It’s the feeling we all dread: that moment when your man breaks your heart. We’ve all been there, and we all know it sucks. Some have been through (seemingly) a million heartbreaks. Others are new to the broken heart blues. Wherever you are on the spectrum, this guide is set up to help you through those moments of love life limbo.
Let me put it to you straight: heartache is the worst kind of pain. There’s no instant relief, no pill that you can take like an aspirin to soothe it. It keeps you up at night, it makes you think, and it makes you eat a lot of your roommate’s chocolate and caramel ribbon ice cream that she told you not to eat because, well, it’s hers. Maybe the last one is just me, though.
If you’re tired of letting heartbreak get the best of you, then this is absolutely the guide for you. This is all about taking your heartbreak, letting it know who you are, and kicking its ass. Let’s get you feeling better, shall we?
1. Let It Hurt
“But I already am hurting, what more are you expecting from me, Brann?” I’m glad you’re hurting. Good. And I hope you take this as the biggest dose of tough love. The biggest rookie mistake is to ignore the pain of heartbreak. When we deny our feelings in any circumstance, you’re essentially denying yourself the right to feel anything. You become numb. You bottle up those feelings, and sooner or later, they’ll arise. That’s why I’m empowering you to be sad. Cry. Be angry. Be miserable. Take a day or two to just wallow in your own grief. But (and let me make this clear), grieve on your own time. Don’t skip classes. Don’t skip work (but if you must, call in sick). Just get it all out of your system. Better you take one day to cry your eyes out and feel horrible than an entire week, letting the tears run only a couple at a time. You owe it to yourself to hurt, so that the healing can begin much faster.
2. Distract Yourself
So you’ve balled your eyes out, and you’re ready to take on the world once more. But all of a sudden, a tidal wave of emotion hits you. No matter how prepared you are, it’s going to hurt (a bit or a lot, I can’t say for sure). This is where the second step comes in. You’re going to need distractions: something that is soothing and can distract you no matter what. For me, if I was at home, it was a cup of tea, cuddling in my favourite croquetted blanket, and diving into a brand new TV show (at the most recent time, it was Big Brother Canada). While I was working or in school, I found solace in music, as I always keep my iPod close at hand.
Instead of thinking about heartbreak as a sentence, think of it as an opportunity for rebirth. In my mind, when your heart is broken, it’s your chance to figure out more about yourself. You see, when you’re reflecting, you can’t help but to think about “what you did wrong” (an answer that will vary, but never blame yourself 100%, it does take two to tango). I encourage you to let that evolve into “who am I as a person?”
Here’s what you can do: journal. Reflect. Think about what you want in your life. What your goals are. What your dreams are. What kind of person are you? What are your traits as a person? Reflect constantly. Make this about you, and not about the person who hurt you. My hopes (and my experience) is that you’ll stop focusing on what they don’t like about you, and you’ll start focusing on what you like about you. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen up in here?
Note: If you know where that quote is from, you’re amazing. If not, go watch an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a great show, and RuPaul is the master of self-love.
4. Let Yourself Relapse
There will be days where you’ll feel better than others, and some days, you’ll feel like crawling into a hole, burying yourself and dying. Those days suck big time. Those days will happen. Allow those days to happen. Like I said before, denying your feelings is the worst thing you could do. No one’s expecting you to be perfect (I’m certainly not). Just allow yourself to feel like crap and get back at it the next day.
5. Forgive, Don’t Forget
This is quite possibly the hardest thing for some people, and I’m putting myself in that category. I’m not about to tell you what to do, because let’s face it; if someone’s breaking your heart, sometimes that person is a total douchebag. However (this is the biggest piece of advice), you need to be the biggest person. No matter how crappy you feel, and no matter how shady the business was that they did to you, you need to just rise above. You do not need to go up to them and forgive them, though. Forgive them in your mind. Know that what happened is in the past, and try your best to move on. But do not ever forget. We don’t want you running a vicious cycle of constant heartbreak with the same person.
6. Take Your Time
Okay, I lied. This is the most important part. This doesn’t count as a step, but this is kind of the over-arching part of this entire process. Take your time. Don’t tell yourself “what’s wrong with me, I’m not feeling better, I should be better”. Everyone heals at different speeds, and it’s okay if it takes longer for you to recover from a devastating blow. It’s okay that the other person has moved on already and you’re still feeling the pain. It’s okay. Just keep making steps to heal, and you’ll feel better in no time.
In closing, I need you to know you’re not alone. Not only because everyone has been heartbroken at one point, but know that the pain will subside. I’m hoping you’ve read this, and you’ll be enlightened. I’m hoping the pain will ease a bit better, and I’m hoping the pain won’t be so bad the next time. You are strong. You are loved. Most of all, you are so important. And if you ever, ever feel alone, know that you have me in your corner, cheering you on while you kick some heartbreak ass. Know I’m there for you, no matter what.