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How do you make the thoughts stop?(23 Posts)
Have been reading these forums for a little while now, just to get tips and it has really helped me see that I am not alone.
I won't bore you by going over all the details, and really, it's not all that relevant to my problem.
I have recently (about 2 months) split from my partner, with whom I have had an on/off relationship for 4 years.
He was, and is "my lobster". I adore him and for me right now the prospect of him not being in my life, again, is devastating.
The reasons for the split, each time, are of course complex (aren't they all for everyone!). Nothing to do with issues in our relationship - we were great together and we both feel/felt that. Circumstances just won't ever allow it to work out. This time the split it, is, for various reasons very much 'final' and there is never ever any going back.
The problem I have is that I cannot face the prospect of him being in my head all the time, every single day..... The first thought I wake up too, and most of the time throughout the day.
Completely normal at the moment, I get that. But, historically when we have split I've NEVER been able to shake that off. It was relentless, and I mean for months (9 months during one split). I hated it - it drove me nuts and I tried everything to overcome it. (Including CBT/counselling etc)
I can't do this again. I've worked really hard at pulling myself up from rock bottom this time, and as a result im doing alright, much better than ever before, although I confess I initially had some kind of breakdown, I'm no longer crying/distressed and I no longer have those horrible initial feelings all the time that we all have during times like this. I'm proud for bringing myself out of the hole I was in.
To get here I've been really proactive, I keep myself exceptionally busy, getting out the house, working hard and making positive changes in my life. We are completely NC (and that will never change, which is a good thing of course), no social media connections, not likely to see/bump into him, no mutual people - all things that would keep the thoughts 'alive'.
So my question is - is there anyway to stop thinking about it? I don't endlessly ruminate on it, going over and over the details in my head, I've done all the reflecting I can and taken the lessons I can learn from it onboard. But it/he is just there, ALL THE TIME. In the back, but mostly at the forefront of my mind.
I cannot face months of this again. I think it will destroy me.
I know that the answer is time. Just time. But any other thoughts/ideas are very welcome. Thank you!
You seem to have an extreme case of it OP & the fact you're having to end something that is great due to nothing wrong, must make it extremely difficult.
Think you need to go NC, focus your energies on a cause & take it day by day
THANK YOU for acknowledging that I seem to be on the more extreme side of this. That helps me to know I'm not being silly. I feel like it's going to send me (even more) insane if the thoughts persist for months on end again. I Just can't do it. This has broken me enough without having to carry it around for months or even years. Sorry, yes I did mention that we are COMPLETELY NC, have been for some time, and that situation will never change (I can be 100% certain that I'm not going to be getting random messages or anything to fuel the problem further). Am being proactive and focusing on my life, adding new elements into it and I think, doing all I can. I'd really love a magic solution to this.... But I realise it's just time and there probably isn't anything else I can do
I know it sounds trite, but for me, the best way of getting over someone is getting under someone else. Any chance of a hot NSA hookup?
Less flippantly, could you apply some CBT techniques to this - tell yourself "I'm going to give myself 20 minutes today to think about X and mourn our relationship, and then that's it." And actually use a timer, and when that time is done, go and do something else that will absorb all your attention.
I also find personally that writing can be a great release.
I'm so sorry. In my experience these thoughts take as long as they will take, which might be months or even years.
Distraction works best for me: reading a book, going into another room, talking to the dog...
Ok, it is human nature that if you tell someone (or yourself) not to do something you will probably want to do it all the more. Case in point today I had a medical appt and was told I couldn't drink anything for two hours before. That normally would be no biggie but today cos I'd been told I couldn't I felt like I was going mad with thirst!
It's all psychological.
So..instead of telling yourself you can't think about your ex or you shouldn't think about him, and then worrying about thinking about him or even worrying about worrying about thinking about him try this.
Tell yourself it's ok to think about him, but you are going to ration it so that you only think about him between x and y times. If he creeps into your head before then just say no, too early, I'm going to do tho is at x o'clock.
When the time comes, go for it. Wallow! Weep! Gnash your teeth! Own those feelings. Write them down, whatever feels right for you. Then at y o'clock you put it to bed again til the next day.
If you try this, it might help you feel in control again. Gradually you can reduce the length of the session, and then one day you'll realise you've been to busy to think about him, or you aren't feeling it has badly as you used to...and eventually it will get to the point when you don't need to do it anymore. You'll never stop thinking about someone who has been important in your life, but you can get to the point where those thoughts are fleeting and much less painful.
Try it. It worked for me . A hug and good luck x
you are not alone op. i did a quiz on my attachment style and it was anxious/preoccupied . the preoccupied bit is with the relationship, so he is at the forefront of my mind all the time. i dont know the answer - if you find it let me know!
i have found myself going back each time and each time it gets worse so i know its got to stop for good.
Thank you so much for your replies! I've not tried the technique of allocating a specific time period, although am aware of it, I think perhaps I was too dismissive of it and thought it wouldn't work. But I have to help myself so I am putting this idea into action starting today! It all actually feels worse again today, so let's hope that I can make it work.
Also, like the idea of a hot NSA but right now the thought of another man makes me feel sick!
