The Most Painful Thing About Heartbreak Is Losing Yourself

 / 

The Most Painful Thing About Heartbreak Is Losing Yourself

Heartbreak, it turned out, was the only thing that was ever going to fix my broken heart.

I lost myself not that long ago. My marriage died; I couldn’t focus. It’s easy to feel bad for yourself when you have a broken heart, so there was a bit of that. But self-pity is worthless and it didn’t take me long to understand that.

“Then what though?” I asked myself. “What the hell do I do now?”

Much of what happens in the wake of any divorce or breakup is autopilot stuff. You end up going into survival mode; you end up just trying to get through every day the best you can. Even when you feel like laying down in the middle of some damn freeway and letting some semi pop your guts out through your eye sockets, you usually don’t.

There were a lot of times when I wanted to, but no. I have kids. I have bills I need to pay. I have things to live for and things I have to live for. At least that’s what I kept screaming at myself with ten thousand nasty glares in the bathroom mirror.

But it’s hard, especially after losing yourself in a relationship. It’s tough on a spirit when something that once seemed like real love morphs into something that’s anything but. No one can take away the hurt. Nothing you tell yourself or make yourself think or do ever sets you free from the crushing feelings that heartbreak dumps all over your word.

Regret, resentment, anger, blues — they can all add up to this paralyzing sense of inadequacy. And on the outside you might be holding it down, giving good face to your friends and at work, smiling for the kids because you need to be “strong.” I hate that word. Strong. It’s so ridiculous. This whole notion that you’re supposed to be strong when you’re devastated or in denial, it’s all BS.

About three months after we separated, I began to understand a thing or two about what was going down. It took awhile, but once the truth settled in — that we were done and there was nothing I could do to change that — I began to gradually recognize that I was going to have to release my grip. I needed to let my sad and sorry ass get washed downstream.

Heartbreak, it turned out, was the only thing that was ever going to fix my broken heart. Isn’t that some sh*t?

So I let go. I don’t know how it happened, whether it was across a span of time or if I simply managed to go minor league crazy overnight. I cut myself off from certain bright parts of being alive and I climbed inside some sort of substitute for myself.

Up until we broke things off I hadn’t realized it, but I had become kind of dead inside. And staring down the barrel of divorce only made me feel deader.

That’s not how it was supposed to feel. I mean, I kept thinking that I was supposed to at least glimpse at the sparkle of impending liberation as I settled into the new life groove that divorce was bringing down on my world. But that didn’t happen.

I felt alone as hell. I felt unable to comprehend the future I had to wrap my head around. At night, I’d get the kids to bed on the nights I had them and I’d exercise until my body wanted to break. Then I’d drink a glass or two of wine and stare at the TV, or scroll for miles down my Facebook feed until I was mining through posts so long gone and out of date that even the people who posted them had surely forgotten they had ever done so.

I started taking selfies of my face and putting them in my Instagram. I knew the few close friends and relatives I had were thinking that I was losing my grip. I could sense that thing any one of us feels when people who still love us begin to grow confused by us. Or even worse: made uncomfortable. But I didn’t give a damn. And I wasn’t wrong, either.

No one knows what it’s like to hurt like you do. Remember that.

No one anywhere on this planet has any clue what it feels like to feel as blue as you feel sometimes. Or as blue as I feel. And right there in the middle of this anti-Renaissance/Dark Ages that I was living through, I knew damn right that I had no idea what I was doing with myself anymore.

There are a lot or people out there who wag and wave their condescending fingers at people who take selfies and throw them around on the internet. But take it from someone who has been there, more often than not, there’s a heap of blues behind the smile, the abs, the cleavage, the duck lips, the snarl.

Lots of selfies are the creation of people wishing they could crawl inside a carefully created self-portrait of themselves. To live frozen and forever in some random moment of looking superficially fine, that’s something lots of broken-hearted people want to do.

Sometimes solace comes in strange ways. Sometimes all it takes is seeing your own picture lit up from behind to feel alive again, if only for a few moments. If only until you or someone else clicks “Like” or leaves some innocuous comment.

It’s entirely possible, when you’re down and out, to numb certain very real pains with smart phone snake oil. Trust me, it is. And if you can’t relate at all then I’d say you’re lucky.

