AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BROKENHEARTED
I want to start off by saying I truly am so deeply sorry that this has happened to you, what you’re going through is undeniably one of the worst feelings in the world and unfortunately someone who has never experienced it will not be able to match the level of empathy that you would show them if the tables were turned – I envy people like that because they look at life through a completely different set of lenses to you and I.
I know you’re probably already aware of this but in case you’re not, I need to let you know that over the course of the next few months you’re going to go through a wave of emotions which will make you question your own sanity and judgment. All the qualities you ever liked about yourself will soon become questionable.
You won’t be able to sleep because your mind won’t allow you to, you’ll run through every single memory that you have with this person looking for the precise moment where you went wrong, what you did to cause it and how you could be so stupid to ruin everything. At this point even if all your friends and family are telling you how undeserving the other person is of you, you’re going to do nothing but blame yourself for everything.
Over the next few months, you’re going to go through a wave of approximately five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Over the years I’ve thought about this and whilst each heartbreak is different, it never hurts any less – this feeling is not something that you just get used to. If you truly love someone then this isn’t just something you’re able to wake up one day and be over, you need to allow yourself the time to go through this process and truly feel the emotions that are undoubtedly headed your way – it is painful and it does hurt but if you don’t allow yourself this time then you’ll try and find ways to fill the void, ways to feel validated as a person and more often than not this will place you on a very self-destructive path that later on down the track you’re going to feel much worse than how you do today.
On the day that the official heartbreak took place, you would have felt like you were in a living nightmare and in complete disbelief of what was happening. It was like you trusted this person with the most intricate parts of your soul, your confidence and love and they took those things and smashed them on the ground into a million pieces without care of how much damage they would cause.
Your throat would have become dry, you would have felt like the walls were closing in on you. You physically could not move, you became short of breath and you felt a tightness in your chest in utter disbelief what had just unfolded before your eyes.
More than likely you would have shut down, I did I wasn’t able to cope and I cried, allow yourself to cry – let it all out. Lock yourself away for a weekend if you have to. I know this might seem a little bit dramatic or some people would perceive this as weak, but maybe your soul needs a release. Grieve, you’re allowed to because someone of great significance to you is no longer there and the reality is they’ve made the choice to walk away from you and close the door behind them, it’s a deeply hurtful thing to experience – you are allowed to be sad.
For the first few weeks every text or call you receive will make your stomach turn, your first reaction will be that it’s them and they’ve come to their senses and realized that this is a horrible mistake. Deep down you’re praying for a miracle, that they will be begging to see you, reconcile and move on– at least that’s what you hope. As certain as you are that they are going change their mind and come running right back into your arms they are not, you are in denial. Those calls and text are not from them – it’s your parents checking in to see how you’re feeling and if you’ve been able to get out of bed today, It’s your best friends telling you that regardless of what you say, they’re coming over with wine and chocolate and It’s your siblings telling you that even though you can’t see it right now everything is going to be ok and the next one will be different.
A few more weeks will pass maybe even months and whilst your mind hasn’t stopped thinking about this not even for a single minute, one day you will wake up and you will feel angry. You will look at yourself in the mirror and feel a burning sense of rage, you will become furious that someone you loved could do this, furious that you allowed this to consume you and downright agitated that this person could make you question your own sanity and self-worth.
Before you make any rash decisions to send a long-winded text or a 1000-word essay on how you feel, my advice is this – write what you want to write but do not press send. I know you really want to, I know that you think it will make you feel better but chances are it won’t. The other person is either going to retaliate and say a bunch of hurtful things back to you which is only going to make you feel much worse than you already do, or they will say nothing at all. Imagine how you’re going to feel after you’ve poured your heart and soul out to this person and for them to make you feel like you are unworthy of a response.
After a while, the rage will subside and when it does you’ll start to wonder if maybe there’s something you can do to make them change their mind – If you do this, maybe they’ll do that. If you change this, perhaps they’ll like the change and come back, if you alter your standards then maybe things will be different. Bargaining with yourself is only going to result in you compromising who you are as a person to fit in with them, so if you turn yourself into what you think they would like, then who will you become? What about your happiness – don’t you matter? Are you ok with living a lie? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before bending over backward for someone who was quite happy to rip the ground from beneath you and be on their merry way.
Have you ever felt so low that people and things you find so much joy in no longer fill your heart with happiness? That low that you can’t lift your head off the pillow because you feel absolutely exhausted from doing absolutely nothing. You feel like the negative weight amongst your friends and family, like you bring nothing to the table and can’t contribute so it’s pointless you going anywhere or doing anything, because all you’re going to do is bring those around you down. This painful state of mind is my version of depression. Imagine living here, in this dark, grey world of nothingness, numb to pretty much everyone and everything – no joy, no anger, no happiness just sadness. I know why you’re sad, I do understand but things are going to get better, I promise.
You know how I said earlier that you can’t expect to just wake up one day and be over it, well here’s what is going to happen – you’re going to wake up one day and be over feeling like shit, you’re going to feel like the past few months have been a complete blur, you’re going to feel like you’ve been on some kind of holiday from hell and ready to come home. You will miss the old you, the you before the heartbreak. You’ll crave the feeling of happiness and want to feel that way again more than anything, you’ll start to remember all the things you used to love doing and start to do them again. You’ll spend quality time with your loved ones because you missed them and slowly as you start to find your feet someone will ask “How are you feeling about ______? “You’ll question yourself, “How do I actually feel?”
In your own time, you’ll do some reflecting and come to the realization that the storm is finally over and you made it through.
You are ok and do you have a whole life ahead of you. You are deserving of happiness and deserve to be loved the way you love and someday someone is going to be able to give you that and it isn’t going to be a challenge, it isn’t going to be hard and it isn’t going to make you doubt yourself. Please try and remember whilst your heartbreak may have been the most painful experience you’ve ever gone through, you survived.
The day that you’re able to accept what happened and accept that thinking about them no longer serves a purpose in your life, is the day the shackles will be released and you will be set free. – It’s liberating, powerful and empowering when you realize this person no longer has a hold on you.
The days of the dark, grey world of nothingness are gone and now you have the whole wide world at your feet, filled with bright and vibrant colors waiting for you to go explore and find them.
If you can, try and be thankful that you met the person who caused your heartbreak, because they would have taught you many lessons and if you’re unable to find the lesson just know that you are special because you are capable of love, real love and even though it may not have worked out this time you cannot lose hope that one day someone will find you and they will prove to you why they are worthy of your love.
I do hope that you are ok, I know you will be, but just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and good things do take time so try not to be so hard on yourself.
As seen published on Thought Catalog.
Image Source: https://s-i.huffpost.com/gen/2606964/images/o-BROKEN-HEART-facebook.jpg