakup:
20 minutes journaling as soon as I wake up.
20 minutes journaling right before I go to bed.
Write anything that comes to mind (sometimes, I spend the time writing letters to my ex-GF not to give them to her, but just to write to her directly in a way that feels more freeing).
It’s not a perfect practice — sometimes it’s shorter, and sometimes it’s longer. I try my best to reach the time because I typically otherwise run from emotions and want to be “over” them without really feeling them.
Below, I’m sharing a key quote and key feeling I remember from that day. So I can remind myself on the path how I felt at certain times on the journey of grief and healing. And, so you feel assured that what you feel in your breakup is normal too...
Day 0 (May 2nd)
There was no morning entry because the breakup happened in the afternoon(ish), and I immediately started reaching out to friends. I was shocked, sad, scared. I remember just breaking down after we hung up and crying and then immediately calling my mom. That night, I saw a friend. And he mentioned that I seemed really shocked by the situation most of all.
Key journal quote: “H. broke up with me. Let the emotions flow. 5 1/2 years. I am so sad. I am so afraid of being alone. What do I do? Where do I go? My biggest fear is being single. Finding no one. Being alone. H. said she needed someone more patient. Sometimes, I feel a demon. As I’ve been crying, all I can say is ‘I’m so sorry.’”
Day 1 (May 3rd)
I could barely sleep the first night. I remember feeling such pain, on the verge of throwing up and with no interest in eating. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t stay asleep for more than a couple hours at one time. I also remember in the middle of the night feeling my first jolt of anger — after feeling such sadness and fear the first day, it being a blur with me calling everyone I could think of and spending time with a great friend (Holden).
Key journal quote: “The part that makes me sad is the feeling that we’ll both move on. No longer be a part of each other’s lives. I just can’t believe it ended. It’s hard for me to think about how excited I was for our upcoming trip. I can’t believe it’s not going to happen. In many ways, I thought this was going to save us. Usher in a new era.”
Key journal quote: “The sadness comes in waves. With temporary relief... but when I feel the relief, it’s utter despair. Hopeless. So scared of what is to come. Spent time with Daniel today. Saddened when he stopped at the plants, it reminded me of H. There are so many memories that I have. She’s involved in so much. What happens if my friends leave? What do I have left?”
Day 2 (May 4th)
The pain was still excruciating two days in, but I was surprised I was able to sleep. It was the waking hours that were the hardest, and I was surprised to see anger this early in the process. The anger was partially directed at myself, feeling overwhelming shame this was my fault. I was a bad boyfriend. It was compounded when I kept thinking about all the memories we had, and kept feeling the pain of grief that we would not be in each other’s lives anymore.
Key journal quote: “Being awake is hard. Now all the emotions start flooding in. Biggest so far today is anger. Wake up today thinking, ‘^%*# you.’ No matter what people tell me, the pain doesn’t seem to go away.”
Key journal quote: “I can’t help but think, objectively, I’m more at fault. I went in expecting H. to do everything. She spoiled me. Spent so much time. And I just soaked it up. I keep going back to two things: Her saying this was ‘her truth’ [to break up with me], and that she needs someone more patient.”
Day 3 (May 5th)
I was feeling anger, and sadness, a lot today. The emotions were spinning, and I was angry at many of my friends for not being as supportive as they should be.
Key journal quote: “Instead of sleep and panic like I have in the past [breakups], I feel like just sitting around and sleeping a lot. It feels scary to be vulnerable. I just keep thinking back to the [breakup] call we had. How I could have said things that were different. Or done things that were different. How, going back further, I could have been different.”
Key journal quote: “I sit and I pray, and I ask for help to grieve. There’s so much anger rising. Being alone at night is the hardest. I want company. I miss not just her, but the concept of what I wanted her to be.”
Day 4 (May 6th)
Every day, it was a question of what emotions I would feel. It varied day-by-day, and even moment by moment. Every day feels so, so long. Like it's endless. I spent time reminiscing today, equally sad about the memories we shared and never having new memories with her again.
Key journal quote: “Today is starting out as a harder day. I feel sadder today. I think about our love of Pixar movies. How we'll never share another Pixar movie again. I think about waking up next to each other. All the things we did together. I wonder when H. started making this decision [to break up]. Was it towards the end of the month, even before I left for Hawaii [for the month of April]?”
