(At least, this is what helped me. My own experience is not yours, and if you are going through this, you'll have your own things. But I hope mine inspire you a bit.)
In November of 2017, last year, my partner left me when I was 7 months pregnant and shortly after he got together with a new woman. The details of that break-up are private and still raw and maybe one day I'll share them, but for now I wanted to share a post that I wrote over the course of November and December as I thought of things that were helping me get through what was definitely the hardest time in my life. I wasn't ready to post it til now, but I feel it's time. Here we go, here's what helped me get through each day when I really had no idea how I was supposed to get through each day:
- Texting good friends. Now is not the time to detox from your phone. Now is the time to type out all your thoughts with one finger, and feel like you're maybe being too vulnerable, but say it all anyway. They will understand. You would do the same for them. (Never mind when your mom makes a comment about the dinging of your phone, and Pavlov's dog. This is what is getting you through. Fuck it.)
- Packing your favourite clothes, your favourite books, your favourite candles, your favourite mug and towel, and moving to your brother's old bedroom at your mom's house. Your brother lives in BC now. He doesn't care if you move his stuff off the shelves and move your own stuff in. He doesn't care if you make this little room your haven for now. You don't know if you'll be here a month or two months or longer, but for now, this is a safe place to land.
- Walks. Even though your lower back hurts. Even though your belly bump strains at the buttons on your coat. Even though it's November and goddamn it but this is the most depressing time of year, the sky is grey, the leaves are off the trees, and the days are short. Whatever - walk anyway.
- Work. Yep, all that shit that drives you nuts is still there. And yep, there are times where you think to yourself "I don't even CARE about this right now!" Do it anyway. It will pass the time, and it will make you feel loved and needed by someone.
- "I Don't Like To" by Shad, on repeat. I'm not sure why. But it makes me feel like an alive badass surviving some real shit. Shad is a lyrical genius, and his words and delivery make me feel like yeah, "I don't really like to" do this, but I am doing it, and I'm doing it with fucking panache (some days - other days I'm barely making it through the day). https://genius.com/Shad-i-dont-like-to-lyrics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-q0YX0uPQs
- Dreams. Remembering that I really do want to be a writer, dammit. I really do want to follow my heart, in big ways and in small ways. In ways that I compromised when I was with my ex, to make myself smaller, to make myself more palatable to him, to fit a square peg into a round hole. I want an apple tree in the backyard, for example. But we lived in his house, the one he bought, the one he was going to re-sell someday. Not our forever home. And an apple tree wasn't something he wanted.
- Deep breaths. Slowing down. Seeing the people around me.
- Sarah Deragon's #Thisismebeing40 Instagram posts. She went through an awful divorce the year she turned 40 and wrote some thoughts as she went that I found helpful.
- Music. Beats. Remembering I am sexy. I am cool. I am fun. I have a personality. I am not just sad all the time. I like things.
- Affirmations. "I am going to get through this." "I am a good person." "I can do this." "I will not be forgotten once I leave work to have the baby."
- My counselor. Every two weeks. One hour to talk it all out.
- Tears, man. Fucking tears. I am so sick of crying but it helps. It always feels like it will never end. When will the tears be DONE? (They do end eventually.)
- Anything that reminds me of who I am. Like my favorite songs - cranked. Or funny shows like Parks and Recreation or The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt.
- Writing things down in my journal. That may not be your jam but it is mine. Writing down those feelings, whatever they be.
- Work that distracts.
- It's OK if you forget about the pregnancy from time to time or even for a whole month at a time as you get through the breakup. Sometimes it's just too painful to remember you are growing a person inside you that you decided together to try for, back just 9 months ago when you had no idea this major disaster was on the horizon, bearing down on your life. A pregnancy that it feels like should have ended when the relationship did but NOPE, that little person is well on his or her way now, and you are its mother, and you are going to be a damn good mother regardless of all this shit.
And that's all I wrote. But reading back over it I want to add: healing from such a wound takes time. It takes deep love for yourself and faith that you will be stronger at the broken places. You have those things in you, to be sure. Let the people who love you reflect it back to you. Take care of yourself and the baby first - that's what is most important. And let your intuition be your guide, it is never wrong.
There's beauty in store, dear one. I promise.