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So someone really messed you up, huh? Someone hurt you, broke your heart, made you cry until no more tears came out… Maybe it’s the worst pain you’ve ever felt—like your heart wants to scream out in pain, but you just find yourself alone in desperation, not knowing what to do. Sound about right?

It’s crazy what love can put us through. For a lot of people, the power of love marks the best and worst times in life. At some points, love brings you to the top of the world; you wake up smiling, ready to tackle anything that comes your way—nothing can stop you, no one can get you down. You laugh for no reason, smile all the time, and you think about him or her from morning till night.

Then, suddenly, all that’s gone. There’s no one to text in the morning, to tell about all your stupid little thoughts. No one is there to say “good morning” or “good night,” or just to say “hey, what’s up!” in between. Losing love creates a void in your heart that nothing else can really fill. That’s probably what you’re feeling now. That’s probably why you’re here.

Maybe you’re wondering how long it will take to get better or what you can do to move on faster. There isn’t a quick fix. You can’t make it stop; you can’t make feelings go away. You’re hurting, and that’s okay—because pain is the first step to recovery. And it does get better. It does get better. So don’t try to push the pain aside. Don’t try to forget your feelings or to mask them with distractions. They’re your feelings; it’s your pain. So try to embrace it, and don’t be afraid to cry. Instead of searching for the fast-lane to happiness, take this as a time to grow stronger—slowly but surely, you will. And when you’re ready (if you want), talk to your friends, your parents, counselors, or anyone you trust. Just give yourself time to heal.

“What about alcohol, drugs, and rebounds? Won’t they make me feel better?” Yeah, they probably will. They’ll make you forget about the pain, and they’ll give you excitement or distraction for a little while. The choice is yours, but don’t forget to be true to yourself. After the buzz is gone, and you’ve woken up to another day, or you realize that the new person you’re dating just can’t replace what you so desperately miss, you might see that you’ve only put roadblocks on your own path to recovery, and that you’re no better off in the long-run (plus, you might hurt someone else in the process).

In short, love yourself. Take care of yourself. And give yourself time. Maybe it will be weeks… or months. Maybe it will take a year. And maybe, even after you’ve recovered, healed, and moved on, you will always carry a scar around with you in your heart. That’s okay, too. Just remember that you are made stronger by the process, that the sun will rise again, and that—with time and strength —you will find that amazing, happy, euphoric, feeling again.

Hang in there.

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