How To Heal A Broken Heart, Even When You Don’t Think You Have The Strength To


Close your eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. Remember who you were before this person came into your life and spun you in circles. Remember how you laughed at your own jokes, how you danced with your friends, how you stayed up too late watching reruns of old TV shows and painted your toenails bright pink. Remember how you curled your hair in the bathroom mirror in the mornings, or kicked a soccer ball around the gym. Remember how you made meals for one and ate them while talking on the phone to one of your buddies from grade school. Remember how your days were composed of selfishness, contentment.

Remember how you were never worried that you would break because you were already whole.

One day, you fell. But this kind of falling was beautiful. This kind of falling came in a rush. Suddenly your palms were sweaty and you were staring at your phone like a crazy person, waiting for it to light up with that person’s name.

You found yourself daydreaming about a bedroom with shared halves of the bed, two pairs of gym shoes on the front mat, another enchilada in the oven. It was easy, then, to make space for another person. Effortless, even. Falling wasn’t terrifying. It wasn’t losing your step or slipping forward with your hands tied behind your back. Falling was simple, unquestioned.

Love was easier than you thought it would be because it came natural. Because you cared for this person without having to try.

And then, you broke. Things fell apart in time, maybe gradual, maybe all at once. You found yourself pulled away, shoved away, tattered and beaten and torn. The way you used to talk to one another dissolved into anger. The special moments you shared became ordinary, mundane. You found you both had moved on, given up, found other things and people to fill the holes. And it destroyed you.

You were just another victim of a broken heart, and how stupid you were to believe that this person would be different. You stared at the walls of your apartment. Empty. Exhausted. How foolish you were to believe in love, to think that people could fall for one another and it be real. This is what you told yourself, what you beat yourself up over for days, weeks, months.

But what you’ve so easily forgotten is that your little heart is resilient, and you will heal.

Yes, heartbreak will hurt you for a time. It will make your days stretch on slowly, wishing to be anywhere but where you are. It will make your actions feel futile, your hopes crushed by the weight of your loneliness. But you will survive.

Day by day you will regain your sense of confidence, your self-love, your remembrance of who you were and will always be, even without another person by your side.

You will focus on the little things again—the birds, the trees, the warmth of your bed in the morning, the way your hair falls into place. You will appreciate the friendships, the strangers, the connections all around you, so beautifully platonic. You will take notice of yourself—what you need, where you hurt, what makes you feel alive. And you will begin to focus on those things again, wholeheartedly, passionately, purposefully, positively.

You will breathe. You will close your eyes. You will remind yourself of your wholeness.

You will tell yourself you are only human, and this is a slow process. But still, you will overcome. You will remember that you are immeasurably strong, simply for rising in the morning and facing a new day. For putting your shoes on. For walking out that door. For smiling at strangers. For making meals for one. For listening to your favorite song and dancing barefoot around the kitchen. For remembering that your singleness doesn’t mean you are less, or incomplete, or alone.

For knowing that this season will pass and bless you with lessons and even more strength.

This is how you will heal your broken heart—you will have faith in the day by day. And you will move forward, inch by inch, even when you don’t think you can. Until suddenly, you are, you did, and you are free.



Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.