Yes, it is inevitable. We will all suffer from a broken heart sooner or later in our lives. After recently having the pleasure of making a new friend who only just suffered a bad breakup, I realized that no one ever really prepares a person to deal with heartache caused by breakups. There is so much you learn from educational establishments but none of them provides a ‘how to guide’ to help you deal with a post-breakup broken heart. I myself have had the honor of being a guest to dwell the lonely and dark quarters of a broken heart. Thus I thought it well to share a few pointers on what got me thru these dark but also very enlightening days.
• First of all, cut all connections with whatever caused you the heartache in the first place. By dwelling around the cause you will constantly be reminded of it thus making it hard to move forward. This means to not speak to, wonder, or ask about the cause.
• Take time to forgive. This is so much harder than you can imagine. It is important to first get rid of all the hate you possess. Hate is a very intense emotion which leads to revenge. Both might seem like solutions at the time but they will only delay you from starting to forgive. And by forgiving you let yourself to be positive again. Forgiveness should also go both ways. It is not only important to forgive others but also yourself. Everybody makes mistakes and you only grow more mature by making them.
• Crying is a wonderful diversion. Allow yourself to cry as much as possible. You’ll soon realize that there are many different variations of crying, each one with a different purpose. There is the ‘passionate cry.’ It comes fast and unannounced and causes your face to automatically crumple up. So much so that some snot will reach your mouth within seconds. It allows you to release all the built up stresses and angst caused by heartache. Next is the ‘self pitying cry’ which can be triggered by your own reflection (whether it is from a mirror, spoon or a photograph). This cry allows you to take a few seconds to first berate then pity yourself. This is then followed by thoughts like, ‘boy that was a bit dramatic’ and you then realize you’re not half as bad as you imagined. This then boosts your confidence. Then there is the ‘sincere cry.’ This cry comes from the heart. It is usually caused when the reality of your situation becomes clear. You realize that no matter how much it hurts, how much you still love, or how big the longing is, you are fully aware that this is what needs to happen. I also call this the ‘bitter-sweet cry’ because when it is over, you actually feel better. So no matter what society dictates, cry when you feel like it. It works!
• Do not rebound! I repeat, do not rebound! There is this widespread myth that by going out and finding a suitable replacement will make one feel much better. When jumping to the next meaningless sexual endeavor you only end up degrading yourself and the sexual connection you once had with the person whom you loved. No matter how successful, attractive or ideal the next suitor may seem, you will constantly compare them and thus not giving the person a fair chance. Always be aware that future relationships and romantic excursions are still to come, just be patient.
• Exercise. Find an activity that you like and allow yourself to do it as much as possible. Endorphins are probably the best thing discovered since sliced bread!
• Always be aware that when suffering from a broken heart no emotion is permanent. There will be days when you will wake and miraculously feel as if all is perfect again. You automatically assume that your heartache is in the past and then go forth with your daily errands. Only to find yet another dose of depression is just lurking around the corner. Be conscious and accept that your emotions are similar to a rollercoaster and that you can go from sad to happy and vice-versa within minutes.
• Speak to your psychologist. They may not have concrete answers but will remind you that you are not the first (or the last) person to suffer from a broken heart. And that all of these bizarre emotions are normal.
• Know that missing the person who caused the heartache does not make you more vulnerable. Allow yourself to enjoy the good times and wonder about the bad times. The fact is that you shared so much with that person and by denying the feelings you had just makes the whole excursion redundant. But beware! There is a difference between nostalgically dwelling in the past and to long for it. It is human nature to remember the good times (and with enough time the bad times also tend to seem good) and you may wonder or doubt the reason you are not with that person anymore. Just always be realistic and remind yourself that there is a good reason things didn’t work out.
• Finally, dwell on your future. By moving to the next phase of your life new hopes and dreams tend to penetrate into your thoughts. This causes you to be optimistic and look forward to something again.
The truth is there is no cure for treating a broken heart. But by learning to be more patient, practicing plenty of self control and adding a lot of time to this equation, you will find yourself recovering and feeling stronger in no time. Good luck and learn to enjoy even a broken heart, for it is a great learning curve!