I know you’re hurt and I know you’re broken, but I want you to know that you’re worth so much more than this pain. When someone breaks your heart, it feels like something inside you isn’t functioning properly, especially if it was your first love. Those feelings you experience with this person are unlike anything you’ve probably ever experienced before, and truth be told, these same exact feelings may never occur again because first love is so incredibly special.
My boyfriend of over two years broke up with me last week. He came to my house around 8:00 at night, and I delivered the exciting news that I had purchased concert tickets for us. He looked distressed by this surprise. I knew that something was about to go horribly wrong as he sat me on his lap and in the most honest, gut-wrenching voice spoke my name in a way I’d never heard before and that I hope to never hear again.
By 8:45 it was over. By 8:45 I had screamed and hit myself and sobbed and lost my breath. By 8:45 two incredible years of laughter, joy, and undeniable love had been thrown away. I lost my best friend and the most wonderful man I’ve ever known in a mere 45 minutes. It was one of those “It’s not you, it’s me” kind of things. There was nothing I did wrong; he just needed to work on himself—which I understand and respect. However, that doesn’t make the heartache go away.
The more I think about it, I realize that the reason he broke up with me doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that it happened and that I was left with a massive hole in my heart. These past two years I have given myself to another person in ways that I didn’t know I could. I’ve never loved someone to the magnitude that I loved him. And I know you’ve all felt this same way at one point, or you may be feeling it at this exact moment.
The first couple of days after he broke my heart, I was catatonic, hysterical, and truthfully, I just wasn’t me. I didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, and the only thing I could focus on was losing him. I lost five pounds in two days because my body was undergoing massive amounts of stress. I would cry for three hours at a time. I couldn’t listen to any music that had lyrics. I felt as if the best of me was in him and that the light in my eyes had dimmed dramatically. On day 3, after taking a sleeping pill to actually get some sleep, I felt OK. By no means did I feel good, but admitting to myself and to the people around me that I felt OK was the first step.
I began to feel OK because I called every person that I knew that had gone through a painful broken heart. I wanted to know what they had to say. I received different answers from everyone and I didn’t necessarily agree with the advice I was given, but every person I talked to had something in common: They were better now. Some of them were in relationships again, while others just used that time to focus on themselves and their own positive self-image. No one I talked to was dying under a rock or chained to their ex-significant other’s front door. They’d all survived. They’d all moved on. Maybe they hadn’t moved on for good. Maybe, like me, they’re all secretly holding on to the hope that they can get back together one day and be as happy as they once were, but for now, they’re making themselves their first priority.
I’m not going to make some concrete list with foolproof ways to completely get over someone, because everyone is different and that just wouldn’t work. A successful post-breakup plan does not exist. Some things that have been helping me heal are distractions. I’m joining a gym so I can get in incredible shape. (They say the best revenge is a great body, right?) I want to look in the mirror and feel fantastic about myself without needing to hear it from a man. I’ve been writing excessively, which I kind of see as the biggest positive aspect of this breakup; it’s given me so much material to put my artistic energy into. I’ve been jamming out to some upbeat and optimistic tunes (“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield is currently my anthem.) But most importantly, I’m making myself number one in my life. So often we get lost in the romance of our relationships with people. We put ourselves on the back burner, compromise our beliefs to avoid an argument, and even change who we are to fit the other person’s needs. I’m not insinuating that this happened to me, because it didn’t, but I’ve seen it happen. However, I am guilty of not making myself my first priority. We all are.
The ultimate advice I can give on the matter is this: When someone breaks your heart, think about what you can do to better yourself for YOUR own sake. I want to get in shape for myself. I want to write more essays for myself and for the millions of people who are experiencing these precise feelings I’m capturing right now. I want to be a better version of myself for me.
I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy or insult you with the cliché phrase “You’re gonna get through this.” For a while you’re going to feel like you won’t get through this, and hearing that you will isn’t going to help you. Nothing’s going to help you right away. I’m here to let you know that it has only been 4 days since he broke up with me and I’m smiling again. I’m not better yet. I still cry. I can barely look at pictures of us. I can’t watch Friends because Monica and Chandler are too similar to him and me. A lot of food still looks unappetizing to me. I can’t even sleep in my room because there are too many beautiful memories that haunt it. But I’m surviving. And I’m moving forward.
Going through a breakup, especially when it is with a person whom you could picture a future with, is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. But I promise you, when the pain slowly goes away, you will feel so proud and so strong for getting though it. Start with the little victories, like eating a whole slice of pizza or watching a movie with a love story in it. You will be so happy that you did when you look back. Don’t waste your life; you don’t deserve that. And remember that you are worth it to make yourself the number-one person in your life. You’re going to be so surprised with the outcome of this situation. Lastly, never forget that you’re as strong as you allow yourself to be. Take it from a person who is currently going through the same exact thing.