An Open Letter to the Broken-Hearted
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Health and Wellness

An Open Letter to the Broken-Hearted

"And I will always love you, you." -Whitney Houston

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An Open Letter to the Broken-Hearted
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

*Trigger warning* Heartbreak, breakups, symptoms of a breakup, loss of appetite, ab*sive relationships.

Every single one of us has experienced heartbreak in some way, or will experience it at some point.

Heartbreak can present itself in a multitude of ways. It is not always the romantic type. You can get your heart broken by a parent, a sibling, a friend, a loss in your life...you name it. You could even break your own heart. But, in this article, I will specifically be addressing the type of heartbreak that comes from the end of a romantic relationship. I will be using the terms 'heartbreak' and 'breakup' interchangeably throughout the article, heartbreak just sounds a bit more badass.

*Public Service Announcement*: your broken heart is valid no matter what. Lives have the potential to drastically change within the timespan of a month. With that being said, a lot could have happened in your relationship, even if it were a brief one. Whether it was 1 month, 3 months, 7 months, 15 months, or 300 months long, girl...I could never judge you for being sad! Nobody truly knows what happened in a relationship except for the people that were in it. And even they might still be confused about it!

Whether your breakup was 10 years ago or 2 days ago, this article is for you. Let's get into it!

Just as romantic relationships vary, so does heartbreak. So do breakups.

My very first run-in with a 'broken heart' was around 2017. It was an undefined friendship that my freshman year self got her hopes up for. Nonetheless, I will never forget being so sad about it the next day that I lost my appetite! Upon being given a donut, I could barely even chew it. If you haven't experienced a romantic heartbreak, you're probably so understandably confused by this, lol.

Do you know why a breakup can be so devastating for some people? I've heard that it has a lot to do with science. When we form a romantic relationship with another person, we biologically become in tune with them. So, when a relationship ends, it quite literally disrupts our entire body. It is scientifically similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Except, with a breakup, the person is still alive...you just aren't with them...and withdrawal symptoms can pop-up. A breakup could cause you to lose your appetite (R.I.P. uneaten donut), have lots of trouble sleeping, and effect your processing of emotions as well as your overall mood. Not to mention the long-term effects that a broken heart could carry.

Whew! Again, if you haven't experienced a significant breakup, you're probably still a bit confused. But even those breakups that didn't really matter to you could still have a lasting impact on you.

Yes, even those hilarious elementary school or middle school relationships. Those were some of your first experiences with 'romance' and companionship.

For every ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend or ex-fling, unless you contract amnesia, you will always carry those memories with you somewhere in your head. There will always be at least one thing that reminds you of them.

And all of this is to say that heartbreak doesn't really...end?

Don't panic! It does get better, but the memory of that relationship or of that breakup never just poofs away and disappears. Even if you are now in a happy and committed relationship with a new person, your exes don't just completely vanish. Each romantic relationship carries with us through memories held and lessons learned.

You could be as much as 20+ years post-breakup and randomly be reminded of an ex. Maybe you heard that song you guys loved on the radio, came across old photos together, or they just popped into your head. Depending on the relationship, you might look back with sweet nostalgia...or you could look back with whole-hearted disgust!

Let's jump back to the initial breakup, though. (We're like bunnies hopping around).

The media portrays heartbreak in such an unrealistic, romanticized way. The guy dumps the girl, she cries, eats a lot of ice cream, and conveniently meets a new guy who treats her like a princess about a month later. Uhm, if this happens to you...congratulations! But, normally, breakups are much uglier than that.

The initial part of a breakup can be so debilitating, depending on how things ended and what the relationship itself was like. When heartbreak rears its ugly head, it can make us feel so angry, alone, and upset. It could make you do some regrettable things, like trying to seek *revenge* (I'm looking at you, Carrie Underwood)! Or try to reach out to them, or make you lose focus in school/work, or prompt you to dye your hair a new color of the rainbow (at least you look pretty, though).

I promise you that you will find sight of yourself again. It really is a case-by-case basis, though. So don't ever beat yourself up for being sad about your breakup. We all process things differently, and you might think your sensitivity sucks right now but at the end of the day, it is a gift. If you could love the wrong person that much, just imagine how much you can love *the one.*

Healing is not linear. There is no official *Start* and *Stop.* As I've explained, months or years could go by without even thinking about your past relationship(s), but you could end up sobbing in the Dairy Queen parking lot because you caught yourself buying their favorite flavor. Keep in mind, though, that not only are you grieving the loss of your relationship, but you are also grieving the loss of your connection with the person, as well any prospect of a future with them. So, it could definitely be overwhelming. I once read somewhere that grief is like a ball in a box; sometimes it stands still in the center of it, but other times it rolls over and slams the sides of it. When your grief ball rolls over and slams the sides of your box, know that it's a pretty universal experience, and you aren't alone. (Why did this analogy make me laugh so much—omg).

