For “Help Me Mend My Broken Heart.”

Bess Myerson once wrote that “to fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” Especially if you were that person who wanted the relationship to last, were willing to be and stay through the hard times….there is little to say in the face of one that is certain he or she has a broken heart.  Today’s email was relatively simple.  “Please, help me mend my broken heart.”  That is the gist of it.

To you, beloved broken, I send all my prayers and thoughts of light.  As I am not there with you, I’d like you to take out a clean notebook or packet of paper and begin to journal.  Let yourself feel your feelings, name them, affirm that this is where you are and where you’re launching from.  We rush to avoid pain and wind up running headlong back into it.  I want to let you know that I’m affirming your pain, that I hear you, that you’re understood by so many of us who have traveled this road.

Walk strongly from your place of hurt – toward self esteem, healing, self affirmation, faith.

You are a valuable, priceless person.

Deep breaths.

Be cognizant of your journey.  There is nothing worse than wasting your life and your love on someone that is undeserving, someone that breaks you…no matter how many years and children intercede in your discovery of self. This is the only life that you have….live it well, notice the beauty, be. Just be. I have no real tangible answers for you, but a few steps that might take you on a new journey – one of being in love with someone that you do know – you.  In a healthy, positive way.

You can do it. Pray, love, laugh.

So how do you let love go and move on? In times past I had a “great love,” one that shattered my very being.  Like you I was on the floor, bleeding out, wondering how so much pain could exist in one time at one place. Like you, I was up in the middle of the night, unable to think of anything else.  Slowly, I came off the floor, took a breath and learned who I am.  I chose me, and I chose to love in my life.  One of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen, once wrote “when those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful.”

I chose love, I really do.

Not that “I’m hanging on till you come back stuff.  That “I’m willing to be all in with the right person and love them forever” type of stuff.  Remember….the best predictor of future action is past action.  You’re going to have to decide how much pain you’re willing to live in.  Me?  I’m not.  I want someone stable, whole, real and passionate about me; I want to give that back with all the intensity that I own.  That’s a lot of intensity. 🙂

The posting “Breaking the Habit” might help you feel better by knowing that there are others like you, nearer than you might imagine.  I read this poem lots in my moments of solace, becasue I knew that I wasn’t going to chose to dwell in heartache forever.  My life today?  I wouldn’t change it for back then.  I found that person that I love more than life, who deserves it, who honors it and us every single day.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
1.  Take a new road.  Somewhere in there is a you that remembers who you were, that you were real and whole, loveable and funny, before this man or woman came along and tossed over the apple cart.  Did they do enough wonderful things along the way that we’re dumb enough to mourn for them?  Oh, yeah.  Unless they were the spawn of Satan, there were probably a million wonderful moments that you could cite – right up until they shattered all your love.  Take a new road.  When you wake in the morning, listen to music that reinforces your brave new world, grasp life and be mindful of the moments.  Get some basic Anthony Robbins tapes, work out, listen to the positive effects of the “program” and reinvent your life.  Moving away isn’t going to change anything….you will take you with you.  Change the inside of you. Every time you walk through a doorway say, “I love myself,” or “I am worth loving,” even if you’re doing it through tears.  You will be amazed first at how often you walk through doorways, and how often you’re interrupting self defeating thoughts when you say “I love you.”

Next to your faith, your self love is the most important thing that you have.

