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Why do I feel SO out of control during my divorce?

Posted on July 16th, 2010
Why do I feel SO out of control during my divorce?

It was 02:30 in the morning, I was on my third glass of wine and hadn’t eaten in 3 days. I had been in my pajamas for 36 hours straight and chain smoked 40 cigarettes (AND I don’t even smoke!)
There was a pile of laundry on the couch waiting to be ironed, used tissues everywhere. The house was absolute chaos and I didn’t feel like doing anything. I had this vision of being found dead of a broken heart at the age of 65 surrounded by a house full of cats, still wearing my pajamas with no love or man in my life… The only time I left the house I almost drove into a wall. My theory was if I could convert the emotional pain into a physical one then at least there was a pill I could take for that. How bizarre my thoughts were…

I was in complete despair and boy did I know the feeling of being out of control. NOTHING helped and I remembered thinking: “Why the hell is this happening to me?”
I had read every single book I could find on breaking up. I spoke to a therapist. I spoke to another therapist. I listened to music. I listened to a personal development CD. I spoke to friends. NOTHING HELPED. I literally felt like I was going to go crazy and be admitted into a mental institution. I was SO uncomfortable in my own skin and just wanted to feel normal again SO badly. The pain was unbearable.
Sound familiar?
So, allow me to explain why you are feeling so crazy. Here’s a little Biology lesson (chapter 8 in my new book Naked Divorce – 21 days to emotional freedom), so bare with me!
The thoughts and feelings that make up our consciousness correspond to biochemical activities in our brain. Two chemicals in particular, dopamine and serotonin, play a vital part in our behaviour. When we need something, dopamine is released and gives us the drive to get it. Once we have got it, we reward ourselves with a serotonin release. These neuro-chemicals affect our feelings. If we have too much dopamine and not enough serotonin, we experience a chronic feeling of craving and longing. Some of the most painful effects of heartbreak are caused by this longing. The dopamine makes us jittery and restless and drives us to do something, anything to get what we want – even if we know that rationally it won’t work. We get urges to drive past our ex’s house, to check his Facebook account, call them up, talk to their friends. These urges subside when our body releases serotonin. The longing ceases and we feel calm.

The techniques used within the Naked Divorce program influence the critical variables in your thinking which can alter the neuro-chemicals in your mind and body. When you learn how to think about your ex in a different way you change the way your body is reacting. You no longer feel the same. You have rewritten the operating software of your brain and you cannot run the old programs any more. The way you think about him, your past and your future is released from the repetitive, painful thinking.

Understanding Heartbreak
Heartbreak is a very strange experience – a distress. It is intensely painful and even though we hate the feeling of heartbreak, we find ourselves compelled to go over and over memories and fantasies which make the feeling worse. A break up can be just like a death – a betrayal. You have lost your future with this person but the past is also undermined – it leads you to question everything… All the meaning you built up in your life has been cancelled. When an important love relationship ends, a range of different responses is triggered. We feel loss, pain, our balance is upset and our feelings change from one minute to the next. We long for our ex, we are desperate to see them and the next minute we want to rip their heads off. This volatility and confusion adds to the craziness.
If you can relate to what I am saying about feeling SO out of control then the good news is:
No one was ever pulled aside in high school and taught how to handle the pain and suffering of a break up.
It’s ok to feel like you are going mental.
So, what to do about it?

  • Firstly, STOP.
  • Stop DOING anything.
  • Just sit.
  • Be still.
  • Breathe.
    a. Breathe deeply, longingly and into your belly.
    b. Let the breath fill your lungs like the ocean lapping at the shore.
    c. Breathe like this for 20 breaths
  • Become Aware of the craziness, aware of what is happening. The dopamine that’s kicking around is the chemical making you go crazy. See the craziness almost like a puppy that has run off without a leash. Understand it and stop allowing it to control you – allow it to be a restless puppy inside your head but don’t engage with it. Just notice it. Watch the puppy run around and stay calm. You know the puppy will calm down soon. Notice it’s colour, texture, shape. Give that part of yourself that is going crazy a label, or a name. See that craziness as not being part of you. Feel yourself disengaging with it as being something separate to you.
  • Accept the craziness and anxiety, it’s there and it’s ok that it’s there.
  • No matter how you are feeling at that exact moment, ACT normal. Just act normal, like everything is cool. You know that the craziness will pass so acting crazy will not help you
  • Make yourself a hot water drink. A cup of boiling water with some lemon and 2 teaspoons of honey
  • Drink it slowly – savouring each sip. With each sip, watch the craziness calm down
  • Go outside if you can and take a walk. Walk slowly and gracefully. As if you are gliding. Whilst walking, cycle through your 5 senses and ask yourself these questions: What do I see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Keep focusing outside your mind and focus on what is around you. Be vigilant
  • Download this rainwater track and play it on your .mp3 player – let it soothe you
  • Remind yourself that everything will be ok. Think of all the amazing things that human beings have overcome in their lives. Think of someone who has overcome great obstacles to achieve greatness and beauty in their lives. This can be you. You can be great and beautiful in your life too…Take the focus off the NEED to fill the hole within you and focus instead on the growth and beauty you can experience in your own life. Your life after this break up can be about you again.
  • A great way to calm yourself down when feeling crazy with heartbreak is to listen to the Break Up Reboot audio program. It’s designed to refocus your mind and realign your neurochemicals in your brain. Listening to it every day for a period of 21 days will drastically increase your healing process and make you feel good about yourself again.

To find out where your are within the Divorce Healing process, Take the How Messed up Am I test and get a complimentary report which tells you what to do about it: Find out how messed up you are

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.

With you in service
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54 thoughts on “Why do I feel SO out of control during my divorce?

  1. This blog article is basically out on the box. Several other posts i have witnessed on this subject but this could be the one particular i was searching for. I would like to subscribe to your feed for my streaming movies weblog and also bookmarking this web site now.

  2. Thanks very much for the info. I have been searching for this for a while with Bing and it has been a true undertaking.

  3. What you have described is exactly how I feel. The longing, the pain and then wanting to kill him. Reading your introduction set me off because I am British but my ex husband is South African. Hearing you are from SA brought up memories that I want to go away. It is almost 2 years since we seperated, my ex husn=band wants me back and I have fought against it. I think the seratonim and dopamine have something to do with it. At times I am desperate to hear from him, it calms me down but doesnt make me go back. Things kick off and I become ridiculously jealous of his girlfriend (who he would dump ay any moment) but when he does end it with her I do not want him! I feel like I am going insane and sometimes feel going back is my only option to escape this madness. Im unhappy all the time, I havent felt like ‘me’ since I walked out the door.
    I dont know why I cant just get on with my life. People tell me I am on self-destruct. It is not intentional I am just unable to control my feelings. They control me. I am so exhausted by it, if I didnt have my son I think I would have driven my own car into a wall by now. I check everything out (the gf’s facebook) knowing it will end in disaster and me going insane but can I stop myself? I just cant. I hope there is an answer to this an end because my life is passing by in a blur of fog. There is no joy left in life that I can find.

    1. Hey Abbey – there IS hope. My experience with all my clients is that the women who go through my program AND do well have hit a point of being completely fed up of suffering and being miserable after their divorce. They are desperate to move on and they will do ANYTHING to shift out of this misery and this commitment is what moves them to transformation. So the only person who can control the pace of your healing is you. Time doesn’t heal wounds but rather what you do with the time that matters. If you really don’t want to end up as an old lady with cats, then take charge of your healing. If you want support, I am here. You can do it!

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