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doc wannabe
All I Ever Wanted Was to Love You
All I Ever Wanted Was to Love You

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I have discovered that I suck at recovering when there is a trigger around. I will be doing fine, and I will see something, go to a place, hear a song, smell a smell and it will remind me of my ex, which reminds me of yet another failure in my life, which reminds me of how much I suck compared to other people, and how nobody thinks I'm attractive or worthy of being in a relationship with. And this leads to a downward spiral that can last a couple of weeks or so.

 

Since I am the only one that can really fix this, I came up with an "action plan" to deal with various triggers. I listed each trigger that I could think of, what I could do to maybe even aviod that trigger, and then what I could do to deal with that trigger when it happened. I've found this to be really helpful in my recovery, as well as maintaining a really strict policy of no contact. Hope this helps someone.

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I never heard of an action plan so that seems like a good idea. Ive had to deal with alot of similar issues like you mention and usually i just try to avoid it or get my mind off of it till it gets alittle easier to deal with.

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Yep, I would definitely recommend identifying the triggers. Do it somewhere where you are safe, quiet ... somewhere where you can cry or shout or beat a pillow or whatever. But get them out in the light, get them listed, and sometimes you see that things are kinda ridiculous. For example, my most recent ex lives in a town not far from here, and everytime I would see the sign of the town on the highway, it would be a trigger for me. I began to play a song everytime I was driving by there by my favorite band, and recently I've noticed that when I see that town name, I associate it with that song and band and not with my ex.

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I am very interested in reading others' replies to this. This is a huge problem for me as well. I feel like it is the main reason why I am unable to get out more and be productive. When I go out and hear music, it triggers intense feelings of lonliness and pain. I can't avoid going out forever so I want a way to get rid of these associations.

 

I have thought about classical conditioning..you know, pairing the old stimulus with a new stimulus...making new associates with old songs...but not sure how to really go about it.

 

It's just so hard when your life was merged with your partner's!

 

I don't think avoiding the triggers is the way to go because then we might just develop phobias. Plus, do you really want to cut out a big chunk of your life avoiding things you used to enjoy?

 

I think we somehow need to learn to face these stimuli...how is the question. Maybe the more we go out and do FUN, RELAXING, POSITIVE things in these old environments, the less we will start to feel horrid without our ex.

 

One thing that helped me-----for Mother's Day I took my mom out to breakfast at a local diner that my ex and I would go to for brunch on Sundays. I know that if I went there by myself, I would melt. But since it was mostly all mothers and their families that day, I didn't have to see couples being lovey dovey reminding me of my ex.

 

That example is just to get you to go to those special places in DIFFERENT circumstances. Go with different people. Go when you are getting something special for yourself. Build it with very stimulating, happy situations. If you go when you're lonely or with bad company, it won't be very helpful. So whenever you're feeling somewhat chipper, that's the time to take advantage of the situation and get out.

 

It you feel like crud, you will associate the experiences with crud. So for me, it's best to avoid the triggers when I feel like crud and face the triggers when I feel somewhat OK.

 

But that little piece of advice is far from perfect and only helps me sometimes. I would love to know what else to do break those associations so we can live a full live and not have to worry about every little thing causing us to have meltdowns in public because we can't stop triggering the past.

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