Written By Andrea Rivera
Author Bio: One of those damn millennials trying to survive as a creative. Sufferer of chronic existentialism. Likes spicy food. - Twitter: @andreyeaah
The Life Cycle of Heartbreak
It starts with the burning sensation of knowing something you wish you didn’t. You feel a sudden rush of coldness in your blood as your chest tightens and your body succumbs to numbness. In your paralysis, you feel claws closing in your heart as you struggle to take deep breaths. Your lungs feel as though they’re being punctured by a thousand knives. Your brain struggles to make sense of everything, leaving you lost in stagnancy. Your knees tremble as your hands begin to convulse. It seems impossible to stop crying at first, but once you get used to it you won’t even feel the teardrops anymore.
You remain silent for God knows how long because it hurts to even speak. You lose all sense of confidence and your body refuses to let you get things done. You try to distract yourself but nothing seems to work. Nothing feels enjoyable anymore. You look at everyone going through their day, confused at how they manage to do it. Your friends tell you to keep fighting but the weight on your shoulders refuses to let you take a step. It’s like they’re all seeing in technicolor, but all you see is gray.
You then try to remind yourself that you’re strong. You try to find ways to better your situation: scholarships, fellowships, job opportunities, anything. You look up visa applications. You look up apartments. You know that your heart is too broken to stay where you are and you become desperate to leave it all behind. You lose motivation in your work, immersing yourself in your delusions of starting anew. You start to doubt yourself, thinking that you are only feeding yourself a lot of pipe dreams. You stare into nothing as it dawns on you how bleak your current situation is. You don’t even have the energy to cry anymore.
You hit your vices to stop the pain. You buy a pack of reds, chainsmoking until your lungs become as black as midnight. You buy a bottle of beer, or two, or three or four. You drink until your liver feels like shit. Once you feel yourself getting drunk, you ask yourself why you keep doing this when a hangover feels ten times worse.
You pick up your phone, messaging your friends or anyone who’s available. You don’t want to go home because you’ll be left alone with all the hurt. You put on that mask of calm when you see them, knowing that they wouldn’t understand how your brain reacts to pain. They give you advice, saying you deserve better and this and that. You tell them you’ll move on, but deep down you know there’s still something telling you not to.
You try to get it together. You steer clear of social media and go somewhere a little bit far. You play upbeat music and get things done. You play with your pets a little more and hug your parents a little longer. You finally feel yourself smiling as the happiness enters your system. You tell yourself that it’s an improvement, no matter how fleeting. You make plans to see your therapist. You're thankful that you still have the meds to keep you calm.
As darkness falls, you’re left with the company of cold air and no one but yourself. Even though sleep is your one comfort, the night still scares you. You try to stop yourself from crying but it only makes you cry even more. As you lie down staring at the ceiling, you think about all your regrets. You think about how you were never enough in the first place. You think about how you will never compare to the girls that he wants, or the girls that your parents wished was their daughter instead. You feel your self-esteem being annihilated and you start to wish that you were a little bit prettier, smarter or braver. You begin to think that maybe your therapist was lying when she said that you are more than what you feel. You wish you were dead by morning.
All night long, these toxic thoughts scream into your head. Your pillow becomes drenched in tears. Your eyelids begin to feel heavy, and you sleep.
You wake up at noon feeling tired. At this point, you don’t even bother trying to fight the depression by forcing yourself to be happy. Instead, you lock it in a cage and walk hand-in-hand with it from time to time. You know you’re strong enough to fight, but that doesn’t mean the bruises aren’t there. They’re not going away. They won’t go away. You look into the mirror, reminding yourself to be brave.
You take a step forward and focus on surviving the day. Clenching your fists, you prepare for the next hit.