It’s a truth that lives in our bones. Something we were born with, something we grew up with – a truth weaved into our DNA thanks to the millions of broken hearts that came before us. It’s part of what makes us human – the ability to feel loss and pain so intensely, even when it’s invisible. The fact that we can hear a phrase like the deeper the love, the deeper the pain and feel it like a punch to our core, because it’s so true that it hurts.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? The harder you fall in love with someone, the further they get into your soul, the more it hurts when you lose them. You’re not just getting over a breakup. You’re experiencing a physical or near-physical pain as they untangle themselves from your life, as they pull themselves out of you, because they’ve seeped into the very essence of who you are. You lose sleep. You lose weight. Or gain it. You develop circles under your eyes. You lack a desire to do anything. All the energy left within you is being spent on adjusting to this new reality, to the person you are without them. You feel like a stranger in your own body and your own life, because you became so accustomed to the way they seemed to effortlessly weave themselves into your existence. Their addition was a change that you barely even noticed took place, until now, now that they’re gone.
But regardless of how well you feel and understand this truth, it never makes it any easier to swallow. On the contrary, it makes the deep cut that much more menacing. Because you can’t help but think, in regards to the future: what’s the damn point?
Really. What is the point of opening yourself up to another person who could give you an invisible cut that feels (and possibly is) powerful enough to destroy you? Yeah, there’s that whole “love is an incredible experience” and blah blah blah. And it is, it really is. But shit, it’s also really scary.
Here’s the crappiest part of all. There’s no pretty solution that I can hand to you, or to myself, with a big beautiful red bow wrapped around it. If there was, I wouldn’t be writing this, because I wouldn’t be wasting my time worrying about it – worrying about the potential pain you gamble with when you decide to, once again, pull your heart outside of your body, hand it to someone else, and pray that it is not crushed by them or by the infinite number of other forces out there.
What I can say, based on my own experiences and those of many of my friends, is that the agony you feel while you’re nursing a broken heart often makes you feel more alive and more real to yourself than any other situation you’ll go through. Happiness and joy and contentment are beautiful, incredible feelings. But it was in my moments of despair and brokenness that I felt the deepest connection with myself and with the people who were trying to pick me back up. And when happiness and joy did eventually return to my life, they were that much sweeter after experiencing what it was like at the other end of the spectrum.
Remember that, more than anything else, when you are trying to keep yourself from bleeding further. Remember that you are experiencing an emotion, a brokenness, that millions before you have gone through, and survived. Maybe the next time you experience love, it will be a thousand times sweeter because of the pain you previously went through. Maybe it won’t be. Maybe you won’t find love at all. Maybe it will take a long time. Maybe this is very comforting to you. Maybe it is not comforting at all. But at least take solace in this: you are encountering hundreds of other broken hearts every day. You are not the first and you certainly will not be the last to feel this shredded. Maybe you’ll find someone again, maybe you won’t. But either way, you are never alone in the way that you feel.