I haven’t done much in the past week to generate much inspirational hatred or annoyance and so my scathing humour is offering up little in the way of wryly observed witterings based on the cretins I’ve met. Fear not for I still have plenty to say about life in general, only this week I’m not aiming to make you laugh, I’m aiming to impart some sage advice on a subject I usually avoid like a plague ridden crack den; Love, or more specifically, that which happens when love goes wrong. Heartbreak.
Every one of us spends our every waking moment (and a few sleeping ones) hoping to find and hold on to never-ending love. We are programmed to crave it like Pavlov’s dog craves a spittoon and so it never occurs to us that actually, the opposite of love may be something desirable and beneficial to us in the long run. You’re going to think me a bitter, twisted witch (more so than usual) when I say that I hope each and every one of you, at least once in your life, experiences a horrifically broken heart.
It sounds incredibly harsh and callous but I truly think that every person out there would be a much better human being if they encountered a gut wrenching, soul shattering, life shaking case of heartbreak. Call it cruel, call it spiteful – I call a rite of passage.
I remember when a friend said this to me some years ago. In fact they didn’t say that everyone should experience it, they actually said that I in particular would very much benefit from a torment of the ticker. I thought back then that they were being mean and that I had already gone through enough in my short life to have taught me what it’s like to feel pain and compassion. In fact, I now see that they were right. As thoughtful and caring as I may have been back then, nothing, nothing at all will give you that depth of character, empathy towards others and dryness of humour like a good old fashioned kick in the emotional crotch.
Well, my friend didn’t have to wait long for my education in exquisite pain because lo and behold, just a few short months later, an idiot of a man took a long and protracted metaphorical dump on my heart from a very great height. Don’t worry, you can put down your pitchforks and drop the angry villager act, he has since declared that he was indeed a prize chump and, before going about his business, bought me a shiny trinket to cement the apology. Well, we all know that apologies don’t count unless you can wear them!
After the metaphorical and literal dumping, I can honestly say that I thought the world had stopped turning and that I would never be able to take a single footstep without feeling the churning of an aching heart in the pit of my stomach. I thought that unless I awoke to find this had all been a bad dream, there would never be an end to the crushing weight of my misery and despair and that no-one else in the world could possibly be in as much anguish as I was. Obviously I was wrong and the world did keep turning, thank god, I’d have hated to be single-handedly responsible for the extinction of every species on the planet, although that would have been quite some legacy (I have also since discovered a pain far greater and that many people have suffered far worse than I, so please don’t judge me on my self-absorbed pity of yesteryear).
It’s only after your heart has been truly ripped apart like the limbs of a spider at the hands of an inquisitive child, that you learn how to pick yourself up, dust off the detritus of empty vodka bottles and badly sung 03:00am power ballads and get on with life, now a significantly more robust person armed with the knowledge that you survived this and will therefore be able to survive many more of the awful things life has up its dirty sleeves (trust me they really are dirty – life doesn’t do laundry and it also uses its sleeve as a hanky).
Not only have you survived the thing you thought completely unsurvivable (the heartache as well as the vodka fuelled singing), now you have emerged butterfly-like from the cocoon of melancholy with a newly acquired understanding of others’ hearts, and never again will you treat people’s affections in so cavalier a way as you once would, because you know what it feels like to have your feelings squashed like an over-ripe plum during jam making season.
In the aftermath of a horrific heart fracturing incident, you may swear never to fall in love again and never ever to let anyone get close enough to hurt you like the last person but when the dust settles and you realise that you’re still breathing, you are blessed with the battle-scarred bravery of one who knows their enemy and are better prepared to once again enter the battle arena. Bring on the next soppy romance and tell them to bring their gladiator outfit, you know, the one with the little leather skirt and fish net stockings, errr, I mean, um, never mind.
A broken heart will mellow even the giddiest of spring lambs and knock the silly right out of them. Look deep into the eyes of anyone who has suffered a shattering of the heart and you will see a heavy glimmer of wisdom, maturity and caution that will serve them well into old age. No-one who has suffered a broken heart will ever cite Bridget Jones’s Diary as a source of sound life advice or let you use your phone while under the influence (don’t drink and dial people, keep your dignity).
Nothing sharpens the wit like a solid background of bitterness and woe. There are plenty of funny people out there in the world, lots of individuals who can make you laugh with their try-too-hard shallow jokes but show me someone who has been well and truly dragged through the wringer and I’ll show you someone who knows how to use their wit and comedy in a far more subtle and astute way. If I were to have a perfect dinner party (that would involve cooking so this really is a big “if”), you can be damned sure that if you haven’t brought a bottle of wine and a sense of humour based on a badly bandaged ego, you’re not coming in. Actually, if you haven’t been screwed over in the love department, just leave the wine on the side before you go, thanks.
As well as forming your character into one of a thoroughly splendid and well rounded individual, having someone rip the cardiac muscles out of your chest is a wonderful diet aid. Other than stomach flu and lipo, nothing makes you lose 10lbs faster than those magical moments following a thoroughly beastly break up. It doesn’t bode well for your bank balance though, as it’s compulsory during the immediate recovery period to purchase several very ill advised impulse purchases; motorbikes, £600 shoes, a divorce…
So yes, I stand by it. I say with the greatest of affection that I wish each and every one of you a truly, madly, badly broken heart. My advice to you here is go for it, cast your heart out there into the world in the hopes that someone will be generously brutal enough to trample unceremoniously all over it. You may not thank them at the time but you will have gained so much in character, compassion and humour. You will also have dropped a dress size in time for summer!