What My First Heartbreak Has Taught Me

“I know they say the first love is the sweetest
but that first cut is the deepest”

I sung these Drake lyrics so carelessly in high school. Matter fact, Drake stayed in heavy rotation growing up. His words didn’t really hit me back in the day. I just reduced his music to something I could vibe to when I wanted to chill out.

These lyrics hit me recently though. Actually, they smacked the hell out of me.

So, earlier this year, I loved someone. And I’m not talking that platonic or familial love. I’m talking about that “Hm, I wonder what life would be like with them?” love. I didn’t see it coming honestly. My feelings kinda just hit me like a freight train.

I’m not going to go into full detail about this relationship so if you were looking for a tell-all I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will, however, share the basics of how our falling out happened and how it’s impacted me emotionally, physically, and mentally.

Back in the day, our parents would “court” someone before moving onto a full on relationship. (Right? That’s the word they used right? Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not hip). Us millennials call it “talking” these days.

So this person and I “talked” for a minute and by a minute, I mean for a couple of months. When I was younger, I would say that a couple of month is not long enough to know that you loved someone. It’s easy to say things until you experience it for yourself. And boy was I hella wrong.

It’s safe to say that I loved everything about them. Their smile. Their laugh. The way they would brighten up when they would talk about things they were passionate about. I loved the way they looked at me–like I was the most beautiful person they ever laid eyes on. I loved how they would ramble when they were trying to search for the words to say.

Everything. I loved everything about them. And I was denying it for months because I was afraid to say that four letter word in that three word phrase.

Well, my “person”–I’ll just call them that–was having really rough times and I thought, fuck it, you only live once right and I didn’t want anything to happen before I could even tell them about how I truly felt about them. So I told them I loved them. On Valentine’s Day too. Tears flowing, cheeks flushed, my back up against the wall in my best friend’s bathroom, I told them on their voicemail: “I love you. I knew it so long ago but I was afraid to say it.”

Moments later they called me back and the first thing they said was, “I love you so much. So, so much.”

I can’t even describe how I felt at that moment. I just remember feeling warm and like the sun had just pierced through these dark clouds that were hanging over me. I wanted to freeze that moment and put it up somewhere.

I wanted it to never end.

Couple of weeks passed and I hadn’t heard from them. I was worried but I was also frustrated. This wasn’t the first time where they had left me looking around with no answers. So I snapped. I left them angry voice mails and text messages. I  called numerous times. I was planning on coming to see them in their city and I was mad because now I had to cancel my trip. Now, I couldn’t even see them–this person who I loved. And yes, this was an “online” relationship (ugh, *shudders*) and it was long distance so this just makes matters worse right? (I didn’t get Catfish-ed. We Skyped. Don’t worry.)

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and my person was on Twitter, tweeting about how they felt better. I was glad to hear that they were okay but I was still upset that I hadn’t heard from them so I DM-ed them, asking for answers, asking for closure.

And… It just ended so badly. A lot of anger, frustration–emotions. Just a lot of emotions. They wanted what we had to be done. They weren’t interested in reconciling because they felt that I was not providing what they needed and that I would never be able to. They deleted everything pertaining to me: our conversations, my pictures, number. Everything. The relationship started in the DMs and ended there too.

Nights of crying myself to sleep followed. One thing I’m good at is putting up a front like I’m good when really I’m falling apart inside. I laughed, smiled, and joked during the day but locked myself in my room and cried at night.

“…That first cut is the deepest.”

Now I knew what they meant. I felt it deeply. It felt like my heart had literally been shattered into a thousand pieces.

But through and through, I told myself to be strong. I told myself that I was going to be okay and that I was going to make it through this. I just needed to keep myself busy.

I’m a resident advisor at my university. Basically, I’m the hall monitor of the dorm. I enforce housing rules while also provide resources for my residents. Every other week, I have to meet with my supervisor and talk about life and how it’s impacting my job. Naturally, I told her about my break-up. I told her about how I’m trying to keep it pushing but you know what she said to me? She said, “Well, it doesn’t hurt to face those feelings though. Maybe you need to let yourself get it out.”

I took her advice and that night, I just sat in my room and cried, Beyonce’s “Resentment” playing in the background. Oh man, I cried so much I don’t even know if I had any tears left. After I was done, I felt at peace. I wouldn’t say I felt good but I felt…better.

It was then that I realized, facing my feelings is the route to go. Bottling everything up and waiting for the last minute to burst was not healthy for me. Crying was healthy. Taking time for myself and away from others was healthy.

I realized vulnerability wasn’t my enemy and it was okay to admit that I was having a weak moment. In fact, I now realize, it takes an incredible amount of strength to admit you can’t do it all and you aren’t invulnerable to pain. I relished in my pain from then on out. I faced my broken heart face to face.

I channeled my hurt in more productive ways. I spent more time with my friends. I listened to music. A lot, a lot of music. And what am I doing right now? I’m writing. All of these things have gotten me through the roughest times of my life.

Allowing myself to be vulnerable and surrounding myself with my loves and art has made the pain more bearable. I find more and more reasons to get up in the morning.

This heartbreak has also made me realize what I want in a relationship and what a healthy relationship means to me.

I want love. I do. But I want it at the right time when we’re both emotionally available. I want communication to be open and honest. I want consistency. I want passion. I want someone who will FIGHT for what we have and not give up when things get tough.

You know what’s the most terrifying part of this though? I know that this won’t be the first heartbreak I’ll experience. I know that there will be plenty more to follow.

And remember when I said I loved them? I lied. I still love them a lot. I don’t think there will ever be a time where I don’t feel strongly about them.

But I’ll be okay. I will always be okay. I may not be okay right now but I will be.

This cut is pretty damn deep but it will heal. In due time.


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