Have you ever dealt with a dying heart? It’s not an easy task. This dying heart is giving up. It’s too sad and beat up to continue. It’s careening towards broken, and it can’t stop. It’s not this hearts fault, and yet you’re the one left to deal with it. How do you heal a broken heart?
Poor little broken heart, wrinkling inside. You’re shrinking into yourself right now. You’re not a small heart – you can expand and stretch to fit everyone inside, and you have. You love company. You are still a young heart, but not young enough to be scratch free. You let someone charming stretch their legs inside you, making room for themselves and all of their baggage. Poor decades old heart is wrinkly because this person left. There’s nothing to fill the space they left behind, poor naive little heart decides.
Amidst this world of cities and sunshine, where you can take out library books for free and meet new people every day, there is no other love that can fill that space, the heart thinks. Silly heart.
Little heart, it’s ok. They left you deflated, but not torn. You may be broken, but broken things can be fixed. A little bit of tape, in the form of a Netflix binge. A little bit of glue, in the form of too many whiskey sours. Add a little shine, in the form of too many tears cried. You can be fixed, broken heart of mine.
How do you fix a 20-something heart? We deal with our hearts every day, but we still know nothing about them. Our heart is different as a 20-something than it was as a teen or a tiny eight-year-old. When we’re eight our heart is broken when our brother steals our favorite red crayon, and is fixed seven and a half minutes later when our mom gives us money and her hand to go to the ice cream truck parked in the cul-de-sac outside our house. When we’re a teenager our heart is broken because we believed so fiercely in forever and forgot that we were still young enough to wait for it. When we’re in our twenties, our heart is broken because we just don’t know anything.
It’s hard to heal a heart when it’s broken in all different places. This jagged scratch is from having $7.29 left in your bank account after paying rent for the month of July. This bump is from when your friends you introduced became closer to each other than you, and you were sad about it even though you knew you shouldn’t be. This gash is from when someone you loved got sick, and you still don’t quite know how to heal the wound. This scar that’s healing is from when the someone you loved decided they wanted to be with someone else.
How do you heal a heart that’s broken in all different places? Some wounds will hurt more than others some days. You delegate. On Wednesday you take the jagged scratch from being broke out to a cheap matinee movie, just you and your scratch, and maybe you cry at being alone, but it makes you feel better at the end. On Saturday you take your friend bump out to lunch with your friends, and you whisper words of encouragement to it as you try to feel included. On Sunday you lay in bed with your sick loved one gash and cry. On Tuesday you tell yourself and your love scar that you won’t text him, and then you do, but it feels ok. You continue to delegate as new scratches form. It takes patience. It takes time. It takes strength, to heal this broken heart of mine. It’ll all be ok.
It will be ok.
You heal a 20-something heart by letting it be mean to itself for a while. You don’t just expect it to forget the hurt right away. This heart is not Elsa. It can’t just let it go, not right away at least. That castle of ice takes time to build. You let your heart tell you to eat the empty spaces full, and you do, pint after pint of Ben and Jerry’s, box after box of take out. You let your heart make you look at old pictures from an easier time until you just want to sleep forever. You listen to your heart as it tells you to cry, cry, cry. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to beat yourself up, little heart. You heal a heart by letting it do this until it knows it’s time to stop.
You heal a 20-something heart by moving forward. You become busy even if you just want to binge watch How I Met Your Mother or American Horror Story or Orange Is The New Black all day. To each their own. You try not to look back but instead do it constantly. It’s not good to dwell, but sometimes it helps to see how far you’ve come. You make plans, you set goals, you dream dreams. You push forward. It stings a little. On some days it stings a lot. You combat the hurt by having new adventures. You fill the spaces left behind with new love. You watch the clock change from 8am, 2pm, 9pm, a new day, a new week. It’s a new life everyday, you tell your broken heart. Or maybe it’s not so broken anymore. It’s healing, and you’re learning. You learned how to heal your heart when it was 8 and when it was 17. Now you’re learning how to heal the 20-something broken heart. You heal a broken heart by letting it break, again and again. This heart will continue to hurt, but it will learn to adapt. It will grow a stronger surface. Eventually, a heart will learn how to heal itself.
How do you heal a broken heart? You keep going, every day. Never stop.