27 July 2008

Change Your Mind

There comes a point after an ending when you have to change your mind, or at least your mindset. We forget that our brain and emotions are not spoiled toddlers high on sugar. No. We actually have control over them.

There's a bit of martyrdom that comes after a breakup. Emotionally, you are the equivalent of being shrouded in black. A gloom cloud hovers over you. Stock in Kleenex goes through the roof. For a time, you are supposed to feel pretty cruddy. But, sometimes, the crud sticks. We've all seen those relationship "widows" running around. "How long ago did they breakup?" "A year ago." "Oh. Wow. How sad." Not sad that she's still bummed over the breakup, but sad she's still not over it.

We can decide to feel better. Sometimes you have to decide that every thirty seconds. But, once you start deciding to feel better, it will start to actually happen. You'll need to remind yourself less and less.

I'm not talking about burying your feelings. That's not healthy. If your sad feelings keep bubbling up, it's been a while after the ending, and it's a little more than just your breakup making you feel blue, you might want to talk to someone. And I'm not being snarky about that. Really. If you are in emotional pain and it's not easing up, see a therapist, counsellor or member of the clergy to help you through it. But, if you are in the habit of thinking about your relationship just to see if you are going to feel bad about it, then stop and decide change your mind to feel better.

Think I'm being harsh? Well, what's meaner: You letting yourself feel rotten or me suggesting you get over it? I just think you deserve better. Especially from yourself.

18 July 2008

Step Away From The Crack!

Have you watched A&E's Intervention? I think any woman falling in love or breaking up should. You get to see how crazy, sad and pathetic addicts can be. On occasion, you might catch a glimpse of what a friend (or you) looks like when talking about a relationship. Seriously. Some of the same phrases come of my friends when they are talking about a man. "If I can just talk to him (use) one more time, I'll never need to talk to him (use) again." "You don't know what it's like when it's just the two of us (when I'm high). You just don't know how good it feels." Sound at all familiar?

They say that the brain reacts to love and heroin in similar ways -- not that I could quote the doctor or study I heard that from, but it kind of makes sense, don't you think? The thoughts and feelings can become a bit of an addiction. Like an itch you can't scratch, you need another fix, some sort of contact. It becomes a form of crack. When it gets that bad, you really need to take a step back. Sure, you'll go through withdrawals, but those only last a few hours, maybe a day. Once you get your head clear, you'll feel stronger and can see things with a new perspective. Hopefully, you'll be able to go forward with a bit of balance. But, if you go right back to needing more and more, losing your control, you might want to admit you have a problem. Call a friend (sponsor) and start doing the twelve-step shuffle away from what's driving you crazy...even if it's crazy in a good way.

16 July 2008

It's All In Your Head

Why do we do it to ourselves? Why? WhyWhyWhy?

That is exactly what my friend kept asking last night over the phone. Why hasn't he called? What does that mean? What did she do wrong? When should she call him or email him or send him a text?

I did what any good friend would do and told her to knock it off.

It's early days in her burgeoning relationship. The regular communication was stalled by his trip to see family (and we all know how draining that can be) and a getaway of her own. It's not like they've not communicated at all. There have been phone calls and emails and texts (which I really think we all should avoid outside of an emergency). But it's not happening at the pace it did in the beginning. He's never not called when he said he would, only sometimes when she expected him to. And there you have it: She has been getting upset by her expectations, not his actions. Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you. Unanimous. I knew it.

My friend wanted to know, did she do something wrong? Obviously, if he's not calling when she expects him to, it must be her fault*. (I'll get to that later.)

Since she didn't insult him and there wasn't a tiff, how could she have done something wrong? Relationships aren't like chocolate soufflé. There isn't a perfect recipe or temperature setting to adhere to, and you don't have to tip-toe around them. They aren't ICU patients, either. You don't have to take their temperature or pulse every hour. They do need to breathe, though. They can suffocate easily.

It's difficult when you are stoned on excitement not to dwell on every little thing. Try to find meaning in every action or non-action. But if you end up anxiety-ridden because of it, just remember: *It's all in your head. So, knock it off. The thought process, that is. Not your noggin.