For Anyone Whose Heartbreak Is Keeping Them Awake At Night
By Kim Quindlen
Nighttime is the hardest. That’s normal, I promise.
You’re not alone in that feeling. You’re not weak, you’re not less capable of getting over heartbreak than other people. You’re not weird or pathetic for staring at your phone screen and wanting nothing more than to see it light up with their name.
What you are is hurt, and temporarily broken, because you were brave enough to let yourself feel something.
Because you can’t experience incredible love without also being willing to go through the possible pain of it. And right now, that’s what you’re doing. You’re experiencing the downside of the thing you were brave enough to try.
And because all of your brain’s energy during the day is going towards keeping you functioning, even if it’s just on autopilot, what that means for your nighttime routine is that all of the sadness and aching and pain that was suppressed during the day comes inadvertently rushing out, demanding to be felt and acknowledged and consumed.
That’s why it’s normal that you find yourself punching your pillow at two in the morning, feeling frustrated that the person who broke your heart has also found their way in to the one time of your 24-hour day that your mind is supposed to be freed from thinking about them, the one time of day when you’re supposed to have a 7-or-8-hour break. Feeling the kind of relief that only sleep can bring, until you wake up and remember after 10 or 11 seconds why it feels like there’s a brick in your stomach.
The worst truth here, though, is that the only real thing that is going to heal you is time.
You won’t be completely cured, you’ll be forever different because of this experience. You won’t look up and feel immediately happy again one day, and okay and fine and like nothing ever happened. But you will slowly begin to get to know this new version of yourself, the one who now understands what it feels like to have your heart broken and to keep living anyway. The one who looks at everyone in a new light because you understand that there are so many ways that people can experience invisible pain. The person who at one point felt like their whole world had ended but had kept going anyway.
You will eventually begin to like this person, this new you. You will appreciate their company and see that there are a lot of things you once did with another person that you can still be happy doing alone.
You will be okay, even though your days will constantly jump between being up and down, great and still incredibly painful.
So during this in-between time, while you are waiting anxiously to heal, just remember that you aren’t alone. You’re not the only person lying awake at night, unable to sleep because the pain in your chest is too loud. You are a human, experiencing what millions of humans before you have experienced. And you’ll be okay, because it’s in your bones. Even if tonight is not that night.
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