Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 8 November 2009





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Don’t feed the heartbreak monster

Heartbreak is a very strange distress. It is exquisitely painful, and yet we cannot find a physical tangible evidence of an injury to show it. It is like one big emotional pain that seems to spark off hundreds of other emotions. We hate the feeling of heartbreak, and yet we find ourselves compelled to go over and over memories, ideas or fantasies which make it worse. What is going on? When an important relationship ends, a range of different responses is triggered.

We feel loss and pain. Our normal ways of thinking about the world are disrupted. Our balance is upset, and our feelings change from one minute to the next. We pine for our ex-lover, and then we are overwhelmed with anger at him or her. One minute we are desperate to see them, the next we can’t bear to have anyone mention their name. This volatility and confusion add to the misery.

Heartbreak is caused by the end of a relationship. It can also be caused when we fail to be in a relationship we fervently desire. It can even happen slowly when we realize that we are in a relationship from which all the love has gone. However it happens, after the shock, it takes some time for reality to sink in. Then we experience a welter of feelings. We can be angry, sad, devastated, despairing, distraught, desperate, remorseful, regretful, ashamed and embarrassed.

The emotional bombardment is overwhelming. In the long run, we have a natural way of dealing with these feelings. We have an emotional mechanism that allows us to recover from losses and from pain. If we didn’t have it, the whole world would be in mourning forever! Bereavement, parting and suffering are unavoidable parts of our lives.

The natural way we recover is by grieving. Sometimes it is easier to recover from being widowed than it is to recover from getting dumped. When someone we love dies, the world changes forever, but his love or her love would never be questioned. It is going to be an extremely painful loss, but an absolute one.

In the case of a lost love, your mind plays tricks on you. You start catching glimpses of your ‘Ex’ in public everywhere! A familiar song triggers another flood of tears. You feel that nothing will ever fill the void left by the person you’ve spent so much of your life and emotions on. You try to distract yourself with activities and friends, but it’s futile.

The more you try to forget, the more you remember. You feel like a “half a person” and you wonder if you’ll ever be “whole” again. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, grief strikes totally at random. After each wave of tearful convulsions, instead of feeling free, you feel more exhausted and forlorn. Other people keep saying that “time will heal your wounds” and that you’ll find someone else. But while in the depths of heartbreak, none of those advice are comforting. You appreciate your family, friends’ kind sympathies, but let’s face it, when you’re experiencing heartbreak, their advice - no matter how sound, seem like a drop of ineffective medicine in the ocean of sadness.

Sometime ago I read this saying “You Can’t Be “In Love” Unless YOU Love!” Think of it. It is the person doing the loving that experiences the feelings of being “in love.” If you don’t think of a person in a loving way, you don’t get the feelings of being “in love.” Believe it or not the total control over it is in our own hands. It’s you, not anybody else that feeds the heartbreak monster.

- Anuki

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