I never know what is going to inspire me to write on a subject. I got home earlier today from my Girlfriend Getaway mini-vacation and am really tired, possibly a little (more than possibly) hung over, so even though I thought about trying to write something for the blog, I hadn’t been hit by the inspo-bug. That’s what happens with the blog, and with the magazine I write for, once I get hit with the inspiration to write something I have to get the thoughts into words right then or it will keep circling in my head and make me kind of bonkers.
So as I explained, I got home from a fast & furious trip and have been really lazy all afternoon, cuddling with my dogs & occupying my favorite spot in my apartment – my bed and doing my favorite thing, watching YouTube. I came across a Cawfeetawk video, if you don’t know who Jaime Sullivan is, look her up on Facebook or YouTube. She’s brilliant and tells such basic, but complete truths that almost every video she posts resonates with me on an Oprah A-Ha moment level. Today she was talking about how with each day of No Contact you will begin to heal more and more from whatever the negative thing is in your life. It could be a relationship that isn’t good for you, a habit that is bad for you, or even a food that gives you a belly ache. With each day that you don’t feed that addiction – which is what these negative things can be boiled down to, you sever that connection to that thing or person more and more and before long, you find yourself missing it a little less. However, every time you are exposed to the trigger it sets you back and you lose the footing you’d gained.
Pretty deep huh? I found this to be oh, so true with my divorce. I was so topsy-turvy upside down in that codependent marriage that I came pretty darn close to losing myself. I had let myself become so dependent on being part of that couple that when it was suddenly gone I went into withdrawal mode. We kept texting off and on, first several times a week, then it would go longer and longer between contact. The more time went by and I didn’t have to see his words on my screen (I have yet to hear his voice since the day we signed divorce papers) the more peaceful I became. The more time went on and the more the fog of attachment lifted, I began to feel like a singular person again and find myself a little bit more. As a couple, his wellbeing was always in the forefront of my consciousness. It was only after I detached that I saw how complicated and unhealthy it had become, and I wouldn’t have been able to get to that point without the no contact.
Those tried and true sayings we have heard for generations like Time Heals All Wounds are pretty spot on. Time. In our world of instant gratification, direct deposit, email, on demand TV, even curbside grocery shopping, patience and giving it time are out of the norm in most of our lives. I know patience has never been one of my strongest traits and so trying to hurry the detaching got me nowhere. Trying to hurry up and date made me feel incompatible, ill-equipped, old and self-conscious. I needed time to breath and let the new skin grow over the gaping wounds where my marriage used to be. Wow, over dramatic alert.
I have written that I belong to some codependent recovery groups on Facebook and I read a lot of the posts and sometimes I can hear my own voice in these women who are hurting and looking for support to get though the day without indulging in the triggering behavior or contact. The predominant theme in the women who have gotten to the other side of the grief is no contact. They finally had enough and cut if off at the knees. It’s hard, no one will say it’s easy. I will say it gets a little bit easier once the anger sets in. Then you don’t want the contact, not even a little bit. For me, during that time if I did allow the contact through text my words were so venomous that he didn’t want any contact with me! I can get pretty ugly when I’ve been hurt and am feeling the need to lash out. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
I guess I want to offer some encouragement to people who are experiencing withdrawal from whatever it is you are jonesing from. It will get better. I promise it will get better. It’s hard to keep those guards up and stay strong some days, but those are the days when you reach out to friends or family, or hey, look up some encouraging blogs written by silly ladies who over share on the internet. Just know that it will get better. Time indeed does heal those wounds. Even a broken heart.