Sadly we’ve all experienced it; that feeling of your lungs collapsing on themselves, shooting streams of salty tears you can’t help but shed over someone your brain screams to forget. But that’s the thing about heartbreak: it involuntarily sucks you into a black abyss of despair and raw pain that you just have to endure. As Ms. Chung puts it,
“The thing about heartbreak is that nobody can help you. Nobody and nothing. Not the films that you watch desperately searching for a character who feels the way you do, not the bottles of whiskey you keep by your bed and certainly not Instagram”.
You can violently devour as many gallons of ice-cream as you want, but there’s merely one remedy for your scorched heart: time.
You may occupy yourself with the daily business of life, but it won’t be up until a solid few weeks and a lot of Sam Smith, that you’ll be able to breathe something other than poison. I personally hadn’t experienced this feeling or shall I say torture, for a long time. I found great comfort in my own companionship and at any rate I was too busy trying to keep up with the chaotic pace of my life. And then out of a sudden, without warning, a tall boy with hazel eyes happened to remotely showcase interest in me and my world was set ablaze. I’m not even aware how it happened; to my mind it took nothing more than an instant to fall. And then to land hard on my back, having the air sucked out of me for dear life. Before I knew it I was watching a pathetic love story and crying pools and rivers and entire oceans because the protagonist’s dimples reminded me of him. No sooner had I seemingly recovered than I caught myself listening to Arctic Monkey’s “I wanna be yours” twelve single times in a row at 2 am without thinking about Alex Turner this time All of this was coming from a self-proclaimed rational person, who professes being cynical about love and all its messy endeavors.
Point is no matter how gracefully you try to maneuver away from it, you’re bound to get heartbroken. Having just gone through it (at least so it seems, because I still see the yellow and green speckles of his eyes stare back at me at odd times) I can assure you that, as aforementioned, even though there’s no short-cut to the pain, you can find relief in a plethora of things. To begin with, friends are one of the more effective pain-killers. At this time you just need a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to without hesitation or the faintest trace of guilt. Someone who will endure your childishly bawling in the dead of the night in their sleepy ear; someone who won’t hang up until you have passionately declared that “you know what, screw him!”, like you mean it (and I say like because in reality you don’t) Don’t worry if you’re not that close with any of your pals. “Friend” is a metaphor for anyone understanding in your life. It could be your mom, a sister, a cousin, an online buddy, your journal even. Also, something that legitimately helps is lashing out- in a proactive and healthy way. It might sound pretentious maintaining that sadness is to be used creatively, as pain is for the most part paralyzing, not motivating, but do contemplate putting your emotions into something other than angrily punching your pillow, muttering swear words. For me it’s music and writing; for yourself it might be cooking or working out. Or whatever really, as long as you’re not passively addressing the matter as it’s taking its toll.
And finally one thing’s for sure. You have to accept and embrace the sentiment. You won’t be cured until you’ve drained all of your psyche’s contents. If you suppress the feelings, they’ll simply wall up and cunningly find their way out in an appropriate situation. Cry. Until you feel numb and you’ve run out of tears. Burn his pictures, eradicate him off of your life, if that’s what it takes. As John Green so astoundingly concluded “that’s the thing about pain: it demands to be felt”. Not long from now warm sunlight will shine down on you and your sorrows will be over. His name will be just an assortment of letters, cold and meaningless. Or at least so I hope.
Words by Maria Stratoudaki // Photography by Danica Mateo