The Anatomy of Heartbreak
I know this is a tough time for you. Even if you were expecting the breakup, or if it was a long time coming, there’s just no getting around how difficult it has been in the aftermath.
Unfortunately, heartbreak is a common human experience. While there are many different circumstances that lead to it, this specific pain I’m discussing is experienced from losing something we loved or really wanted. Disappointment from being let down on top of having to let go of something we didn’t want to tears us apart.
Breakups are stressful, can cause us extreme emotional and physical pain, sap our joy, and make us withdraw from friends and family. It can even cause some so much distress they may experience suicidal thoughts or actions. The effects of heartbreak are no joke. Depending on the situation and the person, it could take years to recover.
You and I are not strangers to heartbreak and its effects. While experiences vary from person to person, there are some realistic and practical steps you can follow that will help you get back on your feet. In her article The Science of a Broken Heart and How to Put It Back Together, Laura Schwecherl details three things you can do to begin to mend your broken heart after a breakup, as recommended by psychotherapist Athena Staik.
Be honest with yourself and others about the pain you’re going through, open up as fully as you can, create a self-care plan and follow through with it, and never allow yourself to become numb. Once you become an adult, there aren’t many times when you’re allowed to just wallow in sadness, grief, and anger. Please take advantage of this luxury for as long as you can. Cry, scream, curse — whatever it takes to get through it. Fully feel every emotion, every thought, and every bit of sadness in every sinew of your body until it runs its course.
One of my favorite songs to listen to when I need to remind myself it’s okay to cry about my breakup is An Ocean by Calah Mikal.
Do not ever be afraid to wallow in the deep. And remember, as cliche as this sounds, time heals all wounds. I promise, if you’re patient with yourself, you will get through this. I can say this from experience. Even though I’m still hurting, it has gotten better, and this gives me faith that it will continue to get better.
I can only expect the same and better for you, friend.
Broken hearts affect everyone, but not everyone talks about their breakup. Thankfully we have talk shows and magazines where our favorite celebrities and influencers share their heartbreak experiences. In 2005 Jennifer Aniston opened up to Vanity Fair in the article title “The Unsinkable Jennifer Aniston” about her divorce from Brad Pitt. In the issue, Leslie Bennetts writes: “all Aniston wanted then was to figure out what happened; how did the happy life they’d planned drift so far off course?”
I’m sure you can relate to her sentiments. No one wants to break it off with someone they love and they definitely don’t want to be left wondering what went wrong.
Later in the article, Aniston says “she still has faith in the redeeming power of love... ‘It’s out there,' she says. ‘It will happen. There’s an amazing man that’s wandering the streets right now who’s the father of my children.’”
Let’s just admit right now it’s probably very difficult to believe that statement, but it’s so true. Love is out there for everyone. Not only do you deserve to be loved again, but you deserve to be loved by the right person.
Like me, you may think of your ex “of all my mistakes, you were the mistakiest.” A breakup can without a doubt be one of the most difficult things for a person to overcome, but no matter how bad things are, we have to move on in life. Don’t ever forget it’s absolutely possible to do that — with time and patience of course. Please allow yourself that.
It gets better. I promise,