I read a fantastic article the other day that really resonated with me.
The writer was referencing how a lot of us have a difficult time living in the calm; therefore we (subconsciously) create our own drama just so we feel something.
Sometimes, life can be too calm. And in that calmness, for those who have been living on high alert for many many years—waiting for the other shoe to drop, walking on eggshells, waiting for someone to hurt us, walk out on us, or cheat on us—that calm can feel empty. This is because the internal fight-or-flight response has been our only source of fuel. Calm can actually feel “boring” for some.
A lot of us feel that the chaos and dysfunction we felt was “passion” or “chemistry” and a healthy, normal relationship does not provide or even spark those feelings of excitement, chemistry, or even danger. This could be considered a mundane life. We think a relationship is supposed to drive those feelings we are so used to. Not realizing those feelings is what emotionally starves us from happiness.
Calm feels scary! It represents the unknown; it feels weird and unsettling. We sit, waiting for something to happen, and when it doesn’t…we get confused and feel an emptiness inside us, which is confusing to our psyche.
It’s a sad realization when that feeling of emptiness washes over us. We tell ourselves that we shouldn’t feel empty, we should feel at peace, but we don’t, not yet. We can, but it takes time and lots of work on ourselves to allow ourselves to be at peace, to fill that emptiness with things that make us happy, to learn to soothe ourselves in that moment of peace that is so foreign to us.
This is our “new norm.”
We have spent too much time living in a chaotic and toxic environment under a big black cloud, and that became our norm. We knew what to expect, we lived it daily—our norm was their anger, their cycling of moods, their cheating, discontentment, histrionics, alcohol abuse, neglect, emotional shutdowns, abandonment, temper tantrums, lies, secrecy, and depression.
Our sole job has been to manage this person and their moods while trying to succeed at our own lives—careers, parenting, friendships, keeping the house, paying the bills, and just trying to keep everyone happy.
It’s exhausting and f*cking impossible.
When we finally decide to leave and save ourselves from the madness that we thought we could handle, over time, things finally become calm. Our space becomes peaceful; there is no black cloud there to invade our space, no one rolling their eyes at us and cutting us down, no one angry at our kids just for existing, no one lying to our face while cheating on us behind our back, no one to take us down a notch, just for fun. No one to blame us for their poor choices. No one to neglect us, abandon us, or gaslight us. No more waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It’s now just calm.
Although this is amazing, it is also a complete mind f*ck. The peace and space leave us feeling empty, like something is missing. We have no one to manage but ourselves, and it is then that we realize how much energy that person stole from us. Now we have to figure out what to do with all this free time that we have since this emotional vampire has finally moved on to someone else who they can suck the life out of.
So what should we do with this time?
Well, after the initial shock of realizing we have this time, after the confusion subsides, after the haze disappears, after we detox from an experience that seems impossible to get over—we should enjoy this time.
We need to reinvent ourselves back into the people we used to be before this person stole our identity.
How to reclaim your life for yourself, immediately:
>> Take a class
>> Do yoga
>> Rebuild your relationship with your friends and family
>> Get a pet
>> Start a blog
>> Get involved in your community
>> Join a Meet-Up group
>> See a therapist
>> Work with a life coach
Whatever we do, we need to enjoy this time of peace.
And what we should not do is find another soul-sucking tick. That might be the easiest thing to do to fill this time we are not used to having, but it would be the most devastating. But, you already know this.
It is time to spend some time with ourselves, create a happy place in our homes, start a garden, go hiking, do whatever it takes to find ourselves!
In time, when we feel we know who we are and what we want, and when we are no longer in danger of repeating the pattern and seeking another emotional vampire, only then can we go back out into the world of dating.
We will know when we are ready…and when we are not.
Until then, find you, love you, honor you, and complete you—above all else.
Please share this far and wide so that we can help others who may be struggling.
Love, peace, light.