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Lofe is a Drug: Our Brains on Break-up....Tips

Old 01-30-2014, 04:36 AM
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Lofe is a Drug: Our Brains on Break-up....Tips

So many posters lurk on this site as they contemplate physically separating from their A and one day they post and ask for advice from those of us who crossed that bridge in the past.

Everybody is different but understanding why I felt physically sick, stomach in knots, depressed to the point of feeling I couldn't get my next breath helped me cope. What I learned was that my brain dumping cortisol and other pain causing chemicals to induce me to get back me back on the alcoholic crazy train! My brain was a traitor!

When we contemplate or actually separate from our A (or any breakup) our primitive hardwiring goes into overdrive using the neural pathways of pain and chemical dumping to preserve the social bonds needed to pass on our genes. It has NOTHING to do with love! Nothing to do with it being the best choice for us personally. It has nothing to do with his character or promises and absolutely has nothing to do with logic!

It is our brain on remote control from thousands and thousands of years of keeping mates together to preserve the species.

Is that the voice we want to listen to? The stupid side of our brain? Really?

The good news is that unlike drug or alcohol addiction the pain of heartbreak does mend and fade with time and there are tricks and tips to help shorten this period of intense emotional distress.

So if you have personally experienced your primitive brain trying to hijack your will and logic side of your brain in the past and you have a story to share about how it was then and how it is now and the in between please do tell...

If you have a tip or trick and there are many to help in the time of healing please share...

If you had no idea that the brain was the culprit and it wasn't "love" then hit your google and key in search words like breakup, brain, chemicals etc... and share what you learn...

Retrain your brain: It is easier than retraining the A (impossible) and is something we actually can control!
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:06 AM
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Oooh-oh, Love is the drug. I'm going to sing that all day.

I kept reminding myself to "stand there and do nothing" and remember that "feelings aren't facts." Instead of rushing around trying to fix everything, fix myself, forget, and fill all the STBXAH-shaped holes, I let it run its course. I sat there and felt it. There was a lot of sleeping and a lot of crying.

"The only way past it is through it."

I really liked all of our sayings because clearly I had no idea what I was doing and needed some ports in the storm. They helped.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:48 AM
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This Is Your Brain on Heartbreak | Greater Good

Perhaps recovering from heartbreak could be as simple as wearing a patch (Lovaderm!) or chewing a special gum (Lovorette!) or popping a pill (Alove!) that just makes the pain go away.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:20 AM
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Thanks for this post! Although some of the components of relationships are biological, I think the major cause of being addicted to someone or something is psychological and/or learned behavior. What do you think?

Florence, I can't tell you how many times I repeat "feelings aren't facts" every single day, whether I'm dealing with workplace issues, family, bf or whatever. It helps.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:23 AM
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Retrain your brain: It is easier than retraining the A (impossible) and is something we actually can control!
Aint that the truth.

Not out yet, but focusing on ANYTHING other than the A helps (even if you think you can't or simply don't want to). Find a new hobby, volunteer, clean house with a toothbrush, take a drive with loud uplifting music, be creative.

This may sound over simplified and other will likely say "well, duh", but yesterday I had an epiphany - would I allow ANY other person to treat me this way? I guess it was sort of a detachment moment because I quit looking at (r)A as a spouse and looked at him as just another person that is currently in my life and I would not tolerate his behavior and actions by any other person.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:19 AM
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What helped me get over exaf?

Figuring out what made me chose to have this person in my life and understand why I acted and reacted the way I did - history has a tendency to repeat itself.

What I've learnt so far?

Some thinking-, and behavior patterns are actually functional with other people, just not with addicts (like seeing potential, investing yourself in stuff you believe in, having expectations).

Some patterns were brought into the friendship with exaf and were never useful (believing that if I play nice people play nice with me, touching the hot stove twice, believing that people - and oviously hot stoves - can change...)

The last patterns were "learnt" in the situation with exaf and are being worked on (If you can say nothing nice say nothing at all, If a person doesn't take your apology it's your fault, Have no expectations so you won't be disappointed, your gut feeling is wrong and you are exaggerating, don't rock the boat)
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:00 AM
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Hopeworks----good thread...thanks!

I come from the point-of-view that our brains and bodies are forever entwined and each affects the other. Can never completely separate them.

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Old 01-30-2014, 10:10 AM
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This book was a huge help to me as it helped me understand the stages I was going through and the physical symptoms I was experiencing, and why. Lots of focus on the physiological roots of grief. Highly recommend reading this.

The Journey From Abandonment to Healing
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:21 AM
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Thanks. I needed this today of all days. Heartbroken.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by blake1989 View Post
Thanks. I needed this today of all days. Heartbroken.
Hugs to you Blake. Sending much love and healing thoughts your way.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:34 AM
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Soaring Spirits--I agree with you about this book. I have seen it mentioned many times, here on SR--and I also highly recommend it for anyone going through a loss of this kind.

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Old 01-30-2014, 10:48 AM
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I recognize unhealthy, addictive, codependent feelings and behaviors between myself and a recovered alcoholic person I recently reconnected with after 30 years. No one close to me has seen me behave this way with any other partners. I told him, "I haven't described myself as codependent or obsessive in decades," and he replied, "Oh, so I've still got the magic, eh?" Interesting and scary how my/our brains go straight to that dynamic even after decades of healthier relationships.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:56 AM
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When my A comes in my mind, I have to make a conscience effort to stop thinking about him. I use the good old serenity prayer and a mantra, I repeat to get myself in a different head space. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can not change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."

"The universe is unfolding perfectly. I don't have to hang on. I can relax and let go. The universe always provides.*

I can*go with the flow. I always have everything that I need. *Divine love is guiding me and I'm always taken care of.*

I have all the love I need within my*own heart. *I am a lovable and loving person. I am whole in myself."
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by F50Lurker View Post
I recognize unhealthy, addictive, codependent feelings and behaviors between myself and a recovered alcoholic person I recently reconnected with after 30 years. No one close to me has seen me behave this way with any other partners. I told him, "I haven't described myself as codependent or obsessive in decades," and he replied, "Oh, so I've still got the magic, eh?" Interesting and scary how my/our brains go straight to that dynamic even after decades of healthier relationships.
It's like dancing to a long forgotten song. Time might have erased the tune from your mind, but you remember every step and every move.
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