How I Found Hope After an Awful Breakup
If you’re reading this now, there’s a good chance that you just had a breakup.
Maybe it was gradual and you saw it coming. Maybe your relationship died a slow, painful death; a death marked by awkward silences which filled the room, troubled eyes meeting across a table, and the eventual, frank discussion, terminating your relationship.Or maybe, tragically, it was sudden. Maybe one minute he was there, and the next he wasn’t. Maybe you looked over, and saw him with someone else. Maybe you never got the answers to why, how, when? What happened to us?
Or maybe, like me, you found out through Facebook.
Whichever category you fall into, my heart goes out to you. If you’re anything like me, you probably feel yourself enveloped by the sort of heavy blackness which suffocates every single part of your emotional and spiritual wellbeing, cutting off your future plans in the blink of an eye, leaving you exhausted, drowned in tears, and feeling unable to carry on. There’s a good chance that you’re looking for inspiration: you’re looking for me to tell you that having my heart broken was the best thing that happened to me, that it transformed my life, or that it restored my faith in G-d. Sadly, you’re in the wrong place. My breakup was none of those things. And, unfortunately, I believe most breakups are like mine.
When the love of my life left me, I kept on hoping that he would come back, until the very day he got engaged to someone else. When that day came, my dreams were shattered.
I found out about the engagement in the same week as I found out the rest of my life was also going seriously wrong. I was failing my studies, unemployed, losing my faith, terrified that I was about to lose my house, and battling a bout of depression which left me unable to work or even get out of bed. It wasn’t a matter of losing my partner; it was a matter of losing hope. It took me two weeks to realize this; two weeks of constant tears, total hopelessness, and the feeling of being crushingly alone in a world where everyone, seemingly, has someone.
The more I thought about this realization, the more sense it made to me. None of the trials and tribulations I was dealing with were new to me; I had been struggling with my studies for months, I’d had periods of doubting my faith before, and I’d dealt with crippling depression since I was a child. It was the absence of having someone to tackle these things with that actually hurt the most. What hit me the hardest was the icy realization that I had no hope for my future if I was going to have to deal with these things alone.
And so, I return to the one word that governs my life nowadays. Hope. It’s all I can think about. Hope, and, alternatively, the absence of hope, sits at the center of every decision I make. It’s what my life was missing when my partner walked out, shut the door behind him, and proceeded to commit himself to someone who was everything I couldn’t be. It’s what I search so hard to find in the life choices I make nowadays, and it’s what you, too, the one reading this now, probably needs the most if you’ve just had a debilitating breakup like I had. Previously, I could coast along apathetically and battle even the hardest periods because I had someone to give me hope whenever I was lacking in it. Now, I have to find it myself.
If you’re like me, look for the things that give you hope. Start right now with a piece of paper, a pencil, and a list of the things that make you feel like you can wake up each morning and face the world that dealt you such a difficult hand.
You might include your hobbies, your family, and your friends. How about the sound of the sea washing against the beach, or the simple, silly books you love to read, or that one person who can make you laugh when you don’t even feel like smiling?
These might sound like the small things, but when I lost something big, I learned that they, too formed the indescribable thing we call hope. Maybe one day, I’ll look back and realize that these little things saved my life. Maybe one day, I’ll stop feeling the pain of heartbreak, trying its hardest to snatch the promise of another day from me.
I certainly hope so.