When your heart’s been burned more times than you care to count, locking up it up in a vault and throwing the key in the deepest sea, seems like a most viable safety plan.
Heartbreak is a messy, complicated hurt, that the medical fraternity can’t fix. There’s no vaccine and no pill to pop when it happens. It’s a deeply personal experience and everyone goes through the motions of heartbreak at their own pace and in their own way. Studies show that the pain of heartbreak can be likened to real, physical pain, which makes heartbreak not only an emotional distress, but an actual physical dis-ease. Being rejected by another, triggers other negative emotions such as not being good enough, feelings of hopelessness, and helplessness wondering what could we have done better, or what did we do wrong?
Being stuck in the past causes mental anguish and let’s not even get into the trauma of finding out your ex has moved on! But no matter how great the heartbreak is, time really does work its magic. There is no shortcut to getting over the heartbreak, and each individual must go through the motions in their own way. You have to endure the feelings that come with the separation, missing your ex so badly that it actually hurts, the sleepless nights and all of that mess. You have to go through it all, until the day that you are no longer enduring, but living again.
It’s difficult to put a time limit on it, but the process can be a lot faster if you start dealing with what has happened as quickly as possible. Acknowledging that it has happened and you may need to take time off, or you may need some time to yourself to grieve over the end of the relationship is important. Denial only prolongs the process of healing so the sooner you start, the better. Surround yourself with as much love as possible from family and friends who know what you are going through. Do not be afraid to reach out when the day is especially bad and you need someone to talk to. Do not cave in to the temptation to stay indoors in your pyjamas all day everyday. Go out with friends. Try new things away from what used to be the norm. Go for a meal at a new restaurant, or immerse yourself in an experience that you always wanted to try. Do not take up too much time in self pity-parties, and begin to find out more about who you are, what you are and whom you want to be going forward. The more you continue to work on you and focus on living again, the more the heartbreak dulls with time.
And then one day you’ll wake up and ask yourself- “What on earth was I doing with that person”? – and when that day comes, you’ll have a good laugh and be glad that you never did throw the key to your heart away, because then you’d never have been able to love yourself as much as you now do!
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By Sheila Mwanyigha