A detour to crazy town

abstract-254121_1280Have you ever been to that emotional place where you get completely hooked on the other person?

Where they are all you can think about, and it feels like the only thing that is important is seeing or at least connecting with them again, NOW. Your emotions are all over the place, as well as your thoughts, which go back and forth between heaven and hell. You are longing so much for this person but at the same time you’re so afraid of it not working out that you almost can’t bare it.

This is what I call Crazy Town. The thing about Crazy Town is that it’s super easy to see when someone else is there (they’re obviously over reacting), but when you end up there yourself it really does feel that urgent and not like an exaggeration at all.

Just knowing about this place, and giving it a name, will help. Hopefully you will recognize what is happening the next time it does, but then what? How do you get out of crazy town? Here are 5 steps you can take to get yourself back.

1. Do nothing!
I know that the urge to “take care of the situation” is huge when you are in Crazy Town. You might want to send a million text messages, call the other person and tell them how much you like them or break up because you can’t stand the uncertainty of the situation. Don’t. Your brain is “emotionally hijacked” and what you feel doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with reality. The only thing you need to “fix” right now is your own emotional state, then you can take care of more practical things, if you still think it’s a good idea.

2. Self compassion
First of all, acknowledge that Crazy Town is a horrible place to be. It stirs up all of your insecurities, the uncertainty is painful and you go into a panic-like mode that actually cuts you off from the more logical parts of yourself. This hurts. This is not something you can just “get over” by telling yourself to. Take a moment and sit down with yourself and take the pain seriously. Feel it in your body. Maybe it’s like a gray raincloud in your belly, maybe it’s your heart pounding really hard, maybe it’s a lump in your throat. This is your nervous system reacting to stress, it feels threatened. Take care of that, in the same way you would if a friend was sad, afraid or worried. Ask yourself what you need to feel safe and calm again, and do that. Also remember that you are not alone, weird or crazy. We all end up here every now and then (yes, even the person who caused you to end up here).

3. Meditate
When your head is filled with a thunderstorm of thoughts and your body with an hurricane of emotions, it might feel a little bit crowded inside of you. To create space: meditate. It slows everything down, brings you clarity and gives you a little more room to breathe, think and feel in your own terms.

4. Live your life
When something or someone grabs your attention as powerfully as this, it creates a huge impulse to rearrange everything else around it. You want to keep things open in case that person gets in touch or you start doing things so that you might “accidentally” run into each other, and a lot of time is spent just thinking, almost compulsively, about it. An effective way of avoiding this energy consuming behavior is to stay busy with your regular life. Meet friends, go to the gym, help someone with something and make sure that you do things that keep you occupied, just like you would otherwise. Don’t cancel plans because maybe you’ll have another date this weekend or change your behavior in big way “just in case”. Live your life! It is needed to stay sane and grounded, and to keep the relationship working. There can be no good relationships in Crazy Town, so make sure to stay connected with your regular life.

5. Trust
There are things in life that we cannot control. This is hard, especially when we want something really bad. We want to make what we want to happen, happen. Unfortunately not everything is up to you. You cannot will someone into calling you or liking you. You have to let them do their part of things on their own terms. You have to let life happen. I know this sucks really hard, especially if you’re used to being in control in other areas of your life. But love, flirting and relationships don’t work like that. You need to give other people space to come to you. And yes, that involves the risk of that not happening. I’m sorry, but you need to be willing to take that risk, and trust that if it doesn’t end the way you want, you will be able to survive it. All you can do is to be clear on what it is that you want, be brave enough to convey it to the other person, and then trust life. It’s the only way. Not trusting life, but rather trying to force things into happening will not work. I’m sorry.

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