Your ribs open and expose a scrapyard. You sink into this shipwreck state and crash like a trainwreck. Remains of long lost memories are all what's left in the carcass that once was your soul.

You become vulnerable like a deer in the headlights, you find yourself praying for someone to come back into your life, even if that means a second round of a hurricane destroying everything around and inside you. You dig a grave for your heart but there’s no coffin big enough to carry it or to bury it. Life becomes an Amy Winehouse song, you listen to Tom Waits and relate to his drunken laments and his misery. The Smiths play on the radio and you think those lyrics were customised.

This mess you’re in is not functional, let alone rational, knees are too bruised from crawling after someone who doesn’t give a shit if you’re dead, alive, suffering or celebrating. You self-sabotage, questioning everything and wondering if you’ve been living a lie, or not living at all. It’s like taking that Matrix red pill… more like an overdose of red pills.

That’s what heartbreak feels like. You can’t dance, focus, eat or sleep. Some sort of tormented tunnel vision that blinds you with passion. You obsess over what went wrong, what could have been, the ‘what ifs’. Everything feels cold and uninviting, like being trapped in an emotional comedown. You delete photos and try hard to erase memories by muffling them with alcohol-induced amnesia. Oh, the things you do to feel less – to not feel at all.

Brainwashed by your own feelings, you cry on the kitchen floor. You roll your eyes at those happy couples on the bus home, you declare war on dating. Hope is the danger you fear the most and when you wake up it feels like a fuzzy hangover you can never delay. You stuff your stomach with uppers and downers that eventually will numb and distract you from what’s going on. The butterflies in your tummy are now rats looking for a way out.
You torture yourself and ask yourself how people deal with this. How long will it last? Is it really over? You refuse to listen to your gut, but you should know better, you know you must trust your gut in order to avoid further disaster. You end up feeling sorry for yourself – why wouldn’t you? You’re going through hell after all. You feel like the heartbroken, lovesick, delusional, humiliated loser they must talk about behind your back.

Everything tastes insipid. You waste your time cursing the moment that person entered your life, never truly belonging to it but ruining it all for you. You realise you were never special. Somebody else is now where you once were. You’re torn between relief and regret, distancing yourself from whatever logical thought could save your soul in this purgatory called unrequited love. Your bedroom becomes the Valley of Dolls and you alienate yourself from what used to be you.

People will tell you “Don’t drink yourself to death. There’s plenty of fish in the sea.” and “It was for the best. A blessing in disguise, I tell ya!” or “You need to see the bigger picture!” but you are blind and empty inside. There’s nothing left, only grief, rage, angst and anguish. All you have left now is time to heal your wounds – you can always brag about the scars later. It’s fuckin’ survival.

Let’s face it, you never really learn anything from heartbreak, do you? It’s not like you will suddenly learn how to prevent yourself from falling in love again, and if you do manage to hold back any of those romantic attachment symptoms… would it really be such a bad thing? At least it will help you distance yourself from your last experience. You ask me if I regret having my heart shattered multiple times in the past and my answer is always no. I don’t regret a thing. I do, however, feel like no matter how damaging the next time might be, I’ll certainly be more prepared. Whatever you survive once, you survive twice. Trust me on this one.

Nancy Wilde

Nancy is an urban explorer; candle collector; nocturnal neo-flapper; avid thrifter; ottersloth; pub fly; fridge raider; literature enthusiast with a passion for bygone eras and Peter Pan collars. Currently living in dirty old Dublin, Ireland.


  • I am fortunate enough to have not suffered heartbreak yet, because it sounds like no picnic. Beautifully written, I swear I felt this in my bones, thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great week x

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin | Blog Sale

    • Nancy Wilde

      I envy you! But then again, we live and learn, right? x

  • like kiran, i’m fortunate enough that i haven’t suffered / went through heartbreak yet. it’s my first relationship ever and i really, really hope it will work out til the end – even though you might think this is such a silly idealism and i’m not usually much of an idealist. but i know how shitty heartbreaks are, i can only imagine. i try to always remind myself every day that if things went wrong (knock on wood), i have to survive through it. still, my usual realist self turns into an idealist just for this one stuff.

    anyway, this is such a beautiful piece. very descriptive, very intensely emotional and just all around beautiful.

    • Nancy Wilde

      Hey, idealism is a great thing! Best of luck! xxx

  • Bivisyani Q.

    I believe that heartbreaks can happen time and time again and various opportunities. We don’t have to lose a loved one—i.e. in a breakup or through death—to feel our heart being broken. For instance, that second (or third, if you count the lead) paragraph there totally describes how I constantly feel in this LDR I’m currently going through with my S.O.—except maybe the memory-erasing part. So, if you ask me if I’ve ever had my heart broken due to the ending of a relationship, I would say no—unless you count the death of my Mom, but that’s obviously different. Being rejected by my crushes before? Sure. But I never really lamented over their preference for some other gal. But, if you ask me if I’ve experienced excruciating pain like described here, I would say probably—although maybe not of the same intensity.

    The worst part is, in an LDR, moving on to find other “fishes in the sea” doesn’t solve the problem.

    Alive as Always

    • Nancy Wilde

      It doesn’t solve the problem for me but some people state it’s their way to deal with it. Go figure. I suppose we all react differently and it’s never easy. Thanks for commenting, love. xx

  • Laura Santos

    Better to break your heart than to break your mind. Our mind should never sink because of a broken heart, but it might happen…. Feeling down and sad it´s natural, but time will always show us that it was not importanta at all.

    • Nancy Wilde

      True that! xxx