10 Things I Learned About Myself After Getting My Heart Shattered

We’ve all endured heartbreak sometime in our life (if you haven’t, just consider yourself one of the lucky few) and it’s no secret that it hurts. A LOT. It took months grieving over what I thought was the love of my life, before I could begin to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Now I’m too busy living the life of my dreams to worry about the boy that broke my heart two years ago. No matter how hopeless it seemed at the time, my breakup taught me these lessons about myself:

  1. I’m stronger than I think. Going through a messy breakup reveals your true strengths. It shows you that you’re stronger than you ever gave yourself credit for. When you have no choice but to pull yourself up, put on some lipstick, and soldier on, that’s exactly what you do. Sure, I had some hard days. There were times when I could barely even stomach the thought of getting out of bed, but eventually, I became better for it.
  2. I’m allowed to heal in my own way. When you breakup with someone, everyone around you goes into overdrive trying to help. It’s not like they don’t all mean well, but people deal with breakups in different ways, and it can get overwhelming when everyone is trying to help. I’m not the type to want to go out right away and forget everything I’ve just gone through. I like to sit, wallow in the misery, eat some chocolate and watch a chick flick, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  3. I have to take responsibility for my own happiness. For too long, I relied on my ex to make me happy. When we broke up, I realized that I had forgotten how to make myself happy. Taking responsibility for your own happiness allows you to get to know yourself. It’s completely freeing and exhilarating to have your day no longer depend on someone else.
  4. Love ends, but my world doesn’t. As much as I wanted to press pause on the world for a few weeks, I couldn’t. Life went on: I went to work, attended friends’ birthday celebrations, and made casseroles for holiday parties. After my initial hibernation days, coming back out into the real world was a wake-up call. Life doesn’t stop moving for anyone. I had to either jump back on the train or risk being left behind.
  5. Alcohol won’t solve my issues. I tried really hard to replace my problems with tequila… and let’s just say it didn’t go well. So learn from my mistakes — unless you want to end up ugly-crying on the bathroom floor at some random house party, maybe just stick to water when you’re having a hard time.
  6. I’m not a bad person, no matter what my ex says. People say spiteful things when they’re hurt. My ex left nothing to the imagination when we were ending it. It was a downright dysfunctional and hurtful breakup. But just because someone says something in the heat of the moment doesn’t mean it’s true. That’s something I’ve had to re-learn everyday since the breakup.
  7. I’m still grateful. No matter how much crap I went through with my breakup, I have so many things to be grateful for (and yes, one of them is even my ex). I have a bed, I have food, I have a roof over my head, and I have a job. No matter the situation, it could always be worse.
  8. My family and friends are what keep me going. I’m lucky that I have people that listen to me whine for hours on end and still hug me and tell me it’s all going to be okay afterward. If it weren’t for them, I don’t know if I would be standing here today.
  9. I’ll stop hurting eventually. Time heals everything. It makes scars fade and wounds heal. Even when it feels endless, I promise you it isn’t. Life goes on and you will too, just like I did.
  10. I can take on whatever comes next. After the horrendous saga of heartbreak I’ve experienced, nothing feels scary anymore. I can walk into the lion’s den and know that I’ve seen worse. I can stand in the eye of the storm and not back down. My breakup showed me the strength I always had and for that, I am forever grateful.
Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.