What a Broken Heart Really Feels Like

Alone“I’m sorry. I can’t. I have nothing left to give.” His t-shirt was sodden with tears; his face pressed against my shoulder. My knees felt like they might buckle beneath me. I couldn’t run from the truth any longer: he had given everything he had. He had made me his all; I was his girl. And in true form, I was a grenade that self-detonated. And he was a casualty that fell among the wreckage.

But a broken heart is so much more than an endless amount of tears; it’s so much greater than the word despair could even begin to describe.

It is a true feeling of loss. Some broken hearts are even worse than death – in the sense that for the most part, when you lose the ones you love because their lives ended, they do not leave you by choice. When you lose someone from a break up, they are leaving you by choice. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it. There was not a damn thing I could do about it. I pleaded, I begged, I fought. And no matter how many times I asked him to look at me; no matter how many times I pressed myself against him, and no matter how hard I tried, my efforts remained unmatched.

But I could not blame him. We had gotten lost among the debris – the ricochets of one too many mistakes, and one too many failures. I had let him down. I had let myself down. And all of the apologies in the world were not going to mask the hurt I had inflicted onto someone that loved me more than I have ever been loved.

In that moment, when I knew it was over, my entire body hurt. All over. From the inside out. It felt like every vessel in my heart could burst at any moment. I only wanted to be able to shed tears out of every pore on my skin to extinguish the fire that was quickly burning through every one of my nerves.

I couldn’t imagine living every passing day without the person that meant the most to me. I couldn’t catch my breath, and my stomach was tied in the strongest fisherman’s knot known to mankind. I was drowning, but there was no water in sight.

It was far more than my heart that was broken though. My soul was cracked, fractured. A piece of it was missing. He was taking that piece with him.

And in those final moments, I felt like I had lost any semblance of hope. The totality of it all was far too heavy for my heart to bear. It would be far too heavy for any heart to bear.

I couldn’t imagine spending Saturdays shaving with my own razor; his was always so much better and he never had any issues whenever I asked him to pass it to me – my face sticking out between the shower curtain.

I couldn’t fathom watching the sun burn brightly every morning and turning the sky blue to pink every night. I would never be able to drive past those windmills again.

But now when I take a shower and reach out for him, I will only find a ghost. A shadow of myself. And maybe that’s the moment I’ll finally know I have officially lost my mind. Then again, I have always believed in ghosts.

But maybe the worst part of this whole thing is the amount of control I had over the situation. Not necessarily over his choice – but everything leading up to that decision. If I could just have one thing, it would be to rewind time – to go back to the beginning. To find that version of myself, shake her so hard, and ensure she wouldn’t be the biggest moronic moron that she wound up to be. If only we could have our hindsight prior to making the decisions we regret the most.

Or perhaps the worst part is seeing him everywhere. Last night, I found myself remembering things that I forgot to remember. I hear a Journey song, and all of a sudden I’m transported back to June 2012, when I was first getting to know him, and Anyway You Want It was playing in that crowded bar in San Francisco, and as I watched him play his Steve Perry air guitar, I felt the urges of a crush fill my stomach and fill my smile. Or walking into my room and forgetting to move that scrapbook off of my dresser – the one filled with just about all of our memories from our first year together. Or even stripping my t-shirt off to get a momentary smell of his scent – the one that he had left imprinted on me after we shared our longest – and last – hug.

And then even in the initial aftermath, the regret sets in. The kind that leaves you haunted. The kind that makes you a believer in ghosts even if you never were before. And all you can do is hope and pray that the ghost of you is sticking with him just as much as the ghost of him follows your every move. And maybe when you begin to feel this way, I will know I’m not alone in my insanity.

Because a truly broken heart is the one that you break all on your own.


  1. Completely know how you feel. That’s such a shitty stage. It definitely passes though! In time. Also reminds me of something I wrote before too… I also believe I was in love with a ghost at one point: http://elitedaily.com/dating/love-ghost/646912/

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