Have you ever thought about what’s the best thing that could happen to anyone?
Heartbreak! Yes, heartbreak.
It sounds strange when you put it down in so many words. I am not a sadist who thinks that heartbreak is the kind of thing that should happen to humankind. But it is also true that while to you it is the biggest catastrophe, to the world it’s just another cliché.
Heartbreaks, I believe, need not always have another human being as the cause. It could be the fact that you couldn’t fit into that pretty black dress at Marks and Spencer. It could be the fact that you scored awfully low on a math test. It could be that you didn’t make it to the final admission list of your dream college. Or it could be that promotion that you couldn’t bag. All of this breaks your heart even if it is a tiny little bit.
And, of course, there is that romantic reason. That one person you thought was the one who turned out to be unfaithful or had priorities that did not match yours or left you because they thought that you were fat.
I believe all of us go through 3 stages of heartbreak. Especially, when the cause is another person.
The first one is when you are completely down in the dumps. You cannot think beyond the reason of your broken heart. You lose sleep or sleep too much. You skip meals or eat too much. You dress shabbily or you shop too much. You go out on too many dates, or you lock yourself up in your room and refuse to socialise. You do nothing in moderation. Everything that you do is an attempt to desperately make up for that hole that the person left in your life. I call this stage the catastrophe. In this one, you lose control.
The second stage sets in when you feel that you should make a change. You start picking up the pieces but more often than not, you backtrack. You make progress when you go out for coffee alone to the cafe that you two discovered together and read a book, sitting at a comfortable corner table. But you end up crying when you get home. However, you laude yourself for actually gathering up the courage to visit the coffee shop in the first place. Your journey at this phase is mostly moving back and forth between making peace with your broken heart and opening up the half-healed wounds. Your pals are tired of this sudden change in your demeanour, of your lack of interest in socialising. A few of them have stopped calling you and making plans cause you blew them off one too many times. This stage, in my vocabulary, is called the see-saw. In this one, you start taking charge of things but often forget to follow through with your commitments.
The third stage is mostly abrupt. You wake up one morning and decide to start over. You have lived this way for too long. You have been nursing that broken heart for a little longer than you wanted to. The memories have haunted you and made you break down more often that you would have liked. You have waited for that one text, that one call long enough. You have searched the crowd for that one face for longer that you had expected to. But now you are tired of waiting around for something to happen on its own. So you take the first step. I believe this stage is resurrection. In this stage, you are in full control. You know you won’t go back.
And once you reach this stage, there is no looking back for you. You start with things that are new, things you didn’t think you would do to begin with. You learn to cook, get a job that makes more sense, make new friends, start your blog or get a new hobby. Your life starts to improve. You text your friend whom you blew off a couple times when you were in the see-saw phase and you catch up for coffee. She brings along her cute friend and you hit it off. You meet a bunch of new people. You start working out and get in shape. You get a dog or buy flight tickets to the hills. Finally, things start falling into place. Finally, you feel happier than you did even a couple of weeks back. I have seen people being happier than ever before once they hit resurrection. They are the best versions of themselves they have ever been.
So I believe, while love makes you want to be a better person for someone or something else, heartbreak makes you want to be a better person, just for your own self!