Thought Catalog

Read This If You’re Trying To Make Sense Of Your Heartbreak

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Andrew Neel

I don’t like to write. In fact, I hate it because halfway through I think my words are stupid or that I’m just rambling too much. I wonder how many other people feel this way?

Like, right now, I’m fighting myself to continue typing another word because I think, “Why didn’t I just write this down in a journal? Who the hell wants to ready my thoughts?” But alas, I know I have to continue because tonight there isn’t anything else that can quiet the deafening silence in my head. You know the one: the silence that keeps you up and sends an electric shock through your body when you try mimic the feeling of falling asleep or forgetting what it is you are plagued to remember. That’s why today, I’m going to finish writing – not because I want to; because I need to.

Heartbreak. This ten-letter word that contains a million emotions, actions, memories, tears, sorrows, and situations. It’s the reason I’m awake at 1:43 AM EST. It’s the reason so many of us are up at this time of night (morning?) and why, even when we are asleep, we are awake with a pang in our chest that beats involuntarily within us. Imagine, if you can, a bucket that has a bottom but when water flows into it the bottom seems to disappear leaving the bucket empty and seemingly untouched. That is heartbreak in it’s purest form. It is constantly trying to fill in something that seems more than capable of handling being filled and yet when given the opportunity, doesn’t allow itself to keep any of the contents that it’s made for. I am the bucket and the water is love.

My heartbreak is multi-faceted and no, I don’t believe that even while I am writing this article that I am anything or anyone unique. Someone, somewhere in this world is experiencing loss. At it’s foundation isn’t that what heartbreak is? Loss? Loss of love, loss of hope, loss of comfort, loss of protection – loss. Everyone’s heartbreak is different and everyone experiences it more than once in their lives. Because this is my “article” I will do my best to speak from the “I” and not generalize the experiences of others because, I don’t know what everyone is experiencing but I can just say that without a doubt, I’m not the only one.

Why am I writing this instead of talking to my closest friends? Because this type of heartbreak is one that I believe I perpetuate myself. You see, I look at this heartbreak as a movie and I’m not only acting in it, I’m writing it so it’s obviously very bad because I’m doing the most when I should just stick to what I know. Unfortunately for me, I keep believing that each sequel is going to make it better when I should’ve stopped before I wrote the first page of the original. I keep going back for more.

I keep wanting the answers to questions I already know the answers to because I feel as though hearing the hurt will make it more digestible. As if changing the position of where I get shot is going to change how the bullet rips through my skin, metaphorically of course. Sometimes I convince myself that the answer I’ve been given is enough and then I go back for more because maybe if I give it time the answer will change or maybe if I give it time the person giving the answer will change. Change. An interesting concept, isn’t it? I used to believe that change came with a blueprint or a step-by-step instruction guide. “Just do these 10 things and you can change.” Could it be that simple? Could it really be that achievable? I tried to apply that to every aspect of my life and quickly found out that painting something gold doesn’t change the fact that it’s still plastic. My heartbreak is a result of me believing that the paint would have an effect of what it is was on: that it would counter what could never have been in the first place.

I love hard, strong, and with purpose. I love with the intent to give someone or something my all no matter the consequences and believe me, there are a lot of consequences loving in this reckless sort of fashion. My latest heartbreak came from loving in this way because I loved someone so hard I loved them away. What does that even mean? It’s taken me some time to even come to that conclusion so perhaps I can work through the meaning in this article. Bear with me. Loving someone away, in my case, is loving to the point of misinterpretation. Being blinded by love in such a way that you believe that love truly does conquer all. Do I believe that concept to be true? Sure, but only when the love is given and reciprocated. It means listening and hearing. It means looking and seeing. I loved so hard that I deafened and blinded myself because I felt that I could love someone into loving me. Sounds deceitful doesn’t it? The funny part is, I could’ve kept up the façade because I believed that eventually I could love the person so hard it would make it hard not to love me back. Toxicity at it’s finest, folks.

Hearing that this person no longer has feelings for me doesn’t hurt as much as knowing in my heart those feelings were never there to begin with. I learned a lot of lessons from this person and I’m still learning as I journey through this process of healing. One of the most important lessons I’m learning and re-learning is that love is not trying to make someone stay, it is already knowing they don’t want to leave. Heartbreak is a powerful force with the strength of a hurricane sweeping through a development with poor infrastructure – it is going to do damage and it is going to be unforgiving in doing so. My infrastructure was damaged by my attempts to chip away parts of my own foundation to build a structure within a person who was never going to be a permanent fixture.

Warsan Shire said it best: “You can’t make homes out of human beings.”

The home I tried to build was destined to be swept away because I was the only person replenishing the resources and checking on it’s stability. I recognize that now and can’t fault the person who caused me this pain because they never wanted to live in there in the first place.

Maybe I wrote this because I’m trying to make sense of my own pain. Maybe I wrote this because I wanted to believe that somehow, through all of my analogies I could find clarity. Maybe I wrote this in hopes that someone somewhere was connecting to my words. I don’t know what the future holds but I’m going to try and figure it out and work through this heartbreak because I owe it to myself to write a movie worth seeing or having real gold amongst all the plastic be in my possession. We all do. TC mark

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