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My name is Jared and I have a question for you: have you ever been heartbroken? Because I have. And it sucked.
No, wait! Come back, don't leave! This story has a happy ending: I think I've found a cure for heartbreak.
Let me start again. Hi, my name is Jared, I am a heartbreak survivor and if you are still in the trenches of romantic despair, I have some words that might help you.
As you may have already imagined, the birth of my heartbreak tale did not come from some happy place covered in rainbow ice cream or heart-shaped balloons. Rather, it typically starts with a sob story, one which I loathe to recall, but for your sake, here I go again. Never say I don’t do anything for you.
Flashback to the painful winter of 2014, when the heartbreak monster visited my circulatory system and zapped my three-year relationship into dust, PEW! I watched in horror as the girl I thought I’d marry slipped through my fingers and swiftly moved on to another lover. There they went, riding off into the sunset, while my heart was left torn and mutilated, and I, an utter mess of comical proportions. There had to be a better way to get through this.
Heartbreaks are as unique as the individuals involved, but it is worth noting that the Great Breakup of 2014 was not my first grief rodeo.
What this meant, is that there was some torturous familiarity beneath my second cycle of bubbling suffocation and while the previous turbulence was equally traumatic, it did provide one key additional detail: that I now knew I could rebuild, because I had rebuilt before.
Armed with this tiny whisper of optimism and fuelled by my general impatience, I began to question whether a person could speed up this agonising period of rehabilitation, and this question quickly evolved into an obsession.
I found myself with the inspiration needed to drag myself out of bed every morning in some delusional fantasy that I would be the first person to discover the cure for the heartbreak disorder.
I researched other people’s experiences. I read all of the blogs and the books. I wrote extensive notes which analysed my own thought behaviours, creating a substantial paper trail as I did so. And by treating my own shattered innards like some laboratory Guinea pig, I slowly got better and, eventually, I won the war against my own emotions.
But what was even more exciting than this, is that was holding a coherent outline for what could only be called a self-help manual. “Perhaps,” I mused, “This may be of value to someone else”.
Picture what follows like some exciting fast-paced montage. I logically re-ordered those scraps of paper, then elaborated on their contents until I had enough original material to write a fully realised body of work. Which I did, and then I posted the text to my blog, done. I firmly believed that what I had written could service some poor forlorn soul, but what I didn’t expect was just how many souls were out there. I received messages from all over the world, complimenting my compassionate understanding and thanking me for my guidance while detailing their success stories which were often far more impressive than mine. What an amazing feeling that was, to realise nobody was alone in this turmoil, heartbreak was a global anguish, and I had somehow assisted these minds on their own personal journeys towards recovery. And that’s when a lightbulb tapped me on the head and said, “Hey, buddy! You should write a book!”. Great idea, lightbulb!
Fast-forward to 2017 and yet another heartbreak punched its vicious fist into my cardiac organ. Except this time, I stood my ground. I not only possessed an instruction manual, written in my own words, but I now had a reason to put it to the test. So that’s exactly what I did. And that is how I developed a fool-proof 30-day program that was guaranteed to cure the world of heartbreak once and for all!
Ok, so perhaps it’s not that simple. But what we do have here is a breakup guide quite unlike any other before. It is not swamped down by an excess of meaningless motivational babble or psychotherapy jargon, because I don’t know any of that stuff.
Rather, here is my experienced voice, compassionate and light-hearted, sticking out my hand and showing you exactly what I did to mend my wounds. Perhaps a step-by-step guideline is exactly what your muddled heart is yearning for right now. Or perhaps you know of a friend who appears stuck and desperate for relief. Or perhaps you’re just curious as to what such a bold claim would entail, tucking the information away for someone else’s rainy day.
The reasons behind your interest are not important. What is important, is that heartbreak itself is a timeless upset which is endured on a universal scale, where people in every city in every country continue to writhe as slaves to the grief-stricken scars of their former love lives. These are the individuals who deserve all the support they can get, and this book could very well be the pages to give it to them.
And that’s where you come in! Without your contributions, Heartbreak Sucks! will evaporate into the ether of unrealised texts and this could have a severe domino effect, ultimately leading to an eternal chorus of broken hearts forever. Do you really want to be responsible for such a tragedy? If not, then please support this idea and push for its ultimate realisation.
Because, one day, you might find yourself in dire need of these very words. And then there they will be, thanks to you.
Cape Town-born London-based artist Jared Woods is best known as the full-time scriptwriter for the YouTube channel Pencilmation, a kids' cartoon show which currently has more than 7.5 million subscribers and counting. Heartbreak Sucks! is Jared’s first exploration into the self-help book world, but he can also be noted as the author of the 2016 fiction novel This is Your Brain on Drugs. In his spare time, Jared devotes much of his energy to his personal blog, Juice Nothing, which has received more than one million hits.
Other than writing, Jared finds much happiness in singing for his band, Sectlinefor, as well as creating solo music under the name Coming Down Happy. He is currently piecing together a web-series film titled Definitely Not a Cry For Help. Follow him on Instagram @legotrip for daily illustrations and other misguided wisdom.
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