Denial – Much as “This kind of thing only happens to others, doesn’t it?”, it did happen. How about journaling your way through the hurts that don’t make sense? As we explore connections between those hurts and other things in our lives, we often find ourselves less haunted by their randomness, and put them in some sort of context.
Anger – Instead of ignoring how you really feel (“This is so unfair!”), embrace the anger and saying, “Right, I’m angry – what am I angry about and what am I going to do about it?”. Confront situations that make you angry so that you don’t feel powerless and berate yourself and lower your self-esteem. This may include reestablishing boundaries. Holding onto and getting stuck in anger is stopping you from embracing your more positive self.
Bargaining – During this phase, should you promise to fix all the problems between you, you are placing the entire burden of repairing, maintaining, and sustaining a relationship onto yourself. Try your hardest not to lose sight of the fact that both participants in the relationship contributed to its end. A mantra you can consider adopting: “I take responsibility for my part in contributing the end of this relationship, and let go of being over-responsible for the part that is not mine.”
Guilt – Saying “It must be my fault” is, in truth, just punishing yourself, which in turn affects your health and ability to care for yourself and others. It serves no one. Ask your mind to show you any action or amends you can take. Then just be at peace if there is nothing you can do. Give yourself love by letting the guilt go.