I know there are ways of being smart about handling heartbreak, and we'll talk about them. But first I just want to say that the first response to a broken heart is not being smart or sensible.
Maybe you're seeing red, or your life's flashing before your eyes. Maybe you can't understand English for the first little bit, and you can't picture anything good ever happening again in your life, ever.
If you were standing on a cliff you would jump. But that would require that your legs would hold you, and right now, they've turned to rubber and it's all you can do not to melt clear through the ground.
If you ever smoked cigarettes, even if you've already quit, the first actual moves you make might be to buy some and light one up.
My poorly chosen coping mechanisms of choice (if choice is the appropriate word here) were chain-smoking, coffee and lots of staring out my window. Especially in the middle of the night, when all I could see out there was a black void.
I didn't want to talk to people, for the most part. Except for one or two lucky souls who would find themselves pinned to my couch, listening to my despairing soliloquy full of guilt, anger and self-doubt by the hour.
This could go on endlessly except that eventually my body refused to starve, demanded sleep, resisted the jangling that came with all that caffeine, and choked on the cigarette smoke.
I didn't feel any better but I'd gotten past the first stage that screams "Life is over."
And that's good, because it isn't.
Life isn't over. You may fear that it is, you may wish that were the case. But you will carry on.
Here are a few pointers from some people who know what they're talking about.
1) Try to avoid blaming yourself or your ex.
That's just going to cloud the issue. If you want to understand what went wrong, and are intent on avoiding the same mistakes in the future, ditch the blame. Maybe, eventually, you will be able to be kind to the both of you.
2) Let yourself mourn.
Grief is a natural by-product of a breakup, and of a broken heart.