Here’s How I Got Done Being Broken Hearted

At the beginning of the summer, I was wrecked. I felt like a shell of myself — a shell of anyone, really, because I didn’t even feel like myself. I woke up, and all I could think about was when I looked over at my phone, there wouldn’t be a message from you. No “good morning” text, no late-night phone message, no snapchats. No nothing. And that thought was the only thing that seemed to stay with me through the day. Things would happen in my day, and my instinct was to tell you about them, but I couldn’t. So I’d text someone else, and be totally unfulfilled by that outcome, no matter how much I loved the friend on the other end of the text.

I’d eat dinner, make plans for the night, whatever. It didn’t feel like it mattered. I didn’t care what I did with my night. All I could think about was that you weren’t part of my night. And that feeling dominated me, so much so that I felt like I couldn’t possibly feel anything else.

So here’s what I did to stop being broken hearted. And you can say it’s lame or trite or overly simplistic, but I don’t care. It worked.

Every morning, I would have my best friend text me, “good morning, I love you.” It wasn’t the same, of course, but it was better than looking at a blank screen with no new messages in the morning. She did it every day for a month, so every day, I didn’t allow my first thought to be “he’s gone.” My first thought was that my friend had done something sweet for me.

Then, I’d force myself to plan my day, and write down what I was looking forward to. Again: pathetic? Maybe. But necessary. I decided that if I was numb, the best I could do was force myself to feel something. Anything. So by writing down what I was looking forward to, I would force excitement.

Every time I started to cry, I would take out my notebook and write down exactly what I was crying about. And after a while, even though I felt like a sap, even though I felt shitty and awful and undervalued and upset, I got all of the hurt out of my system and onto a page. And then I didn’t have to hold onto it anymore. It was a huge relief. It was like taking a weight off my shoulders.

I started to only make plans with people I liked, and cut all obligation plans out of my life. If my plans for the night involved people who didn’t make me feel good, or people I just didn’t care about who honestly didn’t make me feel anything at all, I would just not go. Or I’d just say no to the invitation. And yes, that’s flaky, but staying in and learning to be content and comfortable by myself helped me more than any of those plans would have. And when I did go out to dinner or to parties or over to friends’ houses, I went because I wanted to go, and I learned that I actually could feel and enjoy myself and be happy in other people’s company.

I don’t know what you were hoping to find when you opened this page, especially if you are someone who is going through a break up right now. Maybe you were looking for some story about great rebound sex. That isn’t how I got done being broken hearted though. I treated myself as well as I possibly could, and I allowed myself to deal with the hurt in a healthy and positive way, and little by little, it got better. And I really believe that that will happen to anyone going through a break up. After all, it worked for me. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Liz James

Liz was born, raised, and schooled in the Chicago area. Every year, she is sure the Cubs will win the World Series, and one of these years, she’ll be right.

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