“I can’t stop thinking about my ex!” You are not going crazy. I repeat, you are NOT going crazy.
“A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it. Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, ‘Hello, beautiful. Good morning.’ You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was.” – Taylor Swift
It’s totally normal to be ex addicted, even after months have passed (it once took me almost 18 months to get off the “I can’t stop thinking about my ex,” train). After a breakup, your ex becomes the default setting that you mentally and emotionally go to no matter what happens. Whether you’re trying to get back out there and date or just staying single for the time being – you’re unhappy and in a constant state of pain, anxiety, and rehashing. Everyone you meet is a highlighter (they do nothing more than highlight the absence of your ex), and it sucks.
Thinking back to when I’ve found myself in the “I can’t stop thinking about my ex”…
I realize now that a lot of the certainty I felt in the fact that I’d never find anyone like my ex and that I’d never be happy again, was grossly over-exaggerated. It was nothing even close to factual and heavily convoluted by the fog of my desperation and nonexistent self-esteem.
All I wanted to do was reach indifference.
As the saying goes, “hate is not the opposite of love.” Deep-seated emotion is still involved with hate. Indifference is the holy grail because indifference is basically not giving a sh*t either way. It’s being healthily emotionless. Indifference is not about wishing someone well or ill – it’s running out of f*cks to give.
Doesn’t THAT sound nice?
When you’re indifferent, you are at peace with the toxic relationship that was. This is why when we reach authentic indifference, many exes come shamelessly (or passively), crawling back.
We are all energetic beings and the second that someone can sense our indifference as genuine (and not as a means to elicit a reaction/drama), they panic because they know right then, that they are no longer in control and that you are no longer a bench warming option.
Human nature 101: people ALWAYS want what they can’t have/let slip away. This is true even if you’re not in communication with your ex. Energy always transcends conventional communication because energy is our only way of truly communicating.
I remember a few months after a really bad breakup, I was still in “I can’t stop thinking about my ex” mode. It was bad. Fast forward to a year later, it hit me one day that I hadn’t been thinking about him, AT ALL. And I was okay with it. My addiction was gone and I was finally clean.
Is there really a way to deprogram “I can’t stop thinking about my ex” mode?
Is there anything you can do to speed up your recovery time and end the ex addiction so that you don’t waste another year (or more) that you’ll never get back?
How do you get clean once and for all?
How To Stop Thinking About An Ex? Here’s What You Need To Do:
Understand that you’re a junky. Yes, you’re an addict and the first step to recovery is acknowledgment. Denial is a dangerous place to reside and it goes hand-in-hand with delusion. If you can’t stop stalking his social media, that’s okay. I’m not asking you to stop (impossible, I know). I’m asking you to be real with yourself as far as your ex addiction goes. That’s the first step.
If it’s an emotionally unavailable ex that has you on “I can’t stop thinking about my ex” mode, you need to understand:
- You’re missing the IDEA of him more than you’re actually missing him. Let’s be honest, If you characterized him by his actions instead of continuing to hang onto his words, you’d realize that the person you are actually missing doesn’t exist in reality. Make sure that you’re mourning the loss of the person that you thought existed, not the loss of a toxic person that does. He unfolded and revealed who he truly is. He was this guy before you, with you, and he will continue to be the same guy with her. It’s so hard to let go because you’re not just letting go of him physically, you’re letting go of him emotionally. You’re letting go of the man that he promised you he was, all while trying to grasp and accept who he clearly and consistently is.
