#howimend: Poet Orion Carloto On Grief And The Healing Process

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By Kate Paguinto


Orion Carloto is an Atlanta-based poet and YouTuber who creates a dream world through her video diaries. She is currently publishing her first book, which will feature a collection of her poetry and prose. When she's not writing, you can find Orion at home baking sweets or watching French films with her cats, Atticus and Lolita.

We asked Orion a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about the importance of grieving during the healing process.

Check out Orion's website for videos or follow her on Instagram here.

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If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

"Please just breathe. Calm down and remember that this isn’t the end. Although I was in a previous relationship before, I believe that my first real and genuine heartbreak happened when I was 19. He was my second boyfriend and when he left, I felt as though I lost a limb. When he stuttered out the words “I’m sorry, we shouldn’t do this anymore,” my vision just went black and my entire world felt like it stopped spinning. A year and a half of my life given to someone that gave it up so easily. I remember I locked myself up in my room for a month. I couldn’t leave my bed, I didn’t eat, and I barely talked to anyone. I cried and I mourned at any given chance, and the pages of my journal became a sanctuary for his name. My mother was so worried about me that even she thought that I was never going to heal again. If there's something I could tell myself while I was going through that stage in my life, it's to remember that it doesn’t end there. He obviously was put in my life for a reason, but maybe that reason isn’t to be my partner forever. And that's okay. I couldn’t understand that. I was so convinced that he was “the one”, that when it came down to parting ways, I simply could not let it go. We must accept change no matter how difficult it may feel. Something always works out in the end whether it be with that person or someone else. If you don’t learn to accept this, you will never truly move on in peace. And that will hurt you more than any word that will ever come out of someone else’s mouth."

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

"Heartbreak taught me solitude and the importance of recognizing my self worth. It’s so easy for me to get lost in someone else and to fully rely on them for everything. I grew up being a people pleaser, so it was inevitable for me to cling on to my significant other and pretty much become attached. When it all comes to an end, I become completely lost. Heartbreak taught me how important it is to allow myself to heal in the company of my own. It has opened up parts of me that I’ve yet to see. I don’t need another person in my life telling me that I am loved when I should be the one doing that myself. It’s not an easy journey to endure, but it certainly has taught me life lessons that I couldn’t learn anywhere else."

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What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

"To mourn. To cry and to grieve as heavily as possible. Making sure to let it all out wholeheartedly rather than keeping it all bottled in. After releasing those emotions, I also make sure to write everything down. Writing has helped me alleviate pain more than anything when I’m hurt. Of course, although solitude during these times of hurt is important, I like to make sure that I don’t forget to surround myself with the people that make me the happiest. I console to my dearest friends and find comfort in the insight and sympathy they give towards me. Also, soaking in a hot lavender bubble bath works wonders too."

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

"My biggest vice was definitely checking up on his social media pages. That was the most toxic thing I could have ever done to myself. Constantly typing in his handle and seeing if he’s tweeted about me or even going as far as checking his favorites never (and I mean EVER) worked out in my favor. I was always bound for some sort of disappointment. It also didn’t help being the over thinker that I am, reading his vague tweets which always ended in me automatically concluding that they were all about me. After realizing how much this was affecting me, I had to force myself to not check up on him anymore. As tempting as it was, I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn’t going to make things any better."

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

"A lesson that I’m constantly learning in love is that it takes time. You simply cannot rush it and I’ve regretfully had to learn that the hard way. The best kind of love is the one that comes to you unexpectedly and you both take time to understand each other. Slow down and it will come to you. And when it does, even if it takes months or even years, the dreadful wait will all be worth it."

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

"From my experience, you can 100% be friends with your exes. Personally, I never like to have bad blood with others (especially with people that were once incredibly important in my life) so I make sure to keep things level after we part ways. It’s okay to continue following your exes online as long as you make sure to not spend all of your time going through their page. Because as we all know, that is never a good idea."

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What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

"Something that has helped keep my heart open is reminding myself that not every person is out to get me. Everyone is different and just because a few people have hurt me in unimaginable ways, doesn’t mean that anyone after that will do that same. And honestly, who’s to say they won’t?! You can never truly know unless you give that person a chance. Love comes in many different shapes and sizes and each and every person will offer you a different type of love. Every being on this earth loves differently and you must understand this. People come and people go; people hurt people. I could get my heart broken a thousand times and although it’s going to hurt me and do a great number on my heart, I will never allow myself to be closed off to love due to someone else’s shameful actions."

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

"Definitely “All I Want” by Kodaline. While going through my last heartbreak, I couldn’t even listen through the entire song without getting emotional. Also, anything by Keaton Henson. He is a brilliantly honest artist with a discography full of tunes that are bound to make you feel his pain. He is easily one of my favorite musicians because you can just hear his hurt and also the emotions put into his lyrics are unbelievably raw. You are bound to resonate."

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

"It’s a tie between 500 Days of Summer and Blue Valentine. There’s something painfully beautiful about watching romance become unrequited and following a character throughout their hurt."

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

"I’m currently working on my very first book of poetry and prose that, ironically enough, is filled to the brim with heartache. I’ve put my entire soul into this collection of work so I’m immensely thrilled to be able to share it with everyone! I’m also quite anxious to expose this piece of me that no one else has quite seen, but has only experienced snippets of it online. It can be scary, but I know with every ounce in my being that it will all be worth it in the end."

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Kate Paguinto

Kate is a Content Strategist at Mend and co-owner of a small business called Dizzy Cactus. She likes puns, Wes Anderson, and the Oxford comma.

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