My Story of a Broken Heart

Friday June 29th 4pm was when everything went wrong. As I said before that is the conversation that Mary chose to end things. I was shocked I was devastated. I could not believe it. There had been no indication, in my mind, that anything was wrong with us. She had told me the day before that I was the best boyfriend ever and she loved me. It took two days for the shock to start to ware off. On Sunday morning, July 1st, I sent her a text message and said I missed her and did not understand what was going on. She told me she thought it was better this way. I started crying and did not stop for almost a month. I had to leave work almost every other day because I could not function. When I was at work I would have to run to some secluded corner to hide my tears from my co-workers. I spent some time with one of my clients who is a psychologist, she recommended me to a therapist to work on some of my insecurities, which I talk about in depth in the Therapy/Counseling section.

I begged Mary to let me come see her on Monday July 2nd. I pleaded that after almost three years she owed me more than to just break up with me over the phone. She told me that she did not love me anymore, that she did not see me in her future. As I left her house her sister arrived and I cried in her arms for the better part of 20 minutes. I had grown really close to her sister and her family. I told her that I was not just losing Mary; I was losing my other family.

If you have never experienced true heartbreak before, it is the worst pain in the world. Every day I wanted to die than to live feeling like I did. I would gladly suffer through any physical pain for any duration of time if it meant I would never have to feel like that again. I would wake up and look in the mirror at myself and see emptiness. My eyes that would always be so full of life were empty black holes. I was a shadow of my former self. For the first month I was not even living life, it would be a victory for me every hour I lived through.

I could not sleep at all for the first month. If I could get two hours of sleep at night that was a huge personal victory, the rest of the time I stayed up wondering what went wrong. The first week I would drive over to her house in the middle of the night and leave flowers. Every night I would put a picture of her on my pillow and another one on my heart and that is how I would try to fall asleep. It was a way me to feel like I was still close to her. I missed her presecence, her smell, her skin, the warmth she brought into the bed. In the two years and eight months we were together we only slept apart when we were out of town, save for a small handful of nights. Otherwise we always were together, I had forgotten what it was like to have an empty bed. Not just empty of the physical person, but empty of love.

My waking hours were spent contemplating what I could do to win her back, what could I do to fix me so I could fix us. I started going to church on Sunday July 8th, 2007. One of the reasons Mary said she did not want to be with me is because I did not want to go to church. So I started going.

I have always believed in God, and I have always prayed everyday, ever since I was about eight years old. I never was a fan of going to church because I did not want to be a "fair weather" church go-err who goes when it's a big holiday like Christmas and Easter. The first year and a half we were together I worked every Sunday. When I switched to working Saturday's the prospect of us going to church came up maybe a few times. Since I never saw Mary seem to adamant about going on a regular basis I did not think that going was a big deal. Since now she was telling me it was I started going.

When I do something, I always try to give a 110%. The second Sunday I went, July 15th, the pastor announced that anyone who had not accepted the Christian faith and Jesus could come to the front of the church (probably over 500 people) and acknowledge they have sinned and accept God. I was at the back of the church an emotional wreck. I stood up and walked to the front, shaking. Telling myself, telling God that I love Mary enough that I would do whatever it takes to be with her.

It has been over five months since we have been separated and I have not missed a day of church. In fact I started volunteering there. At the beginning of September, I called one of the pastors and asked if I could meet with him. I asked if he could pray for Mary. Mary had confessed to me that she was going through a hard time in her life, and I thought that since she would not let me be in her life to help then maybe I could get more help from God. The pastor and I sat for an hour praying for her. I then told him I wanted to do volunteer work for the church. He invited me to join the ministry program, which I did. It was an extra hour of class every Sunday morning for 10 weeks. I recently completed the program.

I started going to church to fix Mary and I. That did not work. I kept going for me. I like the positive uplifting atmosphere in provides. It is something I need and crave right now at this juncture in my life. I continue to go to this day, hoping that it will help me continue to grow and nurture myself during this time of my life.

I started writing letters to Mary, letters that were never sent because I always thought that one day soon I might be able to give them to her in person. I had initially started writing a journal, but after a few hours I had written over 10 pages. I then started writing letters, a new one every single day. I wrote them as mini journals telling Mary what I did and what I felt that day, hoping that one day I would be able to give them to her for her to read, I started this process in July. In September, I watched the "Notebook" for the first time. I cried twice, the first time when they talk about Noah writing Allie the letters. I felt like I was crazy, I loved Mary so much that I kept writing letters, and now the only person I had anything in common with was a fictional character in a movie. I finally stopped writing the letters at the end of October. I had written 115 letters to Mary, but as it got closer and closer to what would have been our three year anniversary, the pain of doing it everyday just became to much to bare. I don't know if she will ever read those letters, but I still have them, all 115 of them. Each one of them is filled with emotions and love towards her. I saved them because they like everything else leave some sort of legacy for my love of her. Writing is a good way to process emotions. If you are in the midst of a breakup, write your feelings down so you can look back at them down the road. The only way you can understand them is if you pay attention to, and learn from them.

