Most of the time, I feel like I have a pretty healthy lack of shame and control. Just enough to make me interesting.
After past breakups of mine though, the phrase “lack of shame and control,” was really a dignified, polite way of saying that I’ve gone batsh*t, off-the-wall WILD, don’t want to do anything other than cry, obsess and rehash the entire, A-Z story of my ex and I to only “new” and “fresh” people who I have convinced myself are:
- Qualified to give me the best opinion and advice on the situation because they’re removed from it
- I know subconsciously are dumb / disinterested/ don’t know me well enough to feel comfortable being completely honest / a “yes” person enough to tell me what I want to hear while still making me FEEL like they’re not just telling me what I want to hear and that YES, my ex is probably going to call me soon and YES, he misses me and YES, he feels bad, JUST SO I can hear all of this and feel some fake, momentary relief (that isn’t based on anything reminiscent of reality), and then go back ask them reaffirming questions to make sure I can feel calm for the next few minutes…
Until I freak out again and Insta/Snap/Facebook/Tumblr stalk the living sh*t out of my ex any and every girl he so much as likes, breathes near, comments on or posts with and repeat all of this until I realize I’m due for a baby wipe shower (because taking a big girl shower takes too much effort and really, whats the point? I have no one to impress anymore and I feel like sh*t; might as well look like it), fall asleep and wake up with the WORST feeling of unrelenting heartbreak and like I’m chocking all at once, only to be “relieved” by repeating all the above over and over until I’ve exhausted my mind, body, laptop battery, iPhone battery and any self esteem that was left after the breakup.
A bad relationship with an emotionally unavailable guy is the worst kind of drug to be addicted to and the withdrawals feel, seem and in many cases ARE impossible to break out of because you’re on a tall, dangerous ferris wheel that never ends and getting off for good will inevitably take courage, be scary as sh*t, require belief in yourself and, if it’s a steep enough fall, you’ll probably get a little bruised and banged up when you muster enough courage to jump off, but you’ll always survive.
If after a breakup, you’re hurting but you’re doing all of the right things (reading this blog, going no contact, trying to take care of you and rebuild your self esteem, etc.) and still feeling like sh*t, STILL feeling like you have no control, STILL finding yourself doing things that although no one may know you’re doing, YOU KNOW you’re doing… like 4 hours of Insta-creeping the entire clique + all the extended family of every chick he so much as “likes” a photo of.
Your moods, anxiety and level of depression have become dependent on your ex’s inactions, his social media actions and you continue beating yourself up for not feeling like you have any control or shame. You’re a mess, a shell of your former self. FYL.
After a breakup that all but destroyed you, you’ve made the decision to be strong, cut him off and do what’s best for you but WHY do you feel even WORSE? Why do you still feel like such sh*t? Why does finally attempting to do the right thing and commit to the decision of doing what you know deep down is best for you, make you feel worse? Where has your willpower gone? Why can you seemingly stick to “cutting him off,” but not stop thinking about him and obsessing and wanting to reach out and send him that text even more so now that you’ve gone no contact?
WHY DOES DOING ALL OF THE “RIGHT THINGS” POST BREAKUP, FEEL LIKE PUNISHMENT?
You feel like your once “happy” life with your ex has now turned into this constant battle of fighting the urge to “talk” and get closure/validation.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE STRENGTH?
WHEN DOES DOING WHAT I WRITE ABOUT ON THIS BLOG START TO ACTUALLY FEEL GOOD INSTEAD OF JUST MAKING COMPLETE SENSE WHILE YOU’RE STILL ALL TORN UP AND FIGHTING AN INTERNAL WAR EVERY MOMENT?
Honestly, I would be exhausted and trying to do everything to distract myself too if I devoted 99.99999% of my time to living, breathing, thinking, obsessing, hashing and rehashing everything after a breakup with my ex and there isn’t a shot in hell that while doing all of this, I’d be able to care for myself and ensure that I’m in a mental and physical environment where I feel safe and loved or take ANY steps toward putting one foot in front of the other, flushing the crap and moving on.
Combine all THAT with having to go to school or hold down a job and WHOA. YEAH, you’ve become this f*cked up, reverse lame-o superhero that is capable of going through the motions of life in a satisfactory manner while devoting every waking second of your attention to someone that is depleting the potential of the very life that you’ve been lucky enough to have been given.
And any free moment you have where you’re not obsessing AS badly?
Glass of wine, pet the cat, Netflix until pass out with makeup on. The End. Repeat tomorrow.
In the past, after a breakup I would always tell myself that I was going to do no contact, cut my ex off that I knew wasn’t good for or to me, stop wasting time and THIS TIME, actually commit to it but every time… I failed, which did nothing but further deplete my self respect because I kept repeatedly proving to myself that I wasn’t strong enough to make a decision and commit to seeing it through.
Looking back, I see now that the biggest reason I struggled with sticking to speaking with my actions after a breakup and cutting my ex off was because I struggled with my self esteem. Badly.
