I first met Tabitha Meeks at a bible study at a complete stranger’s house. I walked in, took a seat in the corner when this beautiful, vibey, girl greeted me with a sarcastic joke and made me feel like a part of this group instantly. Since then, we’ve sang in our local church worship band and have laughed ever since. She is an extremely talented musician, and a founding member of the band Mona Lisa Tribe.
Add the fact that she is altogether an amazing human being and you’ve got Tabitha! When Tabitha reached out to me to write for P25L, I was instantly excited. I has been so encouraging to watch her walk through this season from the outside and when I began to edit her work, I was struck by her honesty and practicality. Visit the Mona Lisa Tribe Facebook page and Instagram and show her some love!
Three months ago, I was cheated on. It was completely heartbreaking and emotionally, I was a WRECK. At times, I was so angry I did not even recognize myself.
I’ve been through tough break-ups before and I in the past, I have not handled them well. I often jumped too quickly into another relationship or sought out cheap attention and unhealthy ways to “forget” my situation.
Now that I’m 26 years old, I felt I owed it to myself to not allow myself into these unhealthy patterns again. I knew there were certain steps I needed to take and for the FIRST time in my life, I decided to take them… and wow. How I wish I could have told 22 and 24 year old Tabitha to do these things!
Here’s 10 things that made my break-up a catalyst for moving me into the most emotionally healthy place I’ve ever been:
1. I started therapy
I had been putting off therapy for years, but I started talking to a therapist the week after my break-up and it has made the biggest difference in my life. Having someone that I trust provide professional advice has had such a positive impact. I honestly look forward to my counseling session more than almost anything else in my week!
2.I blocked him on all levels
A friend actually gave me this advice the second day after the break up and I am SO glad I took it. I not only blocked him but ALSO deleted all of our past conversations and any triggering photos. Why keep puncturing a wound that you’re trying to let heal? I also asked my friends to not update me on his life at all and drastically cut the time I spent scrolling on social media.
3. I allowed others to support me
I am so thankful for my friends and family who have come alongside me and listened as I’ve processed my break-up and my self-realizations. Always knowing I had someone to call or hang out with if I felt lonely was huge; I’m so thankful for my wonderful community. To get over a break up, it is important to call on your friends when you need to. Your real friends will be there for you no matter what.
4. I Journaled/wrote songs
For the first few weeks after my break up, I probably journaled 4-5 times a day. I downloaded a journal app and which helped me to get negative thoughts out of my head so much faster and also start making sense of everything!
As for songwriting, that’s something I’ve always done so my therapist recommended I write the songs but not dwell on them… which as a musician is hard to do (some of these songs could be future Mona Lisa Tribe material!). But for now, they’re just for processing and it was helpful advice from her to know it’s best that I process and leave it in the past.
5. God, Meditation, Gratitude
Reconnecting with my faith has been one of the sweetest results of the breakup. Realizing that the woman I am today who is seeking God is a much different woman than the one in high school, college, or any other time of life was so helpful- and I learned to be okay with where I am spiritually, and just enjoy the full presence of God in my life again.
Prioritizing time for prayer, meditation and practicing gratitude has been fulfilling and allowed me to become my healthiest self.
6. I started active thinking
As I processed everything I realized a simple, yet monumental truth:
I AM IN CONTROL OF MY THOUGHTS.
This meant that if I was to dwell on the details of my ex cheating on me, I was choosing to live in negative feelings that day. And if I didn’t want to feel depressed or angry, I was going to have to fight a battle in my mind against that.
A lot of days that was NOT easy. I had mind games and tricks I made for myself though, like creating catch phrases to say in my mind, distracting myself by counting things around me, or saying a list of what I was grateful for that day.
I made a lot of realizations and these are some of that stuck with me:
a) it’s okay to not be okay b) some thoughts I need to talk through with people, and some I need to just throw out of my mind forever c) I am allowed to be as angry about my situation as I want, for as long as I want- when I decide to let go is completely up to me d) what he did will never be okay, BUT I will be.
7. I was actively distracted
I don’t want to admit how strong of a hold my ex had on me; it honestly feels a little humiliating. But I did put all that I had into loving that man, and even if I see now that it wasn’t reciprocated, I won’t regret loving the person I chose to be with, with everything I had.
So when I tell you he was on my mind every morning I woke up (mostly how much I felt I hated him) You can tell why I needed to be preperared every day with distractions. I would slowly wake up by listening to TED talks or audio books from Hoopla, and have thoroughly binged Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy. No shame, because distraction is better than dwelling in anger and plotting revenge.
8. I didn’t date
My therapist is tricky- she said “try not to date or even talk to anyone for 60 days”. Now, if she had said for a year (which is probably what I will end up doing) I would not have even tried. However, because it was such a small goal, I have abided by this (for the most part) and am going to intentionally do so for a while.
For the first time in my life I can honestly say I feel content in being by myself … I even love it! Which leads me to the next point:
9. I started with loving myself
I could go on about this forever, but I’ll keep it simple- you can’t be in a healthy relationship with someone else until you have a healthy relationship with yourself. I’m finally coming to understand I need to have my self worth and value come from myself and God ONLY.
Now that I am actively working on fighting the patterns in my life that fed my insecurities and my need to be approved by others, my whole outlook on life has changed. I’ve started living for myself and loving myself, and you know what? It’s actually incredibly fun and fulfilling. Invest in yourself!
10. I set goals
As I learned to love myself, I was able to finally sit down and think about what I wanted in my life- not what my family wanted, my boyfriend, my friends, but ME. What were my dreams and goals I didn’t even dare to think of accomplishing?
I am now in the process of making a vision board, and am working on so many projects and ideas with others right now, every day is exciting! I feel fulfilled; despite being cheated on, despite being single, and despite not seeing a relationship in my near future at all. This is as big deal for me.
Take the steps.
Honestly, I did not think I would be happy without a man in my life to give me the self-esteem boost I thought I needed. But because of these steps, I have never been happier. My friends tell me I look more peaceful then before, that I seem to be in the healthiest place I’ve ever been, and that’s how I feel!
How quickly you get over a break up has different determining factors of course, such as how long you were with someone (my ex had been playing with my heart for a year and a half, and we’d dated officially for only 6 months), and what caused the break.
However, the point remains the same: you must decide to fight against negative emotions and self pity. Time truly will heal all wounds, but there are steps you can take to quicken your healing process drastically!
So to you, readers, please take these steps or recommend them to a friend going through a hard time! My life is changed for the better, and yours can be to.
And to you, my ex; THANK YOU for cheating on me- it was the best thing you did for me in our entire relationship. Every day I let go of more resentment or anger towards you and now I truly hope that you can find the same joy I have found in life. ✌🏻