The decision to leave is not an easy one to make, but it might have been one of the most important decisions you've ever made. You're very courageous for having made it this far, but a high percentage of abusive relationships can drag on much longer than the first break-up. Don't let it happen. Learn to stay on course and begin the process of healing physically and emotionally to avoid slipping back into an abusive situation. Learn to help yourself. Congratulate yourself. You may still feel helpless and overwhelmed, but take a minute to feel pride that you are doing something about improving your life. The biggest step is over, and you freed yourself from the grips of an abusive relationship. You will be busy trying to figure out how to start your life on a different path and begin the process of emotional healing, but it's important to take a moment to appreciate your own strength. You did it. You're free. Treat yourself. Do some things that you enjoy, both little and big, to get the healing process started. Give yourself a break. Whether it's a hot bath, a TV binge, or a long vacation, it's important to allow yourself little extras and big rewards during this healing process.
Especially indulge everything your abuser forbade for no good reason. You really can put your favorite music on and dance to it while you clean up, laugh at your favorite comedian, and enjoy eating the foods your abuser hated. Reclaim those small joys in life, one by one, for yourself.
Avoid all contact with your abuser. Gaining emotional strength may be a long road, and your abuser will likely try to win you back. It's important to eliminate contact with this individual regardless of how charming or apologetic the actions and words seem to be. Allow yourself the opportunity to heal and pull yourself away from your abuser's manipulative spell completely.
Well-meaning friends and family, possibly unaware of how bad your situation was, may try to convince you that you should stay with the abuser. Ignore this advice. You don't need to return to a physically or emotionally abusive relationship "for the kids" or because your partner "is going through something."
Whatever you do to help the healing process move along, don't go back. It only gets worse. You only get one life, do not chance losing it because you think that person will change.
Get plenty of sleep. The early signs of serious anxiety and stress-related depression are all made worse with poor diet, lack of exercise, and sleeplessness. These factors can start to cycle and spiral downward, making it very hard to start the healing process. You're likely exhausted and you need to get plenty of rest. Sleep as late as it seems like you need to.
Try and move your work schedule around some, if you can, to make sure you're getting enough sleep. See if anyone could switch shifts with you to go on to a later shift, so you don't need to get up. Better yet, consider taking some time off work and resting up, healing your body and your mind.
Find a support group. Talking to and learning from other abuse sufferers can be an important step in your recovery. It's recommended that all survivors or domestic violence reach out and talk in a safe and accepting environment to help learn the skills to cope and to move on. To find a support group in your area, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
It is natural for us to want companionship and love, especially during times of transition. Surround yourself with friends, animals, or new experiences, as opposed to responding to any offers that may be made by the abuser. Don't go back when you want companionship, find it elsewhere.