Breakups and the Secret to Healing

I used to ask myself all the time “what if I never recover from heartbreak?”

It turns out you will. In fact, there is actually a surprise secret to healing that I am going to share with you today.

A few years, I suffered a horrible break up. Sometimes the camera of my mind replays the scene of my younger self, lying on the bathroom floor, sobbing uncontrollably. We broke up. I broke down.

According to therapist Joyce Marter, Founder and CEO of Urban Balance, “a broken heart mirrors a depressive episode, and someone might have a decrease in appetite, disruptive sleep, and anxiety about the future,” Marter said.

When we invest ourselves, our time, our emotions, and our hearts into building a life with a partner, we are feeding our hope, nurturing our happiness. A break up can not only destroy that happiness but also diminish or even rob us of any hope of ever finding love again.

There is no socially established mourning process for the death of a relationship.

So what’s the secret?

Choose to prioritize happiness.

While this advice might seem like an oversimplification of healing, prioritizing happiness takes a lot of work. You have to find the strength to search for the wisdom embedded in the hurt.

My own therapist told me “When we are rooted in the present moment we feel our best. Often people who are suffering from a broken heart tend to worry about the future or obsess over the past.”

There were many days when I struggled to find any source of joy in the present, but you should know that feeling heartache is part of the healing process, and there is no shame in letting the body, mind, and soul experience all that it needs to in order to feel happy again.

Remember to have hope that you will love again. If you aren’t there yet, have hope that you will hope to have love again.

A friend of mine once told me “the best advice for dating a writer is, of course, to avoid dating a writer at all costs.”

When I first heard this, I was a budding journalism student, ready to crush my millennial dream of touring with local alternative pop-rock bands and writing about how much (or how little) dope they were smoking. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen and I’m pretty thankful for where I ended up. 

You see, writers are portrayed as these romantic, soft-spoken, dynamic, creative, fearless word warriors – and we are! But we’re not without fault. We’re usually in the kitchen or on the floor petting your dog at parties. We’re emotional rollercoasters. We drink cheap wine. And most importantly? If we care about you, you’re going to be immortalized in print.

“You can’t date a writer and remain the same. They will break you, mold you, stretch you, and evoke the best in you” – Newton Paul. 

The thing about writers is that they draw on the experience of the former to work on the latter. If you become part of a writer’s life, you may very well end up in their work. Shoutout to every boyfriend I’ve ever had, every stranger on the bus and every Starbucks barista who wished me a good day. You’re in my journal (or somewhere in the notes app on my iPhone).

Before you go dating a writer, come prepared with the proper tool kit: get a friend to hug you, or hand you a bottle of brandy and a straw along with the card of a local therapist. If you’re ready to take the plunge and date a writer, remember the following:

 Everything you say in bed is going to show up in a poem.” —Saeed Jones. 

If it doesn’t end up in a poem, it’ll end up on a sticky note on the back of the writer’s mind. 

Size matters. Writers like it BIG. We are, obviously, referencing your vocabulary which if used correctly, can seduce us in so many unimaginable ways.

Writers are forgetful, but we remember everything. We forget appointments and anniversaries, but we’ll remember how you smelled on the first date. 

Remember that us writing about you might make you uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. But learn to embrace it.

You give us the material that gives us life.