Let’s face it, before we suffer our first true, heart-wrenching, gut crushing, back-stabbing heart-break we are living in la la land, flying with the fairies, and drinking little pink fruit juices with those island umbrellas, while getting foot massages from the Easter Bunny. So basically, were twelve or otherwise extremely naïve.

I am not going to go into details of my heartbreak due to the privacy of my life but let’s just say it didn’t just happen once. Over the span of two years, I personally volunteered my heart to be broken every single day, like it was some fucking game of tug of war with my feelings. How is it that this is possible, you ask? Well, I don’t really have an answer to that, maybe I’m just dumb. Or, it may be that I just feel things with a greater intensity than the average person, mixed with I was extremely naïve and put myself into these situations even though I was aware of the consequences, but either way, it happened, and I am not the same person because of it.

I was shattered, broken, crushed, devastated think of as many words as you want, I was all of them. I had no idea who I was anymore or what my life was to become. A huge piece of myself was missing and I didn’t know how I could fill such a hole. A hole that was not only in my heart, but stolen from every organ of my body. My entire idea of love had been trampled on and drowned in a big pile of shit. I had no idea how someone could recover from that.

It took me months. Months of laying in my bed wondering where I went wrong, months of weighing all the signs leading me to this point, months of wishing I could sleep all day to not have to deal with the pain, but also being afraid of the dreams that would haunt me every time I closed my eyes.

I transformed the pain I held inside to unhealthy actions toward my body, which led to depression, which then led to rehab. After being released, I tried to look at it as a fresh start but wound up falling back on old habits aka old loves. Obviously, this was not good for me and clearly it did not work. I guess I didn’t learn my lesson the first two hundred times but this last time really did make all the difference.

It’s amazing how much words really do impact us. “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is fucking bullshit and we all know it, even the people that invented that saying. They were just trying to make themselves feel better. Words kill, but words can also have the power to heal. It’s up to you on how you swallow them.

Well, I allowed these words to crush me, but at the same time they also helped me realize things I never believed about myself. Everyone likes to say that they deserve more, but how many people actually believe it? Be honest. We’ve all said it, and then immediately continued to do whatever it is we were doing prior to that statement. I was one of those people. I was one of those people for the past two years. I am not anymore.

Although those words hurt, they also woke me up. They so incredibly and unbelievably contradicted who I was as a person, that I realized, this person, this same person that I cried over for two whole years of my life, actually knew nothing about me or what I stood for as an individual. Yes maybe, he knew my favorite color and favorite song, but did he really know anything deeper than that?

It was exactly what I needed, a slap in the face to wake myself the fuck up. Don’t get me wrong, I did not feel instantly better like a flip of a switch, but it was where I began to rediscover my priorities. I did some intense self-observations of qualities that made me who I was. I began focusing on what made me happy rather than what made him happy. My thoughts slowly but surely shifted from a focus on him to a focus on me. For the first time in my life, I began to love myself. Not in a narcissistic or conceited way, but rather an appreciation of my individualism. I became a stronger person out of it. I learned to stand up for myself, to respect my mind, body, and soul, and not let others push me around. I learned to love my body for exactly what it was, and not an image that was expected of me. I dared to delve into the deepest parts of my soul. I came face to face with my fears, I confronted my guilts and accepted my regrets. I became the person I knew I was, a beauty that goes beyond what the eyes can see.

Without this broken heart, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I transformed my intensity into strength. I learned that it is okay to feel too much. It proves that you are living. At one point I didn’t think it was possible to ever expose my heart to that sort of suffering again but I am optimistic about the future. I now know what I want for in life and I recognize my value and won’t take shit from anybody. I am thankful for every single second of heartache that I went through. I wouldn’t be where I am without it.