I usually aim at writing every post with something new that I learnt after every dating experience. However, I want to make this article slightly different – this one is for everyone out there that had their hearts broken recently and can’t shake the one thought that torments them every waking moment: “I feel so alone… I’m going through this alone”. You are not – so many of us are going or have gone through it, and know exactly how it feels. And hopefully this post will make some difference – it won’t saw the pieces of your heart back together and it won’t bring him back – but maybe, just maybe, you’ll realise that you are not going through this alone. So maybe for tonight, it might ease the pain a bit.
Serge decided to break-up with me on a Friday afternoon. I went to his place after work, to spend the weekend at his place, like every weekend. He had been thinking about it all week, so the minute I got in, he made some small talk with me and then said in a serious tone “We need to talk”. I knew right there and then what was coming. My break up with Serge was a sudden but expected one – we are two people at two very different stages of our lives (see How much difference doesa 20 year age difference really make?). Needless to say that the rest 3 days are a blur in my head due to the massive influx of emotions that overwhelmed me – and due to the immense quantity of alcohol I consumed. If it was coming out of a cheesy chick flick, at that moment I would say that I literally heard my heart cracking. But it’s not true. I once read that a heartbreak wasn’t after a cheesy break-up story – but after a biological phenomenon. Your body mimics the symptoms of a heart attack – hence the name. So all I remember is a loud ringing in my ears, shortness of breath and a feeling of not being able to move. I wish I could say that I cried and shouted and did everything that you would think would happen in a movie break up. But I didn’t. I was too much in shock to even process the thought. So before it all hit me (I knew it would, eventually), I decided to pick up my things and head out. I vaguely recall him telling me that I had my things in his bedroom and me replying that I was in no state to pick up anything. So I left.
That night I naturally decided to get drunk. What I remember is a haze of tears, anger, feeling of betrayal, and denial. I spent hours staring at a blank wall, lost in my thoughts, or crying with every little detail. I’m not sure how much I cried or for what, but I remember feeling that I would never be able to get over that. My emotions were bigger than me – they were bigger than my will to fight for anything and they were bigger than my inner strength. I felt like I lost the ground beneath my feet. The most intense feeling that I remember feeling is that of not belonging anywhere – not belonging in my best friend’s arms, who was desperately trying to console me, not belonging with anyone around me besides him, not belonging in my friend’s bed who kindly shared with me and held me until I felt asleep. It was a constant feeling of not being supposed to be anywhere but with him.
The first couple of nights I woke up in the middle of the night at least 5 times looking for him, realizing that he’s not there and breaking into tears until I was so exhausted that I had to go back to sleep. I hated waking up – and I know that’s the hardest part for everyone – because it felt like a slap all over again. It all came rushing back to me and once again I felt overwhelmed – it was the realisation that it wasn’t a dream, it was all real! It was easy and peaceful being blissfully asleep, but then I woke up and had to deal with it all over again, like it was the first time. You somehow drag yourself during the days and settle in your feeling of misery, but you absolutely dread the minute you are going to sleep, because you hate waking up and feeling everything all over again.
I’m not going to lie and say I was the bigger person and didn’t call him – I did. I called and cried and screamed and asked him to reconsider. I insulted him when he didn’t and we spoke for hours that got us nowhere. Looking back would I have called him again? Probably – I needed to get off my chest all the things that I couldn’t when he broke up with me. I used to cry with every little thing that reminded me of him – and it was everything! The breakfast we shared on Saturday mornings, the TV shows that we both enjoyed watching, the lazy Sundays that we spent, and so on. So it’s like your heart breaks over and over again just by getting through the day. You expect to see them somewhere, you expect your phone to ring – you run to it every time it rings and get pissed off that it’s not him. The first few days following a break-up, every breath you take makes your whole body ache… but you are not alone, and you are not the only one going through it.
The person that actually helped in easing the intense feeling of loneliness is Eva, a colleague of mine, who had been through this before and knew exactly how it felt even before I said anything. A couple of weeks later, at a house party, I happened to meet an 18-year old boy who was going through his first break-up. I knew how it felt and I knew what would help – so I opened up to him. I hated making myself say everything all over again, I hated making myself feel it all over again. But I knew what would help, and if it was going to help him even for one hour, I was more than willing. So I talked to him, and told him everything he was feeling before he even said it himself. And to my surprise he teared up and hugged me, and I knew that it was all worth it.
So you are not alone. I know how it feels – and it’s not exactly the same for everyone, but it’s along the same lines. This article is not meant to show how I started getting over it and what helped – I will do this in the next one – this one is to let every broken hearted person out there know that they are not alone. And this helps. At least a little, tiny bit.