Definition of Withdrawal

By susanpeabody 12/31/19

There are many stages of withdrawal. The first stage is when someone ends a relationship when you are not ready for it. You will feel rejected and abandoned. You will get physically and emotionally ill. You will now spiral out of control and act out in addictive ways like over texting; sending too many emails; driving by their house to see if they are with someone else; and/or obsessively fantasizing about reconciling. What you do at this stage of withdrawal is up to the individual. Some people even try to end their life. I did in 1982. 

The next stage begins when you reach out for help. At the beginning you don't feel much different. But if you stick around you will get a glimmer of hope. New information will surprise you. Still, you are not ready to change so you stay unhappy even though you no longer act out in various ways.  Many people get stuck here complaining about what happened. Venting is great, but it can keep you STUCK, and it only brings temporary relief.

The next stage is acceptance. Whether it be through no contact or limited contact, you are ready to get out of bed and face the world. Acceptance lifts a great burden off of you. You realize that all along that your pain was the result of wanting something you could not have. Now you are ready to move on.

The next stage is to heal your underlying issues. Love Addicts Anonymos  has 12 steps for building self-esteem, transcending childhood trauma, and what to do when you break up. This stage will take years but you will not be miserable. You will be happy to finally know there is hope.

The next stage is to acknowledge your progress. You have changed how you think. You have changed how you behave. You have changed your values about romantic love and know that it is not worth suffering for. Or dying for. 

The final  stage is to enjoy your recovery and look forward. You want romantic love, but you do not need it. You love yourself and are attracting healthy people. You have researched healthy relationships and know now what you are looking for. Love is no longer blind. It has eyes to see. Pascal.




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