Monday, 22 August 2011

"Will I ever laugh again?"

Sitting in my room last night, tears were running down my face as I watched a recently jilted, heartbroken woman curl up on a bed in a darkened room and ask the question we've all, at some point after a breakup, wondered to ourselves.

The film was a ridiculous, commercial, critically panned blockbuster; the character a well known fictional girl-crush made for those of us with pink boxsets of the TV series adorning our shelves. The on-screen emotions were fuelled by million dollar pay packets; the happy Hollywood ending would follow after 180 minutes.

But whether you're watching Sex and the City, reading words in a blog post or listening to a friend talk it out, heartbreak is universal. It rattles the mind, flips your stomach, stops your appetite for days on end, and leaves you with a hulking great big hole that can only be filled by the words "I've made a mistake, let's try again".

When those words don't come, there's the slow, painful, gradual healing process; an ache in your chest where the all-consuming, once-reciprocated love for another person used to be. It's paranoia and pain. It makes you scan Kings Cross Station six months on, praying his face does - no, doesn't - appear through the crowds. Heartbreak puts anger and sadness on opposing ends of a seesaw, and forces you to balance precariously in the middle for months on end.

The Hollywood ending won't come for most of us, there are unlikely to be a mass of unanswered emails accumulating in a forgotten account. No texts, no casual sightings or mutual friends to pass on tidbits of information. No mindgames or messages to deconstruct into meaning. For some, there will be prolonged hope; sex, meetings, phone calls; the odd "saw this and thought of you". For the rest, there's just the highs and lows of getting over someone on your own.

But sometimes refuge from a low point comes in the most unexpected of ways. You'll see someone who once left you reeling and feel nothing - except a little sorry, perhaps, for the nervous, slightly insecure girl who now stands with him, glancing awkwardly  at you through the window of a pub when she thinks you're not looking. You were her once. You're not any more. And thank-fucking-god-for-that.

Will I ever laugh again?
When something's really, really funny.

Or when you're out with a load of mates, a fairly recent heartbreak drifting into the background of music, chatter and alcohol, and an older heartbreak that used to matter just doesn't any more.

The more recent one hurts at the moment.

But one day it won't.



Ellie Rose said...

I like this :)

jman said...

Pop culture has a lot to answer for because we end up measuring our lives by how it gets lived up there on the big screen, where the one doing the rejecting suddenly comes to his or her senses, like Paul on the road to Damascus and then goes careering through/across/over/under town/city/country/continent(s)to tell the rejected just in the nick of time what a right berk he/she was and as the credits roll and we leave the cinema or change the channel or hit stop on the remote, we generally don't reflect on what the film will look like if we fast forward a few years and see how well that eureka moment lasted. And we wonder why can't my life be like that and the answer of course is that there is no great screenwriter (why are they screenwriter instead of scriptwriter? but I digress) in the sky directing a happy ever after ending, which is not to say that every once in a while they don't happen - even to intrepid bloggers.

Leigh said...

You speak much truth grasshopper!

"..praying his face does - no, doesn't - appear through the crowds." <-- Yes! So true, when you think you've spotted them there's that feeling of simultaneous relief and disappointment when they turn and you see it's not them.

Northern lass said...

Just beautiful writing :)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Ellie Rose - Thanks, I liked writing it.

jman - Very true. The Hollywood ending makes us think we deserve happy endings, just as this idea of fate makes us think we're owed a good hand after a few bad ones. Best to just roll with whatever happens.

Leigh - For me, it's more dreading that I'll see him. God knows what I'd say.It would send me flying back about 5 months, probably. There's a rare moment when I think I'd like to see him. Very rare.

Northern lass - Thank you :)

Helen said...

I needed to read this tonight. Thanks love xx

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Slow process, but we all get there eventually. Chin up mes amie x

Ellie said...

Hollywood can be entertaining but stupid. Stating the obvious.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

True dat.

Harry H said...

Nice Post; reminded me a lot of James Aulter's blog. Using ongoing 'life' to discuss important/long term issues. (

Precious said...

Thank you for reminding me of this fact today. :)


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