- The kick-the-dog Scenario. Still in “I can’t stop thinking about my ex” mode?” Do you blame yourself and think that you not being good/pretty/sexy/understanding/secure/cool/porno/classy/intelligent enough “made” him do what he did? Think of it this way: If I got you mad enough, could you ever get so mad that you would kick your dog? I hope everyone responds with an outraged “No way!” Unfortunately, there are people in this world that if they got mad enough, they’d get into such a rage that they’d kick their dog. There’s nothing in this world that could ever get me mad enough to hurt an animal. To be able to kick the dog when you’re angry, you must have the preexisting capacity to do so. I don’t have that capacity, so as angry as someone could make me, I’d never take my anger out on an animal. No one can “make” you kick the dog. They can only provide an environment where you get angry. What you choose to do with the anger is up to you. So getting back to your ex, you didn’t “make” him do anything. Could your insecurities, your drama, and your distrust have motivated him to dump you? Absolutely. But they didn’t (nor will they ever) have the power to MAKE him lie, cheat, be emotionally unavailable, disrespectful and devalue you. They didn’t “make” him be a piece of sh*t. The ability to “kick the emotional dog,” when triggered had to be PREEXISTING and that ability doesn’t just go away. It may lie dormant for a while, but the capacity to do so is always within them – independent of other people. He will eventually be the same way with her.
- All of that happiness that you felt in the relationship? YOU created that by seeing what you wanted to see (projecting), putting him on a pedestal, and deciding to be a professional red flag ignorer. It’s easy to let go of reality, your pride, and your reputation, just as it’s easy to hold onto heartbreak, hopelessness, abandonment, and rejection. It’s much more difficult to let go of anger, disappointment, pain, and the coulda, woulda, shoulda’s. Stop being an emotional hoarder.
- Stop having sex with your projections. You basically just had an emotional orgy with your projections. If your self-esteem was intact, you wouldn’t fall in love with projections, you’d fall in love with character and distance yourself from an absence of it. Character = PATTERS (that are comprised of actions) and words that consistently MATCH those patterns in REALITY (not in your hopes, imagination, potential, and dreams).
- The only way that the relationship could ever “work” is if it’s 1000% on his terms. It’s always all about him. The only way that you’ll ever have a “relationship” with him is if you not only agree to everything being on his terms (which is called a non-mutual relationship) but also if you accept the way in which he has consistently acted and behaved. If his actions were hurtful and deceitful, then that means accepting his behavior won’t make you happy, so… really, what’s the point?
- The reason that you’re having such a hard time shutting off “I can’t stop thinking about my ex” mode, is because to get clean, you’d have to truly accept your ex for who he is. Sometimes it’s hard to do that because when we finally accept someone for who they are (who they’ve consistently been), it forces us to focus on the one thing that we try with all our might to avoid. The one thing that we abandoned long ago: ourselves.
- Your willingness to subscribe to your imagination as “truth,” is directly correlated to how much pain you choose to be in and how far from indifference you want to reside. Have I acted on my triggers? Have I been ex addicted? Yes. I own it all, but by remaining in a state of accountability and acknowledgment, I’m able to retain my power in spite of being triggered. You can’t claim to want to reach the road of indifference while making a conscious effort not to even fill your gas tank.
How long does it take to get clean?
It’s different for everyone. Pain is pain and trauma is trauma. It’s all dependent on your triggers and issues. For me, it used to take a really long time to get off of “I can’t stop thinking about my ex” mode.
The points above did not immediately rid me of my ex addiction but they significantly increased my ability to bounce back and ultimately, become indifferent.
Make the decision with me now to stop putting your life on hold over the hope that one day the cat will bark. Cats meow. If you’re stuck on waiting for him to meow, FINE, but why not focus on bettering yourself in the meantime?
Poke a hole in your imagination boat, take him off that pedestal, retire your role as the doormat, and feel every ounce of your pain because it is YOURS and it WILL eventually pass. If you feel like you’ve given up on your Happily Ever After, that’s just because you’ve chosen to give up on yourself. I’m not giving up on you nor is everyone else reading this article. You’re not alone. Sometimes all it takes is just for one person to believe in us.
Do you want to get clean fast? Keep the above in mind & work at it every day by being an active participant in your healing.
This is why they say recovery from addiction is a decision away.
+ If you can’t stop thinking about my ex and need further and more personalized help with your breakup, please look into working with me here.