Since I’ve been on my break, I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning. One of my jobs has been to de-clutter the papers, cards and photos which have been piled up around the flat: on my book-shelf, in my wardrobe, on my dressing table. In the middle of my spring-clean, I came across a love note from a recent ex. In the early aftermath of the break-up, I had hid it away at the back of my wardrobe, too cowardly and sentimental to rip it apart.
Why is it that no matter how many heartbreaks we endure, they still hurt and having to get over them each and every time is still a horrible, gruelling process?
They say that the first cut is the deepest and I believe this is true. My first heartbreak was many years ago, but it took just as many years to deal with it and to move on. I didn’t understand at the time that the crying, the depression and the moodswings were all part of the grieving process, I just felt like a freak for being in such a state, plaguing my friends with my misery and blaming myself for the ways things turned out.
I could not fathom how to deal with it and I really think that for the sake of our mental health, learning how to heal from heartbreak should be on the syllabus in schools, just so that young people can understand that these feelings are really normal.
Fast forward to the present and this recent heartbreak is so much easier to deal with because I understand the motions of recovery. I underwent my days of isolation, curled up on my sofa eating chocolate and watching rom-coms. I declined social invitations. I implemented a no-contact rule with my ex and I just let all my emotions surge through until they had no place to go except to leave me. Sometimes I still feel tinges of pain, but never to the same extent as I did just after the break-up.
My Mum often advises me to move forward and to never go backwards, advice which was given to her by her mother, my Nana. Just today she reminded me of it again when we were talking about career opportunities. But, this afternoon, as I was reminded of the heartbreaks and then the sudden urge to get in touch or facebook stalk my exes, my Nana’s advice rang through my ears. That these heartbreaks are in the past; that I must look forward, and not go back to them.
P.S My break didn’t last very long did it?
As always a pleasure to read! And you are so right about learning to understand the modalities of heartbreak and just staying through it for a hard ride, feeling it all until it is gone.
Thank you Johanna. It has taken me many years of reading books, seeking advice from friends and family, and just trial and error on how to recover from a break-up, and I guess the acceptance that two people just have different feelings for one another.
Beautifully told, Gemma. I don’t know if a single person who hasn’t been heartbroken (be it romantically or otherwise) and this is an honest reflection on what the process feels like. I remember many afternoons in my pyjamas, watching cooking shows, wondering why I couldn’t shake myself into action. It didn’t *look* like sadness (honestly, it was closer to slovenliness) but that’s what it was. Thanks for this reminder & keep up your writing!
Thank you for your kind comment, Clare, and for sharing how you get over heartbreak. Rom-coms, cooking shows – it’s all good, whatever we can do to help us move on healthily (even if it means being slovenly at times!). I hope you keep reading.
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