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Heartache

I just watched a Netfliix show about a couple of guys who work for or with UNICEF and who are trying to bring into the spotlight the plight of children living in the slums of India. There is so much heartache in this world. War and poverty are rampant in foreign countries. The heartache of the people who are displaced because of war in their home countries is just unfathomable to those of us sitting in our living rooms watching it on tv. So often something that makes a human being hurt so horribly, happens in conjunction with other terrible things that put said human being into such a state, they are completely numb and in shock.


I do not want to make less of the horrors of the world. I just want to address the heartache we can encounter in our everyday, unprepared, white-bread American lives.


I am talking about the kind of heartache that people in normal living circumstances experience. The kind of heartache where, you are going along in your everyday, happy and routine life, when WHAM! -- out of the blue something totally unexpected, that you had little or no warning about coming, hits you upside the head and you are completely unprepared to deal with it. Your heart is so broken and hurts so much that you really feel that it is tearing in half..you can actually feel the pain in your heart. And you know it is not a heart attack. You know your heart is breaking.


What do we do with that kind of pain? How do we manage to function when it seems to never leave us? Who do we become to the rest of the world, while managing this emotional mess that we have become on the inside?


PLEASE KNOW THAT I DO NOT HAVE ANY ANSWERS HERE!!


Just know that I have lived this pain--and more than once. Variations on this pain. Debilitating pain. Heart wrenching pain. Pain that brings you to the brink of no longer wishing to live, and having to force the will to live out of the depths of your soul. Pain that can muster hours and hours of tears. What can I tell you about how to get past this kind of pain? Is there anything at all that I can say to help a person in terrible pain-- just. get. by.?


First, I can say that crying does, indeed, help. Bullshit to those who say it does not. You have to get it out of your system. On the other hand, you have to learn when to stop crying. Not forever, just each crying session. You can actually do harm to yourself by crying too much. I used to cry so much, I would give myself dry heaves. I did this so often that, eventually, I either puked or got dry heaves every single time I cried. So...learn to force yourself to stop after a good cry. You can also really mess up your sinuses and your eyes by crying for hours. So use the crying sessions as a lesson in self-control. At least you will have learned a good skill while in the crying-a-lot phase!


Next, I can say that moving and working really do help. Walking or running or exercising, gets out a lot of that anger and frustration. And working keeps you busy and forces you to think about something else besides your feelings. People always comment on how I manage to get so much accomplished. Believe me when I say...it is a skill I picked up while attempting to quiet my aching heart!


Also, I can tell you that your broken heart will mend. In the end, it will look like Frankenstein's patched up heart (and oftentimes feel like it) , but it will mend back together. However, you will have to figure out how you, personally, will mend your heart. And you will live forever with those mended up, wonky-looking stitches...your heart will never again be whole and perfect. Sorry. But there it is...


In the meantime, you will have to go through the motions of living. I highly suggest you just get on with it. The sooner you begin living like things are normal, the sooner your psyche will accept that, perhaps, you are on to something here, and the healing process can begin.


And finally, as time rolls by and you find yourself living a nearly-normal life again, you will start to see a pattern to the sadness. Granted...there will be times when you round a corner and you get side-blinded by a memory and you will have to deal with it then and there. But when you are able actually feel a Bad Day coming on...treat it just like you would a flu bug. Give yourself a break -- a Sadness Sick Day. Cry. Throw things. Howl at the World and it's unfairness. Have a drink. Have two. Binge watch Twilight. Eat some chicken soup and sleep for 12 hours. Then get up and go back to putting one foot in front of the other and going through the motions.

Each of us takes a different amount of time to heal. Each of us comes out a different person, on the other side. Strive to maintain your id. Strive to maintain kindness and empathy. Love. Allow yourself to love.


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