getting over heartbreak - eternal sunshine

There truly is no feeling quite like the devastation that comes from having your heart broken. The ache in your stomach, the uncontrollable sobbing, the appearance of an empty bed — it’s such a specific pain, impossible to pinpoint to anybody who’s not feeling the same genre of hurt. So, if you could get rid of it permanently… would you? I would answer, “Probably not.”

According to Tracey Cox at the Daily Mail, the “controversial new world of the manipulation of memory” is coming about. She says that “memory researchers are exploring the possibility of deleting – or at least turning down the volume – on certain memories using drugs.” So, similar to Eternal Sunshine but minus the crazy contraption and stoned Kirsten Dunst jumping on your bed. Cox says these can be dangerous and tempting:

“It’s stating the obvious that if these drugs work, they are potentially very, very dangerous with all sorts of sinister uses. But if you’re suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, been sexually abused, haunted by the death of a loved one – or completely and utterly broken hearted – they are potentially very, very appealing.”

Last year, I went through a pretty rough breakup. Actually, the split itself wasn’t too terrible; it was why we broke up that was unpleasant. My ex used to lie to me. Chronic, unapologetic lying about anything and everything that would cause suspicion and stress to a significant other. This was followed by me always finding out on my own, followed by him apologizing for weeks, followed by my naive forgiveness. To be fair, I am one of the most difficult people person I know to be with, but lying is lying is lying (not to mention he had a pretty abysmal record of cheating and dishonesty… basically, I fail at character judgment). To this day, though I have absolutely no feelings for the guy anymore — possibly my own bitter defensive response — I still don’t trust anybody and it’s doubtful that I’ll be able to for a long, long time. And as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, that’s not the only thing I’d prefer to just forget.

So this idea of my memory being wiped clean (or, at the very least, cleaner)? It sounds amazing… sort of. For anybody who’s ever wanted a fresh start, a new beginning, this seems so wonderful. But then again, don’t your memories make you the person that you are, at least in part? For some reason, being compared to Clementine in that fucking movie every other day for the last 9 years has led me to imagine what losing all of my bad memories might be like — and I don’t think I like it.

When you’re getting over heartbreak, no matter the sort, you change. You grow and build and are more apt to learn from your mistakes because right at that moment, those mistakes (and the mistakes of others, possibly) have left you proverbially bruised and battered, forcing you to pay closer attention to them. Eventually, that pain will go away and you’ll be left with something much better. The ache in your stomach will subside, the crying will switch from flood to trickle to gone and you will realize that your bed is not empty, because you are in it, and you are not empty.

Photo: Focus Features