Heartbreak is inevitable in life, but often it creeps up on you quite suddenly. Whether it's a loss of life or the loss of something or someone you held so dear, the heartbreak is real.
My heartbreak came exactly two months to the day after I got married. My husband realised it was all a mistake, and my whole life changed overnight. Literally.
The physical pain first feels like a knife; a genuine pang of pain to the left side of your chest and into your heart. Then the heartbreak moves down towards the stomach, making you nauseous and then, finally, to your legs, too much like jelly to keep you upright.
When you've spent 6 years of your life with someone, for them to literally come back from work and tell you it isn't working - completely out of the blue - it's a bit of a shock. You question who you are, who they are, who you were together, your relationship. (That's a normal reaction, by the way).
They say that even if you don't lose somebody to death, you can still be grieving. Grief is the only valid word for how it feels to lose the one who made you feel at home, regardless of where you were. Knowing they have chosen to leave you is an insufferable pain which, I know, leaves you breathless and inconsolable.
There are some things I have learned in the past three weeks. Heartbreak has been an unwanted yet constant shadow of mine. Wherever I go, whatever I try and undertake in life, the heartbreak and grief isn't far behind. But slowly, it dissipates just a little.
I'm no expert, and I'm still living it, but there are some truths I've learned...
1) You cannot make somebody love you. If they choose to leave, although you don't agree right now, you would rather them leave than stay, only to resent you and hate their life with you. You deserve better than that, and you will come to appreciate it.
2) You will be ok. When heartbreak first hits, it's the most gut-wrenching, head spinning, sickening feeling. It's not meant to be nice, but it is meant to break you before it remakes you into a better and stronger person. I promise, that will come.
3) They needed to go, for them. We don't understand, and it kills us to admit it, but whatever the reason was, your relationship wasn't serving them and they had to leave. That's their business and ultimately, it's their life and they need to do what WILL serve them best. It makes no sense now, but it will become clearer.
You will realise that the horrid cliche of 'life goes on' is only a cliche because it's true. When the shock subsides, and you know you have to go on, you need to be patient and loving with yourself.
Self-love is crucial. Just because somebody left, doesn't mean you're unlovable. You will always have an endless amount of love - from within. It's not easy to harness, and it feels selfish and self-indulgent to begin with. But the sooner you come to realise the truth - that until you love yourself, the love you give to others will always be compromised - the better. Only when you can say you love yourself, will you be fully capable of loving another.
But nobody grieves the same; heartbreak isn't the same for any two people.
I made myself unemployed, with no fixed abode, living out of suitcases, to give myself the space and time I needed. I'm still in that period of adjustment, and I have no plan. And my heartbreak experience won't be the same as yours, but just know that if it's serving you, it's healing you.
Remember, heartbreak isn't permanent. It isn't, I promise. Even if you feel as though this is inescapable, that carrying on is impossible and that you can't make it through, I'm here to tell you that you can.
I can, I am and I will - so will you.