It’s normal to be sad after a break-up. They hurt after all. What adds to the anguish, though, is the fact that, Codependents have a knack of blocking out all of the bad stuff and making the tiniest decent gesture, by their ex, a monumental experience. When the time comes to morn the relationship, the tools you have developed, determine how quickly you’ll get over it.
If you have developed unhealthy coping mechanisms, all you’ll have left is a skewed memory and a big ole pair of rose colored glasses. Perception is everything. How you look at an obstacle, determines how easy or how tough your experience will be. If all you do, is focus on what you lost and you look disdainfully at what you have left, especially if you live in fantasy land, where you have a skewed imagination of what you actually had, you will delay your healing exponentially.
The truth is what you’ve lost wasn’t your soul mate. They weren’t the love of your life. There wasn’t this unbreakable connection that you shared. Your time together wasn’t filled with oodles and oodles of fun and happy times. And it’s time to straighten out your thinking and see the truth.
<They weren’t the love of your life, because the love of your life, ideally, loves you back and treats you with love, kindness and respect.
<You didn’t have an unbreakable connection because they are gone – your perceived connection was a manufactured mirage, shared by one.
<Did you have fleeting moments of joy and happiness? Sure, but all that means is your Narcissist wasn’t horrifically awful all the time.
The fact that you fail to see the forest for the trees, is indicative of a very real problem with the way you think. It makes sense, that if you have been treated poorly much of you life, any act of kindness, you experience, will be an exaggerated perception in your memory, just in the wake of contrast. In the same way, if you’re starving and someone gives you a cracker, that is going to be the best, most delicious cracker you’ve ever had. You ignore the fact that it was made with palm oil and flour and is really, really bad for you. All you can see is – it was food and you were hungry and someone gave it to you. You miss that the giver of the cracker fed it to you for entirely selfish reasons. They saw your hunger and used it to manipulated you to get what they wanted.
Another issue that disrupts healthy thinking, is that individuals that grow up in dysfunctional families have been conditioned to doubt their reality. When your young mind perceives a reality and then the grown-ups around you, keep telling you that’s not what you saw and they repeat it again and again, the truth gets lost, because we know that when something is repeated over and over again it replaces truth in our memory. As well, when your caregivers blame you for drawing an obvious conclusion and make you feel shame for thinking that way, it becomes very difficult for you to determine fact from fiction.
When you dwell on a fantasy, it will easily double your recovery time. When your focus is solely on them, what they are thinking and doing and who they’re doing it with, you will waste an inordinate amount of your time and energy, wrapped up on things that cause you pain and that you cannot control.
You can’t continue to compare yourself to the new partner either, because it’s not a competition between you and her or you and him. His or her decision to go elsewhere isn’t because they are better than you. They left because they have a dysfunctional set of needs and that person fills those needs better than you at this moment. He didn’t leave because she’s prettier, he left because she’s shiny, new and different and is someone else he can get supply from. She didn’t leave because you’re lacking in some way, she left because the new target doesn’t know her game and how dysfunctional she is. He didn’t leave you for her because she is better than you, he left because he is always searching for something else and he convinced himself that all his problems are all your fault. You can’t reason with that. You can’t change their mind when their thinking is this off and they lack insight into their own motivations and behaviors. You can’t do the comparison game with a narcissist because it’s not about that, it’s solely about them and what they convince themselves that they need at that moment.
Another obstacle is getting past the lies and unfulfilled promises. You were building a life together and it’s not so easy to just let that go. Many are married, engaged, share children and homes together. These are very real, tangible things and it’s not easy to accept that your relationship was all in your head. The bottom line is – that was your life – it’s not your life anymore and if you don’t adapt, you’re going to be in a whole world of hurt.
If you stay in that mode of longing for what was and you refuse to let it go, you’re going to draw more people, events and circumstances to you, that cause you disappointment and pain.
Gratitude is the Key
It’s all about gratitude. “What now? How can I feel gratitude when I’m so damn miserable?” You might be asking. “How can I move on, when thoughts of him or her, with someone else, fill my every waking moment?
These are important questions. I have dealt with clients, whose entire focus was on what they lost and how much their lives suck now. They can’t get past the notion that their ex-Narcissist is so happy and living an amazing life on social media, with their new partner, while they are stuck in a pit of despair and depression.
I always say that you have got to change your perception and the sooner you do it, the sooner you get passed this.
Step one is always live from truth – take off the rose colored glasses and see things as they truly are. This was not your soul mate, you didn’t have a love for the ages – you had an addiction to the trauma-drama. That is not love – it’s dysfunction.
The next step is to start to look at your new life, your new chapter, with a new set of eyes – stop thinking about what you lost and start thinking about what you have gained.
Then sit in that feeling and meditate on it. For me gratitude is the same feeling as joy, so create the state of joy, while you are meditating and focus on what you do have and where you want to go. Think about things like:
- Your life is all about you now
- You get to be the star
- You get to learn how to be autonomous
- You don’t have to live with that toxic, anxiety provoking energy anymore – you get to be free
- You get to spend your time healing and growing and living an authentic life with real love and real friendships
- You get to figure out your purpose
- You get to go wherever you want, travel where you want
- You don’t have to walk on egg shells and spend your time trying to please someone who will never be happy – you get to be happy just because you want to
- You get to set your own goals
- You get to figure out what you enjoy
- You get to create your life exactly how you want it
- The energy in your environment is entirely yours
- No one can ever take away the life that you have built all by yourself
- You get to find inner peace
I hear statements like this a lot:
- I’m old
- I’m all alone
- I don’t have any money
- I’m fat
- No one is going to want me now
- I don’t have any friends
There might be an element of truth in some of these and you’re perfectly welcome to dwell on them. You can spend your time feeling sad and depressed. You can continue to lie to yourself about what a big loss you’ve suffered. You can spend the rest of your days trolling your ex’s life online, making unreasonable comparisons and you can morn the pretend life you were having, or you can focus on all of the other gorgeous things mentioned above.
There’s a great saying, “You have $86,400 in your bank account and someone steals $10 from you. Would you be upset and spend the rest of the $86,390 trying to get back at the person who stole your $10, or would you move on and live? See, we have 86,400 seconds in every day, so don’t let someone who has already stolen time from you, steal anymore of it.”
Change your mindset and realize that losing your Narcissist was a gain not a loss. See this new chapter as something exciting and new and embrace the notion that you are now and forevermore, fully and completely in charge of your life. Make it great. Make it epic!
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