Heartbreak Won’t Destroy You — It Just Feels That Way

The fear of heartbreak is often worse than heartbreak itself. I anticipate that heartbreak will totally destroy me, then I walk out on the other side better than before. I may feel like this heartbreak is insurmountable, but I know I’ll survive it again.

  1. I’ve survived 100% of my heartbreak up until this point. My current heartbreak may hurt like hell, but when I look back, I see that I’ve survived every single time I’ve ever felt like this. I’m batting a thousand! The stats are in my favor; there’s a good chance I’ll make it through again.
  2. I’m a firm believer in “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Pain like this feels totally debilitating. It leaves me gasping for air and feeling helpless. Nonetheless, all of these feelings are only temporary. They will morph into something else, leaving me a stronger woman because of the experience.
  3. Heartbreak shows me areas where I can grow. Not getting what I want brings out the parts of me that I’m not proud of. Maybe I gossip, try to get back at the person who hurt me, or I act in self-destructive ways. Experiencing heartbreak can force me to take a look at areas where I could do some growing because I want to be better for the next experience.
  4. Life goes on. Heartbreak may feel crippling, but I also have to keep living my life. I can only stay under the covers for so long before a loving friend is going to drag me out of bed and tell me to stop pouting. I still have to show up for the responsibilities in my life, even with a broken heart. It’s kind of nice because these external systems of accountability create a healing blanket for me, breathing purpose and direction into my life.
  5. I let myself feel pain without rushing into something else. Maybe rebound hookups work for some people. For me, rebounds only result in more pain for myself and for other people. They’re essentially just using another person’s body and emotions to dull my pain. I don’t do it anymore. Instead, I actually give myself space and time to heal. I feel the pain without numbing it with a person or with anything else. This helps me to truly mend my heart.
  6. I trust that I’m going to be okay no matter what. I don’t have to believe in a divine plan to trust that there is something happening in the universe that maybe I can’t explain or understand. I have a lot of faith that no matter what happens in my romantic life, I’m going to be okay at the end of the day. This belief brings me great peace even when I’m in tremendous pain.
  7. I don’t know what kind of miracle is around the corner. I’ve heard the saying “Don’t leave before the miracle happens” in the rooms of 12-step groups. It’s the idea that we can’t give up before something miraculous happens. In the case of heartache, I take this advice as telling me not to do something stupid like hurt myself or another person. It’s urging me to hold on just one more day because then maybe I have a chance at getting through.
  8. Pain is an opportunity to practice radical acceptance. Don’t get me wrong, acceptance doesn’t mean I have to like something. It just means that I can tolerate the fact that there’s isn’t much I can do about it. When someone else has chosen to end a relationship, the feeling of utter powerlessness is the worst. Rather than attempting to change their mind, I can practice deep breathing and recognize that I have no control over anyone but me.
  9. There’s a chance that what I wanted wasn’t actually good for me. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve been absolutely devastated when someone breaks my heart. I’ve experienced rejection, being cheated on, or life happening. Just when it feels like my world is ending, I start to see that the person actually wasn’t good for me all along. I wanted to be with someone who was toxic or not a match. As the lovely Dalai Lama says “Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Often I can be thankful for the hidden gifts heartbreak brings.
  10. Looking at what I’d like to do differently next time brings me hope. Heartbreak has a way of making me look at situations in a very honest light. I can’t lie to myself when my heart is in a million pieces, there’s too much at stake. This is often when I realized I was letting deal breakers slide, my gut told me something was wrong, or the pattern of choosing to be with people who are emotionally unavailable was popping up. I glean hope from these little insights into myself, as I know they’ll help me grow into a better person when I’m healed.
  11. I can help others with my experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced something awful like having someone shatter my heart, then a friend will call me a few months later to tell me the same thing has happened to her. The second I get that phone call I realize that none of my suffering happened in vain. I’m now much better equipped to help my friends get through their heartache. Each time my heart has been broken, I gather the pieces and use the lessons to help a friend gather their pieces.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.