Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

TRIGGER WARNING: suicide, mental illness, gun violence

The summer of 2017 was the last time in my life without what felt like any major life changes. It was the last time I remember my heart feeling whole. I remember taking a trip with my school, driving through the rain and singing at the top of my lungs with my peers. I had this thought that I wanted to freeze the moment, like it would be a while before I had another moment like that.

In February 2018, my parents got divorced after 22 years of marriage, and I was left heartbroken. Over the next year, my relationship with my boyfriend at the time turned sour and toxic-only deepening my pain. In May of 2019, I was a senior in high school. It should have been one of the best times of my life, but then, the school I had been working at as an afterschool caregiver had a shooting, and my heart was bruised once again. 

I thought starting college would be  bright and beautiful, but I found myself being bullied by the girls on my floor. They needed a common enemy and chose me. 

After suffering like the rest of us in quarantine, I got a position as a Resident Assistant (RA) during my sophomore year. Things were looking up for once. Then, three different people very close to me attempted suicide within a few months of each other. I didn’t know my heart could take more, but it did. 

I started my junior year of college hoping my curse would end. However, I received a devastating diagnosis, and my heart was wounded once again. During this already difficult time, I met two boys that each betrayed me in a horrible way, which caused the worst series of events I have ever experienced. That broke the last bit of my heart left.

Overall, I was in a terrible place. I hated my major. My academic pursuits were a shadow of what they once were. My new diagnosis was not yet under control. It felt like I had nothing left in me at all. 

However, despite it all, a year later, during my fourth year of college, I am thriving. I raised my GPA from a 2.6 to a 3.4 in under a year. I am enrolled as a full time student and I make good money working at the same time. I have big dreams, and I see a detailed future for myself. I have a healthy relationship with a boyfriend whom I love. I have amazing friends. Above all, I am completely stable and showing little to no symptoms of my health diagnosis. Of course, there are still bad days, but everything is really looking up.

So, how did I do it? How did I take years of trauma and mental illness and turn it around so quickly? How did I heal my broken heart?

The answer is I didn’t.

I do a lot of Computer Aided Design (CAD) modeling for school. This consists of using computer software (such as Solidworks or SketchUp) to build 3D models virtually. It can be a tricky process if you are not an expert, which I am not. Often, for no reason, the 3D models just get completely screwed up. They will be completely misshapen, have excess lines everywhere, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot fix them. The number one piece of CAD modeling advice I ever got was when your project gets super messed up, it is actually faster to delete it and start over than to try to fix it.

That is what I did with my heart. It was broken so many times that it felt like it was dust. No amount of tape and glue would put it back together. So, I started new. Despite being in my junior year, I changed my major to something I now not only like but have come to love. I went to therapy every single week where I built pieces of my new heart through learning coping strategies, insights on my life, and more. I reported the boys who betrayed me. I worked hard to create a healthy relationship with my current boyfriend. I pursued my passions and dreams. I spent time with my family. I not only built a new heart but also a new life. And as I was laying in bed one night, I realized I was ready. I was ready to put in my new heart. For a year, it was like I was staring through a glass window and looking at the life I wanted. Now, that window was a door, and I was ready to walk through it.

No matter how bad the trauma is or how dark your thoughts are, they are only temporary. For a long time, I saw the world in an extremely negative light. It felt like life was just suffering and like every day would be hard. There are bad days, in fact, there are terrible days, but there can be good ones. I didn’t just “stop being sad.” But, I did the work, and through it I learned there is a brighter side of life. Even if someone feels like there is no fight or hope left, they can at least pretend there is. Healing is not just for me. It is possible for everyone. If it feels like there is no way out, do not forget you can always always ALWAYS start a new page and build your new heart. 

Sko Buffs!