“Every love story is a tragedy if you wait long enough” - The Handmaid’s Tale
The Heartbreak Diaries
“You’re so strong”
But I didn’t feel that way, I didn’t feel strong at all.
It was just something they said because I didn’t cry about it.
What a state of being, stirring, in a broken heart.
For me, it’s the ultimate feeling of being powerless while simultaneously a destructible invincibility.
You don’t need sleep, or food, time slows down. You can do anything– days go by and productivity is energized by this simple restlessness in your heart, telling you that everything has changed. And because your plans change, a piece of you thinks that nothing really matters– which is an aggravating sense of freedom.
Confession: Sometimes I wake up at 2 a.m. desperately searching for something within the next couple hours to look forward to; And dangerously, I play voicemails like music–reminding me of how uncertain I am about how feelings work– how afraid I am that people, once unable to go a day without speaking, can turn into a couple weeks- and sooner than later, forever.
it wasn't us. so is it me? i'm too intense. i'm too stressed. I love too hard. I'm difficult, unworthy. I have no control, i have no control, i have no control.
The most difficult thing about my current state of heartbreak is that there is no endpoint yet.
When someone doesn’t know what they want, how are you supposed to either?
Everything is about fear.
What he was afraid of was something everlasting.,
And what I was afraid of was something so temporary.
You know you’re hurting and angry, and even a little bit resentful, but, you also know that the stupid, sparkly butterflies that once lived in your stomach may have rips in their wings, but they still want to fly -. Not today, definitely not today, and definitely not tomorrow. Either way, the stirring, and restlessness is just the discomfort from not having any sort of control, knowing everything I am afraid of is spitting in my face and I have to sit with it.
One could call it- Purgatory.
I’m sick of listening to my own endless ideas, running laps in my mind. Every time I’m alone it’s a pity party.
My feelings are bullsh*t.
I want to listen.
I want to listen to other people’s stories, heartbreaks, recoveries, and love stories.
Listening to other people’s stories that included endings is selfishly healing, almost as if the tunnel that felt like it was caving in, suffocating me, started to show signs of light, as long as I kept listening & pushing.
Along with my listening, I wanted to create. I thought about how to make these stories personal but come to life.
How do you represent heartbreak? I thought about endings, and death.
How do you represent heartbreak without love? I thought about bliss, and I thought about life.
I thought about my reflection in the mirror, I thought about seeing myself wither away, life leaving my eyes, my ribs piercing through my shirt, my muscles weakening.
I thought about how normal it felt, I hadn't had many great examples.
I thought about the flowers I had bought myself after my heart broke, and the way I hung them over my window to watch them die.
They were gorgeous, they still are, but they are faded and crinkled and the hairspray I coated on their delicate petals will only hold for so long.
Flowers. Temporary beauty.
The one that got away. The love that lasted for minutes, but felt like a lifetime. The love a million miles away, lost in twinkly lights and perfectly flakey croissants. The love she couldn’t dare to talk about, as the pain of losing love isn’t as strong as the fear of burdening others.
I got an email from someone important in my life, who wanted to help me. After I read the email twice, I sobbed -. The first time I had cried since the day it happened.
“Like the fog lifting. You can't see anything at first and when you are going through it, that fog seems to last forever and you can't get out of it, lost. Can't see but your hand in front of your face. But little by little, the sun starts to break it up and finally, you can see again.
It's a process. A hard, painful, miserable process. I remember my prayers to be "God, show me the way. Get me through this. Help him through it, show him the way, whatever it is. Ease his pain. Calm his mind. Your will, not mine. Your will not mine. Your will not mine." Time was my friend, time was my enemy.”
She had the exact same heartbreak as me, though hers in a few months time found a happy ending. Mine has no happy ending, not yet anyways.
Sleeping is the freakin’ worst. No, sleeping is okay. Waking up is the freakin’ worst.
“I remember waking up one morning and I felt his hand on my shoulder; it was so real, you memorize those feelings. And then I realized I was all alone and I just sobbed.”
And its true. I can still feel his hands every minute of the day. And when I bike down the street I see him turning around to taunt how lethargic my legs are.
He'd think that's funny, he'd think i'm being dramatic, he'd tell me to go for it, he's talking in my ear, he's laying in my bed but
I'm actually all alone.
The way she described her heartbreak was less of a broken heart, but of a twisted spine. It consumed her, it paralyzed her; the physical repercussions begin to be prioritized over the emotional strain. But when she began to heal- she was stronger than ever.