Key journal quote: “It feels like I have low-grade depression. Lack of motivation to text, respond, and more.”
Day 5 (May 7th)
I felt strong emotions on this day. A mix of sadness, and fear, from loneliness. And feeling like I couldn't really show myself to others, because they would get sick of me. And anger later in the day that my ex-girlfriend accused me of running from seeing her for our breakup — instead, I told her I was very confused and needed time to heal. I felt so angry that she accused me of running when that's all I feel she's ever done, looking back on it.
Key journal quote: “I feel lonely. And I'm afraid to reach out to friends. Everyone says, 'call whenever' but I know that's just words. They'll get annoyed. The loneliness is the hardest part. And the terror that weeks and months from now, people will forget. And they'll assume I'm better. But I feel like I'm fighting this internal battle that I'm afraid to share with other people.”
Key journal quote: “I want to call her out [my ex-girlfriend] for running. Runs from jobs. From volunteer activities. From friendships. From relationships. Running, running, running.”
Day 6 (May 8th)
When I was flying back to NH to be with family, I wrote nearly nonstop on the flight. About 3-4 hours of writing, just letting all the emotions I could transfer from my body to the page... and I still feel like I didn’t get it all out. The emotional grief well after a surprise breakup in a 5 1/2 year relationship runs deep.
Key journal quote: “I feel the pain. I wonder where to start. There’s so much to do, the future is so scary.”
Key journal quote: “Am I pushing myself to heal, of forcing? Am I doing the ‘right’ thing? So much depression, sadness, frustration in the world. It all brings me down.”
Day 7 (May 9th)
I flipped dramatically from anger to sadness today. Every day, every moment, in this early days is filled with so many different types of emotions. It feels hormonal. Anger, sadness, frustration, unnamed emotions all so confusing but painful.
Key journal quote: “I don't feel like eating. I don't feel like talking. I don't feel like moving, or doing anything. But I want the pain to go away. After so much energy and 'go go go' with Dawn breakup [my previous ex-girlfriend], I'm worried about why I feel the complete opposite this time around. The pain feels strong. It feels like it knocked me down.”
Key journal quote: "I felt sad today. The depression sunk in today. I flipped from anger yesterday to the heavy feeling of grief today, full of sadness. Like being at the top of this cliff. Wide as the Grand Canyon. Below me, it's just a mist of darkness. A bottomless pit of black. I grip with my hand, trying to hold on."
Day 8 (May 10th)
Being home for my second day, I started to see more anger show up. I started to feel the pressures and dramas of being around my family, which added a layer of complexity to my grief. I was still feeling very raw and confused.
Key journal quote: “Everything seems so effortful. I’m angry about the situation. So confused by how H. could do this to me. Annoyed by everyone and everything. My mom asked, ‘How are you?’ How the &%$# am I supposed to answer that?”
I wrote a letter to my ex-girlfriend, not to send but to speak to her directly and let go of some of my anger, frustration, and emotional energy.
Day 9 (May 11th)
The first month was a big state of shock and numbness despite feeling heavy sadness, doubt, fear, and tons of other strong emotions. It was paradoxical in that I didn't believe it happened, and believed I was so wronged... while also feeling that it was very real. I felt a lot of that today.
Key journal quote: "I can't stop thinking about the 'why' this happened. Just why, why, why."
Key journal quote: "It's still just so mind-boggling to me. It just doesn't make sense. I don't understand how she could break up so easily. How she could just end things. So abruptly. How she could just push me to the side like I'm nothing. And I feel like no one understands the depth of my pain."
Day 10 (May 12th)
I had a ton of dreams about my ex-girlfriend, often begging her to take me back or working really hard to try and get her to take me back. The way my therapist explained to me these constant, unbreaking dreams was that I was likely processing my bargaining stage in my dream instead of in-person (since I cut off all communication the day the relationship ended). I also spent time reflecting on the relationship at large, stepping back and trying to see with a forest-for-the-trees view.
Key journal quote: "Had dreams about H. I can't really remember what they were, but it was something like me begging her to come back. Or energetically pushing her to be with me, as if we were separating or separated. I had multiple dreams about her last night."
