Damn, Damn, Damn it, I did it again! Check me into Heartbreak Hotel. Another failed love, another risk, gain, then horribly tragic loss. When will I learn? Learn what though? To not love at all? I can't stop loving but I can be wiser in how I love the next time and how I maintain that love. Forgive the autobiographical rant but I am in desperate need of blog-therapy and have discovered that there are absolutely no books out there on how to heal a gay broken heart (I Google'd and Amazon'ed) and there is no pill to take away the pain of the knife wedged in my heart. All I do have is time to process what caused the collapse and in the words of a friend, "take it not day by day but hour by hour".
This love lost was the grandest, most beautiful and real love I ever had in my life, challenging me to the best version of me possible. It renewed my faith that a true and mutual love is possible in the Gay world of today with real morals and real fidelity. It even got me believing in the "M word" (marriage) for the first time. He was my rock, my confidant, my protector, my burning love, my privilege to have and to hold every night.
A guru once said the most difficult people in your life teach you the biggest lessons. In love, one can find the biggest teacher and the highest lessons we can learn in this life. If you can hack it. There are never any guarantees or insurance policies to protect you from a broken heart, no matter whom you choose to love.
I have friends that for over 15 years have been single and its not for lack of being virile, valuable or attractive. They'd rather not risk the pain (at least that's my theory). They are content in their safe, self-reliant bubbles, with no one to let you down except yourself. It takes a huge amount of trust to put your heart in the care of another. Yet, I still believe it is worth the ride and to at least have gathered some beautiful memories that to have none at all. To be content in knowing true love at all. Some never have that luxury in their entire lifetimes. Some are lucky if they can get fresh water for the day or keep their bodies nourished and under shelter. Love is indeed the most expensive, highest and rarest luxury on our blue bubble we call home.
The beautiful spell I was under for almost 2 years has been broken and turned into a beautiful lie overnight. Where's my brokeback cowboy that doesn't know how to quit me? Where is the loyalty that lasts a lifetime? I ran into an elderly couple that have been married for 60 years and they revealed the secret to their marriage was rather simple, back then people would work 13-14 hours a day and by the time the husband came home he'd be too tired to gripe or argue. Ah, ain't love grand?
Am I an outdated dinosaur? Is this kind of love a thing of the past in our throwaway and unsustainable society? Or is it something people will strive towards in our next evolutionary step? Food, energy, transportation, love that lasts; less disposability. An Obama-style overhaul is needed because if that oil spill gushing right now into the Gulf of Mexico has taught us anything is that our old ways are "messy and wasteful" to say the least. Maybe love will be more everlasting as we tire of the newer and newer versions of any given product and learn to stick with what we got and simply improve on how we use it. I may not be an Iphone but I can release improved versions of me as quickly as Apple does.
Here are some self-help steps towards healing a broken heart:
STEP 1- THE MIGHTY CRASH
Whether you catch your loved one cheating or they move out on a moment's notice to be in the arms of their new cheap replacement, is insignificant. What is important is to not do anything you will regret later or get arrested for, no matter how badly they deserve it. Like the gay man in South Beach who found his lover in bed with another and shot his lover then himself in the head, it just isn't worth going to jail for them. The sharp pain of the "crash" must be dealt with immediately and in the healthiest way possible which means to get yourself as far away from the one that hurt you as possible and stay away as best you can. Go to your mother's, your best friend's couch, wherever. Plan your strategy on how to deal with this new challenge life has brought you. The lessons from it won't come until about a month or more after the initial crash. After the first week, you instinctively lean on your tried and true loved ones and friends. Daily doses of Xanax or Prozac isn't a bad idea right about now. Let it all out, cry and cry as much as you can. Stay in bed until you can't any longer. Like singer Robyn wails, it will hurt with every heartbeat. After about the 7th day of holding back tears and punching your shower wall you will begin to desperately yearn to move on and stop looking back. It's now time to go to the next step towards recovery.
STEP #2 COPING WITH THE PAIN
Talk to your friends until you don't want to talk about it anymore. You'll be surprised how many people will open up and share their heartbreaks that are so horrible it'll make your's feel like a cake walk. Work past the emotional phase of blaming yourself. It isn't about you, it's about what they needed. No matter how hard you tried, you could have never filled that void. The two of you were not "meant to be" at least any longer than right now.
STEP #3 FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF AGAIN
Get your "J" on and touch yourself for as long as you can. Like milk, it's good for you. Learn how to love that man in the mirror you see everyday. Hit the gym again, hardcore especially on the most depressing day of them all for single people-SUNDAY (roll your eyes annoyed like). The day of the week that everyone snuggles up in bed with their loved one to catch up on Z's and watch movies, eating like a flunky from the Biggest Loser. While the love birds go at it, you will be getting ripped, gifting you an admiration for your new found muscle tone. Fall back in love with your IPod and make a "Breakup-Forget the Butthole playlist" because these are the times that silence is anything but golden. Being home in the sudden silence is literally deafening. Being out of the house as much as possible is the best medicine right about now. Suck up that good ol' Miami sun and get nature's "happy hormones" in the form of Vitamin D. The flip side of depression is that you get to lose some of that stubborn fat. I call it the "Depression Diet" others like to call it the "Divorce Diet". Either way, make sure you at least get some protein in the form of a smoothie. Getting hospitalized will not bring the deserter back.
