How To Handle Heartbreak
Today marks the six month anniversary of when I became single. I wanted to share some things I’ve realized over these last months, and I hope they can help you if you find yourself in a similar situation. Afterwards, if you wish, you can read more about my personal story.
Five Heartbreak Helpers
– (Almost) everything corny your friends are saying to you holds some weight. Especially this one: time heals. In May, people told me that in a month things would be easier, and in two months it would be twice as easy. I wanted to tell them to shove it. I was convinced there would be absolutely no way I would ever feel better, in an honest way. I wasn’t attempting to be a martyr, my feelings were just very strong. But living your life will pass the days. And the more days that pass, the better you will feel.
– It’s okay that you feel shitty. Wallow! It’s okay. I took some days to be sad. At one point I e-mailed my friend that I was going to “schedule a mental breakdown”. Haha. That’s not even a thing. But the point is, that you’re allowed to be sad. Whether it’s something you’re all too familiar with or a scary unknown territory, sadness is a part of the human condition. Allow it to be. You need to cry and mope and wear the same clothes for three days in a row, if that’s what you feel like you need to do.
– Don’t stop living. Many people had no idea that I was broken up with. I post on the internet very regularly, and although one of my main purposes is to document my life, I also want to create a better world for the people who share my space. Do you know what really helped me? Continuing to keep a happy journal and post my weekly lists. When I first started my happy journal, I made a rule of having to write at least three things each day. Most days, I don’t pick up my pen until I’ve listed at least ten things, so it’s never really been a problem. But I remember that month, I was struggling to find things to write. I did it, though. Except one day, where it just reads “It’s okay to have a sad day”. You know what, though? It’s much harder to find things to be happy about when the only thing you saw was the inside of a couch cushion. Get out of the house, or at least out of bed. Treat yourself to something delicious, take a drive, or a walk… even if its in your pajamas. Screw your neighbors judgment. Remember that time heals, and you have a choice to make that time pass in a positive way.
– Turn off music. This is the only time I will suggest that you cut out music. Music has amazing healing powers. It can be wonderful for enhancing any emotion or situation. Tranquility in the bathtub, party time on the way to the club, and motivating beats while you’re creating. But it can also reinforce your sadness. Have you ever noticed that when you’re sad you finally hear all the depressing lyrics in the pop songs you’ve been bopping your head along to? You start to relate everything to you and your situation, even if it’s totally irrational. And it’s actually quite easy to do since the majority of songs are in some way about love and relationships. Oh, and you can start to remember all the times you listened to Song X together or what you were doing when Song Y was playing. It’s a dangerous road, and if you feel like these things could ring true for you, just keep the music off till you feel stronger. Or carefully select what you listen to.
– Seek support. I don’t really recommend asking for advice. I did, and I got differing opinions from all four corners of the earth. For every friend you ask, you’ll get a different recommendation. But definitely ask for support. Ask to hang out, even if that means laying motionless on the bed together, googling pictures of baby animals. Plan things to do that you’re comfortable with, and don’t rule out professional help. I tried going back to therapy and got assistance from an additional medication when I was at my lowest. Nothing is shameful if it will help you. We need assistance for the tough stuff. I’m sure you would do anything you could for your best friend who was miserable. Know that someone feels that way for you, too. Take them up on it!
You are a beautiful person, and you don’t need someone to devote their life to you in order to shine. You’re only as dependent as you allow yourself to be. Inside of you is someone ready to burst with ideas and change.
The love story of my life wasn’t a fairy tale, and the reason for that was mostly me and my own mistakes. I didn’t know what I wanted, I strung him along, I didn’t do things in a clean way… I was very unsure. But time went on, and I understood why things happened the way they did. I was meant to have him in my life. At the time I thought it was going to be forever.
There are many things I regret about the way our romance started, but once we got going it was wonderful. We had a genuine connection and understanding that was more important than I’d ever felt. I continued to make mistakes, like being jealous and selfish. These are things I know better about now, but I think it was important that I experienced them and all their madness.
To me, the end was abrupt. I didn’t expect it, and then I didn’t believe it. When it happened, I was broken. I felt un-repairable. I considered killing myself or returning to cutting. I wouldn’t leave the couch for twenty hour periods. I don’t even know how that was physically possible. I didn’t want to leave the house, put on clothes, shower, or even be with my cat. Everything reminded me of the pain.
Looking back, I absolutely went through all the stages of grief. I was convinced that we would get back together. I thought about our reuniting and what we would do when our anniversary rolled around. Would we still celebrate that day? I proposed circumstances where we could be friends-with-benefits. I tested it out. I broke out into tears. I changed my life’s structure so I wouldn’t notice things were missing. I told my cat that it wasn’t his fault and that I was so sorry I took him away. Anger wasn’t as prevalent, but it was in there.
It wasn’t until, tonight, though, that I finally feel that I found acceptance. I’m writing this at 1:30 am on October 28th, 2013. I will publish this next week, on a more significant day, but I want to remember this. Right now.
I watched the finale of The Office… it’s been sitting on my computer for months. I didn’t feel strong enough until tonight. I was driving home from a magic show, and I had an epiphany. I realized how free and uninhibited I am. As much and as strongly as I loved, there were flaws. I don’t feel apologetic for anything that I do or feel, and I’m realizing how important that is. I feel triumphant right now. I feel proud of myself for my independence and resilience. I am at a point where I am truly grateful.
I hope that you live beautifully. I hope you take risks and I hope that you use your talent. Don’t hold yourself back for any reason. You know you can be brilliant, so let it be. You can be happy and it won’t make me sad. I know what we had was real.