Heal from a Broken Heart by Sara Howard, LMFT

Whether you’re 16 or 86, nothing compares to the insurmountable and dark pain we feel when our heart has been broken. The loneliness, isolation and uncertainty; the ongoing and what feels like never-ending pangs of sheer emptiness in our gut, chest, throat, legs – heck, every part of our body. It is, no doubt, the worst feeling in the entire world. We wonder how and why it feels so awful. We pray and hope it ends soon or else we think we’ll die. No, we are SURE we will die. Or we hope we will die. Dying would be better than feeling this pain. Anything is better than feeling this tragedy.
Why does heartbreak feel so despicable? Why, while enduring heartbreak, are we certain we will never ever EVER feel happiness and joy again? Maybe because the feeling of heartbreak really is the feeling of loss. And loss is the lowest of the low, the bottom of the bottom: powerlessness. It feels like things and people around us are determining the outcome of our lives. We feel like we have no control over the things happening around us or the feelings and emotions happening inside us. And to a certain extent, that’s true.
We don’t have control over other people – not over their thoughts or their actions. This, in and of itself, can feel so powerless. But we do have control over our own thoughts and actions. Just knowing that, and reminding us of that, can give us a sense of power. Loss and heartbreak are a result of a myriad of scenarios: the breakup of a relationship/partnership/marriage, death of a loved one or pet, end of or loss of a job . . . the end of anything, really.
How do we cope? How do we get past the pain and heartbreak? We feel. We grieve. We cry. We let ourselves feel all the feelings we are feeling. For it is when we start to judge our feelings and emotions that we are no longer processing them. And when we are no longer processing them they become stuck – in our body, our minds, and our psyche. At which point we will never get over them. We must process. We must grieve. We must feel whatever is we are feeling. And we must take care of ourselves while doing this. We must seek the support of dear friends, family, a therapist, a person of the cloth – whatever or whomever makes us feel safe and validated. When we do this, one minute, one hour, one day at a time, that pain and heartbreak feels a little bit more bearable, a little bit less. And each and every day it becomes less and less and less . . . until . . . until we feel it less and less and less. And until we feel okay to go out again and try all over again.

Elana Clark-Faler
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