Carefully select your new mantra-songs to uplift, forget and empower. Stay away from the tear jerkers. No Whitney, Celine or Barbara Streisand (The Way We Were). Listen to these "Eye of the Tiger" songs over and over until their lessons are fully ingrained in your psyche and like Stella you slowly regain your "groove". During this phase, you must write down and list all the things the EX didn't or couldn't do to make you happy (You know what they are). It's essential to go through this step so you can identify the right candidate the next time one comes a'knocking. The true test to see if you are beginning to get over the worm is if you can come up with more things that didnt make you happy than did. There IS a reason for this break, you just didn't want to see it as fast as they did. Your reward is that you will be well on your way to officially be over the he\she\it that hurt you in the first place. After the dust has settled, you will identify all the things you forgave that weren't making you happy and quickly realize they really did you a favor.
Relationships are stepping stones until you climb up to your highest love. There are a few rare unicorns out there that are lucky enough to find it on their first try but for the majority of us, it's a lifelong process.
Suicide prevention tip #1
Never, ever, ever think the person you are currently in love with is the only and last person you can ever be with no matter how much you love them because if for any reason they leave your life, you won't be able to live without them. There are billions of other people on this planet to fall in love with....or at least millions out of those billions...okay, at least a few hundred thousand.
Here's my break-up playlist (feel free to steal away):
Love is Gone by David Guetta
Dont trust the ho- by 3OH!3
Alone by Maya (lyrics begin at 2:25)
Bulletproof by LaRoux
I've Got Soul by The Killers
According to You by Orianthi
With Every Heartbeat by Robyn
Keep on rising by Ian Carey
Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
If I Were a Boy (remix only) by Beyonce'
Leave, get out by Jojo
Only When I Lose Myself by Depeche Mode
Suicide prevention tip #2
Do not under any circumstance listen to Sarah McLachlan or Enya and you are absolutely forbidden from downloading The Crying Game by Boy George.
STEP 4- THE RITUAL OF LETTING GO
If you are still feeling sorry for yourself and can't seem to shake the pain out of your heart and mind, a little telenovela-esque, dramatic ceremony to forget is called for. Gather all flammable items the offender has ever given you (stuffed animals, concert or movie ticket stubs, anniversary or Valentine's day cards, etc) and torch them in a bonfire inside a metallic container. Gather the ashes and take them to the nearest ocean, river or toilet if you live in the sticks. Before you dump the ashes, ritually take in as many deep breaths as the months or years you were together. Visualize all the illusions, broken promises, beautiful words and future plans you may still be carrying get washed away and released along with the ashes as they hit the water. You can keep the fond memories as long as they don't hurt to recall them.
STEP 5- HOLISTIC RETREAT FOR SELF EMPOWERMENT
If you are still being haunted by your heartbreak consider getting out of dodge and attend a holistic retreat for self empowerment via the age old practices of Yoga, Meditation or Buddhism. For those less spiritually inclined, an island getaway for some R&R could be just the trick. Also, it couldn't hurt to volunteer to help the impoverished or those less fortunate. It's a great way to put things into perspective when you see others a lot less fortunate than yourself.
STEP 6- GOOD OLD SCHOOL THERAPY WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
If any of the above fail then it's time to schedule yourself to see a licensed therapist and some good antidepressants for a short term to finally knock it out of the park. There might be some deeper issues lingering in your psyche that a good therapist might help uncover. Be open to hypno-regression because the problem might just be stemming from a previous lifetime.
Whatever the case, you HAVE to pick up the pieces and put humpty dumpty back together again and believe that the next guy will be better because if he isn't, you'll see it coming...hopefully.
A friend sent me this quote, "When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better". Buddhism teaches you that pain is essential to finding the way to a happy life as it helps us like a mouse in a maze to find our cheese, avoiding the traps or pitfalls along the way. The love once had is gone now and it is what it was. You must trudge forth and regain your faith slowly, bit by bit, on your own. Refuse to give up on the belief that love can transform and push you to do remarkable things. A love so pure that ego isn't a player at all. As Depeche Mode sings, "It's only when I lose myself in someone else that I find myself.". Your heart will prevail. You will prevail. Instead of saying "Poor me-forget about love alltogether!" chant "Om Mani Padme Hum" repeatedly until your heart's pain eventually ebbs.
**These tips above can be applied to a heterosexual broken heart as well. Looks like we're not as different as we thought we were.