You Are Not Alone In This

Sometimes when recovering from heartbreak, it’s helpful to know that you are not alone in your pain and confusion. Emails and comments from readers have often helped me through a particular day when they tell me that my blog has helped them cope or feel less alone.

After my first devastating heartbreak, twenty years ago, a counselor handed me the book How to Survive the Loss of a Love. That book saved my life back then. I recently got another copy of it, and it is as helpful now as it was then. All too often, when a loss of a love occurs in one’s life by choice, rather than death, friends and family and other support often try to rush you through the grieving process, which inadvertently suggests there is something wrong with you for just not “getting over it.” They’re not projecting that judgment usually, as they only care about you and don’t want to see you hurting, but that’s often how the brokenhearted feels. Rushed. Ashamed. Foolish. Idiotic. Ashamed. Duped. Naive. Have I mentioned ashamed?

There is nothing to be ashamed of. You have suffered a traumatic loss, and although our culture isn’t kind to the brokenhearted, it is up to us to take care of ourselves and each other. For suffering a loss by choice, as Susan Anderson explains so beautifully in her book The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, can be worse than a loss by death. After all, one suffers all the natural pain of losing a love from your life, but additionally one must face that this other person chose not to be with you anymore, quite damaging to one’s sense of self. So you are not only grieving the loss of the love itself, you are dealing with a severe slap in the face of your identity.

I’d like to share a poem from How to Survive the Loss of a Love with you today.

What do I do
now that you’re gone?

Well, when there’s
nothing else going on,
which is quite often,
I sit in a corner and
I cry
until I am
too numbed
to feel.

Paralyzed, motionless
for awhile, nothing
inside or out.

Then I think
how much I miss you.

Then I feel

I cry
until I am
too numbed
to feel.

Interesting pastime.

See. You are not alone in this. Neither am I.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve only felt truly broken a few of those days, great improvement over last year’s heartbreak when it was weeks upon weeks of constant agony. This week has been particularly hard, I suppose, knowing that he’s not coming back. Slowly accepting it. Grateful for it.

I’ve felt so ashamed to be hurt again for the third time in a year, certain I must seem like a comical, pathetic mockery of myself. The hopeless romantic romance author who keeps opening her heart, only to be broken again. I feel so ashamed and stupid and foolish. So very ashamed.

But then letters and comments from readers help, knowing I am not alone in this.

These books I’m reading help, too, knowing I am not alone in this. Offering some semblance of explanation and understanding of what happened. How everything changed so quickly. How he could just walk away so easily.

And so I continue to choose happiness and peace in every moment I can. It’s a lot of work, just to feel okay. A lot of fucking work.

Today’s a hard day, as it was a month ago today. A month. A month.

A month.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

It’s been a month.

Still in shock.

A month.

So today. Right now. I choose happiness and peace. I’ll process publicly when it suits me, for it’s my blog. Plus, it’s cathartic for me and helpful to others.

I hope you all find lasting peace, and I hope I do, too.


~ by omgrey on March 15, 2012.

2 Responses to “You Are Not Alone In This”

  1. […] You Are Not Alone in This […]

  2. […] experiences publicly, not only to process and heal myself, but to give others the sense that they are not alone. When I see these search terms every. single. day. I know I’m not alone […]

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