There’s A Mad Chemist At Work

According to Helen Fisher PhD, the physical pain that people feel when they have been rejected is very real. Her research has shown that when emotional attachments and love addictions become entrenched, neurology within the brain changes. Once this happens, having the source of the addition forcibly taken away and/or being rejected by that source of that love addiction sets up some nasty PHYSICAL yearnings and pain—comparable to kicking crack cocaine cold turkey. 

Not only are there the emotional longings and those rivers of unending tears, but there is also a physical element that can be torturous.

A Very Real Chemical Addiction

Being in love strongly activates the same regions of the brain that get stimulated by morphine and cocaine. Furthermore, emotions of rejection light up the part of the brain associated with physical pain—and, the longer the relationship lasted, the worse the pain can be. That explained a lot for me.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts if you really loved the person. No one going through the pain likes hearing that it takes time to release all the neural connections. However, they do eventually fade—if not reactivated. Hence this underscores the the undeniable beauty and value of maintaining No Contact. Fortunately, My Little Runaway did me a favor and did not come around to reactivate those neural connections. [For more info see my other post on Ice-Ice-Baby-Cold by Tracy Shorn.]

Dancing In The Streets

Honey, I called up Martha & The Vandellas to come for some Dancing In The Streets when I found this out. It was such a relief to finally know what I was dealing with! The thoughts that were swirling around my head and the emotions in my heart were so very overwhelming. What’s worse, they didn’t make any sense to me.

My logical mind knew that a person who could callously ghost a loyal spouse after a long term marriage without ever having ‘the talk’ wasn’t worth one nanosecond of anyone’s time. Yet, the more my husband rejected me, the more I craved him and wanted him back—at any cost. It seemed like such  a paradox. I am SOOOO grateful to God that he stayed away so I get my head out of my backside.

It is not a road I would ever want to walk again, but I wouldn’t take any amount of money for what it taught me. I now see that there was so much more exacerbating my trauma than just Mr. I Never Cared About You In The First Place. It helped to see that in additional to dealing with the psychological [abandonment] trauma from my childhood that his ghosting unmasked and shoved me into facing, I found that I was waging such a war while being up against some very powerful chemicals in my brain as well. Fun times.

Come On, Back Away From The Edge

So my advice here to anyone experiencing what seems to unrecoverable heartbreak, is that before you’re tempted to throw yourself off a bridge somewhere—take heart. Keep in mind that at least some part of what’s bringing you so much distress is your own human biology and it will eventually diminish if you wait it out.

In other words—you’re attempting to kick your own form of crack cocaine—solo. Give yourself a break!

Next, consider [and while you’re at it, why not go ahead and have a good laugh at] how Your Dear Departed couldn’t/didn’t even function for one second on his/her own as a single adult. Nope, he/she had to line up a new teat from which to nurse in order to bolster their fragile ego to even dump you. They had someone waiting in the wings. Even Chicken Man hangs his head in shame on this one.

But look at you. Not only did you experience being dumped, humiliated, hurt beyond belief, maligned, lied about, and demonized to make his/her getaway seem excusable, but you also were faced with drinking from a firehose of emotion and facing all your ‘stuff’ alone.

So tell me, who’s the hero and who’s the clown? [Exactly!] 

It’s All Good

Trust me on this one—the pain of kicking your love addiction and recalling the unsavory memory of all your emotional DT’s will soon become your new best friend. Soon, rather than causing you continued pain, these unfortunate events will serve as very powerful reminders that will only work to strengthen your resolve to never again romanticize anything about your ex. Reminders to never again dilute the truth about who Your Dear Departed really is and probably always has been.

In other words, whenever the old programming tries to mount the hard drive in your head—or whenever The Memory Channel tries to serve you up a rerun from ‘the good old days’ highlight reel of your  ill-fated relationship—your response will be quick and sharp. Reflexively, “Programming Canceled” will appear before your eyes and a test pattern will take it’s place.

The takeaway here is that no matter how much you once loved someone, there simply comes a time when they put you through so much pain and agony that they become more trouble than they were ever worth. Period. That’s when you’ll truly celebrate the fact that someone else is now saddled with them. 

Becoming Trigger-Proof

Hang in there because soon the memories of your ex and will elicit the same response as the thought of having your gums scraped by the dentist. Yech, no thanks, I’ll pass. And just as Pavlov’s dog became conditioned to the sound of the bell, soon you’ll soon find yourself reconditioned to an entirely different reaction to his/her name or memory.

Rather than pathetically experiencing a skipped heartbeat and breathing a yearning sigh whenever piece of mail arrives with both of your name’s on it—your automatic response will be more along the lines of concurrent eye rolling, gag reflex, and uttering the sound “Pfffffttt!” and into the trash it goes.

As even more time goes by, you’ll find that you won’t react at all because you simply don’t care anymore. This is a wonderful experience the first time it happens. When you [finally] realize how truly distasteful Sweet Cheeks has become to you, you’ll wish him/her and their new love the very best in life. And. You. Will. Really. Mean. It.

If you’re like me, you’ll find that you wouldn’t take him/her back if your payoff was a cavalcade of Brink’s trucks and a solid gold Mercedes. LOL.

So in the meantime … take a deep breath and remember … much of what you’re going through is probably due to those pesky chemicals!