I wrote a long letter, everything that I was remembering, everything that hurt me so much. I typed it up, I signed my name. I printed it out.
I didn't send it.
August 25 (posted on September 10 for National Suicide Prevention Day)
I thought about Jake when I began to paint my flowers; a friend I had lost a couple years back when he took his own life. The hardest part was the sickening, overwhelming feeling that I will never ever see him again or, talk to him again. When my friend called me with the news, between sobs I said, “Well, what do we do now”, as if it wasn’t permanent. To anyone who’s lost someone, you know this feeling, like it’s another limb on you body. It’s haunting, you will never feel so helpless in your life- like trying to swim to the surface from the bottom of the ocean but your foot is tied onto something of an unknown. You’re drowning.
"in honor of World Suicide Prevention day, I wanted to share a piece of art inspired by losing my dear friend Jake. Jake, although gone, brought and still brings so much life to friendships and the swimming community. I'm constantly introduced to people who saw him on deck and adored him and I love finding those people to share a moment with. When I see carnations, I immediately think of him. Mostly because of his success at swim meets and the collections of winning blue carnations and then offer at least one to me. Carnations also remind me of Jake because of all the little layers and petals they hold. Humans are layered, and beyond their smiles and facades are petals of pains and aches and confusion and whether we can see them, we can always respect their delicacy with kindness."
It’s why I don’t give up on people- because what if you’re wrong, something happens and you never get them back. Because imagine the same scenario of losing someone, knowing you can never see them again, knowing you will never speak to them again, and now knowing it’s your fault.
“It hurts to see people I love hurt and not know what to do, because I don't quite know what they're feeling. It hurts to know that there might not be anything I can do. My heartbreak watching a friend destroyed by a heartbreak and not feeling like a good enough friend to fix it.”
“Why do I put myself through it again and again? It ends up the same, and I end up feeling like I’m not good enough.”
But she is. Watching her talk about people who continued to throw her into this miserable cycle of feeling like she isn’t good enough frustrated me. Her bright, and magnificent green eyes were fiercely passionate as she spoke and I thought to myself. “Holy shit look at her, how could anyone think she’s not good enough” Not to mention her kindness, enthusiasm, and dedication to everyone she cares about. It baffled me she could feel that way, but then again I knew the feeling all too well. I was left haunted at the end of the night with, “Maybe I’m just not good enough.”
For a while, everything began to disappear. I was talking about sadness because I knew that was the reaction I was supposed to have, but they were empty words. I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t resentful, or sad, I just had a swelling in my chest that wouldn’t go away. Being numb isn’t better than being overwhelmed by feelings; my entire personality, and the thing that makes me Brie is the heaviness, the intensity at which I feel every emotion. The butterflies I had were caught in cobwebs and made into a meal.
Until I had to spend a weekend where I was supposed to act numb, act like I didn’t care, act like it didn’t matter and I realized my new motto should be “repress to impress.” It felt impossible, my anxiety was overwhelming. Looking into the eyes of someone you love but will never love you back is terrifying. I swallowed tears for hours; the hands that used to grab my pinky and tell me it's going to be ok, were trapped in his pockets. We were looking at each other and I was screaming, but I was in the Anechoic Room, my voice was absorbed by the disorientation and tension that the two people once so in sync, would never be the same.
I wanted this diary to be published at a time when I am in fact vulnerable, when these feelings are real, and not memories. I decided to tell myself my own story again, from the beginning. And as I sat in the mirror and reminded myself of why I had started this damn thing to begin with, but the climax of the past weekend had passed and I still felt nothing. I had wondered what everyone was feeling while I smeared acrylic on their skin and peered into their lives at their most painful moments. But in my usual routine of holding a paintbrush, I was relaxed and at home.
It wasn’t until the camera was in my face.
“I don’t know how to do this, I’m usually behind the camera.”
Marisa, "it’s okay to feel things, Brie. You’ve helped so many people talk, let it out, let it go. You deserve to do the same.”
And then I lost it.
And I haven’t been numb since.
Sometime I wanna take back the comment I have about wanting to feel things fully rather than not feel anything at all.
Because this hurts like sh*t.
After the photo-shoot was done, I stared in the mirror at the flowers I had painted all over my body. It had taken so long, I had put so much work into them, similar to the way I had loved. I had put in all of the emotions I was so scared of living.
I stepped into the shower and watched as the paint ran down my hips. Colors circled around my legs, hovered around my feet until they rushed into the drain, and I had to say goodbye.