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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

I’m assuming that you recently lost someone or something. You’re ready to start the healing process, but maybe you’re not sure where to start. First, I want to say your feelings are valid. Don’t shut out the strong or difficult emotions you’re currently experiencing. Everyone heals at their own time and their own pace. I have a suggestion that helped me move on from a situation I was battling with. It may or may not work for you, but it’s worth the try!

Last semester, I had to make a tough decision involving cutting off a toxic friendship. Even though this decision was a smart one, it still deeply upset me. I carried my hurt and anger into this semester. To be honest, I beat myself up about it. Why am I still thinking about them? Why am I still upset? It was like balancing on a teeter-totter. One minute I was proud of sticking up for myself, but the next I was curled in a ball crying on my bed. I thought I was over this person, but it was obvious I wasn’t. The thing is, I didn’t want to go back to them. I’m glad they’re not in my life. So, what did I need?

Closure could be what you’re searching for

After a lot of self-reflection, I realized the answer to my ongoing question was closure. I didn’t get an apology from this person, and I would never get one. Not to mention, I had so many things to say to them, but I didn’t get the chance to. Our relationship felt like it had never had an “official” end. As a result, I kept playing scenarios and conversations over and over in my head, thinking of all the things I could say to them. I needed to express my pain, instead of placing more on myself.

One night, I sat myself down and wrote this person a letter, with the intention they’ll never read it. I wrote about all the things I wish I had said. All the hurt and anger I had been keeping inside went straight to the paper. The whole thing was basically a giant rant. When I got everything out, I ripped the letter up into hundreds of little pieces. For me, it was a visual representation. This mess was finally over.

I recommend trying this method. Get all those bombarding thoughts out instead of carrying them in your head all day. You could also try creating a poem, song, or painting. Whatever works best for you. Along with writing this letter, I cut off all forms of contact. Seeing them and having the ability to reach out to them, only make anxieties worse.

Good will come from this

It’s easy to think you “wasted” your time with this relationship. However, even without realizing it, you took something away and learned a lesson. You’ve gained strength and wisdom. Trust me when I say there are amazing people out there for you. Right after I lost this friend, I met someone at the dining hall. A snowball effect happened, and I ended up starting a friend group.

I want to note, the healing process is not a linear one. You may feel you’re over this person and you’re thriving, but one little reminder or trigger could make all those feelings disappear. It’s important to have patience with yourself. Everything will get better, especially with time. It helps to lean on your support system and take part in the little things that bring you joy. Take a night to yourself and practice self-care while watching the latest episode of a show you’ve been meaning to watch. You are not alone and I’m so proud of you for starting this journey. Although it’s not an easy one, it’s so worth it.

Isabel Crabtree

Illinois State '25

Hello everyone! I am a marketing student at Illinois State University. I love all things music, true crime, and self-improvement. I write to inspire and share what I've learned. Thank you for reading!