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Addicted to Grief

Addicted to Grief.

When your loved one walks away like there was nothing between the two of you, the chemical reactions that go on inside the unrequited lover’s body are similar to the loss of a loved one. You feel inconsolably hurt, broken and shattered. Although emotional pain is different from physical pain, a break-up or rejection literally crushes your heart in a way that you feel it breaking inside your chest like it was physically happening.

Then again you are angry at yourself for being in that situation and resort to destructive means, like smoking, drinking and in extreme cases, even attempt to commit suicide. You start planning ways to reverse the past and get the person back into the relationship. It’s not a matter of chance that rejection feels like death of a loved one. When we lose someone, we grieve. But death is not the only trigger. Any kind of loss causes grief: the loss of a job, a home, a limb, a relationship.

In order to understand grief, we need to understand these five stages that it sinks in -denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. Initially it is difficult for an unrequited lover to accept reality. They mostly simply refuse to believe it. With morning light, senses return. Looking at the situation clearly and analysing the causes and reactions of the past situations leads to anger – at themselves, for their actions, or at the partner, for having left them alone, or rejecting them. In my blog “Effects of Unrequited Love”, I have written about how unrequited lovers are barraged by the stark acknowledgment that a commitment for them isn’t generally a commitment for the other. That the remarkably sweet sentiments that have been so warmly holding them aren’t shared, aren’t common. Their blissful dreams of the dearest exist in a vacuum. In a word, you see yourself to be a moron. In such moments you find that your enthusiasm, your simply envisioned bliss, has taken leave. That it’s now just a faint memory of what was so considerable, so unwaveringly genuine that it was binding each cell in your body. As concrete and gigantic as a mountain, its measurements had been enormous to the point that you could scarcely make out its peak.

In most cases, the one who truly loves gets over the past sooner and tries to reconcile. However, the relationship is just not meant to be, and they learn that soon enough! Once they realize things are not going to change, sadness sets in. The period of mourning is different for everyone, but time heals; and trust me, it does!

These order of occurrence of these stages doesn’t necessarily have to be the same. Each stage may occur repeatedly and simultaneously, and may even return years after the person has consciously moved on. Sometimes it is close to impossible to let go of the person and memories. When you grieve a loss for a very long time, your condition is called “pathological (or complicated) grief.

unrequited love 2 July 16

Psychiatrists consider complicated grief worthy of inclusion in the psychiatric manual for diagnosing mental disorders, due to its severity. Six months or more of grieving is a sign of complicated grief. Read through the following points to get more clarity on the condition:

  • you cannot stop thinking about what lead to the loss;
  • everything happening around you inadvertently makes you think about the object of love;
  • you experience extreme sorrow, tearfulness or desire for the lost relationship
  • you keep away from news of your beloved because it doesn’t stop emotionally affecting you;
  • you often dream about good old days or about the person
  • you cannot stop feeling pity for yourself and are often cursing destiny for the loss
  • you find it difficult to trust and love people in general; or
  • you find it difficult to find joy in day-to-day activities

As unrequited lovers obsessively hold on to the loss in complicated grief, the condition may end up becoming a serious obsessive compulsive disorder. Low levels of serotonin may trigger over-thinking, longing, crippling anxiety and physical yearning for the object of love. The dopamine reaction triggered by this sort of longing lead the broken lover to beg forgiveness and even submit to unreasonable demands of the love object. On the other hand, when there is no chance of bargaining to reach an agreement they often display fits of ferocious anger over the loss.

Been there, done that? Share your story with me and I will add it to my future blogs.

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6 years ago

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