by Erin Honor
Let’s have an open, raw, and borderline-humilating conversation about something that is weighing very heavily on my mind right now.
I am the kind of person that probably sets myself up to be heartbroken. I love way too much. Get too emotionally invested. This kind of “you are my heart and soul my world revolves around you I would die for you” love is great in books and movies, but in reality… It’s probably not so healthy.
And so when you feel too much, too deeply, you set yourself up to get hurt.
I tend to find a certain person in my life and make them my entire world. I tend to devote my entire life-force to one person, one specific person. I tend to live and breathe for one specific person. I tend to base whether or not it is a good day on the amount we speak on that certain day.
I tend to make a person my everything.
Then that person leaves without warning.
And my entire world comes crashing down around me.
It’s not fun.
As someone who deals with mental illness, I’m no stranger to pain, depression, anxiety etc. I have been working very hard in therapy for years, gaining new understandings of the way that my brain works and learning ways of coping with uncomfortable feelings and intrusive thoughts. I can handle mental illness, maybe not well, but I can handle it enough to function.
Pain surrounding losing someone?
I don’t think anyone can be prepared for that.
I have never really given much thought to the concept of a “broken heart.” I have never really had any reason to. I saw heartbreak in movies and read about them in books – but in my personal life, I never experienced true heartbreak.
Sure, I had had my heart broken before. Who hasn’t? But the kind of heartbreak that I had experienced in the past – the “oh no my ‘first love’ (i.e. – 13 year old puppy-love) is breaking up with me the sky is falling” kind of love.. But never this. What I feel now, it’s indescribable.
When you have your heartbroken, whether it be through the loss of either a romantic or a platonic relationship, you have no control. Here was this person, this amazing, incredible, person that you loved more than you even knew was possible. The person who made you believe in something again. The person who made you feel safe and loved. The person who made you feel like you were actually worth something. This person meant the absolute world to you. They had you, all of you. They had you believing that “always” really meant always.
And then, out of nowhere, they are gone.
And your entire reality, everything you have every thought or felt or believed, begins crashing down around you.
And all you can do is watch.
There is no feeling more painful than that of being totally helpless. When there is this pain, this excruciating, indescribably pain, this pain that is all consuming that is tearing you apart from the inside out and there is nothing you can do except sit with the feeling and wait for it to pass… Well… It’s terrifying.
There is nothing more painful than loving someone with all of your heart and soul and believing that they felt the same only to discover that not only do they not feel the same, but they do not care at all. There is nothing you can do to make them care, and there is nothing that you can do to make yourself stop loving them. Again, all you can do is sit with the feeling and wait for it to pass. Again, this is terrifying.
There is the flood of confusion. How is this happening? How is this possible? No. It can’t be. You were my forever person. We said we would always be here for each other. How did we go from talking about seeing X movie when it comes out one night to you completely deciding that I am worthless the next? Nothing makes sense and it’s all so wrong. Nothing feels right. Being in a world that no longer involves this person doesn’t feel right. How is this happening? How do you go from telling someone you love them one day to treating them like dirt the next? There are too many questions and not enough space in your brain to process them all. Your head will go fuzzy. Your body will start shaking to the point that your teeth are chattering and you can’t stand up without collapsing. You will want to, simultaneously, throw up and scream and cry and collapse and disappear. You will think about never seeing the person’s face again. You will picture their face and it will make you smile for a moment, only to then cause you to collapse into sobs. You will think about having your arms around them, and their around you. You will think about the feeling that you got – that one that made you feel safe and warm and loved. You will think about how you will never experience that again. You will feel like there is ice running through your veins.
It’s all just too much.
You will feel like you’re dying. You will truly feel like you are dying… Only you won’t die. There is no relief from the pain you are feeling. All you can do is sit with the emotion.
You will reach out to the person. Your person. The person you love with all of your heart and soul. You will write long, frantic, and passionate messages to them and you will send them without thought (because any semi-rational person would never send all of these messages), you will beg and plead, you will apologize for things that you probably shouldn’t be apologizing for, you will beg for an explanation, a conversation. Closure. You will text and call and text and call until each and every ounce of your dignity is gone and you have not only completely humiliated yourself, but have also gotten your phone number blocked.
All you wanted was a conversation. One more time. Face to face. An explanation. A way to move on.
Because you can’t move on. When someone who you made your entire world abandons you without any warning or explanation, you can’t just move on. Especially when you’re a sensitive person (which I would expect many of you who read this blog are, given I talk so much about mental illness and other subjects that pertain largely to sensitive people). You need closure. You need to know why. If you don’t know why, you will obsess. And when you obsess, you will be unable to function in every day life.
You will be unable to be alone. You will shadow family members in your home. You don’t need to speak to them, you just need to make sure that they are there. That you are not alone. When you are alone is when you fall apart. When you are alone you get to think of how everything is your fault. How the best thing to ever happen to you, your person, hates you. You are worthless. It is all your fault. Look how easily you were replaced. You never meant anything. These thoughts will take over the entirety of your mind when you are alone. They will have distinctive voices. They will scream. Your entire body will shake. Your skin will burn. You will break out in a cold sweat. You will get up. Pace. Go outside. Run. Maybe if I run, I can get away from the screaming for a little while.
Sometimes you will think that you’re okay. That you’re “over it.” You will smile and laugh and want to dance. It’s okay. It’s all okay. Everything is great. Then you will see something – a TV show that you watched with your person, you will hear a song that you remember blasting in the car with your person by your side. You will think about silly things. Laughs that you shared. Special moments. You will think about how special these moments are to you. You will think about how your person, more likely than not, isn’t thinking about these moments. Your person isn’t thinking of you at all.
Back down into the void you go.
You will try to rationalize. No. This is impossible. We are meant to be in each other’s lives. You can’t just stop loving someone. This is impossible. There is hope. They will reach out. You two will talk. It will all be okay. Love. Love conquers all. This kind of love is not one that is experienced more than once in a lifetime. This kind of love doesn’t end like this. No. We need each other. Right? Well. Actually.
Your person doesn’t need you anymore.
You will think of your person with a person other than you. Sharing the same laughs, the same mannerisms. Listening to the same songs. Sharing the same secrets. You will feel your stomach turn. You will want to sleep for forever. You will want to run away. You will want to scream. You will want to hold on for dear life.
You will want to be angry. You will want to hate the person. Good riddance. Who needs ’em? You will try. There will be others. This is not the end of the world. This person is not the same person that you met and loved all that time ago. No. Things will get better for you. It will all be okay. Okay. Okay.
You will want to hate this person.
But all you will be able to do is love them.
This is your greatest pain.
As always, Grey’s says it best.