Behind every beating heart there’s another beating heart waiting to take its place. No one ever talks about that but it’s true. There’s a replacement heart out back. If you could step out of the back screen door of your mangled ticker, the one you’ve been using since the day you were born, you’d ease out onto the green grass of a place you had no idea even existed. And boom! Like a spaceship landed in the yard, you’d be looking up at the lights and the steam coming from a brand new day.

Our old hearts die quicker than we ever realize.

At least the figurative, emotional parts of them do. We regenerate. We rebuild. And eventually, people like me, we reinvestigate at long last what it might feel like to be alive again. God, it takes forever though.

But I’m feeling better lately. I don’t know why exactly — I’ve got a million things I ought to be scared as hell about or upset about or pissed off about. The dark side gets old after a spell. It really does. These days I’m thinking that I’m coming back, but maybe improved in certain ways only a long slog down through honest heartbreak can ever spit a better human back onto the streets.

I got really drunk on empathy, I can tell you that much. Hopefully that’s an upside to losing yourself in a relationship and subsequent heartbreak. Nowadays, I see some meth head staggering around a parking lot or some little kid tantruming down at the the Walmart, and I feel like I get it in some strange way.

I see the people posting the endless selfies and I don’t cringe. I feel you. In my own little way, I understand. Messages show up in my inbox, countless words from strangers I’ve never met who somehow want to connect with me because maybe they think I might be alright, might have some insight into this dark divorce thing they’re going through too.

And I sigh.

I don’t answer the messages as much anymore. I just can’t. I’ve made my peace with my own resilient blues and I need to move on however I can. I need to move on in ways that can only exist outside my backdoor/in the real world.

Heartbreak almost killed me, but I’m still here. And it feels good just to say that too, just to say I’m feeling a bit better here and there.

Even if I’m always blowing smoke up my own ass.

Even if losing yourself is all that a busted heart can ever offer any of us in the end.


Written by Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko is a 43-year-old father of three kids. He lives in Central Pennsylvania and enjoys fly fishing for trout, red wine, fat novels, and pizza.

Originally appeared on Yourtango

You may also like

Heartbreak Changes You as A Person: Stronger And Happier

27 Beautifully Heartbreaking Love Quotes

This Is How You Know That You Have Recovered From Heartbreak

10 Surprising Things That Happen To Your Body When Going Through A Heartbreak

A Happy Comic About The Real Pain Of Heartbreak

10 Guys and 10 Women On The Heartbreaking Reason They Broke Up With The Love Of Their Life

The Most Painful Thing About Heartbreak Is Losing Yourself

— Share —

— About the Author —

Response

  1. M jay Avatar
    M jay

    Never give up , never say never again and not to mention telling it to false friends or relatives in confidence especially anger and pride just go on about your day your week month , even year and control your urges , don’t do what you usually would do , do what you wouldn’t or do what you always say you would just do it exactly as you said you would but alone get personal about it change all that they said to on your own tell no one and watch what happens then don’t quit loving or even talking to them by journal out loud or in my case mentally or just forgetting that your alone still talk it out with her as if she is there besides you say when your leaving or asking what they wanna do tonight or tomorrow if you are not feeling completely insane or even notice your alone still months later and still sharing as if you wasn’t then tonight just show up wherever they are and just say hello and if the moment doesn’t change you or upset you then you know it wasn’t meant to be or maybe you forgot you just dedicated 6 months of your life to no one but yourself and well that’s the answer you needed all along …. I turned fifty that month 6 months ago she is sleeping beside me last two nights same as 28 years ago ……

Leave a Reply



Up Next

What Is Breadcrumbing And Why Do We Fall Victim To It?

What Is Breadcrumbing And Why Do We Fall Victim To It?

Have you ever been on the other side of breadcrumbing? If you have, you know how horrible it feels. So, what is the best way to deal with this? Let’s find out, shall we?

KEY POINTS

Breadcrumbing is characterised by avoidance of intimacy and commitment uncertainty.

Breadcrumbers often want to seek attention from their partners and appear cool to their friends.

Dealing with breadcrumbing sometimes involves breadcrumbing others.

