At some point in our lives, we will be fortunate enough to experience falling in love at least once. Unfortunately, this could also mean experiencing heartbreak for the first time.
These men and women shared their stories of recovery after experiencing devastating heartbreak with Heart Congress:
Dorcas: The pain of heartbreak contributed to the woman I am today
My first heartbreak happened when I was 19 years old and unfortunately, it happened few more times as I got older. It is hard to give someone your heart and have them shatter it to pieces without looking back.
My first heartbreak was bad. After hearing many rumours of his many escapades with different girls, I confirmed this myself. As a teenager, this devastated me to my core. I fell in love with him when I was 18 years old and loved him till he broke up with me.
Call it true love, being naive or a soul tie, but I found it hard to let him go. I held on to him for a while. My truth is we had a roller coaster relationship which ended when I finally chose me once and for all, embraced forgiveness, released both of us and moved on. I know the pain of heartbreak contributed to the woman I am today.
Annabel: Heartbreak taught me my worth
When the relationship ended, I spent a significant amount of time lost in my insecurities and wondering if I was destined for a life filled with rejection.
The world has a way of signaling to black women that we are unwanted, which often left me feeling defeated. The relationship was on and off for almost four years, and two years post-break up I can confidently say I’m okay.
There were a lot of tears, questioning my value and an overwhelming sense I would never be desired again. The first step to moving on was ceasing all communication with my ex, and then shutting out the noise that I am not enough.
Eventually, the realization came that I had more to offer than just being someone’s partner. With that revelation, the need to fall in love with myself became apparent. Love is knowing your worth and in a weird way, heartbreak taught me my worth.
James: Heartbreak made me unstable
A few years ago, you couldn’t tell me my heart would ever heal after what I experienced. Dealing with heartbreak while also studying for my final exams, trying to have a social life and being mentally stable made me the most unstable person I knew.
The hardest part wasn’t the heartbreak itself; it was the aftermath of what it did to me. Trying to find me again was my main priority.
Thankfully, my support system wasn’t having that! Looking back, I am 100% sure I couldn’t have gotten through that period in my life without the support of my family and close friends. That same heartbreak led me to the most amazing joy and freedom I have today.
Robert: There’s no woman worth losing myself over in this world
There’s nothing like being heartbroken by the person you imagined spending your whole life with. It’s worse when the person was your best friend and even worse when you had to find out through a third party.
The deceit was so deep that to this day, I’m still triggered by a lot of things. However, I have learned to trust my instincts and myself, but ultimately I’ve learned that there is not a woman in this world worth losing myself for.
Joseph: Heartbreak taught me to appreciate people who matter
After watching my woman leave me to start life afresh with her boss two years ago, I told myself that I can withstand anything in this world.
It was a big blow. I didn’t see that coming. We have been dating for three years and planning to get married when she suddenly told me that she was getting married to her boss.
I was dazed. I begged her to come back to me. I cried for months. I started losing my appetite. I couldn’t concentrate on my business. I lost some of my clients. I wanted to die at some point.
But as time went by, I started feeling the pain of losing her less. My friends also helped me leave the house often. My appetite returned. I got my smile and spark back. I talk about what happened without feeling bad.
This experience taught me to appreciate the people who matter. If you are going through heartbreak, look to the people who love and care for you. I am blessed to have an amazing mother who has never let me down, a caring grandmother who always makes me laugh, and a loving best friend who was consistently there for me.
Nkechi: Even though it’s hard, heartbreak is necessary
My boyfriend broke up with me over a flimsy excuse last year and by last month, he was married to another woman.
Was I shattered? Yes! Did I cry as if my life had ended? Yes, I did! Did I question my worth as a woman? Yes! Did I threaten to harm him and myself? I did! But at the end of the day, I decided to let it go.
Once you are on the other side of heartbreak, you will realize it was a valuable experience. Heartbreak can teach you about yourself, show you how strong you are, and help you discover what you deserve. Sometimes we try so hard to avoid heartbreak that we miss the vital lessons that come from it. At the end of the day, pain doesn’t last forever. I took the lessons from it, and moved on, and I am living my best life today.
Francis: Heartbreak was my greatest pain, but it also brought me my greatest joy
My first relationship was my longest relationship and my biggest heartbreak. We were together for five years. When it ended, I was so lost. I had no idea who I was.
I lost the love of my life but the most tragic part of it was I lost myself as well. In the years after her, I taught myself what it meant to be alone and how to take comfort in myself. I learn the value of intentionally being single.
Doing things and enjoying it became my life goal. I taught myself how to love myself without it being filtered through someone else’s eyes. I saw my own happiness, my own worth, without outside validation. That heartbreak was my greatest pain, but it also brought me to my greatest joy.
Ifeyinwa: Heartbreak taught me that nothing is guaranteed in life
I remember dating someone four years ago. It was a young love but impactful to this day. Being young, I remember being very jealous of the female company he kept. It was intense and consistent with women always wanting his attention.
After many fights and requests to stick to me only, we got to a place where the trust wasn’t there and our relationship was suffering. We fought all the time because I didn’t trust him and the many women around him.’
One day, he took me to a beautiful restaurant. We had a good time and I thought things were getting back on track. When he took me home, he gently said goodbye. And from there we never dated or interacted again.
I was heartbroken on so many levels but mainly because that experience was so intentionally good. There was no fights, no distrust, just the two of us really enjoying each other’s company.
The heartbreak taught me that nothing is guaranteed in life. It was so unexpected that it took me a long time to recover from his absence in my life.