January 16, 2007
We all know the quote.
Instead of the usual random, upbeat, crazy blog...I've decided to take a different route. A personal narrative to something everyone has dealt with. The accursed broken heart.
People say you can't die from a broken heart. They also say it isn't really a condition. However, almost everyone has felt, at one time or another, as if they would not survive the pain of a break up.
These same people also have ideas about how long getting over a broken heart should take. I have heard everything from "Immediately! Tell 'em to sod off!" to "For every month you were together, it will take that many weeks." I think it takes however long you need it to take. In my case, way to damn long! I realize that I have wasted a good chunk of my life. I realize that I may have missed out on someone fantastic. I realize that I deserve something wonderful. Yet..these things don't seem to matter.
Here's my short story. Alan was the love of my life. I can say this because I haven't found another yet, so for now...Alan was the love of my life. What was the problem, you ask? I wasn't his. I spent 3 years with Alan. I even introduced him to my daughter. As many of my friends know, this is a HUGE step. One night, I told him I loved him. He said he didn't love me. Ouch! This was the beginning of the end. What a blow to the ego, to my heart, to my soul. For those who say a broken heart isn't a condition and you can't die from it, talk to me when you are going through it. A few weeks later I saw him with the woman he is now married to. Insert "When Harry Met Sally" quote here:
Sally: He just met her... She's supposed to be his transitional person, she's not supposed to be the ONE. All this time I thought he didn't want to get married. But, the truth is, he didn't want to marry me. He didn't love me.Harry: If you could take him back now, would you?Sally: No. But why didn't he want to marry me? What's the matter with me?Harry: Nothing.Sally: I'm difficult.Harry: You're challenging.Sally: I'm too structured, I'm completely closed off.
It's been 6 years. I still cry over him after several glasses of wine. I still have walls built for fear of experiencing that pain again. I still wish he would come back. I'm still scared. So, how long does it take? It depends on the person. My friend, George, is going to make me have a party where I burn all traces of Alan in the fire pit that I will buy in a few weeks. An exorcism of sorts. We'll see if I actually have the nerve or chutzpah to throw my articles away.....I'm not sure I want to but I'm sure I need to.
I found this little gem on the internet when I googled "healing a broken heart." For those of you who need it....here are some tips that might help.
• Share your feelings. Some people find that sharing their feelings with someone they trust — someone who recognizes what they're going through — helps them feel better. That could mean talking over all the things you feel, even having a good cry on the shoulder of a comforting friend or family member. Others find they heal better if they hang out and do the things they normally enjoy, like seeing a movie or going to a concert, to take their minds off the hurt. If you feel like someone can't relate to what you're going through or is dismissive of your feelings, find someone more sympathetic to talk to. (OK, we know that sharing feelings can be tough for guys, but you don't necessarily have to tell the football team or your wrestling coach what you're going through. Talk with a friend or family member, a teacher, or counselor. It might make you more comfortable if you find a female family member or friend, like an older sister or a neighbor, to talk to).
• Remember what's good about you. This one is really important. Sometimes people with broken hearts start to blame themselves for what's happened. They may be really down on themselves, exaggerating their faults as though they did something to deserve the unhappiness they're experiencing. If you find this happening to you, nip it in the bud! Remind yourself of your good qualities, and if you can't think of them because your broken heart is clouding your view, get your friends to remind you.
• Take good care of yourself. A broken heart can be very stressful so don't let the rest of your body get broken too. Get lots of sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly to minimize stress and depression and give your self-esteem a boost.
• Don't be afraid to cry. Going through a break-up can be really tough, and getting some of those raw emotions out can be a big help. We know this is another tough one for guys, but there's no shame in crying now and then. No one has to see you do it — you don't have to start blubbering in class or at soccer practice or anything. Just a find a place where you can be alone, like crying into your pillow at night or in the shower when you're getting ready for the day.
• Do the things you normally enjoy. Whether it's seeing a movie or going to a concert, do something fun to take your mind off the negative feelings for a while.
• Keep yourself busy. Sometimes this is difficult when you're coping with sadness and grief, but it really helps. This is a great time to redecorate your room or try a new hobby. That doesn't mean you shouldn't think about what happened — working things through in our minds is all part of the healing process — it just means you should focus on other things too.
• Give yourself time. It takes time for sadness to go away. Almost everyone thinks they won't feel normal again, but the human spirit is amazing — and the heartbreak almost always heals after a while. But how long will that take? That depends on what caused your heartbreak, how you deal with loss, and how quickly you tend to bounce back from things. Getting over a break-up can take a couple of days to many weeks — and sometimes even months.
Now for the interactive segment and to touch on the first bullet point. Share your feelings. Tell me your short story. Maybe we can benefit from each other's experiences and learn to live happily ever after.
After 6 years....I may not be an expert...but I certainly understand.