We all feel an impulse to medicate from time to time. The desire to escape is part of the human experience. We use different methods to escape. We use them to different degrees. But we all use them. So let’s just start by being real about that. Men, for many of us, are at the top of the escape-of-choice list. The pattern looks something like this:
It starts with a high. A trip with a man can feel like the most exhilarating ride that you have ever been on--your heart races, your stomach has butterflies, you're giddy and smiley and all-around buzzed. The texts, the Facebook stalking, the dialing (drunk or not). Impulses to reach for the substance (aka him) and get that high. And damn does it feel good when you do! A crush. A guy who is paying extra-special attention to you. A man who has his eyes on YOU. Yes, these experiences can feel so good--definitely a high of the best kind.
Then comes the compulsion. The high is so good, in fact, that you start to feel yourself wanting it more and more. An obsession of-sorts sets in. Grasping. Longing. Needing (cringe). You get that itch and you need your fix! You can't help yourself. You're antsy, clingy, and (gulp) desperate! You need him to make you feel a certain way! It's a dependency that you don't want, but somehow you have!
And of course, inevitably, comes the fall. As we all know, a man-hangover is of the very worst kind. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones felt when he doesn't return your call. When he leaves and finds another woman. When the buzz has died-down and all your left with is confusion about what went wrong. Sometimes these falls are heart-wrenching--sobs and excruciating pain. And sometimes it's a dull sense of emptiness that remains--the high has long worn-off and you wonder to yourself, "Is this it? Really?" Both positions are equally painful after such a blissful beginning. And in both cases, you are left feeling like you desperately need and want more.
So what is this ride and how can you get off? I'm going to break it down for you.
This is the ride of your ego. If you aren't already acquainted with your ego, let me introduce you. Your ego is the voice inside of you that tells you that you aren't good enough, that you don't have enough, and that things are not what they should be. The ego is the voice of lack, of doubt, of emptiness, and of fear. When you operate from your ego you are living with these fears all the time--the felt sense that you are incomplete and lacking. For most of us, the only way we know how to make these feelings/fears go away is to reach for something outside of us to feel better. We reach for food. We reach for substances. And we most definitely reach for the best high of all, men.
When we live in our egos (and most of us do, nothing to feel ashamed about, it just is), we rely on things outside of us to feel good on the inside! So if medicating with men is one of your drugs-of-choice, then what is happening is you are actually using him to FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. He becomes the key to your happiness. When he's there, the completion sets in--you feel great. And when he's gone (and there will always be times when he is gone, whether he actually leaves or not) the withdrawal kicks in--it feels awful. A roller coaster indeed.
So what do we do? Are we doomed to this cycle of highs and lows, in and out of relationship? Or is there another way?
Of course there's another way! The other way includes NOT relying on an OUTSIDE source to feel good on the INSIDE. You have to start a practice of cultivating your own happiness from within. You are your own key! You are! Not him. And not anyone or anything else either! Girl, I hope you are jumping for joy right now! Why? Because this means that you are in the driver's seat! Your joy is in YOUR hands and no one else's. You have complete control (and I know how stoked you are to be in control)!
I know that you have heard this before, and I know that you really don't believe it. But I think that might be because you haven't given it a fair chance to be true. Here's the deal: there is a place inside of you, inside of me, inside all of us that knows we are 100% complete as we are. I call this place Soul. We spend such a small amount of time living in our Souls that we forget they actually exist. But your Soul does exist, in a BIG way. And all it needs is a little attention from you. Check in and see if you can find your Soul right now. It is the place in you that knows you are meant for greatness. It is the place in you that feels deeply connected to yourself, to others, and to the world. It is the place in you that wants to DO SOMETHING!--wants to make a difference, a real difference. It is the place in you that is dying to live a fuller life. Yes, that is your Soul calling out to you. It wants you to pay attention.
If you start listening to what your Soul is saying, and start dis-engaging from the ego's messages of lack (which, by the way, just by listening to the Soul you start to dis-engage the ego), your grip on outside sources for happiness will loosen. You can still use them if you want--please, indulge away! But the dependency will lift. Practicing living Soul Fully does not mean giving up feeling giddy or joyful or excited or in LOVE with him or anything else. You still get those highs, in fact, you're going to get more of them! What it does mean, though, is you will not feel dependent on him for happiness anymore. When he leaves you (literally or figuratively) you, if you are connected to your Soul, will remain in-tact. You aren't going to completely fall apart. You aren't going to loose you s#*t! If you practice living guided by your Soul, you are always going to know, on the deepest level, that you are more than ok. And the rest is just gravy.