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Finding Yourself After a Breakup-11 Things I Learned After I Walked Out

Last Updated on 2 years by Iva Ursano

I didn’t really just walk out. He got a Dear John letter. What happened after I left still blows my mind to this day. Finding yourself after a breakup is a journey like no other. I’m going to share 11 things I discovered about myself after I walked out.

My relationship was pretty bad

Leaving was hard. I thought about it for months. A couple of years even. Right after I discovered the last lie it was a matter of time before I left. I had to get all my ducks in a row first.

There were several things I had to make sure were in place before I even wrote my Dear John letter. First and foremost, was a stable income. I never once really thought about the life I would have after him. I never really thought I would ever leave him to be honest.

But it had come to that and I just knew I had to leave. Eventually.

It was a rocky 8 years. There was good, lots of good, bad, lots of that too, and ugly. Oh, there was ugly. The lies, the bullying, the emotional manipulation. Yup there was ugly. So much ugly. I had to get away. I was losing myself in a vortex of hate and anger. When I finally left, and life began unfolding for me, I wondered why I waited so long to go.

(this post contains an affiliate link so if you make a purchase I make a small commission-affiliate disclosure here)

You might also like these posts about leaving a relationship:

15 Signs of Disrespect in a Relationship NOT to Ignore

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending a Relationship

5 Steps to Loving Yourself Again

8 Signs It’s Time To Let Go and Move On

When you’re in a toxic relationship

These are a few things that happen to you when you’re in a toxic relationship. The reason why I’m sharing these things with you now is so that you can see how programmed we are and how we eventually lose our identity and everything that we are.

Finding yourself after a breakup is shocking and scary.

  • You question every move you make
  • You are filled with self doubt and you have zero self confidence
  • You feel lost, helpless and hopeless
  • You’re afraid of everything and everyone
  • You basically don’t trust anyone or anything ever anymore

These are just a few things that happen when you leave a toxic relationship. And then once you leave you practically have to reinvent your entire life because you lost the person you once were and you already know you can’t go back to that person nor do you want to.

Remember the person you were before this toxic relationship was broken and toxic as well which is why you attracted that toxic person in the first place. I know, sorry not sorry, it’s the hard truth.

So we don’t want to go back to who we were. We want to find the new ‘me’. But really find out who we are, what makes us tick, what we need, want, don’t want, etc. You get the idea.

Before I go on, I’d love for you to check out my mini self help eBook series You Are Amazing. They are powerful ebooks with awesome tools to help you with whatever issue you may be facing right now. New books are added often. 

You Are Amazing

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Finding Yourself After a Breakup

So I gotta tell you, I’ve never lived by myself. Ever. I was 52 years old and was living alone for the first time in my life. I felt like that kid from Home Alone for the first month or two. Then reality set in and I had to do find out who the heck Iva was.

I had lived my entire life pleasing everyone but myself. There were things I had to learn to do myself as well. And then there were times when I had to learn that I actually CAN do things on my own. It was a pretty amazing self discovery journey.

Here are 11 things I found out about myself after I walked out. I’m pretty confident that you will most likely discover some of these things about yourself as well and maybe even WAY more cooler things too!! Finding yourself after a breakup is exhilarating!!

1 I’m pretty strong

Like stronger than I ever imagined. I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a durable kinda gal but, wow, when poop hits the fan I sure can scramble to my feet in a flurry and maintain my composure. I had no clue. But wait, when strong is all there is left…well.

I learned to trust myself and have faith that I can do the hard things.

2 I’m really smart

I am. For years I was programmed to believe there were many things I couldn’t do for whatever lame reason there was that week. I have discovered there are many things I really can do, all by myself. And I do have a brain. How awesome it was that my self discovery revealed that!

It’s a welcome change to know you are smart when all your life you thought you were dumb.

3 I’m really nice

Like I’m a really nice person. I do have a great personality after all. For years I was this quiet meek and mild mannered girl trying not to speak out of turn. I actually have a sparkling personality that people like.

I was always just a shadow. Now I’m the light in the room.

4 Facing fear is kinda fun

I had a lot of fears and I still do but it’s actually kinda fun when you have to face serious stuff on your own, when no one has your back. When no one is gonna be pissed at you because you did something dumb (but had fun anyway).

When the only person you have to trust is yourself. It’s a beautiful thing.

Please take a minute to check out my new YouTube channel Women Blazing Trails. I talk an awful lot about leaving abusive relationships and starting over in life. I think you might like it.

5 I have great friends and family

I put them aside for my relationship. I didn’t have to; it was just easier to go through life that way. When I picked up the phone to call for help, everyone came out of the woodwork. People really do like me and are willing to help.

Our friends and family never left us. We left them and they welcomed us back.

6 I have purpose and passion

Things thatI didn’t even really know existed inside of me. They were buried so deep for so long, they were just gone. I realized there were a few things I really loved (besides eating cereal for dinner and staying up late) and I needed to pursue them.

It was time to do the things that brought my heart immense joy.

7 TV is stupid

Like I really hate television. I hate it so much that if I never watch another TV show again I will die a happy woman. Wait, except Vikings. And UFC. Ya, just those two. The rest of TV is dumb. Like the news? Forget it.

And the only reason this makes the list is because my ex was such a control freak TV was all about him, his shows, his time. Bla bla bla. He made me hate TV.

8 I have hope

I found a new hope to do things that I’ve always wanted to do but never could because I was a zombie in this relationship. A zombie that had her life planned out and scheduled day in and day out.

I was free to chase my dreams and my goals!

