If you've never experienced a real heartbreak, then you don't know what you're missing. Its one of those quintessential moments in life where you fall into pieces, never quite sure if you will be put back together...and honestly, you can't quite remember what it feels or looks like. Being happy is a far distant memory, even though the breakup only happened yesterday. I'm no stranger to heartbreak. I always know when its happening because I have a heartbreak ritual. I ruminate about the hurt all day and night, I keep ample amounts of Vodka within reach, sleeping pills are always an option on those nights my waking dreams have morphed into a reenactment of my reality, I dodge songs, movies and people that remind me of my pain, my healthy eating habits are no longer, the club is my solace, and last but not least, I watch King of The Hill marathons for my daily laugh. When all of these elements come together, I officially accept that I'm heartbroken.

If you're lucky enough to mature, you learn how to handle each heartbreak better—and by better, I mean with better coping strategies. I can't shield myself from heartbreak, but maybe I can become better at selecting partners. But sometimes even then, when I think I've selected "that one," I get surprised at the damage that they can ensue. So, I've come to the understanding that I'm not exempt from heartache no matter how great the package is wrapped. It is something that we all have encountered in some fashion. What I do know now is the moment I feel that familiar pain, I remind myself how I handled it last time and ask myself, "Can I do something different this time? Can I substitute some of those unhealthy coping mechanisms for healthier ones?" And the answer is yes. Each time, I've gotten better with my hurt. This time around, I've realized that it doesn't have to be so debilitating and that it actually can be a catalyst for another level of transformation. And not that elementary transformation, where I've alluva sudden realize my worth for the first time, but the type of transformation that has revealed to me how close I am to becoming the person I've always dreamt of being. Someone who values commitment, loyalty, family, values, truth, honesty and transparency and values it with every facet of my being. Who I am today, is someone no one thought I could be even 5 years ago. These marathons of heartbreaks were part karma, but also part destiny. Going through the rough patches is the only thing that could teach me the values I say I believe in.  And now, I have a love/hate relationship with heartbreak, because now I know something I called forth is just trying to break through.