When a relationship ends, the love addict is plunged into love addiction withdrawal, a state not dissimilar to coming off a drug, because in essence, that’s exactly what it is.
Here are 3 ways to defeat love withdrawal and come out the other side stronger, and more emotionally independent.
Forgive yourself if you are stuck in self-blame cycle
It is not your fault. You are good enough as you are, and just because he or she didn’t return your love, it doesn’t mean that you are not a lovable and worthy person. You are.
Remember, when we fear losing someone or something, it is usually to do with our own lack of self-worth and a false belief that we are not lovable, not validated and not worthy, and therefore why would anyone want to have a relationship with us?
Focus on self-care and self-generosity
Many of my clients ask me; “but what do I do about the pain I’m in? How do I survive it, because I can’t live like this?”
Many of these people are going “cold turkey”, so to speak. They are in the midst of dealing with intense love addiction withdrawal symptoms, and literally can’t get out of bed.
They may stop eating, stop exercising, and even stop going to work. The grief, loss and overwhelming sadness that consumes them is akin to a light being switched off in their life.
And the answer I always give is that they absolutely MUST focus on self-care and self-generosity.
You need to concentrate on becoming YOU once again, as this is the only way you will ever break the chains that are keeping you locked to the beloved. People who lose themselves in their relationships find it difficult to recognise their own needs and honour their own authenticity and the direction their life is going in.
Activities and hobbies like Yoga, Pilates, Tai chi, walking, running, swimming, and general forms of exercise are crucial.
Eating good healthy food that’s nutritious for your body and soul is vital too; as are things like meditation, massage, homeopathy, alternative therapies, and of course, reading everything you can about your addiction in order to find a sense of purpose and meaning in yourself (many lose themselves in the love relationship to fill the emptiness they feel within).
Give yourself solitude
Last but not least, the most important and valuable thing to do for yourself is to embrace solitude and quietness. Try to do four things a day which are specifically geared towards boosting your emotional, physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.
This may include the following:
- Physical: a walk in the park, exercise, palates or some yoga. Make a dedicated list of things you can do to self-heal and remember to be as mindful as possible. Make your home your place of solitude; your sanctuary whereby you can be yourself. And most of all, remember to buy a journal and write down your heart-felt feelings. This will bring things to the service so that you can better understand what’s happening, and what you need to do take back control. Writing heals, without a doubt!
- Emotional: Write in your journal anything that is churning over about the love interest; write an unsent letter expressing things that have been left unsaid, but don’t send it!
- Mental: take a subject that has been preoccupying your recovery and brainstorm it until you begin to make sense of what has happened. If you are experiencing feelings of distress and loss, book a calming massage that will bring you some peace of mind.
- Spiritual: mindfulness practice, meditation or reading something that brings you a sense of meaning and purpose. Read something that gives you a sense of self experience; something you totally identify with, and rings true for your own soul.
Positive self affirmations to use when we have experienced a painful break-up
I have created several affirmations which may be helpful to you. I suggest you say them out loud at least once a day.
- “I am good enough and vow to never berate myself for someone’s fear of closeness or need for space and distance”
- “This is not just about me. I must always be mindful not to make myself responsible for a person’s psychological, spiritual and emotional anxieties”
- “Self-generosity, love and fulfilment secures me and heals any discord or limited thinking”
- “If my love has chosen to leave me it does not mean I will not survive without them”
- “If my love has chosen to leave I must not spend time trying to find ways to understand their erratic behaviour and blame myself for their angry outbursts”
- “I am in control of my life right now and I will survive this loss!”
- “I need to know deep in my soul that this is NOT my fault”
- “I embody and demonstrate balance and compassion”
- “I may have been needy and insecure but it still doesn’t warrant this level of cruelty and rejection”
- “If I am rejected it means that a greater abundance of rightness and truth will come to me”
- “I will find solace in solitude and welcome spending some time alone, being alone does not equal emptiness and more sorrow, but will transform my life into a positive experience of autonomy and peace”
- “What has gone before now is dissolved and not a part of today, I must keep affirming this to myself daily”
- “I deserve and accept the best in all that I can give to others”
- “I am not responsible for his/her acute reaction to my emotional pain; that is something in his/her background that triggers such a pressurising and crawl response”
- “My life is full of limitless possibilities for good”
- “I cannot be his/her teacher, rescuer, therapist, counsellor or mentor; he/she has to take responsibility for themselves. It is not my fault they have such huge issues about feeling trapped and confined, although I have spent years really empathising with him/her.”
- “I love and appreciate myself”
- “I know how our anxious vs. avoidant attachment styles work now, so I will always feel much freer, and most of all, understand how we have made up a little time bomb between us!”
- “I am empowered to express myself, to appreciate myself and to accept myself unconditionally”
- “If someone cannot reciprocate my love, I must leave with dignity”
- “If someone cannot reciprocate my love that does NOT mean I am unlovable”
- “I am happy and complete today and forever and if I can get through this, anything is possible”
It is really helpful to keep a journal of your emotions and the causes of these emotions.
Perhaps one or more of these affirmations really stood out for you and resonated with you and you may want to add your own positive affirmations.
If so, draw on your own or any that resonate with you and write something about this experience in your journal, remember if you are writing through some of this on your computer it is for you only, don’t send it to the person who has triggered this emotional pain in you.
What to do next? – Love addiction withdrawal
These practical tips are taken directly from the workbook which is part of my ‘Surviving the Addictive Love Cycle‘ program which contains over 9 hours of videos plus guided meditations and eBooks all to help you move into a happier and healthier place.
It is also wise to have face-to-face grief and loss counselling or relationship therapy as this program is by no means the absolute cure for the acute despair one can experience at this devastating time. Again, if you are experiencing: panic, depression, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, anxiety or separation distress, it is vital that you also make an appointment with your local General Practitioner; this can be coupled by seeing a registered therapist or psychoanalyst in your local area.
If you feel you need to speak with me I am available for Skype consultations or in person if you are based in the UK. My clinic is in Sevenoaks, Kent. To enquire about a Skype session or a one to one with me please email firstname.lastname@example.org.