I Just Need You Now...
Congratulations Lady Antebellum for winning song of the year at the Grammy Awards this week.
I thought I'd have some fun dissecting the song since I know that the lyrics we listen to impact us in the same manner as positive self talk or negative self talk. If you think I'm being pedantic, just humor me, I'm simply thinking of things I might talk about with a client who recounted a similar situation as a challenge in a relationship class at SYB.
The first line: Picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor...
Our outside environment is often a direct reflection of our inside environment and visa versa. If you don't feel good, try cleaning up, picking things, and reorganizing your home, office or even your yard. That will have a positive impact on how you feel all by itself.
A note of caution... our memories are not a reliable source for what really has happened in real life. I've heard people say that mothers develop a "birth amnesia" around a year after the birth of a child... because if most of us really remembered the realities of the pregnancy and birth itself, we definitely wouldn't do it again! It happens the same way in relationships. Often when a relationship ends because it was unhealthy, we have difficulty remembering it accurately. We often forget about the bad stuff and glorify the good OR visa versa... with co-parents they may remember only the bad giving them an unbalanced perspective and thereby sabotaging an amicable co-parenting relationship. When couples break up who were co-dependent or overly attached/reliant upon the other person, shortly afterward they often only think of the good in a relationship or in the other person forgetting all the many reasons they had that justified leaving in the first place. They return to that unhealthy relationship and play out that same cycle over and over again and don't see how they contribute to it. In the book "How to Fall Out of Love" by Dr Debora Phillips and Robert Judd, they suggest the following: At the end of a dysfunctional relationship it is important to write down all the reasons you ended it so you can pull out that paper and remind yourself of those reasons every time you're tempted to contact that other person. It is also a way to create balance if you only see your partner as perfect... you can write down all his/her human qualities as well... the importance is creating balance and maintaining that balanced perspective. Things/people/relationships are rarely if ever picture perfect.
The second line: Reaching for the phone 'cause I can't fight it anymore.
Again, if there is a reason to fight contacting the other person, you're going to want to reinforce your decision through the ways suggested above and by doing other things to ensure that you won't contact them. You could delete their contact info from your phone/email/etc. Block their numbers/email/texts to ensure that they don't contact you as well. You may need support... friends, family members, therapists, support groups, etc. You may need to move (change apartments, colleges, towns, etc.).
The third line: And I wonder if I ever cross your mind... for me it happens all the time.
This is where learning to control what you focus on (what you think about) comes in. Replace unwanted thoughts with a more helpful thoughts. Dispute crazy thoughts by talking yourself out of them with positive self talk or finding evidence of the contrary. Distract yourself by doing other things that are time consuming and meaningful. Also... get out of other people's heads. Dr Phil said awhile ago... "You'd be surprised what other people thought of you if you only realized how little they did." Everyone else has their own lives to worry about, rarely are they, if ever, focused on you. It is important to be psychologically independent from others. You're in charge of you and if your thoughts are racing out of control, chances are your feelings are too, which results in an emotional state that is likely to be anything but helpful. You create your emotional state. Focus on meeting your own needs... take care of yourself. If you don't do that... if you don't love and respect yourself, how can anyone else love and respect you.
Fourth Line: It's a quarter after one, I'm all alone and I need you now.
I've often said that nothing good can come of anything after midnight... GO TO BED! Your body needs the sleep. Your partner needs sleep. Nothing productive can come of it. That old adage "don't go to bed mad" has seen many men and women in exhaustion push through mad and straight to crazy, then abusive, onto violent, and quite possibly homicidal/suicidal. Our brains don't work well when we're tired. Add alcohol or other substances and we're really out of our minds...
About being alone... Jean de la Bruyere said, "All of our unhappiness comes from our inability to be alone." It is really important to be comfortable being alone... be comfortable with silence... be comfortable in our own skin--and when we're not comfortable, that we have productive ways to assist ourselves in meeting our own needs and increasing our level of comfort. Smoking a cigarette may help to temporarily calm the nerves but it meets one need at the expense of another (physical health). So the trick is to find strategies that help us meet all of our needs. Breathing exercises may be helpful in order to gain comfort with being alone. Turn off the TV or other audio stimulation so you can get used to silence again.
Fifth Line: Said I wouldn't call but I lost all control and I need you now.
Watch what you say... don't commit to doing something that you can't follow through with. Relationships are based on trust and reneging on a commitment, compromising your word, violating a boundary, breaking a promise, or overstepping a limit is no way to build trust and respect period. So what if it is a little thing... the little things set the foundation for bigger things. It's about patterns of behaviors. The part about losing control and needing someone else to help restore a sense of control is a terrible pattern of behavior to perpetuate. I don't want anyone thinking that it is their job to regulate me... I'm responsible for that, I alone can do that, no one else can even if they think they can. Again... work on yourself first. Get yourself into a more comfortable/stable emotional state and the rest will fall into place. Wouldn't it be great if our relationships weren't based on this type of dependence and desperation.
Another interesting phrase: Guess I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all.
I've heard domestic violence survivors say this line many times. It was like they'd rather feel the pain of this relationship than not be in the relationship at all. It was like they'd forgotten that there are other fish in the sea... that they can have a life/future independent of this current partner. Or maybe they've never learned/experienced abuse free relationships. I'd rather feel joyful than hurt... and that is up to me to create and maintain this reality for myself.
And Finally: I said I wouldn't call but I'm a little drunk and I need you now.
OK... now the gentleman uses the old standby excuse for doing anything contrary/counterproductive... alcohol. It seems like when people are in difficult situations or transitions, they often turn to some mood altering substance... but instead of helping... it makes things worse. Instead... recognizing that things aren't going well and retreating back into a self care mode may be the best thing we can do for ourselves and the relationship as well.
Overall, interesting song... my 6 year old boy came home singing it yesterday... must have heard it from school.
I don't want to stimulate this emotional state in my own life so I'll choose to listen to other music when I have the choice.