Besides romantic relationships, heartbreak can exist in a multitude of forms: loss of a loved one, an ended friendship, loss of a job, moving to a new home or school, or even bouts of self- deprecation that lead to a lack of self- love.
Some say heartbreak “literally feels literally feels like someone stabbing a knife into your chest and twisting it repeatedly”, and to a certain extent, it is. Just as it exists in a multitude of forms, heartbreak can be present in our lives in different ways as well.”Unbearable” heartbreak is not just some type of momentary mourning that comes with things like watching somebody eat the last slice of pizza you wanted, or the disappointment you may feel from losing a really important sporting match or game. Unbearable heartbreak is much more in-depth, emotional, social, physiological and health- related. Unbearable heartbreak makes your world feel like it has stopped, like it has shattered, and like it has ended.
For some, heartbreak looks like cutting ties with what or who hurt you for a period of healing, sometimes forever. Some people prefer to confront their pains and losses head- on, like ripping off a Band- Aid. Yet for others, heartbreak can mean eating that forth sleeve of Thin Mints in your pajamas while you watch reruns of Gilmore Girls and let your hair get stringy and oily. Some like sobbing and talking about their feelings, others stoic silence.We need to remember that everyone deals with intense moments of sadness and loss differently, and we cannot expect for our coping mechanisms to work for them, or vice versa. There is really no wrong way to experience heartbreak, but there are some harmful ways.
Healthy ways to deal with heartbreak include:
- Writing your feelings in a journal as a way to work through your pain privately, or participating in some type of arts and crafts as an emotional outlet.
- Going to a walk to clear your mind and give yourself the chance to rationalize your feelings. When we are going through heartbreak, we are not thinking straight.
- Exercise in general can change your mood and your perception of the pain you may be experiencing/
- Talking to a family member, friend, significant other, mental health professional who specializes in whatever you may be going through.
- You can call or look online with your healthcare provider to see what options you have both on and off of your insurance plan in terms of finding someone to talk to. The stigma that “seeing someone” makes you a crazy person just is not true- everyone needs someone to talk to, and sometimes a third- party person unrelated to your heartbreak will be the best person to help you sort through you thoughts.
- Pet some puppies, kitties, or other furry friends!
- Research shows that owning a pet, or even mooching off of a friend that has one, is beneficial to your health and heart. Who can be sad when snuggling a fuzzy baby? Ask your local pet shelter if they have a foster care or day program where you can take a dog or cat out for a trial period or even just a day. You may find a new companion to help you get through your heartache!
- Eating your feelings is even okay, in moderation.
- Sometimes, a little sleep is all you need to make it through the next day.
What is not okay in terms of heartbreak is bottling everything up inside that it becomes physically or mentally detrimental to you, your loved ones, or threatens your life or the lives of other creatures. Even for those who don’t like divulging their personal information to others, there is still merit in having that one confidant or healthcare professional who can help guide you through the tough times.
Resources exist for those who find themselves in a situation of self- harm or harm to others, including 24/7 Crisis Support, the Suicide Prevention Hotline, Women’s Health Hotline, and various others that can be found online and via phone with help from an operator in the event that you do not have access to technology at a time where you or a friend are feeling particularly forlorn.
As someone experiencing overwhelming heartache, the worst thing you can do is experience it alone.
As a friend with someone going through unbearable heartbreak, you need to be there. Being there means being there even if what your girlfriend sees as her be all and end all is something you can handle. Everyone’s pain threshold is different and unfortunately, the more we experience pain, the better suited we are to confront it in the future and help others confront it as well.
Heartbreak is something that in some instances, may last forever. Whether or not it is unbearable is something that can, and will change. You just need to give yourself, and others, time to work for it in ways that are safe and work best for you.
You’ll get through it, I promise.