Unrequited Love – how to mend a broken heart

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Didn’t Adele do well with that song? We all know it, we can all relate to it in one way or another.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”

What powerful words.  Saying goodbye to someone hurts.  It can hurt in places you never knew existed.  Love is real. I recently wrote about the power of goodbye. Love, in my opinion, is the most powerful force we have on this earth.  Every relationship is different and every love story is unique. Saying goodbye to love is brutal.

Love can end in many ways. People change over time and through experiences.  We can be so close to someone and then either very gradually or very suddenly we can feel miles apart.   Perhaps one still feels very strongly in love and the other person can no longer reciprocate that love.  I have experienced many an unrequited crush over the years but I am sure that unrequited love can physically sting to the core. I confess to being told I have broken hearts in my carefree days and I always felt that I deserved some kind of ‘broken heart karma’.  In March 2009 I was convinced that time was upon me.  I still joke with my husband about this – he likes to pretend it never happened. We got together in early 2008 and for that whole year we were inseparable.  How amazing is the feeling of falling in love? We were obsessed, fueled with passion and had our wedding planned (before we were even engaged). He very much gave me the impression I was ‘the one’.  His words ‘I think we should go on a break, I am not sure if this is working’ (March 09) made my stomach churn.  I was angry with him for doubting what we had.  That week was one of the longest weeks of my life.  I lost almost a stone in weight.  I cried A LOT. I was living with my parents at the time and it must have been so hard for them to see me so vulnerable.  I still remember all the friends that I met that week.  All the friends that comforted me and let me talk through it. I felt sick the following weekend getting ready to go and meet him.  My best friend had become a stranger.  Part of me didn’t want to go.  I felt like I was getting ready for a first date that I didn’t want to be on.  It could have gone either way.  He could have broken my heart that night.  It turns out he didn’t.  The following day I found a text on his phone saying ‘mate I was a fool I love her‘. Fact – if you are insecure in a relationship and you are left with a phone – it will be checked!

I question how I would have coped if the outcome had been different.  I question how long it would have taken me to get over it.  How long would I feel empty?  How much more weight would I have lost?  Having a broken heart sucks the enjoyment out of life.  For me, it only lasted a week (although I was on edge for a while after that).  I am a serious foodie, but I hated food that week.  I wasn’t interested in enjoyment.  I just wanted to be with the person I loved.  Fast forward the clock 7 years and the me today would have advised myself to keep busy (which I did) and to play it cool (which I definitely did not).  In hindsight I now realise that if love is no longer reciprocated then it is a waste of time chasing after it. Easier said than done: love makes us do crazy things doesn’t it?  I hope the people I made cry found people who were worth their tears. People who they were compatible with. People who could love them unconditionally.

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I would like to say a very huge thanks to the amazing people who were brave enough to share with me about coping with their broken hearts, allowing me to write this piece.  My wish and theirs is that it helps people x

How to mend a Broken heart

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  They call these the 5 stages of grief.  My soulmate didn’t die but the day she told me ‘we are over’ resulted in something dying inside of me.  I was in instant denial.  I couldn’t take it in.  I refused to believe we were over.  I was her world – it didn’t make any sense.  How could I live without her in my world?  I felt completely numb and empty.  My whole future had been taken from me so unexpectedly and suddenly. My life was being forced in a direction I didn’t want. I couldn’t remember life without her in it.  The following weeks were so tough, I genuinely don’t know how I did it, I was robotic.  I couldn’t face being at home but I wasn’t ready to face friends either.

Then comes the anger.  How could she do this to me? I don’t deserve it.  I don’t want to exist in a world without her.  I can’t enjoy anything.  I am losing weight so rapidly.  Food is something we always enjoyed together.  I don’t want to eat without her.  I hate her for what she has done.  She made promises.  She has let me down.  She has ripped our family apart. I begged her to take me back. I got down on my knees and begged.  That is how desperate I was to bargain with her. I needed her.  She wouldn’t listen.  It was then that the reality of the situation started to sink in.   I would sit starting into space, contemplating how I could get through the days. I felt seriously depressed.  It was then that I started my therapy.  It was then that the healing process started to begin.  Talking does help.  Bottling up feelings does not. We need to talk.
Acceptance is a different feeling. Accepting things happen means realising you can’t change them. I can’t change the past, it’s happened, even though I used to think ‘if only’. I accepted a lot of things, not just the past. I accepted that I am in charge of my future, my happiness, my strength and my health. I had let all that be under the control of someone else. Now I have that power in my hands. I stopped wishing for things that were and started making things happen.

I can honestly say that I am finally happy again now.  Why?  Because I forgive her. Bitterness does not help.  It prolongs the agony.  They say forgive and forget.  I will never forget.  That is impossible.  However, I can forgive. Forgiving her has empowered me. Forgiving her made me strong, and happy and proud.

We need to be kind to ourselves . It’s so easy to punish ourselves repeatedly with negative, unhelpful thoughts.  I went through so many emotions. Friends told me that time is a healer. Who wants to hear that when they are hurting?  It is so true though and so important to focus on the future – not the past.

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Random moments of heartbreak  can come at the strangest times. Be prepped with either the means to get it out – a journal, a letter to the person who is cause of distress which can then be burned or shredded.  This is very satisfying. A creative outlet such as journalling at night ensures a really good sleep. The circling thoughts are away.
Look for and recognise the triggers of grief and remove them from your life. For me I removed everything she ever gave me.
Self-bullying and self-blame is both unnecessary and wasted energy.
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Accept help. Let friends take you for drinks. Be there. Put something in the diary for you to look forward to, to look good for.  The true colours of the best people shine through. These people are worth their weight in gold, even if they don’t, and probably won’t realise it themselves.

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Inspirational quotes that people sent me meant a lot. I kept these and sometimes refer to them.  Don’t discount the positives – list them. Journaling I found is not just for getting the nasties out, it’s for reiterating the list of good things to be thankful for. I am grateful for so much in my life.
Find a new hobbie you enjoy – running, yoga, darts, fishing, swimming, climbing, walking – something that releases feel good endorphin’s that works for your lifestyle.
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Don’t rule out counselling. It changed me. I learned so much. I learned that even if I can’t help the negative thoughts creeping through, I can change how I react to them.  Recognise that you alone are in charge of your own happiness. You do not need anyone else to do this for you. You are strong, able, unique and worthwhile.  How to mend a broken heart.
Sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead.  As friends and family let’s be a rock for those who are hurting.  Let’s show them how to laugh again.  Let’s remind them of the things in their life worth living for.  Let’s remind them that they are beautiful.  That they are worthy of love again. 
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I am running my first marathon this May and raising awareness on a number of taboo subjects.  My fear is that in the UK especially we bottle up our feelings too much.  Let’s keep talking because it helps.  For related articles please see –

Please stay and hold my hand

Never Give up

My War Hero 

The Power of Goodbye 

Hello March 

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