Thought Catalog
March 13, 2017

What Heartbreak Actually Is, Because It’s More Than Being Single

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God&Man

Heartbreak is that moment you wake up between dream and real life and for a brief second, you forget your pain. Then your eyes open and it hits you like the wind has been knocked out of you and need just one breathe.

It’s reaching for your phone and remembering when they used to be every morning text, telling you, you’re beautiful. You look at a blank screen and there’s a bit of pain because you wake up to silence and are forced to just carry one.

It’s looking at your reflection, where it was once with eyes of admiration, you find yourself fixating upon flaws and picking yourself apart. There’s a shift in you, where there used to be confidence, you now doubt yourself and wonder why weren’t YOU good enough that he stayed.

It’s going places alone and wondering about plans, where in the past you always knew you had someone to hang out with. Now you find yourself fidgeting in a crowd, wondering who to talk to because there is no one there who you can retreat in moments of discomfort.

It’s people asking what happened and you still don’t know. Because you’re still trying to understand it yourself.

And being in public you try to play it off like it isn’t killing you but in everywhere you go and in everyone you see, you wish it were them and they were right there with you.

It’s breaking down in private because you’ve been strong for too long.

It’s looking back at pictures and conversations you know you shouldn’t but you’re just struggling to understand how you went from ‘I love you’ and talk of forever to strangers who haven’t spoken in days or weeks.

And you replay it all in your mind, wondering if there is a detail you’ve missed but suddenly this past and these memories that used to make you smile now hurt you think about. And you have them on replay in your mind because you don’t want to forget someone who gave you so much to remember. Yet everything about them is fading.

Heartbreak is getting that plus one to a wedding and not knowing who you’re going to take.

It’s that sweatshirt you can’t seem to throw away even though you know you should.

It’s the jewelry you can’t take off even though it might be for the best.

Heartbreak are the pictures you keep looking at and that moment that leaves you in tears when they untag themselves.

It’s watching their stories on snapchat remembering when you used to be a part of it.

It’s sending something that they don’t answer and a silence that breaks your heart.

It’s watching them across Instagram and facebook and wondering who they are with now.

It’s wanting to like something but knowing you shouldn’t.

It’s their name appearing on your screen with a simple like and your heart drops for a moment and you’re conflicted because you’re glad they did but you wish they didn’t.

It’s something good happening and wanting to share it with them like you used to and regardless of how great the news is, there’s sadness because you can’t tell the only person you want to.

It’s the tears you cry in the girl’s bathroom when you’ve had one drink too many.

It’s the text you shouldn’t send. The call you shouldn’t make but your heart is in pieces so you don’t care in that moment.

It’s that moment you see them out and you try to act like it isn’t bothering you when everything about their presence is infecting you.

It’s that moment you see them with someone else whether it’s in person or someone new in their snap story or insta and your heart sinks because they beat you to moving on.

It’s smiling and laughing louder than you mean to, all the while you’re wondering ‘do you miss me too?’

It’s the awkward small talk where words are being said but no one is speaking. Because the only real thing you’d like to know is why did they do this to you? And why did you deserve it?

Heartbreak is the loneliness of going home alone and the even lonelier moment when you don’t.


Heartbreak is cursing off love all but entirely swearing you won’t ever fall again.

It’s knowing the only person who can fix this is the same one who caused you such pain.

Heartbreak is that moment you wake up and you don’t cry for the first time in a while.

It’s slowly getting into the routine of having a life without them.

It’s putting your heart back together and feeling like you can do this.

Heartbreak is that moment you meet someone but then suddenly your phone goes off and it’s them. Everything comes back to you all at once and again you are gasping for a breath because why did they have to come now?

It’s that moment you meet with them and they come bearing an apology you’ve waited months for. It’s hearing them want you back. Only those words coming out now aren’t what you built them up to be in your head because it doesn’t make you feel better. Things don’t go back to normal. You realize in that moment they never will because it’s too late.

And in the process of you putting your own heart back together, you realize you don’t need someone to break your heart to realize your value. You need someone who can value you without heartbreak being a factor.

It’s in that moment you walk away with your head higher than ever because for the first time in awhile you feel okay without them. For the first time you realize you’re going to make it.
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