In Defense of Heartbreak
It took me a long time to recover from my first heartbreak. I knew the relationship had been fundamentally flawed and destined to end, but it still felt like my heart was getting curb stomped. My life and mind felt consumed by the aftermath of breakup for about a year.
Love really is (or in this case, was) grand. It’s singularly awesome; it can be one of the best experiences life has to offer. Naturally, losing it in such a concentrated form can be one of the worst. The resulting heartbreak is oddly universal, yet deeply personal. It happens to most everyone, but we all process it so differently that it can be hard to communicate to others, even when they can relate.
I used to wish I could erase memories of past relationships from my mind, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”-style. But where’s the value in that? Those experiences have force-fed me constructive and necessary life lessons, ones I couldn’t get any other way. Being mired in recovery from a broken heart can feel pointlessly difficult, but there is a point, even if you don’t realize it until you come out on the other side.
The first time my heart got punched in the throat was hardly the last. And I’m sure the most recent time wasn’t, either. But every time it gets easier, and I get stronger. Every time the mistakes and the victories from previous heartaches ease the process more and more. It still hurts, but it no longer feels pointless.
I titled this “In Defense of Heartbreak,” but it’s also in defense of my indefatigable belief in the inevitability and power of love despite that heartbreak. It’s easy to feel compelled to turn cynical or overly cautious. I see no value in that, either. Yes, heartbreak is as awful as it sounds (I used a couple violent metaphors for a reason). But love is honestly worth rolling the dice.
Originally published in The Chapel Bell: A Positive Press Publication on September 14, 2015.