The heartbreaking reality of heartbreak, beautifully told in a 16-part comic.
Heartbreak is real.
The end of a relationship can be painful. "You'll get over it," "There are plenty of fish in the sea," "Time heals all wounds," and other platitudes, however well meaning, don't really make things better.
Cherlyn Chong knows something about the pain of heartbreak.
28-year-old Chong, who was born and raised in Singapore, spent some time in the U.S., and now lives in Singapore again, experienced some pain recently.
Four months ago, the man she was planning to marry — the one who'd bought a ring and everything — ended their relationship.
And she was heartbroken.
But in "a gesture of defiance, closure and expression of my feelings all rolled into one," she told me via email, she created this comic. "An added bonus is that it's a pretty nifty way to explain the breakup to my friends," she said.
If you've ever experienced a broken heart — or if you're healing from one right now — this might resonate.
Chong wants her comic to help others understand that they're not alone in their pain.
"They can and will get out of it by loving themselves just a little bit more," she told me.
She created an even longer version of this comic, which has really resonated with a lot of people, and she shared it on her website. Because the response was so positive, she also created a 30-day healing course for others working through the same heartache she recently experienced.
Comics are a great way to relate to real-life situations.
I love that we can look at a comic, feel understood, and also feel a little bit lighter about whatever it is that we're going through — and maybe others can understand a little better, too. "Comic cartoons have a way of making people feel safe," Chong told me. "It's nice to take the pain out for a bit, look at it from another perspective."
And in the case of heartbreak, removing a tiny bit of pain for even a short period of time is welcome. Even more important is to know that you're not the only one going through it — and you will be in a better place one day.
As Chong said, "There are just so many people struggling and finding it so hard to reach out, and it can be comforting to know that a stranger is feeling the exact same things you are."