A good friend of mine recently had her heart broken by her first real love. When she came over the other night, the girl I saw didn’t seem like the same strong and vivacious girl I know her to be. She told me about how her boyfriend cheated on her, and since she loved the guy, she tried to end things maturely and somehow on good terms. We all thought she was dealing with the breakup incredibly well, but then again, she happens to be a pretty damn good actress. Finally, she admitted to me that she’s completely broken and devastated inside. Then, my friend asked me the most critical question that many people, including myself, have asked in desperation after their hearts have been shattered into a million pieces by the one they loved:
When does it get better?
God, I wish there was an easy answer to what seems like a simple question… But unfortunately there’s not…
Not long ago, I, too, was completely broken and utterly hopeless when my first real love ended it with me. I had never felt such pain before; it was as if I was slowly dying inside, my heart wilting away. Heartbreak is one of the most painful experiences we will endure in life. Really, there’s no way around it- it effing sucks.
The Good News: our hearts are capable of eventually healing from such a harsh trauma.
The Bad News: the healing doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process and sometimes it takes longer for some people than for others to mend the break.
The first stage of a broken heart is probably the worst of the worst of the worst in this shitty process. It feels as if you are buried alive and trapped in a small, cold coffin. The darkness is suffocating and definitely frightening. You feel totally hopeless. It seems there is no way out unless the same person who buried you alive in the first place, rescues you. In many cases, I believe it’s wiser to stay in that coffin and eventually find a way out on your own, like Houdini. In terms of overcoming the challenge of a broken heart, I firmly believe we are all capable of being amazing escape artists, maybe even more amazing than the great Houdini. Yes, at first we are weak, disheartened, and scared shitless, but in time, we build the strength to free ourselves from the darkness, and can truly live while we’re alive.
When I had my first heartbreak, someone told me the first thing I had to do was delete his number from my phone and throw away any pictures, notes, gifts, or anything that reminded me of my old love/new ex. It didn’t take long for me to learn that you can burn all the pictures and sentimental items from the relationship that you want; however, the damn universe always finds a way to remind you of the one you loved and lost, making it impossible to delete them from your lives. After I thought I had gotten rid of everything that reminded me of my ex, I remember I was driving in my car and suddenly the song that my ex and I decided was our song, came on the radio. When I changed to a different radio station, the same song that played when my ex and I had first kiss came on. In addition, it seemed like every time I watched a movie or TV show, the main character always had the same name as my ex. Soon everything reminded me of my ex and it haunted me everywhere I went. I couldn’t escape him and I didn’t think my wounded heart would ever heal. But, I did heal (Thank God).
The first big step was facing reality and understanding why things had to end. I slowly began to realize that the relationship was over, but my life wasn’t. I realized I was going to be okay and my ex was going to be okay, and that we were better off on our own than together. Eventually, I let go of the hope that maybe someday we would work it all out and get back together. I realized if it happens- it happens, but that’s up to fate. I needed to go on and live my life, rather than waiting for something that may never happen. Throughout this process, I had my good days and I had my fucking terrible days. There were days I was so tempted to call him up, hear his voice, and to see how he was doing. And then there were days he didn’t cross my mind as much as usual, or days I felt angry and so badly wanted to hate him.
Then one beautiful day, I woke up and noticed I missed him less… my heart ached less. Suddenly I was growing more okay with the fact that we were over and probably done for good. After that day, I started having more good days than bad. It took me a good year to really get out of the dark place, or Houdini my way out. Soon, I started dating again and that’s when I felt like I was done with the hard part and was really on the road to recovery. And then finally, I found love again. It’s important to know that you don’t have to undergo the painful process alone; surround yourself with supportive friends and family during this painful process. My friends and family definitely played an essential role in the healing process.
After I shared my own experience with my friend, she told me that the pain is really unbearable. She said that at this point, she was willing to forgive her cheating boyfriend and forget the pain he caused her. That’s the thing, many girls are too willing to forgive and forget. For the most part, I believe this is the type of situation where you’re better off being broken hearted than breaking your dignity. For many of these brokenhearted people, it is easy to remember all the reasons why they love their ex, and it’s just as easy to forget how this is the same person that shattered their heart and caused them so much pain. Yes, it seems easier to forgive and forget. Giving a second chance might be worth it in some cases, but not all. Sometimes enduring the pain of a broken heart is better than giving a second chance to the person who is more than capable of breaking you again and again.
Being heartbroken can make you feel totally lost and empty, and it can even convince you to believe that you’ll never be happy, nor will you ever find love again. But to my heartbroken friends, don’t lose hope, for these symptoms of a broken heart are rather deceiving. I firmly believe that there is love after love that is lost. There is light at the end of the heartbreak tunnel. Yes, you may feel that your faith in love has undergone a natural disaster, collapsing to the unknown depths of your soul. But fear not, what breaks us also makes us stronger than before.
So, when does it get better? Well, in terms of overcoming a broken heart- there’s no telling exactly when it will happen, but the fact is, it will happen.