This post is part two of my lessons on love, loss and broken hearts. In case you missed it, in my previous post I wrote about my recent heartbreak and how I learnt that telling someone you love them is always worth it, regardless of the way they feel about you.
This time I’m talking about picking up the pieces after your heart has been broken. I am a big believer that whatever our circumstance, good can come out of it. And I guess the good in my situation is that I get to share what I am learning with you (ya lucky ducks.) You know, I think this world is severely lacking words of wisdom on this subject.
Thanks to trashy teen movies, we are all taught that when you get dumped you wallow in your pyjamas, eat gallons of ice cream and watch some awful rom-com until you feel numb.
But as a general rule to live by: Don’t believe what you see in the movies.
Because what if the crying, wallowing and rom-comming is not your style. What if you don’t cry at all? What if you can’t stomach dry toast, let alone a gallon of ice cream? What if you just feel lost and helpless?
Lesson number one:
Heartbreak looks different on everybody.
The difficult thing about a broken heart or crushed spirit is that you are expected to carry on living as though nothing happened. There are no visible signs of your pain and therefore nobody asks you how you are feeling or if you need anything. And you can’t just excuse yourself from your life because you’re just fine right… you’ve got no broken bones or delicate stitches. You are as fit as a fiddle.
Except you aren’t…
Your tender heart is battered and bruised and just like any other part of your body…it needs time to heal.
You need time to feel sad, angry, lost, lonely. You need time to cry till there are no tears left. You need time to sigh and walk around and around the block until your feet hurt and it’s dark out.
Lesson number two:
It takes time to heal a broken heart.
Falling down is part of life. Disappointment, rejection and sorrow grip all of us at some point.
We fall into debt. We fall in love. We fall behind on our work.
So what I have learnt is that it isn’t so much the falling down that matters…it is how you pick yourself back up.
Lesson number three:
When you fall down, pick yourself back up gracefully.
- Try to convince yourself that the person was wrong.
You may not like what they said. You may feel it was unjustified. It might have blind-sided you a little or come out of the blue, but whatever happened, happened. Retracing your steps will get you nowhere.
- Get angry and resentful
When someone hurts you it can be easy to lash out at them. Equally concerning is internalizing that anger. Allowing yourself to think badly of them is just your way of trying to protect yourself from getting hurt again but it is unfair on them.
- Cut off the person who hurt you
It seems like avoiding the person altogether would be the best way to make the hurt you feel go away. However, this person is obviously a really important part of your life and just because you are upset now, doesn’t mean you always will be. Leave room for the possibility of the friendship blossoming again.
- Pretend you are fine
If you broke your leg you wouldn’t continue limping around on it. If you chipped a tooth you wouldn’t carry on eating on it (ouch!) So you have a broken heart…you’re not fine and you don’t need to pretend you are.
- Give yourself some space
As I said before, cutting someone out of your life is a short-sighted way of relieving the sadness. What is far better is not trying to avoiding the person altogether, but rather put a buffer between you at least for a little while. Don’t go to the place that you know they hang out. Don’t continue messaging them no matter how funny the meme is. If you want to move on then you need room to do so.
- Seek closure
If you ended things on a bad note, make sure you patch it up again. Because at the time you broke up, there were no doubt a lot of emotions flying about and your words probably didn’t come out as well as you intended. Make sure there are no hard feelings between the two of you.
- Confide in your friends
Your friends and family are your safety net. When stuff like this happens, they are exactly the people you need to talk to. They will provide the hugs, phone calls and crazy cat lady jibes you will need to get over this.
- Embrace your new reality
Things didn’t work out and that sucks. But…this means you now have a fresh start. You have nobody holding you back, foggying up your head or making you confused. You are as free as a bird. I recommend using this new-found freedom to paint your toenails a wild colour (like that freaky neon green you got free with a magazine) but the choice is up to you. My friend, this is very very exciting.
So here is what I have learnt…
Cereal is very very dry without milk. Adele has THE BEST break-up songs. Eventually the tears stop and you just feel a dull sadness. God is close to the brokenhearted. Coral nail polish is more flattering than neon green. At the end of the day you are better for having loved and lost than never having loved at all.It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Click To Tweet
Now tell me…
What is your best break-up advice?
Do you eat a lot when you feel sad?