How to Fix a Broken Heart (2018) is a message of hope addressed to the broken-hearted and grief-stricken. Time, Guy Winch reminds his readers, might be the great healer but that doesn’t mean you can’t expedite the recovery process. Psychologically penetrating and based on the latest scientific research, this handbook for the lovelorn will see you back on your feet in no time.
We’ve all experienced heartbreak at one time or another. Recovering from it takes time and requires the support of our friends, family and the society in which we live.
There’s generally a great deal of social sympathy for those who’ve just been through a divorce or lost a close relative. But it’s a different story when it comes to losing an “unofficial” partner or pet.
That’s a problem. Without social recognition, the healing process becomes a lot harder.
Think of breakups. Support quickly evaporates when we’ve “only” lost a girlfriend or boyfriend.
That’s especially true when it takes us longer to get over our heartbreak than people think it should. After a certain point, sympathy turns to irritation – as if we’re not trying hard enough.
But just because we weren’t married, or our dog wasn’t a two-legged relative doesn’t mean we’re not grieving. The emotional pain is just as intense.
When it comes to pets, there’s often no understanding at all.
Take Ben. He lost his beloved dog Bover after years of close companionship. As Bover grew old and sick, Ben took him to the vet and stayed by his side on countless occasions. He was so devoted to his four-legged friend that he even called in sick to be with him.
His boss realized what was going on and demanded that Ben return to work. Ben asked for a few days off, but his boss told him to get over it – it was just an animal.
When Bover died, Ben’s therapist – the author – had to write him a doctor’s note to excuse his absence from work while he grieved.
Others’ lack of understanding is bad for us. It makes us internalize their insensitivity. And that means we start judging and shaming ourselves for feeling the way we do.
That’s something Ben expressed when he first contacted the author. He told him how much he needed someone to talk to about his agony regarding Bover’s poor health.
But, he added, that wasn’t easy. He felt embarrassed about his feelings and was worried about what the author would think of him.
In the blinks that follow, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly heartbreak is, and how we can recover from it.