Healing a Broken Heart

I seriously googled “how to heal a broken heart” and it came up with some interesting results. I went into one of those forums where someone writes out his/her query and the rest of the world can provide the remedy. This can be a formula for disaster as in really, really bad responses from people who need to seek help for themselves rather than give help. Other times, there are some quality responses that are actually somewhat reassuring. Here’s my commentary on the most common posts:

Give it some time. I know this was my remedy in a previous article about marriage but, honestly, who thinks to themselves “all I need is time to heal” when they’ve discovered that Honey has a change of heart? We either want time to plot a gory revenge scene directed by Tarantino himself or we want time to flip over on its backside so that we can undo past mistakes to avoid the tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream complemented by non-stop tear action. He’s just left and you’re not thinking 5 years from now “when I’ll feel so much better,” you’re stuck in the here-and-now and it currently bites acid. Time seems like a half-assed remedy when you’re struggling to resuscitate yourself back to life each time you think of him.

Find a new love. How many people do you know just radiate “rebound magnet!” as soon as they’ve been dumped or dumped someone? Most people are so steeped in their soul-wrenching depression from a recent breakup that they, ironically, become expert liars. If they took a polygraph test and answered the question “are you over your breakup?” that needle would jump off the charts and pierce someone in the aorta. There’s a reason why we call them “rebounds” and not “soul mates. “It may be fun at the time, but it’s a stall tactic to avoid facing the deluge of hidden grief. Finding new love isn’t meant for post-breakup. What people really mean to say is “find bootycall.” A respectable person looking for love would want to be whole, healed (for the most part) and not faking happiness.

Engage in your hobbies or find new ones. “Ever since Todd broke up with me, I’ve been knitting, knitting, knitting. In fact, all my friends are gonna get new sweaters for Christmas! “The last time I told someone to remedy a breakup with hobbies, she went to the library, picked up a book on a new hobby and let it collect cobwebs at home. Most of the time, the breakup side effects saps us of energy to do the most menial of things. My best advice would be to use what energy you do have for hobbies you already do. It’s easier to go through motions you recognize and are good at. When you’re doing something brand new, there tends to be a snowball effect of morbid thoughts like, “This sucks. This isn’t making me happy. No wonder Todd left me: I’m a failure just like I’m failing to scrapbook, salsa dance and learn stripper moves.”

Booze it up and party hardy. I love this one. It does a great job of anesthetizing you from all things ex-related. Until you run into him at the club grinding on Miss Big Tits. Until, in your drunken stupor, you take a turn for the worse and become the emotional drunk you vowed you’d never become. Until your best friend is holding you by the hair as you release dinner and your pride into the toilet. It’s all great fun, really, but is it enough?

This is what I did to retaliate the blues from my last breakup: I made a mental dart board with “time” written in as the target. While throwing sharp, little mental darts at it (perfectly hitting target each time, of course), I chugged beers with guys who probably wanted booty call. I made out with an asshole. I played volleyball like there was no tomorrow. I read lots of romance novels because, hey, at least someone, albeit fictional characters, was doing it right and gettin’ hot action at the same time! I let myself cry buckets when the urge came. I ate good food. I hung out with family and friends. I chugged more beers, downed more shots, puked my brains out once or twice and dirty danced with skinny, not-my-type-guy-looking-for-love. After all that, wouldn’t you know, time was my best friend all along. She was the most patient with me – new love was nearly impossible with my sporadic emotions, hobbies only offered temporary relief and if hobbies was temporary, boozing and partying was, like, half-temporary. Time was not only patient but she allowed me to do all of the above without judging me. She was at the height of her healing power when paired up with an optimistic outlook (most of the time).Shit, yeah, my heart is broken. But, dude, carpe f-en diem!

Do all of the above, do them right after the other and repeat. Do other things too. Know that time and healing is on your side only when you can be optimistic about your misery. Kinda oxymoron-ish, right? But it works. When you’re optimistic, you’re not dwelling on the past (too much) but on, at least, a half decent future. Don’t make optimism formulaic either: optimism isn’t “I have to be happy trying this new thing out,” it sounds more like “Well, that sucked. At least I know now. Back to square one. “Optimism is about embracing a new day and the possibilities even when your heart is splattered to bits. After all the “restorative” activity, you might find yourself healed and maybe just maybe, you’ll find that skinny, not-your-type-guy-looking-for-love turned out to be sooo your type – he just waited out your storm so he could have the best of you.

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