I know you — the heartbroken.
I’ve been there recently, and plenty before. I know you better than you think I do. I know heartbreak as well as I know the taste of the ocean in my tears and the way my breath gets stuck in my heart instead of my throat. I know you’d assume I would say that I wish I didn’t.
You’d think I wouldn’t wish heartbreak on anyone, but I am happy to tell you that I am grateful for it. I am grateful to have been you and gotten to know misery’s soul because from there you see the beauty at heartbreak’s wake.
I know what it’s like to curl up into a ball and feel pain if you move from the only corner of your bed that still feels safe. I know what it’s like to bury yourself in your palms and in your memories. I know what it’s like to dig so deep for answers that your fingers start to bleed.
I know what it’s like to cry when you wake up and realize yesterday wasn’t just a dream. I know what it’s like to walk with two feet that don’t feel like your own. I know what it’s like — to feel alone.
I know what it’s like going in circles because you see your past on every corner. I know what it’s like to hate the silence but hate the sound of memories more. I know what it’s like to question moments, and also milliseconds, phrases, facial expressions, and empty kisses.
I know what it’s like to be lost but only because you’re so terrified to open your eyes and find yourself alone. I know what it’s like to be drunk from your tears and sober from the pain.
I know what it’s like, trust me.
I know what it’s like to be a mess and to be heartbreak’s biggest success. I know what it’s like to be a fool, to be naïve, and to be all the things a young woman should never be. I know what it’s like to lose my dignity and misplace my faith. I know what it’s like to miss my laugh and forget my smile.
I know what it’s like to carry regret with you on a chain around your neck. I know what it’s like… knowing that the whole world sees you falling and no one is following you down. I know what it’s like being down there and seeing the world go on without you.
What else do I know?
I know that the darkness fades, and that your smile has the power to light up the sky like the country’s brightest 4th of July. I know that the sun always eventually shines through the clouds, and when it doesn’t you learn to dance in its shadows and in the rain that falls like glitter from the sky.
I know that the pain will always be a memory, but I know that memories won’t always be painful. I know that you don’t just learn to walk again, but you learn to run to new dreams, to old dreams, and to all things.
I know that you could carry regret with you to your grave, but if you let go of it – if you let go – you can fly right out of heartbreak. I know that the sappy words came too easily, but I know that eventually you’ll have nothing melancholy to say. I know that the taste of your laughter will taste better than your tears.
I know that the day comes where you stretch out in an empty bed grateful for the space. You’re grateful for the space between the sheets and for the space to grow into who you’re meant to be.
Do you trust me? Because I know you, and I’m so happy that I do. Because this – all of this – I’m telling you this not to make myself feel better, not to make a scene, not to lie to myself like I used to when I wrote about heartache. I’m telling you this because I believe that it is true. I made it, and so can you.
I made it long ago but now it’s okay to go back to help you because it doesn’t hurt to remember anymore. Know that. Know that it really doesn’t hurt forever. You fall for strangers in coffees shops and get butterflies for faces in grocery aisles. You sing along to songs you used to hate.
You dream of wedding dresses and “the someone right”, “the someone true”, “the someone else” to watch you walk down an aisle in it.
I’m happy to report that that stupid line “time heals all” is true. Now I am resilient. Now I am happier alone than I ever was together. Now I know what I want and what I don’t. Now I can smile at the past and flirt with the future. Now it’s your turn. I know you – you can do this.
Come with me — come see the beauty at heartbreak’s wake. Your life is waiting for you there.