‘Let’s Talk’ is a quarterly column where a team of counselors and
psychologists from the Counselling and Psychological Services (CPS)
provides professional advice and tips for coping with your
interpersonal and emotional concerns.
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Healing from
a Broken Heart
Google ‘broken heart’ and you get almost 94 million hits. It’s a painful phase
of life that many go through as they seek loving relationships. Some are able
to recover from break-ups quickly while others may feel unable to move on for
years. However there are some things we can do to help ourselves heal when
our hearts get broken.
Counsellor, Counselling and
Psychological Services (CPS),
University Health Centre
Counselling and
Psychological Services
Mainline: 6516 2376
Email: [email protected]
There are a lot of messages out there that say that when our partner breaks-up
with us, we must be strong, ought to have a stiff upper lip, should pretend that it
does not matter to us etc. Throw these ‘must, ‘ought to’ and ‘should’ out the window.
Stifling your natural emotions and trying to pretend to feel something you do not,
is not going to be of any use to you. It may delay the healing process because
emotions have a way of bursting through any dams you try to put on them.
So give yourself permission to be in shock, to feel angry, to feel sad. It’s normal.
Well-meaning friends and family at times may give you messages such as,
‘Quick! Fix yourself! It’s been too long! Move on! There are other fish in the sea!’
Their comments may come from a place of love and concern because to some
extent it also hurts them to see you in pain. However, healing takes time. Do not
rush yourself to feel better or allow others to rush you either.
Healing from a broken heart is not a linear process; it’s a roller coaster ride.
After the tears dry up, you may begin to feel less sad and even happy one
moment. You may think you have fully healed. Friends and family may rejoice
even. Then...BAM! You may see something or hear something that again triggers
the painful memories and send you into the doldrums. This too is normal. This
does not mean you have relapsed. Rather this is part of the process of healing
and eventually the pain will just be a memory.
Unfortunately, the man on the Clapham omnibus in
Singapore too often fails to do so or is so coloured by
his/her political inclination that any meaningful discussion
is difficult. To this end, I can do no better than to quote
John Dewey, “Genuine ignorance is profitable because it is
likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open
mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, coin
terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning
and coats the mind with varnish waterproof to new ideas”.
A lot of my clients who have gone through a break-up tell me that in the
immediate aftermath of a break-up, they have willing listening ears and available
shoulders to cry on. However after some time, they begin to feel that they shouldn’t
be ‘bothering’ their friends and family anymore. Talking is a way to relieve the pain
in your heart. It may not give you the solutions you want but it will ease the ache.
If it becomes difficult to talk to friends and family, talk to a counsellor. We are here
to listen to you...as many times as you need.
Healing from a broken heart is one of the hardest things we can do but always
remember and always tell yourself that even though it does not feel like it right
then, that you will eventually feel better and learn to love again.
However, I found the entire experience to be underwhelming.
More often than not, the online discussions degenerate into
contemptuous arguments, with the antagonists labelling
the each other “Pro-establishment” or being advocates of
change for the sake of change. I am trying not to adopt
the moral high ground here but as voters truly concerned
about the betterment of Singapore (as I believe most voters
ultimately are), one should be debating/discussing about
the substantive policies of all the parties, rather than on
these non-substantive (and probably less than well-thought
out) populist statements of politicians.
I find it extremely disappointing that the term “Pro-PAP” or
“Pro-Opposition” entails a somewhat negative connotation
these days. This would not have happened if either set of
supporters is able to articulate reasons for their support.
By that, I also do not mean for one to merely regurgitate
from respective manifestos/politicians. The point is that as
individuals, we should think, rationalise and weigh up all
these things that the politicians (PAP and oppositions alike)
are telling us. Personal evaluation is necessary and in this
regard, engaging in substantive debates/discussion about
them (with person holding opposing views) will clearly assist
in coming to a more informed conclusion. After all, the best
choices are usually (and unsurprisingly) those that survive
the process of rationalisation and robust critique/discussion.
A break-up can also have a silver lining. It can be an opportunity to learn about
ourselves and discover our innate strength. In fact it’s very important to make
peace with yourself and learn the ‘new you’ before you begin the next relationship
or you may get into a rebound relationship that may not last. The ‘new you’ may
have a different perspective and values from the ‘old you’. You need to understand
this because no matter what, your most important relationship is with yourself.
I was hesitant when first approached to write an article
on my experience of the 2011 Singapore General Elections.
Much had been made of the fact that many voters at
this GE were first-time voters (like myself ) or that this GE
presented a rare voting opportunity for many because their
constituencies were previously uncontested. As a whole,
I believe that Singaporeans, particularly the young voters,
have shown ourselves to be much less apathetic than feared.
Furthermore, the advent of new media have allowed the
IT-savvy to access a whole range of alternative news sources
(apart from the mainstream media) and to exchange their
views on the various social media platform.
In the same vein, while the advent of alternative media
sources have complemented the mainstream media and
offered the public more varied perspectives, one should
similarly evaluate the perspective that news stories (from
mainstream and alternative sources) are being offered
and their veracity.
It is my hope that come next GE, most Singaporean voters
will be able to articulate their own well-thought out reasons
for their support of whichever politicians, for this will be a
true mark of Singapore’s progress.
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