In all my four decades of life so far, I really haven’t known love like I felt this time around.

Which means this is the first time I’m really experiencing heartbreak.

In the 1800’s heartbreak actually existed as a cause for death. And it has a name-‘broken-heart syndrome’.

There’s also a term called ‘Takotsubo cardiomyopathy’ that a Japanese doctor, Hikaru Sato, identified in patients of his who had symptoms he thought were coming from the stress of the loss of a loved one.

And then there’s also the common myocardial infarction, aka, heart attack.

I think the term should be ‘myocardial melancholy’. Literal translation-‘heart sadness’. I should trademark that one! Maybe that’s how I can get my millions-find a catchy name and write a paper on it. But this case study has an n of 1. Me.

That’s what I’m suffering from. Since I’m a doctor, I can self diagnose. But the treatment options aren’t so optimistic. There’s no quick cure. Instead it’s a whole hell of a lot of time.

I’ve been doing all the soul work I can think of. I’ve cried, screamed, talked to friends and family, journaled, meditated, slept, received shamanic healing and journeyed, painted, did moon rituals and released the cords, burned sage and incense, prayed.

Through all of these, I’ve watched myself feel better.

Until a few days later, when I don’t feel all that hot anymore.

It comes over me like a wave of sadness.

It feels like a tap on the shoulder. The memory of those feelings hits me like it’s a maiden whose living in a shadow behind me. It doesn’t want to be in the past. It wants me to bring itself to the forefront of my mind.

So I welcome her and I carry her with me. I try with all my might to sit with her and honor her, so I can honor what I’m feeling. But it’s really fucking hard. I have a very happy life but this maiden of sadness doesn’t seem to want to go away.

All I want is to talk to this man who broke my heart. I want to understand why he had to shut me down and block all contact with me. I want to hear his side of the story and share mine. I want to have the opportunity that a couple is supposed to have when they are disagreeing! I was robbed of that.

I also want his friendship back. I miss him. He was a big part of my life in those three months. It’s amazing that in such a short time span someone can have such a strong impact on you. I saw so much in him that drew me to him and I know at one point, that was reciprocated.

I get that he stopped feeling it or didn’t know what he was feeling or a number of other things that I have made long lists of…but none of them are his words. They are just my thoughts and my best guesses. They aren’t his. I want his words.

I know I was good to him and loved him honestly and sincerely. I also know I deserved more from him and not to be shut down. That was an unfair move and that pain still stings. When I love someone, I don’t walk away like that.

I really do understand what love is now and how hard it is to lose someone you love. It’s like death.

I can’t see him again and can’t hold him. I can’t kiss him, hug him or tell him how much he meant to me and how much I love him. It’s really hard not to go back in my mind and remember our zoom dates, the irony of falling in love during COVID. The hope we held that we would make it through the pandemic. Those intimate moments, the kisses that took my breath away, his touches and caresses, our sharing of stories, whispers, laughing, exploring of life through each others’ lives. His music and my art. Our moments.

Finding love again is going to be very important for me now, since I know what that feels like. It’s like an addiction-so hard to not want more of. But is that healthy? Addictions aren’t. I hear the word rebound in my mind.

I haven’t been able to find the anger at him after those first few days we broke up. It’s all sadness and the wavering between acceptance and negotiation.

This means my stages of grief are not over yet. And it would definitely be the wrong time to get back out there. That would be rebound. I know I need to go through all these stages and get to the complete stage of acceptance.

I don’t know how long this will take. It took me one year to accept my father’s death. That was the only feeling I can compare to this experience I have right now. As intense of a feeling of loss.

I wrote to him today simply to tell him that I was missing him. That it’s been hard to be away from him.

I’m hopeful I will hear something from him. I know a lot of you reading this will think that’s crazy to want or expect. But it’s honest.

I think I put a large bet on human kindness and the capacity to love. I know he could love and I felt it. I think life became difficult for him. I also believe that one day when he’s ready he will write to me. Or maybe I need to believe that so I can honor my faith in human-kind.

I counsel my patients to be honest with their feelings and emotions. Not to pass judgement on themselves or their feelings. Similarly, I own mine. If I didn’t listen to my heart and send that message to him, I would carry this maiden of sadness with me, whispering all the words I want to tell him, to my ear instead, and increase my myocardial melancholy.

Myocardial melancholy. As the sun sets and I look out the window I wonder how many are feeling what I’m feeling. I’m sure the number is far greater than I can imagine. My question for all of them-what are you all doing to take care of your heart? If I could send a rainbow across the planet to send love to all, I would. So maybe the cure for me is to paint rainbows.