Key journal quote: "The love H. had for me in the early days felt... objectifying. Like she was idolizing me. It was infatuation. I don't know if she ever truly loved me. And in those later years a big part of it felt like an obligation. Like she was out-of-infatuation with me. And the love didn't persist. On her side, it still felt so young. Like in our 20s, the transition didn't happen to a deeper rooted love like it did for me."
Day 11 (May 13th)
The dreams were REALLY hitting me hard. Every day, ever night for weeks on end. This was the second night of dreams about H. that felt really strong. It would persist for a couple weeks, and she still appears in my dreams occasionally.
Key journal quote: "Even in my dreams, I can't escape. I had dreams I was begging her to come back to me. That she was dating other people, and I was so jealous. Waiting by like a wounded puppy. That we lived next door to each other and I was trying to play it cool, but I was so jealous and so desperate to win her back."
Key journal quote: "There are moments where I see something, and the first person I want to tell is H. Then reality hits. There's so much from Hawaii that I wanted to tell H. I feel so sad to be denied. So many funny things I thought, 'oh I can't wait to tell H.' But I never will. I feel so forgotten, so unseen. I also say nothing all day to my family. I feel a tenderness, like I'm a bird with a broken wing."
Day 12 (May 14th)
Recently, I read about Sexual Bereavement about a relationship ends and was surprised how much it resonated. So much is talked about with breakups... but the loss of a consistent, physical relationship is rarely discussed. It's shunned and shamed, as if we should not have these physical wants. I spent a LOT of time writing about how much I missed the sexual and physical aspects of my relationship and today was one of those days.
Key journal quote: "The sex, the sex, the sex is something I keep thinking about. How hard it seems to find someone to have a sexual relationship. I have so much fear around that, wondering if I'll be able to find someone. I wonder if it's healthy to go after that or not. The dream I had last night was partially me chasing another woman, salivating over this other woman."
Key journal quote: "There are still so many memories that come flooding back — and so many hopes for the future. It's still all so confusing to me. What changed in the month that I was gone? I had so many expectations. Hopes for where we would be.
Day 13 (May 15th)
I thought I had gotten over a lot of my past jealous tendencies from previous relationships with my most recent relationship with H. But, in the dreams and in my moments throughout the day, jealousy came out a lot. I didn't want her to find someone first (even just sleeping with them), I didn't want her to move on faster, I didn't want to be left behind. I felt a lot of jealousy today.
Key journal quote: "Dreams of having H. breaking up with me, replaying the breakup. Her mentioning she was dating someone else. Left me feeling so jealous. Second dream that I've had where she starts dating someone else and I get really jealous."
Key journal quote: "I remember back to the first time H. texted me. How excited I felt. How surprised I was by how well-written the text was. How non-judgemental, accepting, and different it felt. It makes me sad to think it's all over. I still can't believe it's over. It doesn't feel real. Even now. I thought about her so much in Hawaii. There was so much that I was excited to share."
Day 14 (May 16th)
Reality still felt so far off. The thoughts were (and still are) crazy when I think, "H. is my ex-girlfriend", "I was dumped", "this woman of six years broke up with me." I thought we were gonna be together for the rest of our lives.
Key journal quote: "Every morning, I wake up and the new reality sets in. I am just so scared to date again. It feels like so much work. It feels like I'm going to get hurt again. I feel like such a monster."
Key journal quote: "I deleted H.'s number today. It took two weeks. I both felt not as much as I expected... and it felt like a big step. I didn't block her. I really want that apology. That begging that she wants me back."
Day 30 (June 1st)
I've been told and read that anniversaries are challenging. This was the one-month "anniversary" of my breakup, and I felt a lot of the sinking, depressive feeling again. But the crazy thing about each day that goes by is that, just by the process of time and doing my best, there are occasionally glimmers of hope. And I saw a glimmer.
Key journal quote: "Late waking up, feel worse today. Ugh. All the excitement from yesterday went out the window. Back down to feeling grief and feeling bad. Feels like I have no chance of ever finding anyone better again, no chance of dinging anyone better. I have less hope, less excitement."
Key journal quote: "But today, 30 days in, I had a clear(ish) moment of what my partner looks like. I can kind of see her. See moments. It's a beautiful blonde girl. Happened on the drive here. I wonder why."