At 22 years old, going through my first heartbreak was never something I mentally prepared for, but looking back on it, it’s rewarding to be able to share your story with hope that others experiencing the same thing know they aren’t alone.
Here’s the blunt truth: You hurt, life hurts and you find yourself living a Taylor Swift song. You go through a roller coaster of emotions that range from feeling excruciating pain, sadness, loneliness, anger, hurt, numbness and insecurity. A dark cloud follows you everywhere and you can’t seem to escape its consistent rainstorm. The worst part is trying to pretend that everything is okay and continue living in the mess that life has become. You can love someone with your whole heart, but sometimes love isn’t always enough. While it took me some time to realize, the reality is that this grieving period is something universal amongst everyone and it takes a lot of time to fully heal.
Although having my first heartbreak is something that I still struggle with dealing with (Can time ever go faster?), I’ve learned more about myself than I ever have. While I am still continuing to try to mend the broken pieces, I intend on reminding myself that I can get through it and hope with these five reminders, anyone going through a painful time in their life can get through it too.
Lesson #1: YOU MATTER
It can be easy to invest everything that you are in a relationship. It can even be easier to completely lose yourself altogether. There’s nothing wrong with loving someone, but you have to remember that your feelings and needs matter just as much as theirs. In my relationship, I always found myself disregarding my feelings, thoughts and needs just to avoid any conflict or fear that I’ll make them unhappy. I wasn’t being fair to myself, because I put their needs before my own and forgot about who I was in the process. One thing to note is that if it’s the right person, they’ll always want to make you happy just as much as you want to make them. You would both respect each other’s feelings and needs, because they are willing to make the relationship work just as much too. If they can’t accept who you are and what you want in life, then they aren’t the right person. If they don’t want to grow with you, you can’t force them to. It’s hard to accept that, but you can’t continue on if you can’t fully be yourself. Put yourself first!
Lesson #2: YOU ARE A LOT STRONGER THAN YOU THINK
Dealing with a break-up can be like going through mourning. You have to learn how to continue on without them around anymore. There are no more dates, text messages or phone calls. This person that was once such a prominent part of your life is now nonexistent. A lot of tears will be shed, due to the simple fact that you miss them, but you can’t allow yourself to be a victim of your grief. There was a time in your life when you were okay before they entered your life and now you have to remember that you can be okay now after they have left your life. You have the ability to overcome this hurt and sadness if you just believe in your strength and try everyday.
Lesson #3: YOU ARE LOVED
Just because this person didn’t want to be a part of your life anymore, doesn’t mean there aren’t others that do. Something I quickly learned was just how much love and support friends and family can give you. It’s hard, because you’re getting the love and support from everyone but the person you wish would be there; But there comes a point when you realize that just because one person didn’t love you enough, doesn’t mean there aren’t others that won’t. Stop worrying about what your ex is thinking, feeling and doing. They don’t want to know anything about your life anymore, so why should you? It’s hard to turn off your feelings, especially when it may have been easy for them to walk away, but you have to remember that this was just one person. You may lose one, but with your friends and family you are gaining the love and support from 100 more. Surround yourself with that and allow yourself to feel loved.
Lesson #4: YOU ARE ENOUGH
One thing I struggled with after my break-up was feeling okay about myself. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and worthy of anyone loving me. I felt like it was all my fault and I failed at being someone worthy of sticking around for. What I am slowly learning is that their decision to leave is not a reflection on myself as a person. If you know deep down you loved with all you had and worked hard to make the relationship last, then the only thing you can do is be proud of yourself. It can be hard to accept, but someday this feeling of being worthless and unwanted will go away. Remember that you are just as worthy to be loved as anyone else and deserve that happiness. Just because you don’t have that story now, doesn’t mean it can’t come in the future. You’re only on one chapter of your life, the table of contents still lists plenty of more to be read.
Lesson #5: YOU WILL CHANGE AND IT’S OKAY
After going through a painful break-up, you’re never the same person that you were in the aftermath. You become stronger, know what you want and won’t settle for anything less (#girlbossstatus). Sure memories of great moments will always be with you, but you also have the pain to remind you of what you don’t want to go through again. Your priorities and mindset changes, because you grew up. You went through an ordeal and came out someone different. Don’t let the painful transformation scare you, but rather something to have faith in. You may feel like all you are is a bunch of broken pieces, but did you ever think that maybe those broken pieces are what makes you beautiful? You are now a mosaic; a mixture of what seems to be just broken pieces, but something that is whole and ultimately a beautiful creation. #staystrong