Heartbreak Advice from the Heartbroken

You never plan for heartbreak. And even when you do, you don’t. No matter how many times you tell yourself that you’ll be okay, when heartbreak hits, everything crashes down around you. Everything feels lost, muted, dark.

When you think about it, heartbreak is essentially the mourning of the death of a relationship – a relationship that was alive and vibrant and happy. Then, it just wasn’t. It was dead and now you are forced to mourn the loss you never expected.

Everyone will tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel; at the end of the day it won’t hurt as much. They’ll all tell you to pick yourself up and go distract the hell out of yourself. They’ll say to go enjoy your life to forget about whoever it was that broke your heart. They will tell you to move on.

And they’ll be right. But they are not trying to survive a broken heart. They are not feeling the emptiness filling your chest, the blur behind your eyes, the lead dragging your heels against the pavement. They aren’t combating the tears threatening to break the surface.

So I’m here to give you some different advice. Because I am doing those things. I am trying to understand how all of the pieces of my life ended up scattered around me. I too, am trying to find the will to pick them up. So here’s what I think you should do.

Let yourself be sad.

Spend a little time on the floor with all of the pieces. Let yourself cry over every single one of them.

Spend an entire day in bed with ice cream and your memories and some free flowing tears.

Don’t ask anyone for advice. Just don’t. They’ll disappoint you no matter what they say.

Don’t brush your teeth. Don’t take a shower. Wear the same dirty grey sweats you’ve been wearing for two days already.

Disconnect from everything. Do not check social media. Do not talk to anyone. Do not answer your phone. Unless it’s your mom. Always answer your mom.

Did I mention cry? Because really, cry. A lot. Get all of those sad tears, all of those tainted memories, everything that makes you sad to think about, out of your head. Let yourself be sad.

And then pick yourself up. Go take a shower. Get dressed. But do yourself a favor, leave the pieces there. You don’t need those broken pieces anymore. There are plenty of whole ones left in you. You will not feel whole again for a while. But you are not broken. You are still breathing every second of every single day. That breathing? That means that you are still alive. You still have things to do. So take your time and let yourself be sad and then let yourself get back up.

Heartbreak Advice from the Heartbroken

Simply and Un-simply, Love.

Love is easily the most complicated part of our existence. I don’t mean complicated like calculus or solving a Rubik’s cube. Love is complicated in the way that it is one of those one in a million chances that happens every day without explanation. It is completely inexplicable why we love who we love. It doesn’t make any sense that every day we fall for the things about another person that we don’t even know exist. It is beyond confusing that love can just as easily save us as it can destroy us. Love is our home. As people, everything we do is based in some form of love. Love for a person, a job, a game, a place, a hobby, ourselves. In the end, everything we do is about this love, this thing, that we have no say in.

Now, by saying this, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. However, every day I am baffled by how much my own mind, body, and soul are controlled by this intangible, unimaginable miracle that runs our lives without permission. Every move that I make can be traced back to this chemical reaction in my brain that I have absolutely zero control over.

I have fallen in love and I have had my heart broken. But it’s not the falling in love or the heartbreak that I want to talk about. It’s that I find the experience completely incredible because no matter how much I reason with myself, no matter how much I tell myself that I have control over my brain and my emotions, the truth is that when it comes to love I don’t. None of us do. That, in and of itself, is the most mind boggling, amazing thing to me.

Our brains do this thing, this life altering, life controlling thing, and we get no say whatsoever in how we feel. I mean, this thing runs our lives and we don’t get a choice. I think that this is the most beautiful idea – that we are so completely out of control when it comes to our life’s purpose and are instead at the mercy of these processes happening inside of our own heads in hiding places we can’t even find despite our best efforts.

I am not a religious person. I don’t believe that there is someone out there determining our fates and deciding whether or not we are living inside of their rules. However I do believe that we, somewhere inside of ourselves are determining our own fates; that we are simultaneously making the rules and trying to live inside of them.

There is something about that notion that is terrifyingly beautiful. That our brains are creating this thing and these rules to live by, and that thing and those rules are simply and so un-simply, love.

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Anxiety is a Liar

Today is mental health awareness day and my best friend and I, who both deal with different forms of anxiety every day, have agreed to each post about our own mental health journeys and share them with the people around us.

The biggest part of mental health awareness day, is just that. It is the awareness. It is the knowledge that mental health is important, it is relevant, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

In February of this year I shared an article about my anxiety and what it feels like to carry around with me every day in all of its excruciating glory. That article demonstrates what my anxiety feels like at its worst.However, every day isn’t the hell on earth I depicted but it absolutely isn’t all rainbows and unicorns either.

In my post I wrote a lot about conquering my anxiety, fighting it, beating it to a pulp. But here’s the thing: that is a battle I will never win. I will never “beat” my anxiety. I will never scare it away. It is as much a part of me as my brown eyes and weird pinky toes. It is and will always be a part of me.

Over the past 8 months I’ve learned that anxiety is a strange beast that can make me feel like I do not deserve love and happiness. It can make me think that there is something bad constantly looming over my head. I’ve learned it always shows up uninvited and never comes bearing good news. I’ve learned that it will always tell me what I fear the most. And above all else, I’ve learned that anxiety is a liar. Anxiety. Is. A. Liar.

Anxiety doesn’t get to tell me what I do and do not deserve. Anxiety doesn’t get to dictate my thoughts. Anxiety doesn’t get to have what it wants. I do. I have the power to get what I want. I can tell anxiety to go fuck itself and there is nothing it can do to stop me. Anxiety is a strange beast and it is waiting around every corner. But I know its tricks. I know where it hides. I know its name. And just like all those demons in all those old horror stories, knowing its name gives me the power; knowing its name gives me the control.

My anxiety is a part of me. It isn’t a part I can wish away or a part that I can fight against. It is a part of me and the world I live in. But it is my anxiety and it is my world. Not the other way around. make the rules. choose to get what I want and what I deserve. tell the truth.

And the truth is, I have brown hair and weird toes. I sing too loudly in the car and I have anxiety. I am who I am and that is okay. It doesn’t mean I deserve anything less than happiness. It doesn’t mean anything more than what I let it mean. And that is the truth.

Anxiety is a Liar