2. Affirm your new reality.  Stop waiting.  Really.  Let go to the best of your ability and don’t make my mistake. You can wait for years for someone that never has thought of you again.  Take that second path to discover yourself, the world around you, art, music, air, feeling.  Drowning them in a substance of any sort?  Okay, I guess for a moment….but when you come back down, you have a hangover and a broken heart.  Bad idea, really.
3. Counseling works.  I know this from experience…you can’t go around your brokenness and avoid it.  You can get mad, get even, get out, get someone old or new – but sooner or later, you’re going to have to deal with it.  The only way out is thru.  I head a woman say “You can’t sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You’ve got to learn how to dance in the rain.” Find a counseling group or person that works for you.  Check with local universities for counseling programs that are way affordable and staffed by the new and upcoming stars in the field.  You deal with the brokenness in little sections, one at a time, like a puzzle coming back together.  In time, it’s easier.  In time, it’s shaping into an image.  It’s not forever.  Just keep breathing.
4. Get out and do stuff.  I learned to do lots of new X-sports stuff once my heart had finally been ripped out of my chest by my former flame.  Climb walls, go on a hike, drive on a go kart track, feel the wind.  Be the king or queen of the world.  Feel something other than pain. I remember running around with my friends feeling like a hollow human, trying to laugh and have a good time, but still the edges of me were nailed securely to that man that I’d have given my life to.  That will change, the more you give it reason to.  Today, I rarely think of it at all.  Am I totally well? I wish, but in time ? Yes, I will be.  In CBT (Cognitive Behavioral therapy) we teach you how to retrain your mind from unhealthy actions.  Really try the door frame idea.  Stop in every door frame and realize that you’re going to be happy….soon.  That you’re okay.  That you love you….and that is the most important relationship in the world.
5. Don’t eulogize.  Gone is gone.  Time to take a deep breath, know that someone who leaves and breaks us – they’re not worth our love.  My former? Not worth the love that I had, not strong enough to be the mate I need, not able to be himself, let alone a real love. I used to be able to tell you all the things that I had bestowed on him, the honor and the decency, the faith, the expectation that he’d fulfill his destiny.  All fiction.  The pedestal was my idea of love. My road diverged?  I am not defined by my relationship, but I am so happy that he’s here. Brian is a man that is stable, strong, real, sexy, whole…not mental.  He more than provides, more than adores, more than fulfills.  Wow, am I glad that God didn’t listen to my prayers.  Wow…. am I glad that I am here now with Brian, with our kids, with a new baby on the horizon.
More than any advice, the best thing that I can tell you is that it will not rain forever.  Life has so much to live for – and when you’re ready, you will see that again.  Take your time, be yourself and treat yourself with kindness.
For more advice on getting your feet under you, click here.
Sending you love.

8 comments for “For “Help Me Mend My Broken Heart.”

  1. wendi
    September 11, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Hi there I was truly touched by ur words I to feel as tho my heart has been shreaded in to thousands of tiny pieces after my partner an isplit up just 3 weeks ago an an ive not crying the whole time at work the shop home in the street Cause I cnt get my head around any of it feel an reading. Through ur exexperience gave me a little hope xx

  2. Lorrie
    January 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    My broken heart began 3 years when I wronged my daughter who was then 24 years old. I generated a myspace page and used her picture. Well, she found it. confronted me then stormed away, out of the house. Not only did I have my hubby to contend with, I didn’t know what to do about my daughter. I knew what i did was wrong and when tried apologizing via and email, my daughter felt the need to tell me everything she felt was wrong with me. Even blamed me for things that didn’t happen when she was a child. My children had great childhoods. in the email she wrote she told me to leave her alone, that she no longer cared about me then said she was chanigng her email address because she didn’t want me to respond. She also moved and I didn’t have her address. I understood her pain/anger and decided to leave her alone out of fear of pushing her further away which turned out to be a mistake because now that I have recently sent her letters via a christmas card I dropped off at her inlaws home, and private messages to her husbands facebook account, she and he tell me its to late. In these letters I expresssed remorse, regret and shame. I am overwhelmed with it. I told my daughter that what i did was wrong and I could never defend it. I have begged and pleaded to be a part of her life and she doesn’t want a relationship. She claims I waited to long to recocile and now its to late. she said she has made her peace, has forgiven me but does not want a relationship. I know I can’t change the past or what I have done but as long as we are alive it is never to late. It’s only to late after we are dead. I am struggling with this. I have anxiety and depression. I don’t want to live the rest of my life without her.

