- Posts: 21
- Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:59 am
So...now that she is gone, what now? I beat limerence and filled it with what? I still have the stress of marriage, mid-life, 2 teens, running a company, and of course all the 2020 crap gone wrong. But that is not what eats at me. Its the emptiness that I used to fill with limerence. Now its just empty, like my senses were dulled and I am sleepwalking through life. I feel like everyone needs me, but no one wants me. I am having trouble rejuvenating. With limerence, I would rejuvenate easily with the fantasy. Its gone, What now?
- Posts: 701
- Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:02 pm
1) Go to therapy. Try to get to an understanding of what that emptiness is.
2) Start trying to fill the emptiness yourself. This is really hard. It is akin to pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. But unlike that metaphor, I believe it is possible, but it goes slowly. What is it about the LO that attracted you? Can you provide that to yourself? Often LOs make us feel special, chosen, seen . . . at least at first before they go hot and cold, and for those of us who hung on too long, just cold. What makes you feel special? What do you enjoy? These don't have to be huge momentous things. I, myself, have found a lot of joy in identifying plants, hiking, biking, and cooking. Things I can do alone.
3) Sit with your feelings. Allow yourself the chance to feel them. Try to name them. I am realizing that I spend a lot of time in my head trying to justify to myself why my feelings are stupid, wrong, or unwarranted. And now, if I am paying attention, I try to catch myself to say, NO I am feeling these feelings for a reason. And I should honor that this situation is causing me to have these feelings. And that the feelings themselves are not wrong, and I can choose my reaction. And my reaction may be just to remove myself from this situation until I can re-regulate, or remove myself from this situation permanently.
4) You are likely still quite vulnerable to limerence. RIght now, I am still in a state of much more manageable limerence over a very short relationship that was cut off in the NRE stage over a year ago. My thoughts go to this person a few times a day, unlike LO which was like a broken record playing at top volume nearly 100% of the time. But in times of stress or sadness, my thoughts go to this person much more. And now I think, ah-ha! my thoughts are going to this person - this must mean I am feeling in need of someone to care for me and think I am special in this moment. This person is my brain's way of conjuring a savior or a parent to take care of me when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed or empty since it is way too painful to think of my own parent who never was able to take care of me in the way that I needed.
And so I try to take care of me in the moment.
5) The passage of time.
- Posts: 635
- Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:49 pm
I agree with your advice, Someguy Our situations are very similar. The hole for me was/is the severe low self esteem caused by CPTSD. How from a very young age I yearned and pined for someone (female) to understand me on a deep level. This resulted in a series of LE’s from circa 3rd grade.
Every successive LE got worse and I honestly don’t know how I made it this far.
I don’t think I will have another LE with all that I have learned. I am giving myself credit for a lot of things and I am accepting complements from others genuinely. Before if anyone had anything nice to say to me I would be suspicious of their motives. So keep doing the work it will pay off sooner or later and that hole will get shallower and eventually disappear.
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!
in case of boredom and lack of excitement, one would engage in compulsive gambling, compulsive gaming or cocaine addiction.
in case of feeling deprived of materialistic things, shopaholism.
in case of lack of peace, alcoholism or benzo addiction.
in case of lack of recognition from others, workaholism or social media addiction.
in case of lack of self esteem, sex addiction.
in case of lack of love or attachment, love addiction or limerence.
now, this is obviously a huge oversimplification as we’re incredibly complicated inside our brains (and hearts).
so, my advice for LE survivors is not only to dig inside you and find out all the shadows and dysfunctional thoughts (corrupted scripts and processes) and fix them. but also to see if we lost our spiritual ourselves. and if we have enough love in us. now, i’m not saying one need to go out and find a new lover. i’m talking love in general. it could be rekindling love with SO (romantic and sexual love), reconnecting with estranged family member and friends or fixing friendships or making new ones (loving relations). it could be also being being honest and true to ourselves and our values (loving ourselves), being passionate about our interests and believes (love of ideas), reconnecting with religion (love of God), and finally, caring for others and the environment (love of the humanity and the universe). ideally, all of the above.
but when our harts are initially empty, we need to prime and jump start them with love before we can fully give it to others and hence get it back even more. concentrate on one of the above and give as much love as you can, and it’ll come back to you to heal you. the more you have, the more you can give and more you get in return.
i really do believe the Christianity got it right and Love is the answer. yet, most practicing Christians somehow miss this point. full disclaimer, despite how it sounds, i’m not fully religious yet, work in progress.
- Posts: 64
- Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:09 pm
Wow - you just helped me so much. I too beat limerence. I too still see my LO professionally but that’s literally all it is now. I don’t wake up and think about him anymore. It’s a beautiful, freeing feeling. But I have been feeling that dullness you wrote about. I’ve been beating myself up about. I mean I’m finally doing better but I feel...nothing? Now I understand what it is. I don’t have the answer of what to do about it but I do feel a little less crazy!!!
