Heartbreaks hurt. That’s why it’s named so, right?
In an instant, your heart can stop, shatter, and sink.
Before you know it, you’re lying in bed with eyes puffy and nose red feeling as if your life is over.
But you know what?
If I could choose whether to have experienced my first heartbreak, with all its numbing pain and endless crying, I’d say yes.
Over and over again.
Why? Because after everything I went through, it made me stronger and I learned to appreciate myself more (as cliché as it sounds).
But, before I could emerge out of the dark tunnel to meet a better me, I first had to take my time journeying through the stages of my heartbreak.
First, I Cried. A Lot.
As soon as the text appeared on my phone, an uneasy feeling overwhelmed me.
“I need to talk to you. In person,” he had said.
I had felt that something was amiss when he started becoming distant. Replies were short and noticeably forced. Even when I tried initiating conversations, I was met with no more than two-worded answers.
“Well, if it’s about us breaking up and all, I don’t think there’s a point in us meeting,” I replied trying to appear as if it wasn’t killing me inside.
While awaiting his reply, I wished it wasn’t true. That my speculations before were wrong. That he still wanted me.
“Well, okay then. If you say so,” the text came and in the same second, the pain I felt was like nothing I had experienced before.
I ended up crying in bed the whole day, with my knees tucked against my chest and my hand, clenched into a fist, pressing against my heart.
Like a broken record, my mind kept thinking and thinking about where and how things went wrong, replaying all our past conversations and my actions prior to his sudden change of heart.
Then, I Dressed Up and Went Out.
The next day, I rolled out of bed, got dressed, drew on my eyebrows, and went out with my friends. I know it sounds a bit too soon but it was my attempt to feel good about myself.
I just wanted to be my normal self again.
I wore this sleeveless blue top and my black leather jacket that always made me feel confident. You know, badass. I then put on my favourite sunglasses to hide my puffy eyes and strutted straight out into town.
I remember going to this busy noodle restaurant with my two girlfriends. Throughout the entire meal, I tried to have fun and immerse myself in the conversation.
But every time I saw a couple or a random memory of him popped into my head, the tears started streaming down.
I realised I wasn’t ready.
I Cried. Again.
I learned that I needed to allow myself to mourn. It is a loss after all.
So I took it easy. Nice and slow.
A heartbreak, like any medical condition, has its own healing process and as much as we want to, we can’t just snap out of it.
At home, in the cafe, on the train, and everywhere in between, I let the tears flow whenever they wanted to.
For two nights straight, I cried after dinner.
My mum was there for me during this time, thankfully, and I remember telling her that it was my after-dinner cry-time when I snuggled up in front of the TV with my tub of ice cream and tissues in hand.
I Met Up with My High School Boyfriend.
It could have been a coincidence or some type of fate, but my ex-boyfriend from high school was in town at the same time I was getting over my heartbreak. Somehow, catching up with him over coffee, in a totally platonic way, helped me move on.
The day I met up with him became the day I stopped crying. This doesn’t mean I was completely healed from the heartbreak, but I was getting there.
Maybe it was the reminder that there is always someone else out there for me, or that like with my high school boyfriend, if it’s not meant to be, it won’t be.
Whatever it is, it was a turning point in my journey to recovery.
I Saw the A**hole Again and Acted Cool. Real Cool.
I had to see him again to return a bag he had left at my apartment.
I was so glad I had that excuse to meet him because after the end of my 3-day cry-athon, I wanted to show him I was over him.
Even if I wasn’t completely.
I pretended I no longer cared about the breakup and treated him just like a friend while secretly hoping he’d regret his decision.
I didn’t know if I wanted him back, to be honest, but I wanted him to want me back.
Perhaps it is this pretension, the “Look how well I’m doing without you” act, that ended up helping me in the process of getting over him. As they say, fake it till you make it, right?
I Decided It Was Time to Make a Change.
Soon after the tears and thoughts of him stopped taking over my life, I decided to try something new as an attempt to truly, move on. I’d always wanted to try kickboxing at that point in time and I thought to myself, “Okay Crystal, this is it.”
The writer’s very first kickboxing gym.
I did a little Googling on classes nearby and went in for a free trial. In a humid basement that suffocated me with the stench of sweat, I found myself feeling intimidated by the big guys and the fit girls all around.
I wanted to run out.
But, with encouragement from my mum, I pushed through the class and on the same day, I committed to a package.
No turning back now!
I started going to class 3-4 times a week, and wow, I was horrible at the start.
My hands and legs were not in sync and the movements felt so weird.
But as time went on, I got better.
Not just at kickboxing, but at regaining myself. At being whole again.
I Focused on the People Who Actually Cared.
The month after I got dumped was around the time I started getting closer to a group of girlfriends from my Uni.
I started hanging out with them more, going for dinners, drinks, and dancing on weekends.
We would share funny photos in our group chat and have the most random conversations.
Looking back, being with them made me happier than I ever was with the guy who broke my heart.
Apart from making more time for my friends and family, I also started doing more things by myself and for myself.
It didn’t matter if I ever find another partner. I needed to be, first and foremost, completely happy on my own.
I Realised I Really Was Better Off.
At last, I’ve become okay on my own again.
It was then that I started to adopt the mindset that if someone didn’t choose me, he’s not worth it. That’s something I’ve carried with me through all my heartbreaks since.
It’s also what I tell my friends nowadays. Because I honestly believe that if someone wants you, they would do their best to make it work with you.
There are no excuses.