    • January 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      Hello, Lorrie …. tough times it sounds like. I realize the situation with your daughter is hurting you. What concerns me more is where you are personally. What internal process led to using her photo? Im not condemning ~ we all have moments, me included. Getting healthy inside you will help you know what to do with your child. She sounds in her mid twenties? Its a tough age. My 26 year old is pretty upset with me after a fee bad decisions I made in my own life a year ago…but I know her. I know she loves me, and she’s got to make her way through it. I give her space, and every so often I let her know of my own growth and progress…and how much I love her just as she is. Its time to get healthy, dear one. Deep breaths. Know it will work out. Have faith. More than anything…live life. Don’t let regret know at you. We all mistakes, we’re all open to forgiveness. Forgive yourself. Love who you really are. Start there..it’ll take some time…and youre worth it.

  3. candy
    January 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Dear Alison. I have looking for help for sometime. no one seams to be able to help me.My life toke a hard fall in 2002 when i stood beside my mom as she passed away. then two mounths later my grandmother fallowed her. i was married at this time with three children. my husband was haveing an afair with his sister n law the hole time that i was loseing my family one buy one, i didnt learn about this untill his brother passed away the fallowing three mounths after my grandmother passed. i stayed with him till 2007 because he convinced me i would never beable to take care of me and my kids. after years of being hurt buy him.I left in the middle of the night with my two youngest ones. i got order of protections but he broke threw them all. six mounths later i met a man.He tought me to stand on my feet. he showed me love. we hit it off i felt alive and so happy.I moved from NY to Ok alone with my two kids. he came to stay with me in nov, but then told me he had to return to NY to take care of some bissenes. he got there and told me he wasnt comeing back, I love him more then i loved my self. i am stuck with pain i dont know how to handle any of this.

    • January 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Candy:

      First, I apologize that my responses are taking so long. I want to affirm that you’re in a really tough place right now, and that this growth part of your life is hard to handle. I understand how this pain makes it feel like there is no tomorrow. Please, re-read the “Letting Go” article and really think about how it can change your life. If you’d like to correspond, I could hopefully find local people there to form a support network around you and your children. As an Oklahoma native and former business executive there, I have lots of contacts from people both in and out of the church, as well as my entire entourage of the Oklahoma/Texas clan that swarms the state from Dallas & points south to Tulsa and points north. It comes with having 8 kids in a family :-). I don’t know where you are in the state, however.

      I would encourage you to seek a life change. The man that kept you afraid and imprisoned in a destructive relationship must have been very difficult to survive. Violating a restraining order in OK is a relatively big thing. I would encourage you to make sure they stay in force and to visit your local OHP office to register your protective order. If he violates them in any way, the result should be jail. If you back off of that, you will undermine the police and encourage further harm to yourself. Pressing charges in not AN option…it’s the only option.

      Next, consider applying now for FAFSA help, and complete the next level of education. I can assist you in finding the right place to help you. changing your life means changing your ability to care for yourself and your kids. It’s time to eradicate the fear that was placed upon you. Nothing is impossible.

      Finally, I realize that the man who showed you love and taught you to stand up also helped you process the overwhelming grief of your multiple losses, the affair of your husband, the threat to your person. Still, the individual that you placed your faith in betrayed your trust. Boy, can I understand how you feel. People are often not permanent in our life. They are here for a season, but lack the courage or staying power they need to be the real deal. What saved my heart? When I became an option in his life, he became nothing in mine. It might have been tough to do at first, but I would not trade my happiness today for a lifetime of dealing with my former flame. I have no use for liars…and I hope that you will think through this, too. This guy doesn’t deserve your love. Love yourself, Candy. Love yourself more than the image of this person. Be grateful for the time that you had, but realistic that he’s not “the one.”

      You have dogged a horrible pain of investing yourself in a one sided relationship, Candy. That isn’t right to do to anyone. Work on yourself – your self esteem, your understanding, you family of origin issues. Please, contact the nearest county mental health center where trained people can help you process all that has happened. You see, you are worthwhile. You are unique and special to God, perfect and ready to grow and bloom in this life. You are enough. You can do this….and you deserve happiness, dignity and love. Until you can give those to yourself, you are not going to find them in anyone else.

