It’s Okay To Let Yourself Be Sad After A Breakup


I feel like I’ve never had a chance to be sad after a heartbreak. Once it’s over with someone, it’s over. I know that, but sometimes I pretend I don’t; if it’s over, we change. I don’t want things to change.

I like to play make believe with my emotions a lot of the time. I’ll pretend I’m having the time of my life when I want to gnaw at my insides like a rabid animal. I’ll pretend I don’t care when I would give anything to let you nestle into my shoulder, arms crossed, lips slightly pouted, breathing lightly, content. I try to make myself believe in the way I want to feel. I can’t do it.

I know that our friends mean well when they say, “They didn’t deserve you, you’re better off without them,” and well, what else are they supposed to say when all you’ve done is overthink and stress and cry and constantly furrow your brows in frustration for even being stressed out about this kind of thing? They’re doing their friend duty. They mean to make you feel better when they tell you to set your thoughts on other things, that time will heal you. But what about the sadness of it all?

Where do you put the sadness of going from something to nothing in an instant? The sadness of promise, of hollow promises with no foundation? The ones that cave in when you poke and prod in the wrong place? Do you shove it in a box and hide it in the back of your closet when your friends come over?

I try to keep myself distracted; I picture my mind as a chalkboard with too many diagrams of how he looked at me or the way he laughed, too many run-on sentences when I couldn’t get myself together, too many pros and cons lists when I wanted to sabotage what we had, and then I imagine a giant eraser making it all disappear. I feel relief for a split second, as if all the bad things are gone. But almost like magic, everything reverts to the way it was and I am back to frantic thoughts that keep me restless at night and exhausted the next morning. I’m back to my internal conflict, my morbid inner monologue.

So, I try to keep myself distracted, but it never works. If it never works, then where can I put the sadness? See, I believe that I should be able to grieve for the loss of something special; I believe that I shouldn’t be cold and careless yet calculated. But when I feel like the joke always ends up on me, is it worth the sadness at all?

The thing is, I know my heart. I know it too well, and I know I’ll never get better if I never make it through the dirt and grime that comes with sadness. The yucky things.

What I’m trying to say is I think we have to let ourselves be sad. We have to cry ourselves to sleep and be okay with letting ourselves feel angry and hurt and hopeless. We have to vent to ourselves, to a journal when we feel like no one else understands (even though almost everyone understands). We have to let ourselves think it’s the end of the world, but only for a while, because we can’t let ourselves get consumed in all this sadness. We have to take the time we need for it, but we can’t let all of our time be stolen by it.