To All The Girls With A Broken Heart
So it is over. It seems like only yesterday that this person, who was your everything, looked upon you with love. What changed? When did it all change? Was it someone else? Was it you? Was it them? You have only questions that have no answers—and a broken heart.
The pain you feel is visceral. It is a deep crushing pain that seems to grip you from the inside out. And no matter what you do, that pain stays with you, a reminder of how things have changed.
You remember the most subtle of things at the most inconvenient of moments. Like the feel of their hand in yours, the curve of their back when you used to hug them. Text messages no longer make you smile; you now stare at an inactive chat that was once filled with plans and declarations of love. You grieve because your love has no place to go; you start wondering if you were not enough; your mind and heart become your own biggest critics.
If this is you now, this is what I hope you will know, to help you weather this storm in your broken heart.
Know That There May Never Be Closure
Why the relationship had to end, or what went wrong, and when it all started changing are questions we think that if we had the answers to, might help us get over what we feel. But the truth is, there is simply no good way to end a relationship if intense emotions are involved. Feelings are non-linear and difficult to define, and sometimes, there really are no answers as to why they have changed, or when specifically they changed.
Even if you manage to wrangle some form of an answer, it may not mean you can have closure. It might be easier to move on if you stop seeking reasons for closure from someone else. Close the chapter on your own instead. Accept that it is over, and that you may never really know why.
Look Inward For Answers
Some people blame the other party when a relationship fails. Some people blame themselves. In most cases, both parties have some part to play. The blame game, however, is not healthy.
Instead of assigning blame, look inward and see if the reason you cannot move on is because of your own insecurities and fears. If you find yourself begging to be given another chance, despite how shabbily the other person has treated you, or you find yourself going back to someone who obviously doesn’t have your best interests at heart, then ask yourself if you’re pining for that person only because you are so afraid to be alone, that you wouldn’t mind being with someone so unworthy.
What would you say to someone in your current situation, if you were not you? Write yourself a letter. Pen your thoughts down in a locked note on your phone. Rant to a friend. Talk yourself out of destructive behaviour like checking their social media platforms or contacting them.
Cut All Contact
It is so important to do this and you might feel more in control of your recovery if you can buckle down to do it. Block them on WhatsApp. Delete their number. Unfollow them on Instagram. Stop checking posts that they are tagged in. It is over. You don’t need to know if they are doing okay or not without you.
Don’t initiate contact, don’t like their posts, or check if they have seen your IG story. Don’t upload cryptic quotes hoping they’d know what you want them to know. Trust me, they know. And if they still left even after they knew, knowing it now will not make a difference. If they’re gone, they’re gone.
Don’t Be Friends… Yet
The more mature among us may want to try to remain friends with their former other halves. It is wonderful if that can happen, but for most, this can be the hardest and most confusing thing to do. Don’t agree to meet up 3 days after a breakup as friends. It will hardly work, especially if the both of you were emotionally invested in the relationship. Don’t allow strange permutations of relationships to form.
Don’t be ‘best friends’, don’t be ‘friends with benefits’, and don’t be some undefinable friend. Just don’t be. It will be much easier to find your own footing again without the confusion from meeting them and having old wounds reopen even before they’ve healed. Even if they tell you they need someone to talk to, choose yourself first. Be selfish. Focus on your own recovery.
For some, the void left behind by the person who left can be suffocating. Don’t let yourself be too unoccupied. Everyone will tell you, and you probably know yourself, that time will take away a lot of the pain. It is also important to know that what you do with the time matters.
Try to fill your time so that you have something to do. This is the time to pick up new hobbies, meet up with friends, go on that solo backpacking trip, or learn a new skill. Do something, as long as it means you’re not sitting alone at home to dwell on what could have been. These distractions may not take away the pain entirely, but for pockets of time, they will provide some much-needed respite. Over time, they will make the pain less raw and more manageable. That said, give yourself time to just be as well. Be quiet, heal and rest.
Seek Help / Help Yourself
If the pain is indeed crippling, it would help to get professional counselling. Seeking insight from someone outside of the situation may help you approach the issue from another perspective as well.
A trained therapist can also work through and unpack what you’re feeling. If that is not something you’re ready to do, read up articles on managing grief and loss online. It is okay to cry, and a good cry can help you feel better. Talk to trusted friends and family. Make them take away your phone on G&T nights. Ask them to text the other person to return the money they owe. Get the money back and buy yourself a new wardrobe. Make small goals for yourself and know that you’re making progress.
To All The Girls With A Broken Heart: The Storm Will Pass
We all find our way back in different ways. No matter which way it is, be gentle with yourself. Be good to yourself. Learn from now to always choose yourself first, and love yourself most. The loss of any relationship and trying to heal a broken heart will always be difficult, but always chase the light and let light in.
Take it day by day. Tell yourself to keep going, and keep fighting. Most of all, know that in time, the tears will one day stop. The future can and will be beautiful. The storm will pass.
Cover image by Aziz Acharki/Unsplash