- Posts: 21
- Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:59 am
- Posts: 1993
- Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:17 pm
- Location: Midwest
I went through this "emptiness" in the middle of LE. It was during a time period of LC and it was extremely painful. I would compare it to "dark night of the soul". When my access to LO was severely limited, there was literally nothing inside of me that could replace him and I recall being on the bed in a fetal position sobbing for hours at a time. I wish this was an exaggeration, but it isn't. I think it was the most awful emotional pain that I had experienced and I tried several self soothing techniques when I ran out of tears. I went through a spiritual awakening process as a result of LE, and still in continue that journey today, but without the turmoil of limerence.
This forum helped and also reading a lot of books on self love and how to love yourself, which I had no clue what that really meant and no idea how to even do that. Also, I was in therapy (including group therapy for codependency) and began receiving Reiki treatments regularly. All of these helped tremendously. Just making time for yourself to do some hobbies you enjoy or meditating or getting a pedicure. Its the little things that can make a big difference. The process of filling my own cup with love was very slow and arduous.
Instead of doing a resolution list at the beginning of the year, I do an intention list. I use a large board and have several areas that I want to focus on (example: eat organic food, drink no soda, find a new job, have a friendship, etc...) Then for each area, I write down what I intend to do to make that happen. If its something really big and life changing, like a new job, then I break it down into smaller intention lists that are very specific, like the people I want to be with, the environment, etc. From this, your thoughts are capable of creating (manifesting() your reality.
Hope this is helpful.
- Posts: 35
- Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:26 pm
I too find myself in a weird frame of mind now that my limerence is easing. I still think of my LO a few times a day, but it's not loaded with pain and longing, more a curiosity as to why he stopped contacting me after we'd had, what I thought was a really good chat. I think I'm always going to wonder if he felt the connection too and stopped it because we're both in long term relationships or if he just got bored of me, we never could make it past three months when we were dating all those years ago.
Now I find myself wondering what I'm going to think about now! It feels so strange not to have those constant thoughts haunting me.
I've been visualising growing old with my husband, having a tidy house that I'm proud of, watching my kids grow up and get married, etc. If someone reading this isy not in a relationship maybe visualise moving further in your career or even changing career, spending more time with your friends, learning to do something you've always wanted to do but never got around to, like playing the guitar.
I think lockdown has been especially difficult for people already struggling, particularly with the reduction in access to their LO, the uncertainty of health and jobs, the pressure of staying at home with your family more - leading to you feeling trapped as there's always someone watching you (or that's how it can feel).
Playing an RPG with your family sounds like a brilliant thing to do, definitely keep that up if you can! You need to fall in love with your family again, those feelings will still be there somewhere, and be kind to yourself.
- Posts: 3072
- Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:55 am
But... I've also realised that life will never be a bed of roses, which means there will always be down days, emptiness too. I appreciate that nothing lasts, including
Its important to learn to fall in love with ourselves, imo (which has nothing to do with narcissism or narcissistic traits). Life is meant to be lived in love... with ourselves, with others, and with life in general.
Just adding: some people may struggle to get out of a funk (low mood/down period), so its always best to chat with a doctor/health professional. Part of falling in love with ourselves is making our mental, spiritual and physical wellness a priority. Just as we'd take care of a loved one, we also need the same care and attention.
Take care everyone!
"Everything is within your power, and your power is within you." Janice Trachtman
- Posts: 39
- Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:16 pm
I'm feeling all that sadness as I've put in a lot of effort and am continuing LC with my LO. What you write about has been a big problem for me as everyone tells you 'trust in your future' good things will happen for you but what if you're like me, on the top of that hill and coming fast down the other side (age wise). I can't look to the future, it holds only health decline for my SO and even for myself. This 'thing' with my LO was my last chance for something just for me and it's so difficult to take this defeat and to slink back to my 'dead' life. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy life somewhat but it's the same old same old. I get up in the morning, listen all day to my SO complain and be furiously frustrated about everything from traffic congestion to strangers points of view to him misremembering just about every interaction with everyone including me, I get through the day, I try not to think about LO too much, I cook, eat, fill my time, go to bed, sleep fitfully....then I get up in the morning...and start it all again. Get my drift? Like an alcoholic, one day at a time. Sorry if I'm bringing everyone down. But this is my reality. Without the joy of seeing and interacting with my LO, I have nothing to look forward to. My future is pretty much lost to me in a haze of constant repetitions and explanations to my SO, who is slowly showing cognitive symptoms that trouble me - though not enough for medical diagnoses. This life of mine is just endurance and when I have completely kicked the habit of LO to the kerb, what then for me? After 35 plus years of marriage, there's no question of starting again without SO. He'd die without me so there's no escape. I'm not suicidal, though if I thought too long about my situation, I might be. Maybe that's why the LO which hit me like a left hook about 10 months ago has been just about like throwing an emotional hand grenade into life. It was some kind of drug to block out my life. When it's fully out of my system, my future frightens me.....
Sorry for bringing you guys down, it helps to express my thoughts.
“Invisible Threads are the Strongest Ties” ― Friedrich Nietzsche