The First Cut Is the Deepest
By Pamela, age 25, South Africa
The heart is as fragile as glass - one slip and it can shatter into a thousand tiny pieces. It isn't called 'heartbreak' for nothing. I have had my fair share of heartbreak, so I'd like to offer some advice, or at least some comforting words to those of you going through it, especially for the first time.
First love is magical, exhilarating, and special. You experience a thrilling high for the first time in your life, where you are so completely in love with the most amazing guy you have ever met, and he feels the same about you. He is the most gorgeous, caring, sweet, special guy in the whole world, and you just know that you will never feel that way about anyone ever again. He is your soul mate, and you are so perfect for each other that it must be 'fate' that you are destined to be together forever...but then, he breaks up with you. The first time your heart gets broken (or crushed, stomped on, and thrown away) you go through excruciating pain. All heartbreaks are painful, but like the song says, "the first cut is the deepest". The first time your heart gets broken, it is literally like a drug has been taken away from an addict, and you become desperate for your fix. You construct this whole love story in your mind where he was, and always will be 'the one'. You put him up on a pedestal, where he is a perfect angel who can do no wrong. You make excuses for him. You only focus on the happy times in your relationship, forgetting how badly he treated you. You can't imagine feeling that way about anyone ever again. You are terrified that nobody will love you the way he did. I could go on and on.
When I first went through it, I understood what they meant by the term 'heartbreak' - it felt like my actual heart that pumps blood around my body was aching and breaking at the same time. It was the first time in my life that I ever experienced that horrible, desperate, aching pain that feels like it will never go away. But it did. After grieving the loss of the future that I thought I had, and after many months of crying, my poor heart made a full recovery (but it was touch and go for a while!). Looking back on my first love, or should I say my first heartbreak, the main feeling that arises is embarrassment. I'm embarrassed about how crazy I acted, but mostly embarrassed that I was so hung up on a guy who was actually nothing special. In time, your heart will also heal completely, and you too will look back and laugh at the way you acted, and that you were so hung up on such an average guy.
When you do love again (and you will!), it will be stronger and deeper, even though you can't believe in a million years that is possible. You will know that it is possible to get over heartbreak, and you will guard your heart a little bit more closely. Every cut to your heart after the first cut will be a little less deep, because you know that your heart will heal again. But while you are still hurt it takes time to heal. Don't rush yourself - you have to grieve the relationship. Try not to jump into a rebound relationship, but don't sit at home and feel sorry for yourself either. Rather, spend time with your family and friends, and take time to do the things you love - the things that you couldn't do when you were in the relationship.
My favorite single girl Carrie from Sex and the City knows a thing or two about heartbreak. I found a quote from her that I think is very true and inspiring: "We could only wonder how she would be able to dust herself off and start over again. And yet we knew we couldn't bear for her not to, and felt ever more optimistic that after all her struggles, she would someday meet her man, her equal, a man with the same charisma, love of life, and humanity she possessed. In the meantime, she'd have her friends. And the knowledge that she deserved the world."