Breakups are hard. It is a time where you go through a wide range of emotions. You question your actions, trying to know if the breakup is your fault and generally go through a lot of what ifs. Most people need the love and care of friends and family, but ultimately, they need some alone time to figure out where things went wrong and what they could have done better.

Nevertheless, as terrible as breakups are, they have nothing on walking away from a narcissistic relationship. You go through a wider range of emotions, blame yourself more and ask even more questions. You realize with shame that you have let yourself get used to being treated so horribly that you even subconsciously do it to yourself.

Unlike normal breakups, where self-esteem issues can be treated by a few minutes of encouragement by your friends and family, the damage suffered from a narcissistic relationship has far more lasting effects and needs a different approach. The process of healing takes time and any progress is usually made slowly.

There is no cut and dry method for healing that works for everyone. Just as everyone went through different forms of abuse in a toxic relationship, everyone copes differently and so heals differently too. However, there are many methods of healing. Some were given by professionals in the field; while others were given by people who have been through the healing process and discovered that these things worked for them.

The first method involves talking about what happened to a neutral person or group of persons. This neutral person could be a therapist who will help you understand the conflicting emotions you feel. Talking about the nitty gritty details of that toxic relationship with an unemotionally involved party might help them see and expose the negative trends that got you into the relationship in the first place and help you get over your grief, guilt, and anger. Their advice will also help you finally close that chapter of your life and begin a new one.

The next method involves you redefining your life from the point where you stand; rather than trying to figure out who you were before that toxic relationship. This method does not leave room for castigation and self-blame. Rather, it will help you set up new goals for yourself that lead to the new person you want to become. If you decide to use this method, you will need to employ the services of a life coach to help monitor your progress and encourage you every step of the way. This process will best suit you if you are a go-getter.

The two methods have their advantages and disadvantages based on the type of person you are. For instance, if you are the type of person who would love to know where you went wrong, then the first method would most likely suit you better than someone who prefers to leave her mistakes where they belong, in the past. Although, based on your needs both methods can be used one after the other.

Unlike the two methods above that both require the help of a professional, there is another method chosen by other victims of toxic relationships. This method is hard, painful, and very long. It is the method of self discovery. People that use this method, work through their issues alone without any help from third parties. It demands a lot of strength, hard work, bravery, and determination to overcome. However, it gives you a chance to lick your wounds in private and be in control of your own healing.

In addition to the last three methods discussed, there is another process through which victims of toxic relationships can get over the effects of that relationship. This method involves you surrounding yourself with a close-knit support group that will listen to your experiences without judgment or blame. This group could be made up of family, friends, and even other victims of toxic relationships. You will need to set up boundaries and rules for these sessions where you talk about your experiences, to ensure that you avoid getting judged and complicating your healing process. You must also let them know that you expect 100 percent confidentiality from them. Finally, in choosing this method, know that you have to be available to these group of friends and family whenever they need your help.

Despite the different methods of healing discussed, you need to realize that your healing lies in your hands. You alone can, and will, decide to let go and heal. Remember that you can make use of one or more of the methods depending on what you want, why you want it, and when you want it.

Healing from a toxic relationship is a full-time job. It is going to be long, hard, and tough. There will be days when you won’t want to go on with the process, moments when you fear that you aren’t getting any better, and periods in the process when you realize that you don’t like the version of yourself that is emerging. That’s okay; it’s all part of the process of healing. You will also find out that the process will teach you new aspects of yourself you haven’t discovered before, change your outlook on life and generally reinvent you but somewhere along the line, you will heal.

It doesn’t matter what method of healing that you choose, the healing process would be hard. The bottom line is that with determination, hard work, and a burning desire to be better, you will get there. It might seem right now, that you will never get better, or never be the same. Sure, you will get better, but you will also never be the same, you will be a better and wiser version of yourself. So no matter how tough the going gets, keep going because one day, you will recover.