How I got through my worst-ever heartbreak
I would have done anything to feel better.
I’ve broken hearts. I’ve been heartbroken. But my most devastating heartbreak was my divorce.
He broke up with me over the phone on the same day I suffered a miscarriage. My mom was dying from terminal cancer and had months to live.
Actually, first, he texted me. “I’m staying at my parents’ for a few days.”
I knew my ex and I were struggling. Really struggling. I’d spent the last two years working my ass off trying to convince him I’m lovable. A part of me knew, deep in my bones, that he was capable of leaving me abruptly. And what’s more relevant is that a bigger part of me, deep in my soul, wished for the ordeal of our marriage to be over. Walking away, however, was never an option. I was way too afraid to be without him.
He never came home. That was the day my life fell apart.
How did I get through it?
I surrendered to help. I went to therapy twice a week. I leaned on my friends and on my sisters. I couldn’t be afraid to totally break down. I needed to let all of the difficult, uncomfortable, messy vulnerability pour out. I accepted that what I needed was support, and I gave myself over to it.
In the beginning, even getting out of bed was a feat. If I took a shower, it was a victory. I took a walk every single day because of my dog. I ate the same egg sandwich every day with my coffee, because that’s what felt good to me.
Helping others provided a way out of my pain, too, especially when I was in an acute state of shock and grief, so I threw myself into my work, which was teaching yoga. Helping people gave me something to focus on outside of myself.
Moving on from the end of my relationship took time, and it wasn’t linear. As the months passed, my grief evolved. It wasn’t just about day-to-day survival anymore, but my heart was still broken, and my grief was still there.
I just wanted to feel better. I would have done anything to feel better.
So I started listening to podcasts on my walks. I read things every single day that inspired me. And most importantly, I worked to understand myself and understand what had happened. This breakup wasn’t like anything I’d ever experienced before.
It was the biggest wake-up call of my life.
One of the most important things I did for myself was to focus on the things that I could control, and by doing so, my life started to feel less chaotic. I delved deep into the world of relationships and psychology, and I submerged myself in the field of personal development. As I was applying my learnings to myself, I thought, I have to teach this. It took me down the path of becoming a relationship coach, and I completely transformed my life.
Learning this new craft pushed me to the other side of the hell I’d been in. I poured my energy into teaching and sharing and helping others understand themselves based on what I’d gone through.
Not everyone needs to transform their entire lives. And some things stayed the same for me: I kept on working. I kept teaching yoga. There were days when I thought that there was no way I could keep going, but keeping going is what saved me.
Having pockets in my day where I wasn’t focusing on myself but could instead focus on others saved me, too. It might look different for you: Volunteering, teaching, or sharing can all pull your focus outward.
I’d rather never go through that pain again, but I know it served a purpose. I’d been on the wrong path, and it redirected me to where I was supposed to be. Now, I’ve been able to find meaning in my experience.
But I was willing — really willing — to learn and make changes.
I truly believe that you can transform your pain into purpose. It looks different for all of us, but if you’re really willing to grow and be self-reflective, the story of your heartbreak can be one of positive transformation. It will be messy. It will not be linear. It will require leaving your comfort zone.
It was chaotic when my world fell apart. There were days when I was so totally depressed that I couldn’t imagine a way forward. But I kept moving, even if I couldn’t see the path ahead. And I got to the other side. And if I could do it, I know — with certainty — you can too.
P.S. I’m taking next week off for Thanksgiving. I’ll be back the following Thursday with one more heartbreak-themed newsletter. See you next week!