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9 Find self love

That was a tough one but I had to find it. I had to break the pattern of always getting involved in relationships that were just clearly not good for me. I had to love myself and spend some time alone. Now that was scary, hard but fun.

I do love myself but maintaining self love is a daily job.

10 Life is so much fun

I really loved life. Loved it like I never have before. I used to dread waking up in the morning, I used to dread each day and never looked for anything good, but man, my self discovery showed me that life is awesome.

I write this blog from sunny Guatemala. Something I would have never been able to do had I stayed in that relationship. I am here, working as a freelance writer, and helping the poor people which is one of my purposes. Yes, life really is beautiful.

11 I found and use my voice a lot

I used to be a quiet little church mouse and not want to disagree with anyone ever. I would always just nod, smile and say yes, no matter what but I don’t do that anymore and I use my voice to say NO a lot more now.

There is great liberation in that!

So you can see…

Finding yourself after a breakup is pretty exciting. Look at all the things I found out about me!! Wow!!

Leaving an unhealthy relationship

I’m not really one who should be handing out relationship advice but I will tell you this. If you are in an abusive or toxic relationship and know you must leave, start preparing to do just that unless you think counselling will work for you two.

I stayed in my unhealthy relationship for longer than I should have. I’m not going to say I wasted precious time because I learned a lot about myself the whole while I was there. But I will still say I wish I had left sooner.

If you are thinking about leaving, have faith and know that you can do this. Know that there are most certainly people you can reach out to who will help you. It might not be family or friends but it could be organizations who help women/men get out of toxic or abusive relationships.

Don’t stay any longer than you have to. It takes a long time to repair the damage done from abuse and the longer you wait to leave, the longer it will take to heal.

You might really like this course from Kim Saeed. Please click the link here or the image below for more information.


And remember, abuse isn’t just physical. Emotional and verbal abuse is still abuse and extremely damaging. If you aren’t sure if you are in an abusive relationship, here are a few signs to watch out for:

You might also really like this article 9 Signs Of Manipulation in a Relationship

  • extreme jealousy and rage (with the jealousy)
  • making you feel guilty all the time (it’s all your fault always)
  • putting you down in front of others
  • using money to control you
  • domination and control
  • threatening you if you leave
  • making you feel stupid or unworthy

If you recognize any of these signs it might be time to take a deeper look into your relationship to see if things can be worked out or maybe it’s just time to leave.

Either way, you should always be in a relationship with someone who respects, values and appreciates you (among a million other things)

Watch for these signs, look into your heart and know that you need to do what’s best for you. You are #1 and so is your mental health and well being.

The joy of finding yourself after a breakup

Finding yourself after a breakup will be a fun new adventure for you. You will discover things you never knew existed like:

  • freedom
  • self love
  • self respect
  • adventure
  • your voice
  • and so much.

I mean remember when I was learning about myself and trying new things, every time I would just be like “damn this was great”!!! And I can’t tell you how many moments like that I had. Finding yourself after a breakup is truly the most beautiful evolving experience you will ever go through.

If you loved this post and it has helped you in any way, shape, or form, please consider clicking the button below and buying me a coffee to support my work. xoxo

Peace and Love


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  1. That post put a smile on my face because it is so inspiring for all of who have been in similar situations. Thank you!


    1. Thank you for dropping by Zaria and thanx for your comment. I think there are still too many trapped in relationships, like I was, that they need to leave. :)

  2. I was trapped for 35 years. Your old relationship and your self discovery are very similar to mine except I’m a man and men don’t come out of the woodwork to help, and it’s only been 9 months. I’m loving life and look forward to showing my children what a healthy relationship looks like.

    1. Hi Lorenzo thanx for your input!! Self discovery is scary but awesome. Also I think it’s never ending. I’m glad you are in a happy place!! Good for you :)

  3. Hi iva, I just read your blog. I just left an abusive relationship two weeks ago. You give me hope that I too will be able to get to that place in my life. Unfortunately he has free rent in my head constantly. I’m going for counseling. I’m looking for a book titled why does he do that inside the mind of angry and controlling men. I heard it helps with some of healing quicker. Sorry so long. Thank you for your letter it gives me hope. Yvonne

    1. Always hope Yvonne. One day you will look back and smile to see how far you’ve come. It took me almost a year. You will get through this!! Stay strong and true to you!!

  4. Achievement isn’t it???? I’ve been there and took me a lot of courage to do things straight. It’s hard but fulfilling and it’s very very very essential for ur to leave on that kind of toxic relationship. I left after 13yrs by the way ♥️

    1. Yay you!!!!!! So many stay because it’s just easier. That hurts my heart because I know there is a happier life waiting for them xo

  5. Thank you for this post. By having the strength to leave a 5 year relationship with a narcissist, I was able to find love…. Real love where the other person thinks of my feelings more than of himself. It is hard to leave a relationship, but so worth it when it has to happen for one’s own sanity.

    1. SO hard, yes Cindy. And downright scary but wow, the freedom and peace you feel afterwards are mindblowing :)

  6. I would to have the strength to leave im so wore down

    1. If leaving is something you must do, find the strength. You deserve a happy life.

      much love

  7. It’s a beautiful article Iva. Thank you for these words of courage, strength and hope. I could connect instantly. There’s so much to life that we fail to realise and stay trapped around all the negativity. Break free and live a life you choose to have. Thank you once again.
    Love and regards.

    1. Thank you Namrata. I’m glad you enjoyed it and appreciate your comment :)

      much love
      xo iva xo

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