Every time I see him all cool, calm, and collected, I lose my breath, my heart starts pounding, and I am painfully aware that I am not over him, and he is over me.
When we meet someone, maybe fall in love, the world becomes light, happy, and an amazing place to be in; when it ends, it can feel as if the world is falling apart. Every song reminds you of her. Every place has a history of you and him together. Some days the universe is screaming in your face with reminders of what is no longer.
There is no secret to healing a broken heart, no magic solution. It's not even experienced the same from person to person. Some people want to distract themselves, others to wallow in their misery, and still others pretend like nothing ever happened. However you express your pain is okay.
You may be sitting on the couch for days, staring at your phone waiting for a text. You might cry inconsolably. You don't go out, you don't sleep, you don't eat.
It can be surprising how strongly someone can impact or change your life.
Symptoms Of Heartbreak:
While everyone experiences heartbreak differently, here are some common and typical expressions of heartbreak:
- Physical pain like headache or stomach ache
- Changes in eating habits
- Changes in sleep
- Social isolation
- Difficulty focusing
- Loss of interest in activities
- Anger and outbursts
- Drug and alcohol use
Physically, heartbreak can cause:
- Tightness in the chest
- Nervous stomach
- Sleep difficulties
- Aches and pains
Sometimes we are the cause of our own heartbreak. If you choose to end a relationship, that does not necessarily mean that it will hurt any less. Even though it may hurt, it is important to not stay in a bad or abusive relationship because you are afraid to get hurt.
Healing From Heartbreak:
While it may feel like you will NEVER feel better, our emotions and our pain are like a wave - it will build, peak, and then lessen. It may take time, but there is hope that you will find someone new and that you will feel better.
Here are some ways to cope with how you feel:
Share your feelings. Don't bottle it up inside - share how you feel with a close friend or a family member. You can talk about your worries, your pain, and feelings of helplessness.
Express your emotions. It's okay to cry. Often we feel very raw after a breakup and it can be helpful to get some of that emotion out. You don't have to cry in front of other people if you don't want to.
Remember your good qualities. This can help bring some perspective to your world. Often we remember all the bad things, or blame ourselves for what has happened.
Take care of yourself by eating regular meals and sleeping. When your body feels bad, your mind and thoughts often follow.
Do things you enjoy. Even if you don't feel like it, engaging in regular activity can help reduce your stress and make it easier to transition into a structured day.
Staying busy can take your mind off of the heartbreak, even if only for a short time. Thinking about it is okay, but thinking about it so much that you can't do anything else is not healthy.
Be patient. It takes time to fully manage your sadness and grief.
Remember, things will get better, it just takes time, patience, and support.
What to Say to Someone Who is Heartbroken:
You're not alone. Often those who are heartbroken feel alone in his or her pain.
I've been there, and it does get better. Bring hope to someone who is suffering.
What Not to Say to Someone Who is Heartbroken:
Everything will be okay. Maybe, but it doesn't feel that way right now. Identify with the pain, not dismiss it.
You think that's bad, I... Be sensitive to pain but don't dismiss it by telling your own horror story.
Get over it. People need a chance to feel and express their feelings, not have them shut down.
Additional Heartbreak Resources:
DateSurvival.com discusses relationships, heartbreak, and the finer points of dating.
KidsHealth.org has a page on teen dating and heartbreak.
GriefShare is an international website which helps individuals locate local grief recovery support groups in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.
HelpGuide.org offers information on coping with grief and loss.
The Good Grief Center is a comprehensive resource for grief support and referrals.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides an information sheet on grief in children along with more specific information on sleep problems, pediatric depression, and the loss of a pet.