If you’ve seen the film Call Me By Your Name, or better yet, read the book by André Aciman, then I’m sure you were as struck as I was by the speech Elio’s father delivers to his son towards the end of the story. One line, in particular, spoke directly to me, it reaffirmed everything I’ve been going through in the last year,
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster, that we go bankrupt by the age of 30, and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing, so as not to feel anything, what a waste!”
Putting your heart on the line is an incredibly risky move, it could result in finding true, unconditional love, or it could end in heartbreak. The later of which, can be one of the hardest experiences in life. Heartbreak is real, it is gut-wrenching, it is visceral. Sadness, shame, regret, betrayal, anger, denial, self-deprecation, it is an exhausting road to recovery.
For many, it’s easier to deny these feelings, we look for shortcuts rather than trudging down the long and winding road to self-recovery. No one enjoys pain… unless you’re a masochist, but speaking on behalf of the majority, I’d say we all try to steer clear of pain in our lives. However, when we choose to cut corners we fail to see the damage we are doing to our hearts in the long run. And much like Elio’s father warns, we go bankrupt at an early age.
I believe it’s so important to take the time you need to heal from a breakup. I’m not saying there is a right or a wrong amount of time, everyone deals with these things differently. But, if you jump from one relationship to the next without truly honouring your feelings, it will eventually catch up with you.
If you want to be in a healthy relationship, you’ve gotta start fresh, clean slate. If you’ve been cheated on, you have to deal with that pain or else you risk never trusting anyone in the future. It’s not fair to condemn your present/future partners for the mistakes of your past partners. It’s up to you to get better, no one else can fix you.
So what does the road to recovery look like?
I think it’s different for each person, but in my experience, the initial stages mostly included sitting with my emotions and simply allowing my heart to hurt! As painful as it may be, you’ve gotta really feel it out. Write in a journal, talk to friends, listen to music, go for walks, really take the time to reflect on things. Once the dust settled, for me, it was time for some self-love. Meditation was super helpful during this process, it made me feel grounded and was a good basis for which to take care of myself. Positive affirmations were important, they helped me rewire the negative thoughts I’d been thinking for so long and truly love myself again. Staying single was important for me, I recognized that in order to get better in had to be on my own terms, and in my own way.
Shortcuts are convenient, but are they the most effective route? In terms of healing, I don’t think they are. Give yourself time, don’t rush. Your heart deserves to feel everything it is feeling, don’t silence it. It may be a long, hard road, but I promise you, you’ll have more to offer to your next partner, when the time comes. Stay strong. You will be okay.