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Wondering what tips and strategies other ENFPs have found useful when dealing with heart break of all kinds. Dealing with the anguish of a loved one's death... the end of a romantic relationship... parents' divorce... getting fired from a job: anything that caused you great emotional pain. What helped you move through your pain with dignity and a modicum of sanity?
 

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Recently heartbroken ENFP reporting for duty!

Honestly, I think the answers you'll hear on this will be greatly affected by said ENFP's enneagram type.

As a type four, it's important for me to feel the pain deeply and fully... I have to really experience it before I feel that I can move on. But, for example, from a seven's point of view, they might say pushing away the negative feelings and immersing themselves in pleasant activities is the key to feeling better. For me, that doesn't work so much-- it brings me closer to square one.

Having conveniently just gone through the most heartbreaking experience of my life thus far, this is the general process I have observed for me personally.

Stage 1: Complete and utter grief. You know, the super-dramatic, moaning and groaning sobs that sound like you're a dying animal with all the snot and fluids running down your face and whatnot. The world is over, how will I go on, this can't be happening to me, what am I going to do, this is so horrible, I WILL NOT SURVIVE THIS, SO HELP ME GOD. The only thing that got me through this part was just surrendering my feelings to the big man upstairs and telling myself that I cannot lose something that is meant for me, and if I am losing it, it is not meant for me. This edged the feelings of utter hopelessness into a more bearable realm of general sadness.

Stage 2: Feel it. I really, really had to spend a lot of time just analyzing and understanding and feeling what I was feeling, why I was feeling it, and accepting that it was okay for me to feel as sad and heartbroken as I felt. Then I just felt that way until I got tired of feeling that way and decided I needed to eliminate those feelings, somehow and someway.

Stage 3: Try to move on. For me, that means return to normalcy and hope towards the future. The future is always my biggest hope in any sort of dark time. In this case, I had to force myself to live my best life, stop moping, start doing the things I loved again (I dived headfirst back into working out, writing, etc.) and remind myself that something better awaits me in the future, although it may seem extremely far away in this moment. I had to strip myself of all the baloney talk I had been giving myself during the really black parts of heartbreak-- the questions of whether or not I was worthy of love, if I would find a worthwhile love again, if I was a good enough person, if I would ever be happy again... I had to take all of those things and throw them away and understand I was stupid to ask them and that's fine. My future is there and it's bright and it always will be.

So that's pretty much that.

edited to add: Also, having an INFJ best friend who is like a walking library and able to regurgitate a meaningful and poignant quote from some obscure author that's extremely relevant to your troubles at just a moment's notice is also extremely helpful. But I know that is not available to everyone, so for that, I am sorry. You should go find one. He comes in handy.
 

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Oh, gosh. I'm currently experiencing some of the most intense emotional pain I have ever had to endure in my life. I can't even really comment on this properly until I have gone through this and come out the other side, and lived to tell the tale, so-to-speak.

My situation isn't 'normal' so it's difficult for me to describe what's going on inside of my head right now. My whole world has been turned upside down. Literally. I've realised that my family have pretty much brainwashed me my entire life. Everything that I thought was real and to be true; were just false memories/thoughts/feelings implanted in me from a very young age. Whenever I tried to break free from this, I was rejected by those who are closest to me. I think at some point I mentally blocked out my true 'inner' voice, and instead came to adopt another mentality. One that I do not understand or associate with at all. I had to do this in order to survive.

As you can see - my thoughts/feelings/emotions are just crazy outreaching tangents that come and go whenever they please. I have no way to control this. Supressed memories just keep on resurfacing.

I've decided that I cannot run away from this anymore; which is why I am now taking 'time-out' to face this properly and deal with the reality of my situation.

How do I cope?

I talk to and express these emotions with thos who understand (and there are only a few who can actually see the truth past the carefully constructed illusions) Sometimes I'm not able to do this. It's incredibly difficult trying to put this stuff into words. Often, I will just curl up in a ball and cry. Crying is good. It's a release at least.

