Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Post for the broken hearted

I may turn this blog into an advice-to-the-broken-hearted blog. A lot of the readers who are coming here lately (and that's not a lot) seem to be coming based on a search of "how long does it take to get over someone?," or something to that effect, leading to an old post.

I wonder if I have any helpful advice to offer? I wonder if I could make any money at it?

If you are coming here to find out how long it takes to get over someone, or how long it takes for a broken heart to mend, there is no simple answer to that question. From experience, if your heart is truly broken, it will take a while. And sometimes, when you think you are past it, or the worse of it at least, something or someone will remind you of your pain and loss. The good news is the scar tissue builds up and eventually the pain is less severe with each passing hour, or day, or week, or month ... or year. It's not a linear progression, but a progression none the less, in spite of the regression and backsliding that inevitably occurs.

For me, as I remember it, the first few months were exquisite torture. When my ex moved out of town a couple months after our breakup, that helped, especially since we worked together. Seeing her every day for a few months kept the wounds too fresh and open. After she left, I could go for short periods of time without thoughts or memories of her and us crossing my mind.
The first six months were rough. The first year in fact. In the second year I changed jobs, moved to a new state and started some whole new routines, which helped me move on even further emotionally.

By the time I felt ready to date, there were no immediate prospects. Perhaps meeting someone new and spending time with someone new would have helped things progress faster. It had in the past, even if those rebound relationships didn't amount to much. That does not mean I would suggest anyone date just to date for the sole purpose of trying to mend a broken heart. And fortunately I have had someone to talk who I hope will be part of my life for a long time to come, but so far we have been kept by miles, bad luck and bad timing. The end of that particular story is not yet written.

We all move on in our own time and in our own way. If you are nursing a broken heart, I empathize with you, my friend. It does get better, even if it doesn't feel like it ever will sometimes. The time it will take will depend on how deeply you were in love, how long you were together, the depth and number of memories you creating with your ex and how often you have to confront the memories after the break up. A few significant "anniversaries" of dates important to the relationship may have to pass before those dates quit haunting you.

I just realized, just now as I wrote that, that one of those significant dates came and went a few weeks ago with no notice by me. I had no conscious thought of a certain date in mid-March. That date was supposed to my wedding anniversary. I forgot all about it.

Hmm. Imagine that.

I am very thankful for the friends who helped me re-establish a life as an individual again, talking to me about my feelings when I needed to vent and talking about anything and everything else when I needed to forget about my pain for a while.

Now that pain is distant, like a mirage on the horizon. It's like my mind is playing tricks on me. Was I really once engaged? Was there once a person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with? Perhaps, but whereas that once defined me and comprised most every waking thought, now that is just a fact of life. A small fact getting smaller, like the name of a third grade teacher, or knowledge gleaned for a college course. It's there, tucked away in a corner. Part of who I was. Part of what has made me who I am. But only a part, seemingly less significant with each turn of the calendar page.

Yes, if you bother to read any of the recent post here, you will not that I am not always a happy guy. I have good days and bad days. But even the bad days now are about me and the life I have now, my current struggles and foibles and failures. But they aren't about a life I may have once felt I lost, or was taken from me or someone who broke my heart.

No, on second thought, I have no desire to turn this blog lamenting a lost love. I empathize with the heartbroken who may come seeking help and hope, but I have no desire to try to remember how bad it felt when I felt bad about a lost love. This blog may not yet have evolved into what it will be someday. But one thing is clear, it is not the blog it once was. The posts with broken-heart themes are still there, but they aren't all that's there. It, and I, are just struggling to find our way and dreaming of what we may be, if and when we ever grow up.

There's a song, The Lonely by Toby Keith, on his Blue Moon album. It's one of those sad, broken-hearted country songs featuring a play on words. The lonely refers to the broken hearted people who congregate at a bar to drown their sorrows and The Lonely is also the name of the band that plays there. There's a line in the song that says: "If you are here to see 'The Lonely,', it's standing room only, for 'The Lonely'."

Well, if you are here to see "The Lonely" folks, that band has moved on down the road and is touring elsewhere. Sure, the band stops in and plays a set now and again. But "The Lonely" is no longer the house band.


Gene said...


Roger, Alan, Larry, George, Keith (the biggie), two or three whose names I can't remember, Gavin. Slowly it becomes a source of bemusement. And perspective. And gallows humor, "Those whiners in Baghdad! What do they know of suffering?" All is forgotten with the deep breaths of fresh air in the early morning. God's in her heaven and all's right with the world.


mawgawrita said...

Your honesty and openest is touching, and your pain is shared. I appreciate your candor, as it reminds me that it is ok for me to be human as well.

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