Some days I feel like I’m literally going to die from the pain. Other days, I struggle to feel or focus on anything at all. I never thought I would find myself here, and I don’t know how I’m going to find the strength to move forward from this. I’m a wreck, and even as I try to smile through it all to be strong for others, I can feel myself falling apart.
Living in “Happy Valley” sucks when you are absolutely miserable. It doesn’t seem fair that the rest of the world keeps moving on like nothing happened when my world has been reduced to these meaningless fragments. The BYU students are back for the new semester, the leaves are turning red as fall approaches, and my work and school load have not let up in the least. The stark dichotomy of the world around me and my own stagnant aching might be amusing if it were not so utterly painful.
My first semester at BYU was six years ago, and I remember being so nervous to move out to Utah. I had never been away from my home or my family for more than a few weeks at a time and I was scared to death of attending college in an unfamiliar place. Within a few weeks, I made some new friends, settled into my classes and started to make a new life for myself. But Provo still didn’t feel like home to me until I met this one particular guy.
He worked his way into my heart with his easy smile and thoughtful manner. By the middle of my first semester, we decided to date exclusively and within a matter of weeks, I lost my heart to him completely. He is one of the most amazing men I have ever met, and we went through so much together. Innumerable nights of studying for tests, each of our dads going to the middle east, and discouraging periods of looking for new jobs. Super fun date nights, many birthdays and holidays, and so many “firsts” that I couldn’t name all of them if I tried.
Six years is a very long time to be with someone, especially when you fall so deeply and love so completely. He was my best friend and he knows me better than anyone in my entire life has ever known me. I truly thought I would spend the rest of my life with him.
This boyfriend and I broke up a little over a month ago, and it has by far been the longest month of my life. Most of the time it feels like I’m the narrator of my own life. Like I’m seeing everything from a distance and I’m telling someone else’s story, because nothing really feels real and nothing matters anymore. Other times, I have moments of excruciating clarity where I feel nothing but cutting pain, despair, sorrow. Moments when the tears refuse to stop and my future seems so pointless and so hopeless.
To those of you who have never experienced real love and then real heartbreak, this might all seem a bit dramatic. But I guarantee you that anyone who has loved like I have loved, and then lost what I have lost, knows exactly what I am talking about. Losing someone you love so completely takes away not only your present way of life, but the entire future you had planned.
In losing him, I also lost a huge part of myself. He had become so much a part of me that I have been completely lost without him in my life. I guess part of what has made the last month so difficult is just trying to figure out who I even am without this incredible man by my side. I still haven’t really been able to do that yet.
Through all of this, my family and friends have rallied behind me. I am so grateful for the support I have received from them even as I have probably been the worst possible company since this all happened. I haven’t really been able to talk much about it or about how I’m doing, and they have respected my need for space whenever I have needed it. Despite that, I have felt their silent support and their prayers for me every single day and I am so grateful for that.
Part of the reason I have found myself hesitant to speak to anyone about the breakup and how I’ve been since then is how raw it all feels still. The moment I even try to honestly talk about it, I can’t keep the tears back. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to cry writing this post and had to stop and come back to it later. Talking about it all just makes it more real.
But the other reason is that I know no one else really understands what I’m going through. None of my close friends or family have gone through anything like this, and without that experience behind it, the “It’ll get better’s” and the “You’re going to be okay’s” feel a little hollow. I know they all mean well and are doing the best they can to comfort and uplift me, but they have no idea what I am feeling or what this has all done to me.
And even if I sat for days and tried to tell them in vivid detail everything that has happened and everything that I am feeling, they still would not really understand it. It’s impossible to entirely comprehend someone else’s trials because you are not them and you cannot experience their experiences.
Whether you are going through a situation like mine or through a completely unrelated trial, know that you are not as alone as you may feel. Not because someone else in the world has experienced what you are experiencing, because to be honest, no one else truly has. No one knows exactly what you are going through and exactly what you were feeling. Except the Savior, Jesus Christ.
When the Savior suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, He did not just suffer for our sins. He suffered for every pain, every sorrow, every hurt, and every tear we will experience in this life. He felt exactly what you’re feeling now, and He knows exactly how to help you get through it.
This counsel was given to me as a youth in my church, and in the back of my mind, I have kept this knowledge that the Atonement was not just for the remission of our sins. But I have never experienced it personally in such a definitive and deep manner as I have in this past month. Our Father in Heaven loves us so much and wants us all to find joy in this life. In His wisdom, He knew that alongside joy, we would also experience sorrow and grief.
To ensure we would never be completely alone in our struggles, God sent His firstborn son to perform the Atonement. That Atoning sacrifice caused Christ, a god, to bleed from every pore and suffer enough to ask if it were possible for His Father’s will to be done another way. He suffered all of this alone, without the comfort of His Father or the Holy Ghost.
Christ experienced and suffered everything you are going through right now, and He did so truly alone. Thankfully, because of His sacrifice, we do not ever have to do things alone. Heavenly Father is always watching over us, Christ knows what we are going through, and the Holy Ghost will always be there to comfort you. They are waiting to comfort us and give us strength, and all we have to do is humble ourselves enough to ask for Their help.
I am still struggling to make it through every single day, but I am so grateful that I do not have to go through this alone. I know that God is aware of the extreme hardship I am facing and that it is only through His strength that I am still on my feet after all of this. I am leaning heavily on His strength and on my faith that God has something more planned for me in life than this heartbreak I am feeling right now.
To conclude, I want to share these words from a talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:
“We all are going through different life experiences. While some are filled with joy today, others feel as though their hearts could burst with sorrow. Some feel as though the world is their oyster; others feel as though they were the oyster itself, plucked from the ocean, cracked open, and robbed of all that is precious to them…
Though you may feel weary, though you sometimes may not be able to see the way, know that your Father in Heaven will never forsake His righteous followers. He will not leave you comfortless. He will be at your side, yes, guiding you every step of the way.”
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