Confronting the Pain of Heartache: How to Cope with a Breakup P4

This is part 4 of our series on Love Addiction. Watch parts 1-3 HERE.

You go into a withdrawal state when you go through a bad breakup. You are in withdrawal from this relationship and this person. So if you're not careful, you will do and say some foolish things that you will regret.

And if you don't get ahold of it, you're going to make it ten times worse, last longer, and make it more painful than it has to be. 

When you go through a bad breakup, you get in this withdrawal state, which puts you in this addicted state of mind and desperation, and it is a dark place to be.

Almost everyone has gone through this at one point or another, and you end up doing things you're not proud of. For example, when you're in a relationship with someone for an extended period, you become dependent on that relationship, co-dependent; you need them in your life. Your body and brain chemistry wires up with your partner's brain and body chemistry, and you need it the same way an alcoholic needs alcohol. If you don't have it, you go into withdrawal. Many times this can happen to you, and you don't even know it's happened because you've built up so much tolerance for it.

You might not even feel that connection when you're in the relationship, but when it's over, you lose your mind. 

As you already know, breakups will make you a crazy person, but there are ways to get through it faster and easier. You don't have to make it harder on yourself. And, of course, I'm going to explain to you just exactly how to do that.

But if you're confused and you don't know what to do, pretend to yourself that you were addicted to a drug or alcohol or something and you wanted to conquer that addiction and ask yourself, what would you do in that situation? Then, do the very same thing; relate it to the person. That is how you break an addiction.

How you break an addiction is pretty much how you break any habit. It doesn't matter what the thing is too. It's just that when it comes to being addicted to a person, it's effortless to rationalize—staying too connected to the triggers keeps you stuck in that terrible, awful, addicted withdrawal state.

They call it heartbreak for a reason. It physically feels like your heart hurts. So there's a physical reaction and a psychological reaction. If you're following the series, you might have heard me mention this in a previous video. Still, it's essential to know that addiction is the obsession with the person, and that obsession then triggers a particular set of behaviors, which I've decided to name stalking behaviors. 

Now let's talk about what those stalking behaviors look like in a breakup situation:

  1. First, it's stalking their social media through your friend's profile, so they don't know you're doing it.
  2. Making up different social media profiles so they don't know it's you.
  3. It looks like spying on them, driving by their work, school, and other men's and women's houses to ensure they're not there.
  4. It also looks like obsessively rereading all of your old text messages that you had and love letters that you had and obsessively staring at the old pictures and smelling the shirt.

There's this desperation, this desire to cling onto anything that reminds you of that person, which I'm telling you is exactly like when you're in withdrawal from any other substance, you're physically sick, you are emotionally erect. You can't sleep and eat right, which is all the same thing when you withdraw from a chemical drug.

But the most important thing that you can do to keep yourself sane is to recognize that you are in withdrawal and that withdrawal is temporary. You will not feel like this forever. I know right now, if you're in this state, it feels like you will never love anybody again, and you're not even sure if you want to live. You're miserable, and you think you will never be happy again and life will be terrible without this person.

The bad news is --There's no way to skip this phase, but there are some things you can do that'll speed it up or, instead, stop doing so that you're not prolonging it.

When you're in this addicted state and want to stay connected to those memories, and you're just making up any reason to call that person to come over or even be around people who know that person to find out information, you have got to stop doing that. Think of yourself as an addict. Could you use that word? "I am an addict in withdrawal, which will not last forever."

If you think of it like if I were trying to get over a cocaine addiction, then I would not put myself around cocaine. I would not allow myself to have fantasies about cocaine.

Stop making excuses to expose yourself to your triggers. Stop making excuses to go into this fantasy life. Stop the bargaining, the begging, the threatening, the nagging, the stalking. Eventually, you're going to feel embarrassed that you did that. I know that the feeling is powerful, but it is a feeling. And feelings are not facts. They're just feelings. And all feelings are temporary.

Since you can't wholly fight or ignore it, imagine it's like a wave because these feelings build up on you. They get powerful, like a wave in the ocean that picks you up. But if you let it, it will subside. So it's not really like a constant state of horribleness. It's these big waves of horror. And as time passes, those waves will get smaller and less frequent and smaller and less frequent until, eventually; you will get into steady water. Your job in this situation is to stop exposing yourself to your triggers. And I know that's hard. But you will love someone else in the future if you allow yourself.

Now, one of the things that I advise my clients who are new in the process of getting sober is I tell them to set up a system of accountability. 

Number one, if you start talking about the person obsessively, they will stop you. If you ask your friends a bunch of questions about the person and who they are with and where they go and what they'd do and did they ask about you and all that stuff, they're going to stop you.

Number two, take the social media apps off your phone for a while. If you can't do that, at least rearrange your home screen and move them to the very back, so you don't even see Instagram, Snapchat, and all the stuff as soon as you open your phone.

When exposing yourself to those triggers, you're just making it harder on yourself. Stop trying to figure out if they're talking to another person. That will lead you nowhere good. It will only lead you to make very desperate, horrible choices. 

Amber Hollingsworth

More videos on love addiction:

The Painful Reality of Love Addiction - Uncovering the Signs in Part 1

The Secret Love Affair I Can't Tell Anyone About... 🤐 | Love Addiction Part 2

Uncovering the Truth About Love Addiction: How Close is Too Close? P3



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