Open When You’re Heartbroken: A Mental Health Letter To You

It actually happened. 

The most terrifying thing every person in a relationship fears. 

It does not feel real at first. You go into denial. You’re so used to how it feels to be with that person; then suddenly, you are left with a hole in your heart where they once were. Overnight, someone who was once your best friend becomes a stranger. 

You run every possibility in your head, fluctuating between “It was all just a dream, I can fix this,” and “I should just move on, I’m better than this.” You may start to obsess over that person, wanting to know what they are doing or imagining how they must be feeling. Most importantly, your heartbreak blinds you from seeing why the relationship ended in the first place. You forget everything that was wrong with it and start to reminisce on the highlights: How good the other person made you feel, all of your adventures together, the comfort of having someone you can always count on, feeling truly in love. 

I am here to tell you that all of these emotions are normal, especially right after the breakup. As humans, handling a failed relationship is incredibly difficult. We go into withdrawal because love is like a drug to us. We feel separation anxiety from the person we had the relationship with. This is one of the worst parts of the breakup because suddenly you cannot remember everything that was wrong about the two of you together, but this is the key to letting go. 

Of course it will be difficult to focus only on the negative parts of the relationship. You had a connection with the person. They meant something to you. You miss them. It will likely be a while until you wake up in the morning and they are not the first thing on your mind. It’s going to hurt because you cared. You thought this person would always be there for you, but now they are no longer a part of your life. That person will probably never know how much hurt they caused you, but that is because they are not you. In the same way, you do not know exactly what they are feeling.

Try to rewire your brain into thinking about why the relationship ended; that way you can focus on how to move forward. Treat this as a lesson. Remind yourself that this experience is only going to help you in the future. Now that you know what not to look for in a partner, you will be better equipped to receive the right kind of love from someone else, whenever that may be. You do not have to feel that pain anymore; you can move past all the hurt they caused you now that it is in the past. 

Remember the times when you were not as happy with them, but instead of feeling anger ,which is completely valid and normal at the beginning, try to forgive. Forgiveness will allow you to move forward and forget, whereas anger will only keep you stranded in pain. Recognize your own faults in the way it ended, and accept that the two of you were not right for each other or that it was not the right time. You might try to reassure yourself by thinking that maybe you two need this time apart to “grow as individuals,” that maybe you will find each other in the future, but do not make this your mentality right now. It is just an excuse to keep hanging on to them. It ended for a reason. You need to focus on yourself and accept who you are without them. 

Accept that the relationship is over and heal yourself in healthy ways. Find a hobby, read a book, focus on your schoolwork more, build better friendships, go outside, take a trip somewhere, watch a sunset. Most importantly, love yourself. Avoid unhealthy distractions, whether that is partying or drinking yourself into oblivion, because this might harm you in the future; you are only suspending the inevitable pain. Instead of numbing yourself from your emotions, let them in so that you can get over your heartbreak. 

You are now entering a time where YOU will be your biggest support system. Make sure you have a solid foundation as an individual before letting anyone else enter your life. The best thing you can do is to cut off contact with the person completely. Limit your screen time so that you are not constantly reminded of their existence in your life. Over time, you will start to think of them less and less, until one day it will not hurt so much anymore. Whatever they did to break your heart does not seem so bad after a while, because you realize that you deserved better. 

If you are feeling empty, this is a blessing because now you get to fill yourself with beautiful things. You will need people to help you, of course, but do not rely on others to make you happy. As much as anyone can try to provide advice, this journey is yours. You have to make decisions for yourself from now on, or you might regret them in the future. 

Listen to your heart, because it is the one feeling everything. You are not alone in this, but you need to be comfortable with your own company right now. Fall in love with yourself. You can always count on yourself to be there for you. Remember that you are deserving of healthy love, and you will have it one day. Some day, you will find someone that will not make it so easy to walk away. Give it time, and the right person will enter your life when you are ready.

At the end of the day, what matters most is your conscience. If you can look back and say that you truly tried your hardest to make it work, and it did not, then there is nothing more you can do. 

What you do after the breakup matters, too. How you handle it is crucial to how you will feel about yourself in the future. Respecting the love you two shared by healing properly, without moving on too quickly, without souring the memories with regret, being thankful that it happened and putting your head to your pillow at night knowing that you are not trying to hurt them, will show true growth. Your maturity in the crucial weeks following the breakup will speak more about your character than anything and will ultimately make you a winner no matter how the relationship ended. 

Speaking from experience, the pain you are feeling is temporary. Eventually, you will realize that you do not deserve the pain that they caused you. Though this idea might be trite and cliché, if you two are meant to be, there is not a single thing in the whole world that can stop it from being. If you two are right for each other, you will find each other again. But right now, live in the present. On the bright side, know that you really are growing as a person. Once the gray cloud passes, you will be happier than ever. 

 

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