My friend, who rarely ever goes out to drink, had a week-long binge with different friends named beer, tequila, and whiskey. The reason for such meetings: a broken heart.
There are about three hundred sixty five metaphors about love, eight thousand seven hundred sixty cliches, and over five hundred thousand more about heartbreak. Anyone who has ever fallen deeply in love will experience all these emotions at some point in their lives — and even though ninety-nine percent of us will fall for the wrong person (or persons) before finding the right one, somehow there is no proper way to encapsulate love and heartbreak in a nutshell. That feeling, and those experiences are uniquely ours to hold.
My experience with heartbreak was all-consuming: I cried five hours straight, half-hysterical, half-in denial that the future I saw was going up in flames. My friend, on the other hand, kept most of it to herself, because part of her believed that if she won’t say it out loud, then it can’t be real, until she had to say it out loud because it is real.
There are some things that we want to wish away, and most of the time, we want to wish away broken hearts — it’s the closest thing to hell that most of us can ever imagine. And she could pretend to laugh her heartaches away the way I used to pretend that I’m okay, but people who fell in love intensely can rarely get out of this intense sorrow unscathed.
There is nothing quite like watching someone hide the heart she was wearing on her sleeve — anyone who has ever felt something that intense can easily spot it, even from someone hiding the tears through her smiles.
Unfortunately, the thing is that broken hearts are not like broken bones, which you can fix with a cast and physical therapy — broken hearts, especially the first great ones — are more like the phantom limbs that can haunt you years after they’ve been gone.
Let’s talk about broken hearts: the harrowing, reeling intensity that we try to explain in so many words without really being able to. The broken hearts that left us bleeding on the pavement. The broken hearts that kills a little part of us each time. The broken hearts that left us calloused and scarred.
And broken hearts that give us hope — that one day, we will have the right love, with the right one that’s meant for us all along.