No matter what minor or major thing occurred in my life, after a breakup, I would always use ANYTHING – my boredom, my pain, a song coming on the radio, the feeling of being completely out of control, being embarrassingly shameless, to encourage and tip me juuuuust enough over the edge to think (and most times ACT upon the thoughts of):
“Hmmm….. Maybe I should text / email / DM / “like” / “comment” / Snap / message / start a fight with / call him out on / try to flirt with him / find out if he’s really changed / find out if he’s happier with her / obsess over why I’m not good enough / ignite drama / try to make him jealous, etc.
I felt rejected, lost and abandoned. By continuing to engage and stay on the post-breakup ferris wheel, I became mentally and emotionally lost. I abandoned myself and I rejected everything about me because everyone else had.
I looked to every guy to dictate my worth and I translated through my actions: “Please don’t abandon me for I have abandoned myself.”
It breaks my heart to type that and realize how low I’ve felt and the extent to which I’ve abused, humiliated and hurt myself in my most fragile and vulnerable states.
When the pain got to a point where it began to affect my well being, my health, my school and my work, instead of noticing the huge red flags for what they were, deep down I was scared and I didn’t want to have to deal with me because I knew that would be even more embarrassing and painful. I’d rather focus all of my energy and attention on trying to get the guy to see that it was me all along and that I was worth it. And again (and again) the ferris wheel went around.
I was a master justifier.
If I would have just addressed my feelings of being out of control and not caring about retaining any dignity or shame and disempowered those feelings by ceasing to beat myself up, take care of my health, manage my stress and anxiety, get real about his behavior, etc., I would have eventually seen my ” no shame loss of control” and “insane urges” to get back in touch with my ex after a breakup for what they really were (me having low self esteem and needing the validation that I mattered). I would have gradually started to feel better about my decision, gain self confidence as a result and I definitely would have begun to start taking care of me instead of being labeled as the “psycho ex” and engaging in obsessive thoughts and actions at the expense of my reputation and dignity.
I had to get there the hard way, but I fortunately got to a point where I began to comfort myself in a healthier way. Just as I no longer needed to find someone to “make me happy,” I no longer needed someone to heal me from overpowering heartbreak and I instilled some boundaries. I stopped looking for the validation that my ex wasn’t happier without me and that his new girl wasn’t better than me. I stopped looking back, I ran out of f*cks to give, I managed to stay on the white horse while doing so and THAT’S when my life forever changed. That’s when the magic started to happen.
Right after a breakup, you’re obviously going to feel pain and feel a loss of shame and control. That’s normal.
When you decide to do no contact, speak with your actions and cease communication with your ex, as with ANY habit that you’re trying to quit, the first few
weeks months are going to be especially hard but they’re there to allow you to feel your feelings and work through them without the distraction of an ex meddling into your head and your heart when your first priority needs to be healing and putting you and your needs first, for once.
And just like breaking any bad habit or getting off any drug, getting to the point where you’re clean will mean a lot of repetition, positive reinforcement and validating your decision to act in your own best interests and protect yourself. The days will soon turn into weeks and the weeks into months and as sad and awful as that sounds to you now, you WILL come out on the other end stronger and you’ll take comfort in the knowingness that you may get cheated on again, lied to and mistreated, but you’ll never break like this again because you did the work NOW and as a result, will experience a lifetime of newfound confidence. resilience, radiance and self-love that no one can ever rob you of.
Who cares what anyone thinks! If it’s hurting you, unfriend your ex, stop trying to pretend and out nice each other. If you’re so concerned with appearances, let me tell you one thing: People appreciate honesty and people that are real. Stop trying to put a bandage on cancer. Cut it out and zap it for good.
Some days are going to be so hard, you won’t know how you’re getting through them and some days you’ll start to feel good until you have a meltdown in the bathroom stall after “accidentally” seeing him with his new flame having fun in the Valencia Filter, BUT – if you commit to following through with your decision, you WILL start to feel better and you WILL start to move forward and your pain WILL slowly become more manageable.
STARVE THE URGE. STARVE YOUR FEARS AND STARVE YOUR PAIN instead of feeding them 10 course meals every hour.
Stop giving a guy that doesn’t exist more love, obsession, care and attention than you’re giving yourself.
If your ex tries to contact you and you feel badly for not responding, don’t. Start responding to yourself first. Start responding to your red flags that need immediate attention and your needs.
And remember: If doing what you know is right after a breakup feels like punishment, that’s because you need to work on your self esteem.
Girls who have healthy levels of self esteem do not waste their lives crying over the fact that they had to flush the sh*t that was piled up in the toilet. They know sh*t when they see it, flush it and if it won’t flush they get out the plunger and plunge until they CAN flush.
When you start to face your fears, your pain and your doubts head on, you automatically build your self esteem because you begin to validate yourself through your actions.
ACT and the feelings of self-worth WILL follow. EXERCISE your physical body when you feel mentally weak and WATCH your mental strength follow. It all goes hand-in-hand.
Start proving to YOU that you have your own back and you’ll stop looking for and being attracted to sh*tty guys, friends, classmates and coworkers to give you permission to breathe their air and make you feel like you have any value on this planet.
You already have more than enough value. More than you even know.
x Natasha Adamo
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