Heartbreak Is Exhausting, But That’s What Makes Us Realize We’ll Make It On Our Own

We can’t think of anyone but the person who broke our heart. You tell us about this cute new guy from your office, we don’t care. We don’t want Cute New Office Guy. We don’t know what we want, but we know we don’t want to feel this way anymore.

Because heartbreak is exhausting. When you’re falling really hard for someone and you’re hoping they’re falling hard too, sometimes that hope doesn’t matter. Because hoping someone will love you doesn’t make them actually love you, and wishing for it doesn’t work either. Sometimes people leave, sometimes unexpectedly, and sometimes our hearts break when they do. Sometimes people walk out of our lives as quickly as they walked in, and it doesn’t mean we’re not worthy of love, it just means we tried to make love exist where it wasn’t meant to, with a person who wasn’t willing to let love be, to let love grow, and to let it change them.

And this makes us feel like we failed. Like we should’ve been able to tell that this person wasn’t right for us. We should’ve seen the hurt they’d cause before it ever happened, and we should’ve guarded our hearts accordingly. But that’s no way to live. Because while heartbreak is exhausting, so is endlessly protecting yourself from it. We won’t always see heartbreak before it happens, we won’t always know it’s coming, and sometimes when it happens we’re completely unprepared. And maybe that’s why it hurts so bad, maybe that’s why we can’t stop thinking about them, about what went wrong, and why, about what we could’ve done differently and how. How we could’ve made love last with the person who clearly didn’t want it to.

Maybe heartbreak is so exhausting because when it first happens we never fully understand why. Maybe we can hear the reasons given, hold back the tears, give a fake smile, and say goodbye, but when we look back on the moment when it all ended we’re left wondering what the hell happened. We think back on the moment when the love we thought we had suddenly stopped. When we called it quits and decided to stop trying. When love walked out the door with the person who we never wanted to leave.

And we suddenly have this scary realization that we’re alone. That the first person we’d call or text every time we got good news, isn’t there anymore, and now when something good happens, we just have to be happy on our own, happy with ourselves, and what we have after the person who broke our heart left. And after it’s gone we first miss what we had, but then we become suddenly afraid that we’ll never have it again, that we’ll never find love again. Or maybe we’re afraid because we thought we had it before, and we realized it wasn’t love at all.

That’s why heartbreak is exhausting, because on top of every terrible thing we’re feeling whether it’s sadness, anger, loneliness, or feeling lost, we tear ourselves apart. We’re completely introspective, and we dissect ourselves and our actions, our thoughts, our emotions, and we wonder why this had to happen. Why we couldn’t have our happily ever after. Why we couldn’t find the person who loves us back, why we failed to let love grow. But after were done dissecting ourselves and our failed relationship, the beautiful thing about heartbreak reveals itself. The beautiful thing about heartbreak is that at the end of the day we learn how to make it on our own.

We learn how to pick up the pieces of whatever that person left behind, and we keep going. Even in our sadness, even in our anger, or loneliness, we continue, and we lean on the ones around us who didn’t leave. Because we’ll always have ourselves and we can make it on our own, but there are also the ones who stay that will continue to hold us up when we need it the most. Heartbreak is exhausting, but you’ll continue to smile, to laugh, to share life with the people who matter most, and while you might be faking it now, one day that smile will happen easily, naturally. You’ll always remember the exhaustion that heartbreak made you feel but you’ll also remember how much strength it took to just keep going, and that strength, unlike the person who broke your heart, isn’t going anywhere.

By Nicole Tarkoff for ThoughtCatalog

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