April I'm so sorry you're going through it too - perhaps you could have a go at these suggestions too?
I feel awful for you that you both love each other and love being together but other circumstances make it impossible. Surely love can conquer all, unless he is abusive/ cheating/ out of bounds (married/ in the priesthood), I honestly struggle to see what is so huge that it is keeping you apart.
If your partner is already in a relationship, then you need to focus on the hurt he has caused/ could cause his wife/ children. There is also the likelihood that he will find another mistress. Those who cheat will almost always end up cheating again! So thank your lucky stars that you have escaped before he finds another woman to cheat on you with.
You deserve a man who will put you first in all things op. Maybe now is the time to put yourself first op. Look after yourself, get your hair done, treat yourself to new clothes/ new make up. Take time to relax, be it a hot bubble bath at the end of a busy day/ or booking a spa day and treating yourself to a massage/ manicure and pedicure. Find some good novels to keep you company when intrusive thoughts start breaking through.
I totally agree with Resilience about allowing yourself a set time each day to think about your ex/ shout/ cry/ write about how you are feeling then shut it off at the end of the hour. We have been doing similar for our autistic son who has anxiety and intrusive thoughts to great success.
Thank you, and totally appreciate why it must seem baffling to others as to why we can't be together. I get a bit baffled by it all too sometimes when I'm feeling low about it but then I remember the realities. I'm a bit nervous about going into detail on here as its such an unusual situation it's easily identifiable to potential connections. But can say it's most definitely not any of the above situations!
You are right that I deserve different.... although I struggle to see that at the moment. I so wish that I could do all of those things but financially I'm stuck... So I have been proactive and am trying to improve that situation too.
Reading and watching TV are things I just cannot seem to do at the moment.... They don't distract me enough oddly! Wish they bloody did. I allocated my time today (it's coming up shortly!) although everytime it's crept in and I've told myself 'not yet, it's too early' another part of my mind has kind of gone 'well what the fuck do you want to think about then' and I can't answer . I've had such a busy day at work too! It's amazing how these things impact and infiltrate our minds so much. I will most definitely persevere with this strategy though!
Have you tried exercise? I took up running when I was in a similar situation, it wasn't an overnight cure but did help, and I have kept it up.
I think the combination of being outside, being able to stomp the frustration off and also physically tiring myself out so I had less energy to obsess and overthink worked.
Yes that's a good one! I currently walk a lot each day, but my goodness it takes me so much to muster up the enthusiasm. I HATE it (but the dog has to be walked) as it gives me that time to think way too much. I used to listen to audiobooks when walking, but to be honest I couldn't tell you what on earth is going on in the current one as I don't think I've actually taken in any of the words for weeks!
Perhaps more physically demanding exercise will help (in more ways than one). I think that should be tomorrow's goal. Thank you X
I downloaded an app for that actually last time. Had forgotten about that... I'll see if I can find it again. Thanks
I honestly think you have to retrain your brain a bit. As an obsessive thinker, I ruminate, replay old conversations etc. Meditation breaks this cycle & gives your brain a rest- good luck x
Accept that you wish him all the best and that by stewing on it you are punishing yourself. And only yourself. Ask yourself why you want to continue to fuel the cycle........,
Is it prince William or something? Why is it so impossible? A clue?
I know this may not be a possibility, but if you can . . . in a similar situation I went travelling for a month. Physical distance and something else to think about helped me to focus on other things, and I came back feeling as if I had cut a cord somehow. I still thought about him, but the no contact had 'bedded in' and I knew I could do it and I would be OK.
If not, give it a go. Meditation and exercise in one. Clears the mind.
Prince William . No, nothing that exciting! Sadly he was forced to make a choice between me and his children. Of course there is no contest there and I would not fight that. I like what you said though about accepting that I wish him well and fuelling the cycle.... I can answer that... Because I adore him but you're right I am only punishing myself. unfortunately I'm not choosing to fuel the cycle at the moment, the thoughts are out of my control! So damn frustrated by them. But I'll try anything I can to get control over it.
Love the meditation/yoga suggestions, thank you.... Re-training the brain seems to be exactly what I need to do.
Sadly going away isn't an option due to children, work etc... If only!
Thanks so much everyone for your suggestions, these forums and everyone on them are fab.
Youre not alone in this (as you know). I've been trying to sleep for 30 minutes but thoughts turn to my ex girlfriend. I've just checked a website she goes onto and see that she is logged onto it - one of the reasons she gave me to finish our relationship was that I kept her on the phone too long and she had to stay up late to finish things off and then she was tired. Now it seems she doesn't have me but still has late nights. The brain and heart are evil.
I have just finished a course of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for post traumatic stress disorder and found it unbelievably helpful. I thought there's no way that's going to work, but it really did, perhaps that is something you could look into?
I've read about that! I thought it looked good. I'm not sure how to go about it though, seems quite specialist so I'm not sure it would be available. Worth me trying to find out.
What is it that is watching these thoughts? Find that and then stay with that.
It has lots of names. The most common is awareness. If your aware of these thoughts you can choose to ignore them. After all a thought can't think itself. It needs you to make it real. HTH
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