01/05/2015 10:58 pm ET Updated Mar 06, 2015

Thoughts on Loss and Recovery

Many people I know are having hard times with losses right now - loves lost through various means. I read that there is a "break-up corridor" between the New Year and Valentine's Day when more relationships fail than any other time of year. I don't know the cause but it does seem to be heartbreak season. In consoling friends, I've given a lot of thought lately to endings and the new beginnings that come from them.

I know about complicated relationships with complicated people and complicated endings. There are some things that helped me... and continue to help me.

I had to acknowledge that for me, a heartbreak of any kind is a death, the loss of something or someone present, yes, but also the loss of the future I will never get to have. Letting go of that future and the life I had imagined for myself was incredibly difficult. I was left without that future and left without a direction. Like the loss of an arm, I will never be the same but I have learned how to live with the loss and how to get around in the world with one good arm. That phantom limb syndrome is a bitch, though -- sometimes even 25 years later.

It can be gut wrenching to hear the word, "no," whether you are hearing it come from your mouth or a mouth that you love. Bad timing is another way the universe has of saying "no" or "not now" or "we have something better planned for you" and the what-ifs and second-guessing that go with that are treacherous country.

People may tell you that time, just time, will help. I have not found that to be true. I have had to work at it. I worked at reframing the experiences little by little. I allowed myself to be sad about them and know to some degree, I always will be. My experiences in loss have made me a more vulnerable person and this in turn has made me a better woman. The life I have now is amazing and just what I need and I would never have gotten here if things had played out even a tiny bit differently.

Therapy helps. Friends and family help. Faith helps. Writing helps. Dark chocolate helps. And thank God for sad songs and anti-depressants. If you are in a bad spot right now, I believe the universe does not want you to be lonely. The universe wants you to be happy. You will be happy, but first you won't be. This I believe with all my mended heart.