      Let me here from you and how you are. If you’d like some help with resources, email me and we’ll start that journey together, okay? Remember, you are never alone. So many of us are praying for you.

      With prayer, hope and light ~

      Alison

  4. mary
    January 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

    You don’t have to lose someone to have a broken heart- I have tried telling doctors for years that my problem is a broken heart- I am in a loveless marriage- disrespectful people- no positive thoughts-
    I feel the stress leave when I am alone-the chest pains stop- the numbness stops- I am on 3 perscriptions for depression- nothing helps-I experience headaches whenever I am awake- the ones where you just want to throw-up. The ONLY medication that helps is Vicodin- which I take sparingly-I live on acid reducers- the doctors told me no more Motrin-or Tylenol- I have a broken foot that refuses to heal- What to do…?….

    • January 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Dear Mary,

      You are right – you do not have to lose someone to have a broken heart. I am so sorry to hear of your unhappiness, and of the current medical issues that you’re having. I understand from my own experience what stress and anxiety do to a person, and how that tightness in your chest feels so threatening…at least as I know it.

      I thought through your words carefully…I can hear the pain in them. What to do? First, I would recommend that you seek a qualified, licensed mental health counselor in your local area. You sound very sad, and that’s what they do ~ help you walk though the sad and the life changes that are internal to all of us. If cost is an issue, look for a graduate psychology program at a local university, where they offer public counseling on a sliding scale. The masters and doctoral students in these programs are often very well equipped, supervised by licensed clinicians and really able to help.

      That being said, if you and I were sitting here having a cup of coffee, as your friend I would say “no one can stop you from practicing self affirmation and positive thinking.” People in our lives may impact our level of happiness ~ you can impact your own happiness at a greater rate. Consider things like diet; how to get some exercise without harming your healing foot; what your hearing or listening to/seeing on TV or movie; and what you’re hoping for and dreaming of in life. What goals do you have for you? How do those goals fit into your life and schedule? Who do you talk with about them ~ things like that.

      I’m assuming that your headaches are from tension, not from the injury that broke your foot? Depression and stress can really wreck havoc on your muscles. Have you tried meditation, cold compress to the ache site, alternative therapies? My headaches are pretty legendary ~ my doc has taken me off major pain meds and uses a combo of steroids/anti inflams and muscle relaxers to calm the muscle spasms that lead to headaches. You may also ask your physician to check for a deep tissue infection in your sinus, which seems to have no real symptoms but a whopping headache. All of these are great questions for your MD, as I’ve no training in that area. 🙂

      A loveless marriage is a big stressor, and very sad for you I bet. I am so sorry to hear of it. Where did the love go? Is it possible to rebuild your relationship and rekindle love/trust? Begin with your own self esteem first. It’s kinda like an airplane where you put your mask on first and then your kids. If you pass out trying to help your kid, both of you die, right? So for you, the first step in being happy is taking back control of your own mind and emotions. I’m going to put together a list of references and positive action steps and post them as an article within the next few days. If you would care to subscribe (on the THM home page) with your email, it will come to you within seconds of posting.

      Mary, I want to leave you with this thought. You are a unique, valid, worthwhile woman with much life to live. I am praying for your happiness, peace and the grace that comes with our taking that first deep breath and stepping onto the yellow brick road of life. Maybe it’s time to turn a corner, to make a change – but make little steps, becoming self aware of who you are and that vital, intrinsic worth that you have as a person. Start with affirmations about how you feel about you. Set small, achievable goals each day, and begin to focus on being the best you possible in your current context. You are the only Mary in the whole of the universe – a designers original. You matter. In the meantime, please search through past THM articles from the search tool on the main page, left column. There are practical articles on affirmation, self esteem, changing your thoughts, etc already posted there.

      Let me know how you are and please write to the posted email address at any time. Blessings to you, Mary.

      Alison

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