One of the things we have been talking about in the chat room lately is that no matter what we are going through, we still need to put some focus on taking care of ourselves. For one thing, after a scam, after a broken heart, it is so easy to fall into depression. Depression can mean different things for different people. For some it may involve isolating oneself. For another it may involve loss of sleep or too much sleep. Others may overeat, or not eat at all. There can be many ways depression manifests itself in one's life.
Lack of sleep is a big problem for many victims of romance scams. For some it may have already been a problem before the scam, like with me. For others, it is something they never dealt with before the scam, but because the scammers use sleep deprivation as one of the methods to help gain control over us, the sleep deprivation can become a serious problem. Lack of proper sleep is one of my issues but it was a problem for me before I was scammed. For me, not getting enough sleep makes any kind of mental, emotional, or physical problem I am dealing with even worse. Luckily I can usually get some sleep during the daytime, but nights are the hardest for me. One reason is that I have always been a night owl and my brain seems to function better from the late afternoon until an hour or two after midnight. But if I could go to sleep then, I would be okay. This week I had to go to the doctor to see if I could get a change in prescription because the sleep aid I was taking was no longer working. Tonight I try something new. Hopefully it will do the trick.
Besides solving sleep problems, we need to take care of ourselves in other ways. We may need to take a serious look at what we are eating, if we are eating, and how much we are eating. We might need to see if we are avoiding social situations or time spent with family. If we need to take care of physical conditions that we are neglecting, then that should be put at the top of the list of things to do to take care of ourselves.
It's not easy for me to always do the right thing to take care of me. I have a lot of physical issues I am dealing with. The physical issues effect my social life at times, as well. If I am not eating properly, meaning the kinds of foods that are healthy for me rather than those that are harmful for me, then I don't feel good physically. Add that to lack of sleep and I can shut down physically as well as emotionally and mentally. Everything is connected. We need to get our lives into a healthy balance, physically, socially, emotionally/mentally, and spiritually. Once I had a counselor who had me draw a circle and divide it into quarters like a pie. Then I was to label each part as follows: physical, emotional/mental, social, spiritual. After I had done that she had me list the activities in my life that fit into each quarter. When I was done, if there was anything off balance, I could readily see where I needed to do the most work. This is something I have not done in a long time and think it would be a good time to do it again in the process of taking care of me. I already know I am off balance in a few places. (Ha ha, those of you who know me, no comments here please. LOL)
The main point here is to look at your life and see if there is something that you might need to do to get yourself back into balance so you can take care of you. When you go through something like a romance scam you are going to come out of it a little lopsided in some way or another. Taking care of yourself is of prime importance now. Whether you are new to having been scammed or it's been awhile, it's never too late to start taking care of you. In AA and Alanon it is said that it is a "selfish program". That is because to heal, to recover, you have to put yourself first at least for awhile. Just like a car can't go anywhere until you put fuel in the gas tank (or plug it in for these new electric cars), you can't be expected to function properly without being fueled and refueled as needed. Waiting until you are on empty while you expend all your energies on others does not help you or them. Sometimes we all need to take a little time to take care of ourselves. Daily, weekly, monthly, annually. When we neglect ourselves, we end up not working properly at all. We all need our batteries recharged sometimes, just like our cell phones and other electronic gadgets do.
What is it that you need to do today to take care of you?