Heartbreak Isn't What It Used To Be: How to Survive a Broken Heart

When I began writing again on this blog, I promised authenticity and I'm striving to hold true to my word. And if I'm going to be completely honest, there's been something consuming my thoughts beyond my career woes and general post-grad listlessness. I've been debating about whether or not I should write about this, especially since it's so fresh and the pain is overwhelming, but I want this to be a true, messy representation of who I am. So here it is.
Source: Kaboompics.com
My heart was broken a little over a week ago. The man I love, who I was planning on moving in with and sincerely thought I would end up marrying, decided he wasn't prepared to be in a relationship presently. In the moment, I was blindsided even if in retrospect I shouldn't have been. While it still hurts immeasurably, I can understand in some respects where he was coming from. We all have things to figure out before we can truly commit to another person.

Honestly, I'm still holding out hope that we might have a future together somewhere down the line, but for the time being, I'm burying away that nugget of hope so I can move forward. Telling you this isn't meant to be a cry for sympathy; instead, let's focus more on a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes scenario and talk about how you can survive heartbreak. And be a better you for it.

  • Have a cliche crying jag: I'm one of those people who has been emotionally suppressed into thinking crying is terrible sign of weakness. Logically, I know it's not, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel really uncomfortable about crying. But when you're caught in an emotional riptide sometimes the only response is to bawl your eyes out to your family and close friends. If you learn nothing else from this process, you'll at least know who truly loves you despite your raccoon eyes and snotty nose. 
  • Avoid triggers: My ex and I got a kitten together. A sweet little baby I may never see again. Just typing those words makes my chest tighten. For that reason, I've been avoiding all things cat-related. People close to me know not to talk about cats or kittens. When trigger situations are unavoidable (like walking past the pet supply aisle), acknowledge the pain you're feeling and then quickly buckle down, forcing your thoughts onto something else. Don't let cat toys be your downfall!
  • Say your piece and then let it go: When my ex first broke up with me, I was stunned into silence. It wasn't until after I had a few days and collected my things that I kept at his apartment that I could form a proper response to all that I was feeling. So I said it, acknowledged his response, and then decided to leave it at that. 
  • Tuck away your hope: As fool hardy as it may be, I still have some hope that we might get back together in the future, but that's not what is keeping me going. Everyone tells you to take time for yourself and I decided to listen to their advice. I've been focusing on my career and working on this blog that I left empty for so long. It's revitalizing. But in those moments when you're missing your ex terribly, just remember you have that nugget of hope waiting for the right circumstances.
For those of you out there who are suffering, my heart goes out to you, but you're not alone. If you'd like to chat about heartbreak and how you're wallowing or overcoming it, leave a comment, tweet me, or shoot me an email. I'd love to hear from you and commiserate. 
Sarah Walsh