Delayed Onset Heartache

Hitting Pause on Heartbreak

Delayed Onset Heartache

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

My self-diagnosis.

Because, it would appear that the fist-sized slab of meat that makes up my supposed centre is no longer beating as passionately, or as vividly as it once did.

No one can really describe the pain of a broken heart realistically can they? It is a deep, nauseous, ache; one that turns your stomach when you find yourself alone, or experiencing a quiet moment in your day. However, it is not simply that sickening feeling alone that isolates and breaks you down—It is the heavy weighted fear and doubt that accompanies that leaves you really gasping for air. Add to that the continued build up of bitter, acidic, regret and you have yourself a seemingly irreparable broken heart. Hence, my more physical diagnosis. If I can somehow associate this pain to something I have previously experienced (in this case delayed onset muscle soreness), something my body has already developed a coping mechanism for, perhaps it will make it bearable.

What if? My brain will not let the question go.

What now? F**ked if I know.

How do I carry on? I really wish I knew.

These questions continually wear me down: how should I continue now I am alone? The perfect future I had once imagined for myself lies in tatters, never to be idealistically patched back together. Perhaps, I shall join the gym and get myself one of those "Kardashian Bods"—I think that would help. Or maybe, I will drown myself in chocolate and wine and fritter away the next few months until I have sufficiently numbed myself with carbs, sugar, and memory loss—Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind springs to mind. Only, I cannot bring myself to watch any form of romantic film, or even to lose myself for a few hours in a novel; the risk of more tears being jump-started is too much to bear. Happy ending or no, the sickeningly sweet endings, or the brokenhearted pessimissity—I need no reminders of what being in love looks and feels like. Instead, I occupy my time replaying the memory of the exact moment when everything... broke.

And how I could have prevented it. Driving myself mad with grief and blame. Reflecting on how stupid it is that someone can be the catalyst in their own unhappiness and heartache.

But so is life. Pain, and our ability to handle it, is what keeps us human. It is the Yin to the Yang of the 'Happily Ever After' we all desperately strive for. I have so many wonderful memories to counterbalance the bitter, and it is those I shall cling to in moments of insanity. Remembering the past joy whilst dulling down the current pain. I know I can be happy; I've had three years of pure joy to add to my CV of life experiences—and this positive slant is what we must cling to for the duration of our heart breaks.

I'm a tenacious little beast, and will not let this be my bed, for me to wallow in for the foreseeable future. I will not be some weak-willed damsel in distress, waiting in my depressive state to be saved by some Tinder date, who thinks he's some knight in shining armour, ready to piece my heart back together with a handy tube of superglue. I will save myself, write my own self-help books, and come up with my own personal brand of cliche.

Do you know what's good for delayed onset muscle soreness? Stretching. Little by little each day, those painful muscles regain their elasticity, growing ever more supple, till they return to what they once were—though with added strength.

And I will be a stronger woman now.

self help
Rachael Garnett
Rachael Garnett
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Rachael Garnett

Hello, I’m Rachael, a twentysomething actress+musician, who is trying to re-submerge herself in the wonderful world of writing. I write about theatre, literature, the many problems life presents us with and my personal experiences of them x

See all posts by Rachael Garnett