Breadcrumbing takes its name from the Grimm Brothers story of Hansel and Gretel — two children who in escaping from their wicked stepmother, dr



Up Next

Want To Try Speed Dating? 6 Mindful Tips To Make A Real Connection

What Is Speed Dating: Interesting Tips To Real Connections

Is speed dating the most effective way to find your soul mate through a series of mini dates? Do you feel like giving this exciting trend a try? Let’s see how it works.

This is an event format that allows people to go on many dates within a short time to talk with several people.

Let’s discuss what speed dating is like, how it operates, and some suggestions on optimizing your love life!

What Is Speed Dating?



Up Next

Is He Drifting Away? 8 Signs He Is Losing Interest And How To Turn Things Around

Signs He Is Losing Interest: Is He Drifting Away?

It’s one of the worst feelings in this world when the person you love, starts to lose interest in you. You thought that everything was going great and you are the happiest you have ever been, and then suddenly, you realize that he is acting very distant and emotionally detached. Today we are going to talk about the major signs he is losing interest.

Once you know these signs you will be able to better understand what’s actually going on in your relationship, instead of staying in a bubble, not knowing the truth. Also, why do guys act so interested then pull away? So annoying!

And we won’t just talk about the signs he is losing interest, but we will also provide some effective and useful tips regarding what to do when he lost interest.

Whether you are in a new relationship or have been together for years



Up Next

How Healthy Relationships Can Improve Your Physical Health

How Healthy Relationships Can Improve Your Physical Health

Healthy relationships are crucial for feeling happy, positive, and also physically healthy. The physical benefits of healthy relationships are a lot, and this article is going to talk about that in detail. Let’s find out the importance of having strong and healthy relationships.

Humans need humans to survive.

It’s no secret that a healthy relationship can bring joy and happiness to your life, but did you know that it can also have a positive impact on your physical health?

From reducing stress levels to boosting your immune system, there are many surprising health benefits to being in a happy partnership. Read on to learn more.

We are social creatures who thrive on strong, healthy relationships with friends, colleagues and family me



Up Next

When You Refuse To Let Go Of Someone You Love, Even When They Don’t Love You Anymore

Why You Should Let Go Of Someone You Love

I get it. You don’t want to let go of someone you love. Even when it’s clear that it’s over. Even when it’s clear that it is time and things will only get worse from here. Yet, you want to hold on just a little longer. But if you truly love someone let them go.

“No! No! It’s fine. It’s absolutely fine. It’s working. Listen to me, I know it’s working. This is normal. Show me a relationship that doesn’t have problems. I will make it work. I know I can. Just give me a little time. Just a little more time. Please, just bear with me for a second here. Please. Don’t take it away from me yet. Please. It’s not time. It can’t be. Will you just listen to me once for god’s sake?”

But deep down you know it in your heart. You just know it. It is screaming at you. And even though you may pretend you



Up Next

7 Warning Signs Of Losing Yourself In A Relationship And How to Rediscover Your Sense of Self

Signs Of Losing Yourself In A Relationship

Are you starting to feel like you have lost yourself in a relationship? Do you have this persistent feeling that you don’t know who you are anymore? You know, that feeling when you are so caught up in someone else’s world, that you forget who you are? Well, these are just some signs of losing yourself in a relationship.

Believe it or not, this is actually quite a common feeling, and lots of people experience this. If you have ever felt like you have lost yourself in a relationship, then this article can be a godsend for you.

Let’s delve into the all those signs of losing yourself in a relationship, so that you can stop yourself from doing so (at least to some extent!). And not just this, we will also talk about what to do when you lose yourself in a relationship. So, are you ready to explore this? Let’s go then!



Up Next

How To Let Go Of Someone You Are Desperately Trying To Hold On To

How To Let Go Of Someone You Are Trying To Hold On To

Do you know what happens when you desperately hold on to someone you really need to let go of? When you hold on to the idea of “us” and refuse to see the reality for what it is? You force the person you love the most in the world to hate you. You compel them to resent you. And in this process, you hurt yourself more than the other person did. This is why it’s crucial that we talk about how to let go of someone you don’t want to lose.

No one wants to let go of love

Especially when it’s the real deal. Especially when you’ve been told you are not worthy of love all your life. And this one person comes into your life and completely changes