Volunteering is another activity I embraced when Mary left. It started with going down and walking the dogs once a week at a local dog adoption company. Since then it has expanded to serving food for the homeless at Thanksgiving, participating in two major charity auctions here in town. Going through the ministry program at the church. I am also trying to volunteer my time to teach a fitness class once a week there. These are just a few of the volunteer things I have done. Volunteering was a great thing for me to do. I love helping people. With Mary gone I had time that would normally go to her that I did not know what to do with. I did not want to spend it all wallowing in my own despair. Using that time to help others was very self-fulfilling and helped me regain a sense of purpose that I had all but completely lost. It also would help temporarily shift life back into perspective for me. Sure, I was hurting and feeling a pain I felt like no one could identify with, but volunteering reminds you of what you DO HAVE. Losing Mary made me feel like I lost everything. And there were times where I would have sacrificed everything I had if it meant we were still together. Volunteering, especially doing things like food for the homeless, reminds you to be thankful for the little everyday things in life that we all mistakenly take for granted.

Reading, I read lots of books. I read nearly 20 different books on relationships, communication, psychology, etc… in the first two months post her leaving me. I would scour page after page of every book looking for answers of why she did not love me anymore. I would look for the magic phrases that said, "don't worry Michael she loves you still and she will come back to you." I never found those phrases, but I did find a wealth of knowledge that has lead to me learning more about human relationships, interaction, psychology, and communication in the last five months than most people do in a lifetime. The information I learned there is the inspiration for this website and for helping other people cope with the horrible pain of heartbreak. I spoke to a friend of my own the phone the other night about just this subject. I was telling her that I have filled my mind and heart with this overwhelming amount of information… that my goal is that if I can help just one person via this website with all I have learned, then I feel like my pain will have some greater meaning beyond just me.

I started going to a therapist. Initially it was twice a week. We started by working on my insecurities and issues with my family and myself. Again this was initially a tool to "fix me" as I began to realize that I was not broken, and that in fact I was growing through all the learning and work I was doing, we shifted focus and started spending more time talking about Mary and I, and trying to understand what went wrong in the relationship. I highly recommend seeing a therapist to everyone. We all have issues; we all have "stuff" that if we worked through it we would be better more solid people within ourselves. I wish I would have done this years ago, but I was scared of what people would think of me. Scared they would think I am crazy, or a nut. I am not scared anymore; it is a great resource that is out there for us all. I had a conversation with my therapist a few weeks ago about referring prospective clients to one another. He asked me how he should identify our relationship. I told him I have no shame and am extremely proud that I am going to therapy and that I am his client and to please identify our relationship that I, Michael, am a client of his.

I quit my job and started my own business. I had been frustrated at work for a long time. I held onto the job because in my mind hard work and making money were essential components to ensuring a quality in our relationship. I also had created a position for myself and standing within the company so that if Mary and I ever moved I could easily transfer. We had talked about this before, and I of course in my insecure way, told Mary that I would not be open to moving and giving up on everything I had built here. I know this hurt Mary and I am sorry for it, I did not know how to handle the situation. The reality of it is had Mary ever moved, I think realistically I would have been able to last maybe a week without her around until I packed up my bags and followed her wherever she went. She meant that much to me.

My long hours working cost me a lot of time I could have had with Mary. Do I regret that, yes to an extent. Had I not gone through that it would have never given me the appreciation for life and quality time I have now and will carry through out the rest of my life. I was 23 years old when I started my job, fresh out of college, and within a month I was one of the top ten highest rated trainers in a company that is global and has probably over 10,000 trainers on staff. By 24 I was in charge of a nine million dollar facility. It was a lot of pressure, a lot of stress and a lot of responsibility. I did the best I could. However it got to a point where I was no longer growing and learning within the context of my job. It just so happened that this was coinciding with everything that had happened with Mary. Since I was really trying to restructure my life and eliminate all the negative components from it, I quit this job as it was supplying negative energy to my life. A very drastic move, but I am glad I did it.

I moved out of my house. A house that I had lived in for over two and a half years, also a house that I lived in the entire time Mary and I were together. I could not be there anymore, there were just to many memories of us. Everything I loved about that house, I loved because of Mary and my friends. I loved the backyard because I loved being able to bbq for her and her family and our friends. When she left I could not sleep I would go home and be depressed. For about a month I would sleep either on the couch, or on the floor because I could not be in my bed in my room anymore, it would just make me think too much of her. So I put an application in, got it approved and moved out within a week or submitting my application. I left behind my roommate and good friend who I had lived with since we were 19 in college. I just could not be there anymore it was supplying too much negative energy to me. I was not able to function; I was not able to live.

As you can see I really took this time to work on and improve me. Mary was my inspiration and spark behind it, but my own desire to create a better Michael kept the fire going. Some of the above examples of what I have done in my morning process are a bit extreme, but I needed to do them for me. Mary was the love of my life. I wanted to wake up next to her for all of eternity. To lose someone like that, you can't begin to imagine what it feels like unless you have been there.

