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“My heart is broken.”
This statement is often used when someone is suffering a loss, a breakup, or an experience that has caused extreme despair. We have all heard someone say it, and most of us have said it ourselves.
Heartbreak comes in many forms: the passing of a parent, sibling, or loved one, the loss of a child, divorce, breakups, major disappointments, financial ruin, and betrayals of all kinds.
The pain can be unbearable, sucking the air from our lungs, anesthetizing our senses, and weighing heavy on our minds.
We may stop eating or not be able to stop.
We may sleep all day or become insomniacs.
We may shirk responsibilities or become obsessively perfectionistic.
Some put on a perfect face for the world, and others can’t face the world at all.
Some say, “I’m fine,” and others say, “I can’t go on.”
Numb yet hurting; tired yet restless; angry yet sad.
The contradiction of feelings mixed with raw emotions is a perfect storm—all-consuming, blinding, and paralyzing.
For some, the duration of devastation is limited. They pick up and go on, no matter how hard it may be. They find a way to let the wound form a scar and move forward.
They manage their pain because it never really goes away. They learn to live with it—packing it up, carrying it along, taking it out from time to time, then visiting with the grief and packing it away once again. That’s called resilience.
The others struggle to recover. Why? Because their hearts may not be broken—they are shattered.
They’ve had their hearts broken so many times that they are beyond broken. The one, two, three (then they lost count) heartbreaks took a toll.
According to the American Heart Association, broken heart syndrome, also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, can strike even in healthy individuals.
Women are more likely than males to experience sudden, intense chest pain, which is a surge of stress hormones. Yes, an emotionally stressful event can cause it. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal, or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a positive shock—oh, joy!
“I’m having a heart attack!”
Broken heart syndrome can be misdiagnosed as such because the symptoms and test results are often synonymous. However, unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome.
Broken heart syndrome is temporary. Researchers are embarking on studies to learn causes and how to diagnose and treat it.
What they have learned is that broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure.
But there is hope.
Science and facts aside, what about the others? Has anyone ever contemplated the fact that some hearts may be done? They’re the ones who are not just broken—they’re shattered.
Compassionate human beings are conditioned to say nice things, encourage, support, and relate. But in regard to those of us who have just had enough: please accept that fact.
For some, our hearts are shattered. And that’s okay. We have love to dispense, but in reality, we need to measure what we dole out versus what we reserve.
We will always have love to give. But please, don’t console us when we say we are done.
Don’t attempt to paint a pretty picture with your words because we’ve been there too many times to count.
The reality is that we are shattered. We are not in for repairs. Our warranty may have expired.