He’s a drug. I’m a witch.
The power of love, the weakness of self-love. I’m an addict, and the more toxic we get together, the more fatal it seems. Short breath, slow torture, fragmented sleep, poor impulse control. At last, the pain of heartbreak is being studied by scientists. The findings are shocking as well as poetic. Scans of a broken human brain show the same areas affected as those of someone who’s been burned. Heartbreak imprints itself dramatically on our bodies.
The most painful melodrama.
“At night, my subconscious compensated with pleasant dreams, when I started to wake up from them, it hit like a motherfucker. A clenched heart. Terrible physical pain in my chest,” Chloe tells me. Heartbreak is not simply a metaphor. It is not small, it is not ordinary. Scientists confirm that heartbreak is something clinically awful and we’re used to relegating it to melodrama. It is one of life’s most painful experiences that devastates both our mental and physical health.
“It’s like having a dog sunk its teeth into my chest, that’s how I kept imagining the pain,” says Barbara. Desire is attraction, and estrogen and testosterone are to blame. Dopamine is cocaine and my body can’t do without it. The poetics of the pain of a flaccid heart valve. Unrequited love can cause serious brain disorders, according to scientists. The body can’t use the essential hormones properly, symptoms set in, like trying to kick a real addiction.
The end of a toxic relationship in the hype of the hormone Olympics. Agony. Torture. Buried ego. Physical pain. Disorienting sadness. Humiliation. Danger. Anxiety. Blurred emotions. Desire for someone is a biochemical intoxication of the body.
I’m an addict. I want you more than I want me.
“The embodiment of impermanence and toxicity. It reflects the hatred I have for myself,” Ela tells me. I want someone I can’t have, probably shouldn’t have. I devise strategies to survive, and I feel similar pain and longing to people on drugs. I really felt the moment when my heart broke. The heart valve stops working properly. Our cells feel lonely. Our body never forgets how a person made our nervous system feel.
Sleep is liberation.
Like heroin. “A moment when he writes to me and for a moment a terrible relief. I’ve had my dose. Then the pain is all the greater. You do it over and over again, you can’t help it,” says Chloe. I want to see him, for one night. To erase months of work, suffering. For one night with him. A night like Novocaine. To confirm my weakness, my stupidity. “It’ll numb the pain for a while, it won’t cure anything. I stand still or recede,” Zoe mocks herself.
Everything tenses, my chest chokes, my legs twitch restlessly, my hands shake, my head tight. Tunnel vision. I drop down for a couple of painkillers. A faulty deal. I have to suffer a little more, a little longer. I don’t want to stop because that would mean we didn’t love each other enough.