Don’t heal beautifully. Heal chaotically. Rush it, then take it slow. Breathe. Cry. Scream. Run until your legs give out on the corner of the street with the coffee shop where you used to go. Watch a movie that makes you sob. Rip the pictures of you two to shreds. Stare at the sunrise and let tears fall down your cheeks. Stay up too late reading texts you promised yourself you never would. Drink wine by candlelight in the middle of an empty room. Go to the restaurant you always went together and sit in the spot near the window by yourself. Listen to the words from the ones you love, and then ignore them. Store their love in the back of your mind for a time when you’re feeling strong enough to really hear. Write poetry. Crumple it up. Write more. Sing in the shower at the top of your lungs. Let the hot water burn you, burn away the memory of their touch. Take yourself on a date. Drive with the windows down. Delete every song that reminds you of the way you used to lay in bed and hum each other the melodies. Listen, just to remember. Listen, just to forget.
Don’t heal beautifully. Make a mess of your bedroom floor. Eat pizza. Or carrot sticks. Call your best friend who lives across the country and bawl. Learn to play hockey, to sew, to cook a dinner for two and save the rest for yourself tomorrow. Stop worrying so damn much about how the world says you should feel, should behave, should be. Don’t try to make your heart get over him or her at some predetermined pace. Don’t try to make your ugliness pretty. Don’t try to turn heartbreak into something picture-perfect. It sucks. And it’s okay that it sucks.
Don’t heal beautifully. You don’t have to. Throw things and kick punching bags and walk miles until all you can feel is the dirt beneath the soles of your shoes, grounding you on this wild and painful earth. Do not have expectations. Do not waste time wishing they’d come back. Do not try to pretend you’re okay when you’re not, because damn it, it’s okay to not be okay.
Don’t heal beautifully. Don’t think you have to have this perfectly calculated reconstruction of the heart and mind. Don’t compare yourself to the girl or guy who’s doing better than you, to the images in movies, to the stupid characters in books that you’ve made idols of. Heal in the most confusing way, the way that makes sense to you. Dance in the rain. Walk barefoot in the mud. Sit on the ocean’s shore and let the sun and saltwater and sand mix with your clothes. Get dirty. Get unapologetic. Get slowly, more and more unafraid.
Don’t heal beautifully. Heal like a f*cking mess. Because heartbreak hurts and you’re allowed to hurt right now. And maybe it won’t be painful forever, and maybe, in the back of your mind you know that. But maybe you’re still figuring out how to lift your head from the pillow in the morning and that’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay because one day you’ll wake up and not have to carry this burden around with you. But until then, stop trying to make your healing look nice. Just let it happen. Just set yourself free.