Thinking Out Loud: A broken heart recovery plan

John T. Catrett, III
John T. Catrett III

Mending a broken heart is easier said, or in my case typed, than done. We often wail, “Why, oh why is love so complicated and frustrating?”  Do you ever feel like your emotions are like a yo-yo, whirling up and down? Maybe your relationship is on a week-to-week basis? One week love fills the air, and it feels that nothing is impossible. The next week doubts about keeping your relationship intact and continuing to stay together dominates your heart, soul, and mind. 

There is good news! A broken heart can be mended! It has been done before. Your heart, as precious and unique as it is, is not the first one to have been broken. There is a heart broken every minute of the day. There is also a heart mended every minute, as well. If your heart is broken, this may now be your minute for its healing! 

Don't Have A Pity Party - One sure way to keep your broken heart from healing is sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. There is nothing to be gained by spending day after day crying profusely while wishing your relationship wasn't broken. You will only make yourself miserable if you let self-pity rule your days and nights. 

I’m not trying to be rude or insensitive. I know the pain of heartbreak. It hurts when love is lost. It's not fun starting over in a new job or trying to find “the right one” again. However, you can be sure that no one will want to be around you if you are miserable. When you have a broken heart, you still must be able to be around others. This will help you get out of the broken heart funk. You may have a short pity party. But, make it quick and drama-free. Once that pity-party is over, you have to move on in your life - to the next phase of your recovery. 

Focus On Yourself - One of the quickest ways to fix a broken heart is to invest time in improving the quality of your life every day and to enrich the lives of others. There are times in your life when you have to make sure you are taking care of you. For starters, you need to make sure that you are eating properly and doing things that reduce stress for you. 

With a broken heart, you will feel a sense of emptiness. You can either take steps to fill the void or leave it empty. If your relationship was like most, you probably spent a lot of time together. To fill that space of newly found freetime, you will need to join a club, or perhaps donate your time to help others. You don't have to go train to run a marathon unless that is what you desire to do. However, you shouldn't be idle for hours, days or weeks on end. If your life stands still when your heart is broken, healing will take much longer. 

The third and final thought for healing your broken heart is that you choose to either get the love of your life back or decide to move on. There can be no happiness in the middle. If you opt to revive or save a broken relationship, you must give it all you’ve got.  Don't dream about getting back together and take little-to-no action. If you sit on the sidelines and wait for your relationship to recover, you will be broken hearted for a long time. 

If you’ve had enough and your heart has moved on, let the relationship go. If this relationship is meant to be, your paths will cross again.  Please understand that healing your relationship is possible. But to do that, first, you must work on improving your emotional well-being to be better prepared for the work that will be necessary to fix your broken relationship. The key is for you to know what to say and when to say it plus how to say it truthfully without spite or anger. Don't let frustration and disappointment get in the way of your healing. 

Please take these necessary steps to heal your broken heart so you may learn how to communicate effectively with the one you’ve lost. If you need more guidance and thoughts on getting back together, please see a Minister, Priest, Rabbi, a Professional Counselor, or please call me (a hospice chaplain who occasionally writes for this newspaper, 918-352-3080). If the person you’ve called doesn’t answer, please tell the switchboard operator that you want to speak to a specific party and leave your first name and a phone number. I’m sure one of us will call you back as soon as possible. Remember, we can and do survive a broken heart!


John T. Catrett III is ONHL hospice chaplain and writes a regular column about loss of loved ones and how to cope with grief.