Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In which i am an addict

When the going gets tough, the tough do research.

I am going through actual physical withdrawal, according to things i've read.  There are hormones that we produce when we are in a relationship that are as powerful as heroin. And when that relationship is suddenly over, we go through withdrawal.

The symptoms can include:

  • pounding heart - yep
  • flushed face - yep
  • panic attacks - yep
  • feelings of doom - yep
  • sweaty palms - yep 
  • frequent peeing - yep
  • dry mouth - yep

and various other unpleasant things, not all of which apply (thank you for THAT).

For some reason it helps me to know this.  I am in withdrawal from the soon-ex.  There is an actual physical reason for these symptoms that i cannot get to go away by sheer force of will.  There is nothing wrong with my willpower.  I am not idealizing him, far from it.  I just have to get through this, cold turkey, so to speak.

I went downtown last night to see a "conversation" with Joyce Carol Oates with 2,500 of my closest friends.  She lost her husband to death a few years ago, and, as she is a prolific writer, she wrote a book about it.  As she was talking about her experiences, they touched very closely upon mine.  It was both timely and disturbing.  But ultimately helpful.


mischief said...

I would have LOVED to attend that with you, as one of your 2500 closest. She's fascinating. Invite me to the next one... I think I'm only a couple of hours away. :)

jaded said...

i think I went through most of those symptoms the last time I entered a relationship. Weird the way symptoms work.

I would have enjoyed listening in on that conversation. Her writing is dreadfully honest and in some instances almost too raw, but I have a difficulty pulling myself away from it.

De said...

Leave it to you to make heroin sound like the better option.


Bob said...

for me too, knowing is better. I HAVE to know why. If I can understand something I can deal with it.

meno said...

mischief, come on up! or down, or across. whatever it is. :)

jaded, yes, it can work that way too. Change is scary.

de, wow. i have a real talent. :) Have some heroin.

bob, that's exactly how i am. knowledge helps me immensely.

jelli, i sat in the back row at the edge so i could get out if i needed.

nick said...

I'm glad Joyce Carol Oates had some helpful things to say. She's certainly very perceptive.

Funny, I have all those symptoms too, but I'm not withdrawing from anything. Must be just the general stress and strain of living.

Lynnea said...

It's funny how we can gravitate to things that touch our bruises (JCO for instance, or in my case Anne Sexton). It's like a sore tooth that you just can't help bugging to make it hurt more. Only I think a sore tooth would be an easier deal.

Information empowers. So do these: potato gun. I bet you could load it with rubber chickens too.

lu said...

A threrapist, who unexpectedly lost his wife to a very aggresive brain tumor, was adamant that divorce is often more tramatic and tragic because not only does it change the dream, but it taints the past.

I don't know, but I know it sucks and I know it gets better, then worse, then better and so on until it is what it is.

luckyzmom said...

I was going to say what lu said only she said it better than I could.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Knowledge is power. And please do keep in mind that as you recover from this relationship, you are also reclaiming yourself and preparing for a much better future.

Cat said...

I'm the same way--knowledge helps. And I hope that it IS reassuring that what you're going through is not just normal, but expected and out of your control. So just go along for the ride. Keep hanging on. I'm glad you got out to the reading; I think it would be fascinating to hear her speak.

Dick said...

I agree that it is probably more difficult to "get over" a divorce from a spouse than his/her death. At least one of the two involved in a divorce probably will continue to hope that things will get back to "normal" for quite awhile. With death there is no possibility that your condition will return to your former normal.

And in reality one never "gets over it" when you lose a spouse, you just learn to live with it. A friend whose wife had died a couple of months before Annie did said that he finally realized that he could kind of make the house into a shrine of remembrance and continue to just live in the past, or he could move on and live the rest of his life with wonderful memories of the past but looking ahead. We have both remarried since our spouses deaths- it can and does happen again.

You have a good head on your shoulders and have always shown a good attitude toward life. It will be tough for awhile but I am sure that you will come through this trial fine and likely be much stronger afterward.