In life, man meets woman; a married man meets a married woman; a single man meets a married woman, a single woman meets a married man; a woman meets a man; a man meets a man and a woman meets a woman. They fall in love; a true, deep and meaningful love.
Being in love and knowing we are loved in return helps us to reinforce our own desires and validate our beliefs and so we tend to resemble each other in many ways. The person we fall in love with becomes our soulmate, someone to whom we are uniquely attached.
Thomas Moore wrote about a soulmate as someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communicating and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace.
So when such person leaves us, when the loving bond is broken up, we feel a profound pain. We feel devastated and desperate. We find ourselves thinking about the torn pieces of our lives while trying to understand how to put them back together again in a way that makes sense.
Our entire world turns upside down and sends us into an emotional spin fuelled by fear, unbearable sadness and anxiety. We feel not only an emotional pain but also a physical one. We have a sense that we literary are going insane.
The addictive nature of love is described in research conducted by Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and author of "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love". She writes that we fall in love in stages, each involving a different set of chemicals. In the attraction stage, a group of neurotransmitters called 'monoamines' plays an important role together with dopamine (which is also activated by cocaine and nicotine), norepinephrine (or adrenalin) and serotonin. When we are in love, those chemicals increase to a very high level. We feel "intoxicated".
But when the love affair suddenly ends, the body reduces its production of these chemicals and we experience the same irrational and incontrollable brain state as a person deprived of food or drugs. We feel we are going crazy.
The biological basis of love would indicate to us that we are not going insane. Nevertheless, the break up of our love relationship can profoundly effect our health. Under extreme stress, our hormonal system prompts our adrenal glands to release an increased amount of adrenaline and cortisol (i.e., stress hormones). The sudden surge of these hormones could cause high blood pressure, suppress the digestive system and cause chest pain similar to that when someone is having a heart attack.
If we could rationalize the pain after a break up, we would be able to accept the fact that pain and disappointment are a part of life. We would be able to tell ourselves that love isn't always everlasting and that our pain and sadness will eventually go away. We would be able to tell ourselves that tomorrow will be brighter. In the state of confusion after brake up, however, we are often incapable of thinking rationally or of making right decisions.
In my line of work, I tend to hear many stories of "broken heart" as I try to be a good and compassionate listener. The following story is printed with permission. It is intended to help those who find themselves in a similar situation, struggling to find a way out of their emotional torment.
Being in love with a married person whether you are married or not, is one of the "deadliest" emotional attachments. I know. I lived through this.
There were unwritten terms to our relationship that we tried hard to bring to reality. It was the axiom of our love affair that we would not, in any way hurt our marriage partners or loved ones. We loved each other truly, profoundly and deeply. But our obligations to our marriages and to our children and grandchildren turned out to be stronger than our loving bond.
When it ended, I found myself alone, emotionally tormented and broken. It was a very lonely place to be. My mind was blocked and my emotions uncontrollable. I did not feel any animosity or desire for revenge towards my former partner. I tried not to analyze his decision to discontinue our affair. I was more concerned with myself, my state of mind, and what my next step must be so that I could function normally again.
I have memories: beautiful, precious memories of time we spent together; of places we visited and of the art, books and music we shared. I know that my life is richer for all these breathtaking moments. I know that our love was real. I know that I was loved and that I loved in return. He added joy to my life and empowered me. That has given me hope and confidence in my ability to find the way out of the emotional torment that engulfed me.
I read dozens of self-help books, went online in search for "help" and called upon a "higher power" to give me strength. I forced myself to focus on the "here and now" without dwelling on the break up that tore me apart. For the first time, I looked into my own feelings and desires, who I am and, what I want.
We all make choices in life. Rather than dwell on the past, I gave myself time, time to work on improving myself in every possible way. I followed my inner voice that brought me back on track. I refuse to feel sorry for myself. I have found wisdom in my own feelings. And now, I am slowly able to face life anew with serenity and honesty.
There are many people out there searching for help and a way out of the emotional turmoil caused by break up. If you have a story to share with others about surviving a break up, please send it to me. Your story must be true (except for names and places) and it must be short. No longer than 1000 words. E-mail your story to at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Author / Additional Info:
I live and work in Canada. I am particularly interested in the function of human hormones and how they influence our daily life. Owner of http://www.royalelectrolysis.com