Finding a New Sense of Self After Heartbreak

February 27, 2018 Shelby Tweten

I lost my sense of self during my relationship, and I'm worried that I won't find a new sense of who I am now that the relationship is over. Join me on HealthyPlace and see how I'm discovering a new sense of self after heartbreak.

People who struggle with mental illness, especially borderline, can have a hard time keeping their own sense of self within a relationship, making heartbreak that much more painful. I know I am definitely guilty of this. How do I not feel lost when I lost such a big part of my life? As I'm still trying to process losing my relationship, I'm being forced to find a new sense of self that allows me to feel safe alone.

How Did I Lose My Sense of Self?

Sometimes I wish I was stronger. I always talk about how self-aware I am, but that doesn't save me from certain inevitable symptoms of being borderline. If you've read my articles before, you've noticed a pattern of me struggling with abandonment. When my boyfriend and I got together over two years ago, I was completely lost--I felt like a shell of a human. Since I felt so empty, I filled myself up with my boyfriend's needs. I didn't want to have to focus on my own issues so I wrapped myself up in his.

Now all I think about is the person I was when we first met and how afraid I am to go back to that. I can't seem to fully comprehend that I am different now and I've worked through a lot because I think the only reason I got it together was for him.

Find Ways to Feel Like the Self You Want to Be

As many of us do as a result of insecurity, we try to become what we think our partner wants. My boyfriend wasn't the greatest at expressing his feelings so I thought everything I did was wrong. I didn't feel a lot of support from him about stuff everyone else seemed to praise me for--leading me to be more confused about my sense of self. So now, as I'm trying to move forward with my life, I'm thinking of goals I want to reach (Set Goals That Work for You to Improve Self-Esteem). What are things that I wish he would have supported me in that I can push to do by using my own personal self-esteem?

You Don't Have to Feel Alone with Your Sense of Self

Another problem I face from heartbreak is wanting to shove everything down so I don't have to talk about my feelings with other people. I feel like me, myself, and I are the only ones who are going to understand, but this mindset can lead you to feel very alone. Part of recovery is acceptance and seeking help. I'm very thankful I'm back in therapy and am able to find guidance in learning my new sense of self. It's all about looking positively towards the future and turning your pain into something productive.

Wish me luck. How did you find yourself after heartache? Please let me know in the comments.

APA Reference
Tweten, S. (2018, February 27). Finding a New Sense of Self After Heartbreak, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Shelby Tweten

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