You would receive thousands of text messages everyday, countless phone calls before bed and have someone to review your day with. Then suddenly all of those messages stop, leaving you with a surge of loneliness and emptiness.
Addicted to the constant contact, you grow a sense of urgency to reach out to that familiar voice, even if it was with someone you know is not good for you. Getting over your ex is not an easy task. Many people talk about the difficulties of going through the grieving process when trying to get over the person who was in your life.
But I often challenge people to think about what they are really missing. Usually there is a reason why people break up. It’s often the addictive quality of having that frequent interaction that a person misses, not the person necessarily. In order to get over the craving for the contact, it’s important to keep busy so you don’t fall into the trap of reaching out to them when in a state of loneliness.
Follow these easy steps for creating a crisis plan to avoid the temptation of contact and to get over the ex addiction.
1. Go cold turkey.
The key of getting over any addiction is to cut off all ties and contact of the substance. So, as hard as it may be, stop texting, emailing, calling and “de-friend” on social media with the ex. The brain needs time to recover and rebuild connections that have changed while addicted.
During this time, cravings can be intense. You can support your continued sobriety by making a conscious effort to avoid that person. The best healer is time, so the longer you are away from the source the quicker you will be able to get over what you miss. Anytime you encounter a reminder of that person it sets you back in the healing process so DON’T DO IT!
2. Reach out to your friends.
Instead of texting the ex, text a friend instead. Think of friends in your social circle that you can rely on to help support you during this time. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones, consider going to a therapist or coach.
3. Distract yourself.
Any addict would benefit from a long list of “distraction” activities that can take your mind off of the hard-to-break habit. Do crossword puzzles, read novels, walk the dog, go to movies, de-clutter the house, exercise, enjoy nature or listen to music. Anything that requires moving the body and sweating provides an antidepressant effect and gets you out of your head.
4. Remind yourself of what didn’t work.
After time away, like in any grieving process, you start remembering what you miss. So often you start idealizing that person and only remember the good things. It’s important that you remind yourself of what didn’t work…there is a reason why you broke up.
I suggest to my clients that they write a list of “cons” on post-it-notes and put them all over the house such as on the computer, on the mirror, on the refrigerator or any other place you spend a lot of time.
5. Rebuild your life and relationships.
Protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. It’s important to be involved in things that you enjoy and make you feel needed. When your life is filled with rewarding activities, new hobbies and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal. Do things that challenge your creativity and spark your imagination—something you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to start filling yourself up by focusing on YOU and not another person.
6. Change your wardrobe.
Appearance is important in how you and others perceive you and that determines how others will treat you. We create who we want to be and who we are through how we look, so by getting a hair cut or changing the way you dress will alter how others see you which in turn will help you see yourself in a new way. This is crucial to stepping into a new you and attracting different people in your life.
The important thing to remember is that rather than going back to what didn’t work, get back on the wagon as quickly as you can and implement this crisis plan so you can move on and attract new energy into your life. And if you need more support to help you cope and want to do a complete inside out makeover, contact me at my website. Time to get out of the hamster wheel and do something different!