Personally, I know I will always hold a place in my heart for anybody I've shared a romantic connection with. You do not have to hate your exes or wish ill on them in order to *move on.* You could even still love them in the same amount that you did while you were with them...yes, I said that. You could see a picture of them and think, "Wow, I'm glad they're doing well." It might not exactly be a, "Let's reconcile and be together forever" type of love but it could be a, "I will always have love for you and I wish you the best in life" type of love.

If you are really going through it right now, here is a list of breakup songs that I love and recommend:

"Josslyn" by Olivia O'Brien

"Sincerity is Scary" by The 1975

"Somebody Else" by The 1975

"I Couldn't Be More In Love" by The 1975

"Songbird - 2004 Remaster" by Fleetwood Mac

"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

"Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac

The album Melodrama by Lorde

The album Igor by Tyler, the Creator

"How" by Maroon 5

"Ivy" by Frank Ocean

"Godspeed" by Frank Ocean

"Always" by Rex Orange County

"Loving Is Easy" by Rex Orange County

"It's Not The Same Anymore" by Rex Orange County

"You're Not The One" by Sky Ferreira

"Nobody" by Mitski

"First Love / Late Spring" by Mitski

"Happier" by Ed Sheeran

"How's It Going to Be" by Third Eye Blind

"After The Storm" by Kali Uchis, feat. Tyler, the Creator

"Dead To Me" by Kali Uchis


And, of COURSE. The icons of breakup songs:

"Irreplaceable" by Beyoncé

"Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson

"You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette

"Complicated" by Avril Lavigne

"The One That Got Away" by Katy Perry

"Before He Cheats" By Carrie Underwood

"Linger" by The Cranberries

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift


If you are a movie buff, I would also highly recommend watching the movies I'm about to mention. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a tear-jerker. It features Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. That movie, in my opinion, actually perfectly sums up what many relationships and breakups are like. Blue Is The Warmest Colour is an amazing French movie that includes a wlw relationship. Call Me by Your Name is about a mlm relationship and it features Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer (love). All are great movies that tell of love and heartbreak.

My biggest hope with this article is that you guys got a better understanding of heartbreak and/or felt more validated in your feelings. The key is to be patient with yourself. No matter what stage of a breakup you are in, I promise that you will get through this. Your broken heart will mend itself. You will persevere and you will love again.


*T.W.: I am about to discuss a much heavier variation of this topic: breakups involving ab*sive relationships. Please click out of this article if this is a trigger to you.*

I am including this part of the article in hopes of helping to end the stigma of domestic ab*se. It would be insensitive of me to only discuss heartbreak that comes from non-ab*sive relationships, when I know that so many relationships unfortunately do not fall into that category.

This type of heartbreak can be gut-wrenching. It usually starts well before the actual breakup even occurs. Witnesses, friends, and family members of victims could also be impacted by it. It requires an extra amount of time to heal and an extra amount of love. If you are a victim, it could take a while to wrap your head around exactly what happened, and it might impact your relationships to come. That is okay. Those who love you will be there for you, and a partner that loves you will understand you and accept your past. You could be extremely confused or feel conflicted if you still have feelings for your ab*ser; it might be easier said than done, but please do not be upset with yourself for this. In an ideal world, we would hate all of the people who have hurt us, but that's what's *ideal,* unfortunately it's not always what's real.

I believe your story, I see you, and I am here to validate you no matter what you are feeling.

When we think of ab*se, we tend to think of only the physical type. The most common forms, however, actually include cheating, s*xual ab*se, emotional ab*se, verbal ab*se, as well as physical. Relationships that consist of one person with an anxious attachment style and one with an avoidant attachment style can be traumatic. Those that include one or more narcissists involved can also be trauma-inducing. No matter what you experienced, your story is no less valid than the next person's, and your feelings of heartbreak are no less valid than that of a healthy-relationship breakup.

You are forever deserving of a healthy relationship and of true love.

Break the cycle and end the stigma.

This link includes a list of hotlines as well as tips included to help friends who you suspect are in ab*sive relationships: https://www.breakthecycle.org/help-friend.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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