Tag Archives: Broken Heart

Broken Heart

by Richard

It seems odd, but this is the first time it’s happened here in Casa de Dude. We’ve got a broken heart.

Sarcasmo recently went through an odd little break up. To most people, I’m sure, it wouldn’t mean all that much. But it meant the world to him.

He came to me for advice. He didn’t know what to do because it hurt so bad.

And all I had left to give him were clichés.

You’ll get better in time.

The joys of trying for love outweigh the sadness losing it.

There are others out there for you.

“It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” said J.

“Try it,” K growled.

Even as the words left my mouth, I could feel the inadequacy of them. It’s not just inadequate to this situation, but to most situations that deal with a broken heart. When you’re heart’s in a million pieces on the ground, everything is inadequate. Nothing can heal the pain. Nothing can make a difference.

The words we say are nothing but noise. The hugs we give are nothing but constrictions. The smiles, merely more teeth showing. The tears we shed are arid counterpoint to the ocean of sadness inside. And the prose we right, not nearly purple enough to cover the depth of our damage.

And then, one day, you find that you’re healed. The thought of the dudettes name doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve just tried to kiss an angry hedgehog. Seeing the dude’s face across the room, doesn’t make you want to run the other way at speed.

And you’re amazed that you ever actually cared enough to worry about losing that twit.

When your heart is fresh broken, you know it will never heal. When it’s healed, you know it’s hardened enough so that it will never break again. Until the next time.

But that’s something you don’t want to hear about right now.

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Your Brain Is Still On Love

by Richard

The love drug is more than just a slang name for the already slangy Spanish Fly. (Dude, does that date me.) Love acts just like any other drug in that it can cause your brain chemistry to change, which, in turn, forces your emotions to change and alters your behavior.

The only difference is that you can’t get love in a pill. Yet.

So, we’re talking about love and all the stuff it can do to you. This conversation got started when I read a nice opinion piece by Diane Ackerman in the New York Times the other day. Some good stuff.

As imaging studies by the U.C.L.A. neuroscientist Naomi Eisenberger show, the same areas of the brain that register physical pain are active when someone feels socially rejected. That’s why being spurned by a lover hurts all over the body, but in no place you can point to. Or rather, you’d need to point to the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in the brain, the front of a collar wrapped around the corpus callosum, the bundle of nerve fibers zinging messages between the hemispheres that register both rejection and physical assault.

Whether they speak Armenian or Mandarin, people around the world use the same images of physical pain to describe a broken heart, which they perceive as crushing and crippling. It’s not just a metaphor for an emotional punch. Social pain can trigger the same sort of distress as a stomachache or a broken bone.

And that’s just social anxiety. Imagine the feeling magnified many-fold when it’s rejection by the person you love. Of course, there’s also the reverse, in that the feeling of joy you experience when you’re loved and in love is something amazing and wonderful. It also can act as a painkiller.

James Coan, a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia, conducted experiments in 2006 in which he gave an electric shock to the ankles of women in happy, committed relationships. Tests registered their anxiety before, and pain level during, the shocks.

Then they were shocked again, this time holding their loving partner’s hand. The same level of electricity produced a significantly lower neural response throughout the brain. In troubled relationships, this protective effect didn’t occur. If you’re in a healthy relationship, holding your partner’s hand is enough to subdue your blood pressure, ease your response to stress, improve your health and soften physical pain. We alter one another’s physiology and neural functions.

To me, that’s the most amazing thing about love: that a simple emotion can actually make physical changes in our bodies. A feeling can change the mechanism by which the feeling itself is generated. That’s pretty cool stuff, dudes.

You know? Wait. I lied. That isn’t the most amazing thing. The most amazing thing is that I am in loved and am loved.


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Six Words To Sum Up A LIfe

by Richard

For some people, summing up a life can only be done at the end of a laborious process of interview and write and edit. The result is a long, long book. For most of the rest of us, we can sum up our lives in six words. Well, we can try anyway.

The six-word autobiography is something that’s been going around for a while.

The six-word autobiography was supposedly based on an apocryphal telling of Ernest Hemmingway’s response to a challenge that he write a story in only six words. His entry: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” True or not, that’s still some powerful writing for only six words.

Anyway.

The challenge with this is to sum up your life in only six words. It’s something I’ve been doing with my wife, known to one and all as She Who Must Be Present At The Opening Of The Sale, over the last little while. It’s a fun little game and, I think, quite revealing about what you think of yourself.

If your six words focus on, say, your little dudes or dudettes, that’s going to speak to how important or time-consuming they are in your life. On your wife or husband or significant other? It’s about your need to be liked or to give. About you? Well, that really depends on if it’s a good six words or an angry six.

Here’s a couple for me to get yourself started.

Father. Husband. Brother. Son. Busy life.

Father. Husband. Brother. Son. Wonderful life.

Broken heart. Bleeding stomach. Why me? (Of course this one isn’t for real. I’m just grousing for fun here. This is just whining for the sake of humor.)

Writing’s hard. It sold? Writing’s wonderful!

Strange and wonderful world. Let’s share!

So I think you see where I’m going with this. It can be a lot of fun. Why not give it a try?

Stop by in comments and leave your favorite six-word autobiography.

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