Dustin Dunaway

When suffering the condition of heartbreak, the remedy I gravitated to was that of literature. Heartbreak, it seems, is the perfect catalyst of writing — it’s profound, it’s painful, and it’s relatable. I remember reading this one piece about how a breakup is much like shattering glass. In some instances, the fragments are broken large enough that they can be repaired.

But in others, they shatter to the extent that no amount of super glue can fix it — no matter how much you try, no matter the amount of frivolous attempts of mending. The thing with shattered glass though, is that when you shine a light on it, it glitters. In my experience, however, that glass didn’t glitter — it was simply painful, dull, stabbing shards.

It would be nonsensical to assume that one’s own experience in heartbreak is the only one ever felt. The intense emotions behind heartbreak has been subject for novels, poetry, films, music, anger, depression, bad decisions, violence, and everything in between. It’s the quintessential aspect of life, almost a checkpoint of sorts to show that you’ve lived life and experienced emotion like a human being.

These are the things I attempted to remind myself of when experiencing a soul-crushing breakup. It was the type of breakup where you don’t want to leave your bed and function like a normal human being during the day; the type where the mere thought of the person was enough to ensue tears and mind dump of pathetic, dead memories.

It was the type of breakup that made me bitter, angry and emotionally wrecked to an extent that I believed repair was out of the horizon. In the midst of fits of sadness and hyperbolic melodrama, I’d find myself realizing the sheer pathetic and nonsensical nature of the sadness I was experience — moments where I’d think to myself, “why the hell are you even sad, it was just a stupid relationship”.

But no! When love — stupid, nonsensical love — is in the question, all logic is thrown out the window. Depending on the nature of the breakup, the length of the relationship or how that person treated you, one could be hung up for months, crying over every stupid love song or at every small thing that reminds you of them.

Sometimes the sheer ridiculous nature of it can be frustrating — one moment you’re fine, the next you could be eating Chipotle and crying because you’re remembering that one cute date you both had there.

The worst part about being heartbroken, beyond the initial break-up, is becoming accustomed to being alone again, healing.

After the end of a two year relationship, I found myself unsure as to how to carry on being “single” again or what that even meant. I’ve created a script for myself that was like a depressing machination in which I would reveal to each person who takes an interest in me, why I couldn’t possibly be with them due to how broken I was and how incredibly horrible my former relationship was.

Couple this with a gradual extermination process in which you delete all the playlists and photos and where you have to throw away all the gifts and letters and any small memorabilia of what was and what could have been.

The downside to this, however, is that removing the physical evidence of a life you lived with someone isn’t enough to cleanse the experiences of the mind and heart — it’s simply not enough to just forget.

The worst situation of heartbreak is when you’re forced to still be in their vicinity after it ends. No campus is ever large enough to run away from the demons of your past, especially when the person goes out of their way to continue to hurt you even after its ended, at which point you see the only escape being leaving the school or just digging yourself into a whole and crying.

In no instance is heartbreak every easy. I, with a sloppy, toxic, malicious breakup, has felt the same pain as friends with the most amicable of break-ups. Heartbreak can be debilitating even if the person was someone you weren’t even in a romantic relationship with.

Heartbreak, in the simplest of terms, sucks. It is a soul-sucking, heart-wrenching, messy, chaotic, and disastrous feeling to experience. Unfortunately, it’s part of nearly everyone’s life (and if you haven’t felt heartbreak you simply have no heart). The heart works in mysterious ways; sometimes it may surprise you and show unwavering resilience in the most difficult of times, other times it falls apart because some stupid Adele song came on or something.

However the feeling manifests itself though, the best thing to do is to not suppress it. Want to cry yourself to sleep for a month? Go for it. Want to burn letters and pictures and dump it on their car? Do it! Want to angrily sing Taylor Swift break up songs and drink you feelings? Whatever makes the pain wane.

Most importantly, it’s okay to not be okay. Yes, that is a mantra heard time and time again and on every sad person’s Pinterest board and Twitter timeline. But, it’s true.

It took going through the five stages of grief to be able to tell myself that my feelings were valid and warranted. In the most erratic of cases, myself included, the culmination of all these feelings ebb and flow and sometimes hit all at once. Within the span of five minutes I’ve felt the denial, anger, urge to bargain, and depression. Never the acceptance though, not for a long time.

For a while I defined acceptance as crying in my car everyday after school and eating my feelings at Taco Bell. Some may define that as unhealthy, I say it’s productive. Why? Because one day there is that light at the end of the tunnel where it no longer hurts, where you no longer detest their sheer existence, where you can feel it all again.

I’m ready to toss out the script, into the same trash where all the memories are.

Valeria Bula | valeria.bula@yale.edu .