Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recipe for a Broken Heart Salve

Broken hearts are perhaps the hardest things in the world to heal. But, just like any other injury, it will heal itself in time. There is no cure all for broken hearts and while I have definitely been the victim of a couple in my past 26 years, this one is perhaps the worst. And so, I have started thinking of ways to help it heal, outside of just plain time and decided to share them in hopes maybe somebody else will find them as a helpful pain reducing ointment.

So, in order to make my broken heart salve, here is what you will need:

  • Time (unfortunately)
  • Tissues
  • A really good support system
  • A Hobby
  • Something new that you are dying to try
  • A mantra

    Time. The first ingredient. There is just no way around it and I know it absolutely sucks to hear. But, time does heal all wounds, and the broken pieces of your heart is no different then any other cut, scrap, bruise, sprain, break, that you might have received before. It takes time to heal just like all of those other things. It, of course, would be nice for it to heal quickly, but chances are, it won't. What is even more frustrating is that there is no time limit for how long it hurts. I hear sometimes that people say it will take twice as long as you were together, or half as long, or three quarters as long or some other random scientific calculation as to how long it will hurt, but honestly, there is just no time length. It can take a month. It can take a year. It can take 5 years for some (although, I hope that I am definitely not in that group). But each of us is different and while our wounds all heal differently, the important thing to remember is that they do indeed heal. 

    Tissues. Oh, you will need a lot of them. Like, a couple boxes a lot of them. If you're lucky. You're going to cry. It is just how it is. Please don't be one of those people who hold it all in, get jaded, build up these crazy walls and only end up hurting yourself in the end because you're too scared to feel anything. Just cry. A lot. Get it all out. Crying scours the heart. Right now, I cry all the time. I am not shy about it. I cry on the phone. I cry in the car. I cry at work. I cry when I get home. I cry. A lot. But every time I cry, I feel a lot better. I purge all the hurt that I'm feeling in those tears and snot. I promise you there is nothing wrong with crying over a broken heart. You're hurting. It hurts like hell. And it aches. And boy oh boy does it ache. And it hurts. So cry. And it's okay to say a lot of negative things when you cry too, I do. The point is that it is really important to your moving on (in a healthy way) to get these feelings and emotions out and not bottle them up. 

    A really good support system. My mom holds me a lot when I cry, I ask her too. I guess it is one of the perks of moving back home. And during this process of healing I also told her that I just need her to constantly tell me that I'm going to be okay. All the time. Just tell me. And my friends? I told them the same thing. Just please constantly reaffirm to me that I am going to be okay. You need strong people around you because you're not always going to feel strong and you're going to need them to hold you up sometimes when you can hold yourself up. There is no shame in asking someone to just be there for you and comfort you and listen to you. I'll listen if you need me to. But you need people, don't isolate yourself, now is not the time. Isolate yourself when you have a deadline and a really big project, but not when you're hurting. 

    A hobby. You must stay busy. As busy as you can possibly stay. Now is the time to paint the room you've been putting off. Or start training for the marathon you really never considered ever running. Or clean the house. And then your car. And volunteer. You just need a hobby. I have school. Outside of work, school has turned into my hobby and I have completely thrown myself into it even more than I did before. I need to stay busy. The busier I am, the less time I have to dwell on anything. And it is the same for you too. 

    Something new that you are dying to try. This should also be of the really challenging variety, something that makes you feel like you're not going to make it through. That there is no way you can possibly do this. And that is exactly the thing you should do. I have personally taken on Bikram Yoga, which is yoga done in a room that is heated to 105 degrees. It is hot. And I grew up in California, but this is hot. And humid. And it lasts for 90 minutes. And every time I go, just making it through the class, even by just sitting.. or by lying there.. is exhilarating. It is inspiring. And it gives you nothing but 90 minutes of thinking about how to make it through your present situation without dying, because you don't have time to think about anything else. Which is really like a mental nap from everything else you've been thinking and mulling over. This is the single most difficult thing I have even done. And to make it through let's me know that I can make it through anything. 

    A mantra. Lastly, You need something that you can constantly repeat to yourself all the time. It needs to bring you comfort and enable you to focus and be in the present. It also needs to be something you believe. It needs not to be difficult, simple is just fine. Mine is that I'm going to be okay. I tell myself this all day long. All the while I'm crying and blowing my nose, I tell myself that I'm going to be okay. I have my mom tell me all day long. I have my friends tell me too. It brings me comfort and I believe it. I know I'm not going to be okay today or even tomorrow or maybe any time soon, and I don't need to be, but I know that eventually, eventually I will be okay. I will make it through this. 

    And these are all my ingredients for a broken heart salve. You can pick one or you can pick them all, or maybe you have other things that help that I might need to know too. I have found that everyday seems to get microscopically easier. I await the day that I will wake up and it won't hurt anymore. The day that I can stop sleeping with his sweater and pack away all the notes and mementos. I don't think that will anytime soon, but I know that day will eventually come. In the meantime, I need to surround myself in warm hugs and soft tissues. I just have to keep telling myself it will be okay and focus on not dying in yoga. 

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