I’ll never forget it. 8th grade, probably around 8 p.m., with Miley Cyrus’ newest album playing in the background on my first generation iPod. The boy I thought I *l0v3d* according to my AIM status, sent me an instant message saying he liked another girl. I thought it was the end of the world. Unfortunately, that was not even close to what I would eventually find out real heartbreak felt like. Years later when I went through my first real heartbreak, I found out that it hurts a lot more than a temporary pit in your stomach. I felt my heart physically ache. I refused to get out of bed, barely ate, and I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I made it through my first heartbreak and eventually moved on to my next one, but there are a few things that would have made things easier had I know them back then.
(1) Everyone is going to tell you to “stay busy.” It works. It is so much easier to keep on moving when you keep busy.
(2) Call your mother. She has been where you are and is the only person who knows your heart better than you do.
(3) Call your father. He has been where you are and is the only person who knows your head better than you do.
(4) Do not let yourself get overwhelmed. Take deep breaths. Worrying about something that might happen is a waste of emotion.
(5) Erase. Unfollow. Delete. Erase the messages, unfollow on Twitter, and delete on Facebook. I promise your ex-significant other is not doing as well without you as the internet makes it look.
(6) Cry. Cry again. Cry one more time. There is no rulebook or time limit on when your heart stops hurting. Push through the pain, pushing it aside makes it worse in the end.
(7) Do things for YOU. The more energy you put into loving yourself, the less energy you have to put into missing someone else.
(8) Find a quote that hits home. Make it your motto. Make it your screensaver. (Just don’t make it a tattoo—you’ll regret that one, I promise). For me, it was “Realizing that you deserve better does not make you vain or selfish, it makes you invincible.”
(9) Get out of bed. Sleeping 12 hours a day is not healthy nor productive. A dark room and a sad playlist aren’t doing anything for you.
(10) Avoid dwelling on the good times in your relationship. If things were still that good, you two would still be together. The person you break up with is not the same person you started dating. Remember that.
Whether you are a 13-year-old girl who just got hurt by a boy for the first time, or a 25-year-old guy who just had his heart shattered by the girl of his dreams, heartbreak is heartbreak. It hurts, but it DOES get better. I look back on my 8th grade self and laugh at the boy I was sad over. I look back at my 17-year-old self and I am thankful for what that relationship, and more importantly what that heartbreak taught me. Keep on moving, keep on pushing, keep on smiling… it all happens for a reason.