Mending a Broken Heart

I think most of us have had to deal with a broken heart in our lives. The pain is excruciating.
In fact, I have had a heart break so bad that I just wanted someone to put me to sleep until time passed away. I was not suicidal at all, but the pain was too unbearable.

The American Heart Association explains that when you have a broken heart broken heart it is a syndrome! It is known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which can have the same sensations as a heart attack. The symptoms include shortness of breath and rapid, severe chest pain that follows an emotional occurrence.

A new shocking study of 485 patients by European Heart Journal carried out tests to trigger emotional feelings, and as a result, 20 people were found to have experienced broken heart syndrome after an instance of joy. What was found baffling to Dr. Steven Schiff was that he had seen this a dozen times and it’s almost always been 95% of the participants this was found in were women.

This has baffled doctors as they aren’t sure why this occurs, but according to cardiologist Dr. Steven Schiff, “I’ve seen this a dozen times. It’s almost always been women.”Dr. Malissa Wood states that “it’s probably tied somehow into estrogen levels.”

While many consider broken heart syndrome to only occur in postmenopausal women, she’s also seen it happen with younger women under the 30s and 40s age group.

Amidst all the scary facts, broken heart syndrome isn’t related with any threatening factors and can easily be recovered from.

How do you remedy a broken heart? It hurts so bad especially when you wake up the very next day after the spiral downward from joy. You wake up and then feel a jolt when you remember why your heart aches. You feel deep loss or betrayal. You wish you were dreaming and you feel powerless.

We start to break it down and ask questions like, “What did I do wrong?” or, “Why did he leave me?” You have a choice at this point; do you escape the pain or do you deal with it head on? If it was your fault you would need to apologize, and this may not repair all the damage, but it will keep you from staying in guilt mode which will destroy your spirit even more. Remorse is good, but guilt is destructive if you dwell on it. So what do you do?

Sometimes we use temporary things to cover up our pain instead of healing the brokenness.
Think your pain as a wound or broken bone that needs tending. If you had the power to numb your broken leg and continued to walk on it so you could escape the pain. This causes further damage. When you have a broken heart, it is tempting to cover the pain with substances like alcohol or drugs. You could also rush right into another relationship without thinking it through fully. It helps with a temporary avoidance of feeling pain. These are all temporary fixes and what you need are time and support. Let the healing happen. It will hurt but then over time, slowly but surely, you will heal and mend properly.

Here are the four steps for healing the heart:

1. Be good to yourself. Understand that this pain is temporary and you deserve goodness.
allow yourself 2-3 days to fall to pieces and cry. Eat that ice cream and watch funny movies! (No love stories!)
2. Healing takes time. Find things to do like daily body movement vs exercise. Dancing releases endorphins, Swimming is gentle, riding a bike and taking in your surroundings. A walk on the beach or lake. Be patient. Take your time.
3. If you did something wrong and need to make amends, write a letter or meet with the person to apologize.
4. Forgive yourself. Forgive them too. This is how you will truly heal.
5. Allow someone who is a very good listener to be your support. They may need you someday and you are not a burden.

Healing your heart is a process but it is not the end of love for you. You will love again and you will be loved.

Shannon Knight

Copyright © 2013 Shannon Knight. All Rights Reserved.