Heartbreak and Healing

I always have found it odd that breaking up with someone or negative events within a relationship could hurt so bad.  No one actually touched me, punched me in my gut, got inside my body and stabbed my heart without leaving a mark, or banged around inside my head yet I ache like I’ve been beaten.  I cry, I gasp for air, I struggle to get through each day all because of a few words someone said.  How absolutely crazy heartbreak is.

We all know what breakups feel like, what it’s like to be hurt by someone you love and it’s common knowledge that it sucks.  Crying makes your face puffy and hurts your eyes.  Heartache makes it difficult to eat, to move, to breath.  It becomes tough to do the most basic of functioning like get out of bed and get ourselves into the shower and ready for work.  Focusing on the job and getting our work done becomes the most arduous of tasks as our mind wonders into the world of pain, loss, and “what if.”  Worst yet, we hang on to a hope that he will change his mind and realize the mistake he has made and will come back to us.  While hope is normally a good thing, in breakups it is the worst imaginable.

While hope is usually what keeps us alive and gets us through the tough times, when it comes to break ups it is the very thing that perpetuates the pain.  If we keep hanging on to a dream of being with the one we love instead of letting them go we will never move on and get better.  The longer we keep fantasizing about getting back with him, the longer it will be until we move on and can be happy again.  We can hurl ourselves into a new relationship or run out and sleep with a bunch of people but none of that will ever enable us to really deal with the heartbreak of being dumped either.

Yet, how do you “deal” with heartbreak?  My friend told me that she wants me to be dealing with being dumped rather than avoiding it but honestly what does that mean?  Should I keep facing my feelings and crying because that doesn’t really seem productive.  Yet painting, playing with my dog, focusing on work, and keeping myself busy all just seem like distractions rather than solutions.  So, how do we heal?  How do we overcome emotional pain resultant of having our heart broken?  Honestly, the only thing that heals such wounds is time.  It takes time to move on, be ready to date someone new, and be happy with yourself again.  Yet, I don’t want to wait for that time to sink in, I want to be better now.  I want to go back to being happy, to being in a relationship with someone who made it seem like the sun always shined and I could tackle anything.  Life was great when this guy and I were together and I, for the first time in my life, was genuinely happy.  Then suddenly, with a few choice words my bliss was ripped out from under me and replaced with blistering hurt.  It isn’t fair but it is life and life often sucks.

In fact, the majority of the time, life hurts.  We are always facing stressors and pain, always battling trials and tribulation.  It seems each week there is a new struggle to overcome and survive.  Yet, there are those rare periods where we are happy, where we smile even when shit is hitting the fan and spewing around us because we have something great that makes all the pain tolerable and makes the miserable thing of existence worthwhile.  However, such happiness can never really last and not to sound cliche but all good things must come to an end and the greatest thing in my life just became a thing of the past.

A good friend of mine has a firm belief that we should not let our past dictate our present and future.  That we can’t look backwards, only forwards.  Past relationships and experiences shouldn’t play a role in new ones and are meaningless the moment they end.  I agree but unfortunately not everyone does.  The ghosts of girlfriends past haunt the men we date and scar them whether they will admit it or not and they effect the way they act with you.  They place an unfair bias on you from day one because of all that they have known up to that point rather than starting with a truly clean slate.  So, how do we get over being dumped when part of why it ends is often due to the past before our present love existed.

I wish that I had the answers to overcoming heartache.  I wish I had some magic words of wisdom to grant to all my readers to help them deal with the loss of a love.  I would love to have the cure for heart break so that I wouldn’t be in such chronic pain right now but I just don’t because there isn’t one.  Dealing with getting dumped and getting hurt isn’t something that can really be cured.  All we can do is feel the pain, learn whatever we can from it, and over time our heart will start to hurt less until one day it is eventually open to love again.  I know this isn’t what we may want to believe, especially in a nation of quick fixes and a pill for everything but there is no magic pill or elixir to take away the hurt of a breakup no matter what anyone tells you.  A pill may make it hurt less but the moment you stop taking those pills all the pain will come back because you never dealt with the emotions, you just masked them.

I will never forget learning in college about how dangerous it is to not be able to feel pain.  Pain is an essential thing.  It tells us when something is wrong so we pay attention to it and allow it to heal.  We accept that if our leg hurts badly it may be broken and we go to a doctor to get checked out then we heed our doctor’s advice to stay off the leg.  We get  a cast or crutches and over time we relearn to walk.  I personally believe that emotional pain is there for a reason too.  It let’s us know that something is wrong, that we are not ok.  It tells us we have been hurt and we need to face that hurt before we can continue on with our life.  Pain is there for a reason, as horrible as that sounds, and feeling numb or being in denial after a breakup is never a good thing.  I would be worried if I wasn’t crying.  But, unlike physical pain there is no cast or crutch, there is no treatment plan just an understanding that with time the pain will pass.  So, I will just have to wait this heartbreak out, crying a little less each day, until I am better again because that is all that I can possibly do.

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