Cartoon of a girl with crazy messy hair, holding a heart.  A black in drawing by Roo Betty.

What becomes of the broken hearted?

Oh my god, I used to just love this song ( you can listen here if you’re a noob to it) As I listen back to the words and melody, I am immediately transported to my art college days.  Where, in order to get over my shyness and the fact that I was surrounded by people, I used to  listen to music constantly.  My favourite at the time was anything Motown.  I just loved the beat. It kept me calm and the lyrics were always so heart-bracingly, beautiful and catchy too. At the time I had a boyfriend, and being a teenager, the affair was tumultuous.  The trials and tribulations of my love life, could be written as a screenplay and I may just get round to that at some point (although I could really do with a ghost writer so I can recall and they can do the writing, lazy I know? - putting it into the universe just for laters sake) 

Anyway, I digress. My heart, at the time, belonged to my first ever “proper” boyfriend. He was sultry, moody and a musical type.  My parents hated him, and as you can imagine, this made me love him more.  But he wasn’t the cause of my broken heart.  The relationship I had with him drove me into the arms of the first real love of my life.

Picture of hearts holding up a broken heart with the background of a sun shining through the clouds.

In comparison this guy was charming, conventionally good looking and my Mum just adored him.  The day I impromptuly left with him, taken by taxi to his London flat felt dangerous and exciting.  I fell head over heels in love, very, very quickly.  We (or so I thought) were loves young dream, I was gonna be with this guy for the rest of my life.  We worked together (always a recipe for disaster)  and we were having so much fun working away from home, staying at hotels, having wild parties and just living my best life.  That my heart felt full most of the time.

I should have been more prepared for what happened next, after all it was as if life was on repeat.  Because the very way that I met him, was the exact same way that he hooked up with his next girl.  He left me on Christmas Eve, or rather he told me to pack my stuff and get out.  But the true devastation was yet to come. In the weeks that followed his wrong doings were lied about and covered up.  What I later  found out, was that everyone knew about HER, that he had taken HER to his family for Christmas, along with all the gifts that I had bought.  But the actual fatal blow that broke my heart didn’t happen until months after.  When a  good friend decided that it was a good idea to put me out of my misery and tell me of his affair.

Face of a woman very upset with tears rolling down her face and red rimmed eyes.

Is a Broken Heart real?

I remember the day she told me and I can almost feel the pain.  I remember the uncontrollable sobbing for days, weeks after, and the pitiful looks from mutual friends who had kept his secret. If you’ve ever had your heart broken then I’m sure you know the feeling.  I’m sure you have felt your heart ache and wondered if indeed it was broken?.  Well here’s the news, there’s an actual chance that it might well have been.  I found out about Broken Heart Syndrome  or to give it the medical term  - Takotsubo cardiomyopathy a few years later.  But was reminded of it again when the very friend who brought the fateful heartbreaking  news mentioned it in a lockdown conversation.

You see the reasons for a broken heart, can be stress induced.  The British Heart Foundation has devised this heartbreaking list of reasons.

  • bereavement
  • domestic abuse
  • physical assault
  • acute illness
  • recent surgery
  • financial worries or debt
  • being involved in a disaster, such as an earthquake.
  • There have also been reports of people experiencing takotsubo after a happy event such as a wedding, reunion or a new job.

Although I try to make light of this phenomenon, it is in fact heart breaking.  And as someone who has experienced a broken heart. My heart does in fact go out to you if you’re experiencing this right now (yes I will throw in all the heartfelt puns! - just because!)  The fact that it affects women more than men is just painful to read.  The many reasons that your heart may be breaking has also been brought yet again to the forefront by Covid 19 infection.  The recurring lockdowns that have thus followed have not helped in any way.  But it’s not all doom and gloom your heart will in fact heal with time.  And I have been working on this myself to find out if in fact it’s true.

Will my heart ever mend?

Picture of a woman hugging herself with a smile on her face.

If you are experiencing broken heart syndrome then the short answer is that “Yes” time does in fact heal a broken heart.  But having lived personally with a broken heart for many many years, I feel quite expert in this field.  I know from personal experience how I went about putting protection in place, in order to put myself back out there into the dating field.  The real effect from this devastating blow meant that I didn’t fully trust anyone for a very very long time afterwards.  I know that I put up barriers, trying to protect my heart from ever feeling like this again.  Although the physical pain had subsided, the mental pain lasted way longer than I fully realised. 

6 years ago when I decided to come off my mental health medication.  I wasn’t wholly prepared for the healing journey that was about to take place.  Although I’m a Yoga teacher and aware of the chakras and the infamous quote “ Are your Chakras Aligned”.  I still didn’t appreciate what that really meant.  Of course, 6 years on I am so fully aware of the physical, mental and spiritual journey that takes place in order for you to heal.

If you’re wondering how I went about this, it’s difficult for me to write.  The truth is I’m sure the process is different for everyone.  The fact is you have to be prepared to go in.  And by that I mean, be really truthful with yourself and your heart.  I’ve used talking therapy, some time completely on my own and many, many meditations to help with this process.  One of the most powerful meditations is the Loving Kindness meditation - which you can listen here if you’re unfamiliar with it. - Or purchase a Roo Betty Loving Kindness meditation)  This meditation along with a lot of self love mantras on a daily basis, started to break down the barriers of my heart in order for it to open up and be freely available to love again.  I’m also looking forward to a reiki session once lockdown is eased (I really hope that’s soon)  With Valentine’s day just around the corner I got thinking again is Valentine’s day just for lovers?

Who is Valentine’s Day for?

Picture of a hand holding up a black heart with the words I LOVE me written in white on it.

As this year has panned out the induced loneliness made me have to sit with myself again.  What transpired was I needed to do more work on my heart and my self love journey.  This time has allowed me to work more on me and in time I have felt the barriers around my heart start to dissolve. (I actually felt it happen - weird I know).  If you too are feeling the loneliness I can empathise, and offer up this advice. Find ways to fall back in love with yourself. Find time to listen to more heart meditations, You Tube is awash with them and there will be one that your heart connects with.  Give yourself the love you need every day, listen to your heart and follow it wherever you can (yeah I know that blasted head has a way of interjecting but occasionally tell it to shut up!)  After all Valentine’s day should not just be for Lovers.

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1 comment

Love your tee shirts. All the best Roo Betty" for 2021

Janet Fletcher

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