Wake up exhausted, in a haze of bliss.
Slowly realize the voice you heard or the body you could have sworn kept you warm was just a product of your cruel mind.
As your eyes adjust, rise from bed feeling pinned down by invisible bricks. Digest that he’s actually been gone for quite a while now—all over again. Tell yourself it’s too early to be this sad, and wash your face hoping to leave all those feelings far away, lost somewhere in yesterday.
Chain smoke nicotine, determined to rid yourself of any trace of him. “One last cigarette, and I’ll forget.” Try your damnedest to expel the thorns and knots in your chest through waves of sobs. At first, the tears wont stop. Then, after a day or two, you literally try to force them out of you just to feel some sort of relief.
Heartbreak is a disease you gave yourself, and you are your only cure. Force, push, and gnaw until you spit these aches out like phlegm.
Distract your racing mind with friends who recognize this familiar regime. See the quiet terror in their eyes as they try to coax you with honey and warmth, filling your nights with city lines and clinking glasses. Assure them you are fine and apologize, citing the timeline you set for for yourself. “One more week, and you’ll never hear his name again.” Watch them gently nod in unison. They know your choux pastry heart far too well to believe you, but accept you with arms wide open.
Swallow their words of reassurance, storing it for later use. Love them for loving you with the grace that they do.
Stop yourself from searching for him—in strangers you walk by, and places you thought you’d go hand in hand. Watch as his chat-room slowly descends from the very top of your message list to the bottom. Memorize the last words you left him with until they no longer burn or feel like a mistake. Soon enough, he’ll fade into the abyss that is the bottom of your message list, right alongside all the other forgotten strangers you no longer chat with.
Constantly remind yourself of all the reasons you said goodbye. How he never fought to make you stay. How he made you regret ever un-caging your heart. Mentally pat yourself on your bruised back for leaving before you are left. Revel in quiet bursts of solace knowing that moving on is far easier than sticking around, waiting indefinitely for the very mention of the word “us.” Wince, picturing the alternative, and feel like you saved-but-destroyed yourself in one blow.
Climb into bed thankful you made it through yet another beautiful day without him. Zone out watching documentaries or mindless reality TV, welcoming rest finally. Accidentally let your guard down and think of him seconds before falling asleep. Jolt awake, feeling like someone sucker punched your gut. Curse through tears and forgive yourself as you fight to fall back asleep.
You’ve done this before, and you will do this again tomorrow. You will get over this. You can, and you must.
The secret art of breaking your own heart requires memorizing the same core principles no matter the person or situation. Things will hurt. You will ache, and cry and want to give up on love altogether. Face these things with the bravest face you can muster. Go through the motions knowing nothing will ever hurt as much as it does now.
You broke your own heart because you knew you possess the power of putting it back together. You broke your own heart because you know better. Wait patiently, until those damn songs stop making sense. Wait, for the day you surprise yourself once again, with resilience.
Author: Naomi Hon
Image: Eleazar Fuentes/Flickr
Editors: Emily Bartran; Renée Picard