Why I'm Totally Grateful That I've Had My Heart Broken
In 2008 I had my heart broken for the first time. In 2010 in happened for the second time, and in 2013 for the third.
That’s three times I’ve physically felt my heart shatter. Three times my world has come crashing down around me. Three times I’ve been unable to imagine a future for myself.
It doesn’t matter if you go through heart break for the first time or the umpteenth, it hurts just as bad every time.
You don’t want to “meet someone else”, like so many people promise that you will. You just want that one person.
You begin to agonize over every decision you made; should I have been less this and more that, should I have not done this and instead been there for that, did it really bother me that much that they weren’t X, Y, or Z.
You can’t imagine your life without them, because you can’t remember a time before them, and sometimes you just don’t want to imagine your life moving forward because it just doesn’t seem as bright.
Oh, and there’s tears. Then there’s alcohol, and then there’s more tears.
Trust me, I know what you’re going through.
It can feel like one of the most world-shattering moments in your life. But I’ll hedge my bets here in telling you that actually, it’s quite the opposite.
Let’s look at things logically for a moment.
If this person actually is your true soul-mate, then you just have to trust that time will do its thing and you’ll come back together when whatever caused this heartbreak in the first place has sorted itself out.
If the person who has caused you heartache is not the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with, then this is more a time for celebration! You’re one step closer to moving towards the person you are meant to be with. Hurrah!
(I’m aware, that alone is not enough to stop the crippling emotional pain you might be suffering, but it’s a start).
Ok, it doesn’t sound too convincing just yet does it? Let’s take this one step further.
Why? This little word should not be underestimated.
When people ask you how you’re doing after a breakup, the answers easily roll off the tongue. How do you think I’m doing? My world has ended. I miss them so much. I don’t want to be single. I thought they were the one. It hurts.
It’s understandable, those things are almost inevitable during heartbreak. But what a lot of people don’t do is ask themselves why they are feeling all of those things.
I think I spoke all of those words after all three of my breakups. Nothing anyone could say could make me feel better, and I thought it would just be a matter of time before the pain eased. In part, that’s true. Time does help.
But one day, after my third (and worst) breakup, that little word “why” popped into my head.
“Why is this hurting me as much as it is?” I thought to myself.
I sat down with a pen and notepad, and I tried to work out the answer. My life was a mess before that relationship. I had moved out from living with my closest friends, I was working a job I really didn’t enjoy, and I had no hobbies of my own.
I felt stuck in a rut of monotony in my own stagnant and unfulfilled life.
Then my ex-boyfriend came along. He was engaging when he spoke about his job, he played rugby, he went to barbecues, he had the biggest group of friends I’d ever encountered, he laughed a lot, he wanted to go on weekend breaks. He was just full of life.
So what did I do? I let his life become my own. Instead of facing up to the grim reality that was my own life before we met, I submerged myself into HIS life.
When I worked that out, it seemed so obvious to me as to why our breakup was hurting me so much. I wasn’t happy now because I wasn’t happy before.
In essence, breaking up with him was a catalyst for finally having to sort my own shit out… and that’s a tough cookie to chew!
Turning Answers Into Gratitude
If I look at my life now, I am more than happy with the direction things are going.
Since that breakup I’ve been on some sort of epic self-discovery journey. I’ve been in and out of different types of therapy, I’ve tried having a life coach, I’ve changed careers and even moved countries.
Would any of this have happened if I hadn’t felt that heartbreak? In all honesty, who can know.
But I am grateful for the pain, and I am grateful for every single tear, because figuring out why I was hurting so much is what’s led me to where I am today: excited for the future.
Break ups happen every single day. If it’s any consolation they’ve happened to two of my friends in the last week, so you’re not alone.
But have you asked yourself why you’re feeling so heartbroken?
Some people might have always had a low self-esteem which their (now) ex-partner helped them forget, others might have never lived their adult life without their partner.
The answer to why you’re feeling heartbroken can be different for everyone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work it out. As soon as you do I guarantee you’ll be in a much better place looking forward.
One day, when you’re smiling and content with your own life again, you might even be grateful that you’re feeling as crappy as you are right now!