It was not easy to work on me. Mary and I hung out a fair amount in August. Each time we would be around each other I would leave feeling either: 1.) Hope that we were going to get back together, 2.) Hurt, by some of the horrible, mean things she would say about me 3.) Confused, confused by her actions and how she could be at one extreme at one minute and another extreme at the next. This was really hard for me because there were several times where Mary and I were like Mary and Michael of old. We both got sick and took care of each other. She told me she was down one day so I created a whole "celebrate Mary weekend" where I tried to do a bunch of fun things for her and remind her of who she was. We even hung out with her sister and niece a couple of times; I think that was one of the harder things to do. Her niece asked us one day if we were going to get back together. Later that day she resumed calling me Uncle Michael like she always did. That was the most heartbreaking thing. As I said earlier, I had grown really close to her family. I looked at her sister as my sister, her niece as my niece; it is still hard to this day, five months later to talk about without tearing up.

Tuesday September 18th, 2007 was the last day I saw Mary. We have not hung out or seen each other since. We exchanged emails once a week for the next month, and then finally she stopped responding to those. It has been really hard for me. I miss her everyday still. I had to stop going onto the website Facebook because I would go on there and look at her profile and try to piece together what was going on in her life. I have not been on there in nearly a month after I saw a message from one of her friends asking her how her date was. It is just too hard for me. It's a horrible feeling to feel unloved. I don't know if Mary ever really loved me, at least in the way I love her. Or maybe she did and she just tried to convince herself and me that she didn't. Either way, it hurts not being in her life. I miss seeing her, smelling her, touching her. I miss her smile, her laugh. I miss her crazy stories, her complaining about work, and her telling stories about her family. I miss our dinners together, our adventures to the beach. I miss the stupid arguments we would have about me being to hot and her being to cold in the car, or whether we were going to sleep with the heater on or the window open. I miss her and everything about her, all of her strengths and her flaws. She was my Little Mary.

The culmination of my work on myself is this website. As I said before I make it to help others heal and celebrate love. It has taken me five months to be strong enough to share my stories and not have them be about trying to win Mary back, but rather have them become guides to help others go through this horrible time. I have not, nor do I plan on telling Mary about this website. As much as I would like to, I can't. If she is meant to see it then I have to hope and believe one day that she stumbles upon it, or is directed to it by someone who recognizes our story. Maybe, if that day comes she will see all my love for her has been poured into this and helping others heal. If one person benefits from this site, or one million people benefit, Mary was ultimately the inspiration and driving force that allowed me to create this. I have been asked by good friends, "Michael why do you not ever speak negatively about Mary-she hurt you so badly." My answer is always the same, "Just because she hurt me does not, nor will it ever change how much I loved her, plus I forgave her every time she hurt me." If I would have never loved her as hard and as much as I did, I would have never embarked on my journey of self-growth and self-discovery. I would have never become the person I am today, nor would I ever have the capacity to grow into the person I will wake up tomorrow as. Without all of that, I would have never had the tools or the strength to make this site. This site is very personal, but I share all of it with you in hopes that my stories and experiences can help ease your pain through this difficult time in your life. If you are here to celebrate love then I want to celebrate it with you. I have found a lot of enjoyment lately in watching my good friends relationships. I enjoy seeing them happy and enjoy talking to them about their happiness.

My final advice is this: whether you were with someone for one week or 30 years the time together does not diminish the pain you feel for your loss. To feel sad, to feel hurt, to feel unloved… there is no shame in that, and it is normal. Please feel, do not shun, dismiss, or bury your feelings as if they were an old newspaper; pay attention to them, learn from them, and feel what you are feeling. If you can find the strength, then take this time to heal your heart, but more importantly work on yourself. You have the potential in this horrible time of pain to really look deep inside yourself and decide what you want to do to make you a better person. Only you can make that decision for yourself. Trust me, one thing I have learned in my time with Mary and in the time we have been apart, a time where I have done endless hours of reflection over our relationship, is that we cannot truly love another, the way we want to, if we do not first truly love ourselves. I wanted to love Mary in the most dynamic way possible, but my dimensions were restricted because I could not, and did not know how to love myself in a way I needed to. I have been asked many times if I could go back in time and change Mary leaving me would I, knowing I would sacrifice the growth I have done. I still wish I was with Mary right now, but I cannot sacrifice the growth I have done. I would not have been able to ever love her the way I wanted to or express it in the way she deserved without growing in the way I have. If we were together now, with me growing the way I have, our relationship would be very different. I am the person I have always wanted to be right now, I have taken complete charge of my own life and surrounded myself with people who support and encourage that.

If Mary ever finds her way back to me I think we could have a love that would rival any tale ever told in the storybooks. Only time and fate will tell if that is meant to be. For now I try to live my life by an expression that has always been near and dear to my heart – "Carpe Diem." It is Latin and means, "Seize the Day", if you take away one thing from this website, let it be that. Try and Seize the Day in everything you do, grow and improve for you, love yourself, and then love another with all your heart. Hold nothing back, fear nothing, live life to its fullest and find someone to share it with!

Thank you for reading,

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