So last week we went through 4 celebs that struggled addiction and found recovery. Well, it's not a secret that Jon Hamm went through a breakup with his longtime girlfriend in 2015. In his recent interview with InStyle he states that, "being single sucks". This being 2 years post his breakup, he is going through some tough stuff no doubt. Considering Jon Hamm's past issues with addiction, it's times like these that will show whether he has come out on the other side or not. He is such a brilliant actor so let's hope so. Anyone who's gone through a breakup regardless of being okay with separating ways and all, still knows what type of unavoidable nutty trainwreck you turn into in the time following. Yeah no, that's never fun.
Add to that addicts have a very low pain tolerance level.
Usually this is not what the outsider will see, because the functioning addict will quite often push him or herself to perform above and beyond with no outward sign of weakness.
But that IS the weakness: The image of being unbreakable.
In order to make that image hold up, we need to constantly numb out our emotions, as they are building up. Until we finally reach the breakdown and everything comes crashing down.
Prior to the breakdown the image is often unshatterable and quite a bit intimidating.
Yes, people struggling in secret with addiction often come off cooly intimidating. That's a big problem cos it creates disconnect with others. Humans rely more on body language than spoken language to quickly read and understand other beings without having to hear their entire life story. Think about it. We usually know within a couple minutes, if we like someone or not. Essentially this is how speed-dating works, no one needs hours on end to figure out if they like someone or not, we know within a moment. This is not based on what they say inasmuch as it's about what we have picked up about the person via their body language.
While we often tell pretty white lies with words, our body never lies. Unless we have disconnected from it, which addiction causes us to do - we abandon ourselves.
This is why when we cut off our emotional bandwidth, we become intimidating to others.
They can't read us anymore. We become a walking contradiction of what we say, how we act and what we really want underneath it all. This makes others pull back, and we then end up stuck and alone on the inside with our polished facade that no one can get through. So very sad.
Our pain tolerance and true strength lies in our ability to accept every painful emotion and let it be till it eventually fades out and transforms into something else.
One of the first recommendations in rehab is to NOT enter a relationship within the first year of recovery.
The emotional aftermath of a breakup is one of the top triggers into relapse.
We developed an addiction to numb out from any uncomfortable emotion in life, so it takes a lot of pain tolerance and acceptance of uncomfortability to enter a relationship with the potential outcome being that it can shatter like glass against the ground. And if that happens, we need to have developed enough emotional bandwidth to not retreat back into our self-destructive patterns. Which, addict or not, is all too tempting to just stop the emotional insanity for a minute and get back to how we used to be - to just be normal for a breathing moment. To stop crying over everything from the mailman being late to the starving kids in Africa and the ant we accidently stepped on on our way to work. Yeah, these are strictly hypothetical examples of course. But hey, the key is to accept the pain and allow it to transform into whatever it needs to transform into.
If we pretend to not feel the pain, it cannot transform and the wound remains open.
We become these walking "issues" who have all this baggage to carry around. The wound keeps bleeding onto everything and everyone we touch, because we never let it heal. And our past becomes our destiny. Not good.
How do we let feelings heal?
By allowing them to take up the space they need. By crying it out. And more importantly by not acting out via drugs, alcohol, one-nighters, gambling, jumping from relationship to the next relationship etc. etc. All things that only serve to numb us out and thus the emotion stays trapped inside us, waiting for us to deal with it at a later point in time. When we act out rather than stay in the moment and allow it to pass, we develop hangups and turn into these emotionally fucked up grownups - we simply never learn how to be with emotions in a grown up manner. I know more 50 something year olds acting like a 5 year old than 5 year olds acting their age, I can honestly say. Let's try to avoid being that person. We can only do that if we are willing to break ever so slightly.
The depth of our love - and ultimately our happiness - is exactly proportionate to our ability to feel hurt and rejection.
If we refuse feelings of hurt and rejection, we cannot feel much love either. It's a catch 22. We improve our emotional bandwidth not by cliche selflove but through accepting how we feel at any given moment. When we can accept it, we no longer need to repress it with self-destructive habits. Knowing that every emotion transforms into something else with time. Patience is the skill, time is the healer.
Sometimes we need to break in order to break open.
If we are scared of breaking, we might never open. And that would be a sad, sad story of our life. So the mindset to adopt here is to choose to believe that there is something to learn from everything and that the break won't break us down, but simply break us open. That every break we come across in life will make us into the person we need to be, if we allow it. We choose whether the struggles in life make us harder or we gain softness and become more rounded as beings. We choose.