A broken heart is a pain that no one wants to experience, one that has the ability to impact our lives for a long time. If you have had to go through this more than once, that pain may be compounding, leaving you in a dark, sad place.

If you have had your heart broken multiple times, this not only introduces an incredible sadness and negativity into your life, it may actually impact your ability to heal and move forward. Unable to let go of the pain from the past, you may find yourself trapped in a vicious cycle that will never truly bring your happiness. While it’s not easy to overcome, the first step is to realize that you have fallen down this dark hole. From here, you can start working on a plan to climb free.

Here are 14 signs that your heart has been broken one too many times:

#1 – You keep your pain and sadness hidden from the world.

Rather than admitting to friends, family and loved ones that you are struggling, you choose to keep everything buried deep within. You are determined to manage everything yourself, even if it causes you even more pain.

#2 – You struggle with a deep feeling of loneliness.

It’s not that you don’t want to allow people into your life. You would love to make some new connections and not feel so alone, but you can’t bring yourself to risk being hurt yet again. You feel lonely and cut off from the rest of the world.

#3 – You plaster on a fake smile every day, but your heart feels differently.

When people first see you, they are met with your dazzling smile. However, when they look into your eyes they realize that your happiness is nothing more than an act. Deep down, you are filled with pain and sadness.

#4 – You feel exhausted all the time.

Carrying around this level of pain is exhausting, physically, mentally and emotionally. However, as tired as you feel, you can’t sleep. You lie awake all night thinking about the people who have hurt you in the past and wondering if there was any way you could have seen it coming.

#5 – You feel as though you are never able to reveal what’s actually on your mind.

Having been hurt so many times, you no longer believe that you can trust anyone in your life to share your thoughts and feelings. Instead, you bottle everything up, leaving it to fester beneath the surface.

#6 – You struggle with an intense feeling of being hurt.

Fear is a difficult thing to overcome, capable of holding us back in all areas of our life. In your case, your fear of being hurt is well founded – triggered by the repeated experience of being backstabbed and let down. You allow your pain and fear to control your life, preventing you from opening your heart to anyone else.

#7 – You have a hard time concentrating and are easily distracted.

Your past painful experiences dominate your thoughts, cluttering your mind. This makes it nearly impossible for you to focus on anything. Others see you as flighty, forgetful and distracted, but it’s not your fault. You simply can’t stop your thoughts from wandering.

#8 – You find yourself feeling annoyed by words and phrases like love, trust, and loyalty.

While for most people, these words trigger feelings of love, affection, and comfort, this is no longer the case for you. Each time that someone betrays you or does you wrong, they slowly erode the meaning of these words in your life.

#9 – You understand how much this pain can hurt, and so you hurt when you see someone else going through the same thing.

You know first hand just how difficult it can be to have your heart broken. When you see someone else experiencing the same pain in their life, your heart goes out to them. You wish that you knew the secret to take their pain away.

#10 – You experience physical aches as a result of your emotional pain.

While it’s obvious that you are dealing with emotional pain, this pain can sometimes manifest itself in a physical way. You may feel chest pain, an ache in your shoulders, headaches or any other random and unexplainable ache or pain in your life.

#11 – You struggle with your anger, introducing constant negativity into your life.

You have so much pent-up anger and frustration form the times that you have been hurt, that it is hard to ignore. In fact, your mind feels as though it is constantly under attack, a barrage of anger that you can’t escape from.

#12 – You live in a constant cycle of self-blame and hatred.

Anytime that you allow yourself to think back to the times that you were hurt in the past, you can’t help but think about the ways you may have prevented it. You believe that you are at fault for the pain that you have experienced. Try as you might, you simply can’t forgive yourself.

#13 – You are unable to trust people despite your best attempt.

Having had your trust broken time and time again, you have had your eyes opened to the darker side of humanity. You are at a stage where you can no longer shake the feeling that everyone you meet is eventually going to stab you in the back. This prevents you from being able to trust anyone.

#14 – You break down when you are alone.

You spend so much energy creating the image that you are doing well to the outside world. However, when the day comes to a close and you find yourself alone with your thoughts, it all comes rushing back. In this moment, you find yourself completely overwhelmed by your pain causing you to completely break down.

Image via N-Lightenment

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