I'm also trying to record/write down all of these feelings/emotions/memories as they come. I keep having moments of self-doubt where I question whether or not what I am feeling is real - or if I'm actually just going insane. Having a record of these things has given me some strength and courage to continue moving forward when I am plagued by insecurity. It also reminds me why I am doing this. That, in the end - this pain will be all worth it.

It's seems to be a journey/process:

Denial
Realisation
pain/suffering
anger/resentment
grief
healing
acceptence/understanding
 

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The single most important thing I've learned about loss or heartbreak is that you owe yourself time to grieve. It's natural to mourn the loss of things and it's acceptable to mourn the loss of things. I give myself an appropriate amount of time to wallow in self pity, despair and all round bitterness. Thankfully, that bitterness usually spurs me on to write and write and write. I spew all my vitriol, rage, bewilderment and distress out in my journals in my poetry. Anywhere really. Then I begin to focus on my "me" time.

I have little spots throughout the City, like I know where to buy nice tea and cakes in an independent shop where the proprietors know me and my order. My favourite restaurants and bars are important too. As is socialising. Usually in this state I'll have been neglecting all my friends, so I remedy that. I give time to the things I love. Usually, for me that's buying a new book or a new pair of drumsticks. Literature, music and alcohol are invaluable de-stress props for me. In fact, in my group of friends, I'm the friend that @viva mentioned, and my ability to regurgitate quotes for myself, or just to know what piece or style of literature I need to lift me from my rut is golden.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I went through horrendous loss about a decade ago and it was followed by a deep, long-standing depression and some fairly self-destructive behaviour. I put on vast amounts of weight and stayed depressed for years.

What I learned from those worst-years-of-my-life is that I do well trying to balance my ENFP feeling/over-thinking cycle by injecting a bit of Sensor-Judger into my life at those times. Making a supreme effort to get to the gym, eat healthily, get massages, establish a regular sleep schedule (difficult for me even at the best of times), dig in the garden... these kinds of activities seem to centre and ground me at times when I feel like the sadness is going to sweep me away. They provide a temporary respite from the hamster-wheel that is my overwhelming emotions and circular thinking.
 

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I have had a few heart breaking moments in my life. Both times I was went through a divorce I was very distraught. The first time I didn't handle it well. I left him and the guilt of it all and the regret that came later.

However, the second divorce was when he left me. I was heartbroken, devastated. I handled it better, though I believe that the heart break from that was more measurable. I put a lot of work and effort into loving a man who was incredibly hard to love. I would have done better if I had been the one to leave him all the times I knew I should have. I had three kids of my own and two step-children who called me "Mom". There was a lot at stake and I put up and put up for so long for the sake of stability and then the punk left me. In the end, though, I believe the whole process was the single most pivotal moment that shaped my sense of well-being in myself, upped my self-confidence, and gave me skills and strength I never knew possible. When he left me I sat there saying "If I am not a wife or a mother -- then who am I?". And from that I defined who I was. I laid on the couch for a few days and cried, did a lot of praying, went through every scenario is my mind from being the strongest woman in the world to killing myself. After a few days I grabbed myself up by the boot straps and said "fuck this shit" and "I am stronger than this" and "here is your chance to shine" and got myself up off the couch, started applying for jobs. I was bawling my eyes out while applying but I did it. I landed a decent job quickly and about a month later I applied for college and focused my negative energy into something positive. During all that I still had my down times. I missed him like crazy. I cried every night for God knows how long. I mean, wept like I have never wept before. Then I was pissed and angry and resentful. I went through all the stages of grief. The relationship with my ex was still off and on for another year even after we divorced but in the mean time I had this sheer determination to prove to "I can do this" and that is what I did. So, now anytime there is some sad thing that happens in my life. I let myself "feel" my emotions and ride the wave because I know that is exactly what it is -- A Wave. It peaks and it sucks when I was at the peak of it but it is what I do with that energy that counts the most. Those hardest moments are what define just how strong we are.

Fall down seven times. Stand up eight.
 
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