Another morning has arrived, outside is almost ominously quiet as I don’t even hear any birds singing. The sky is an overcast grey but the woods behind the house are brightening. The colors that of a day anticipating rain. Inside is quiet, but welcoming with the lamp light and the aroma of fresh perked coffee. I sit here, enjoying the morning and allowing my mind to wonder and ponder on this journey of life.
I read an article not too long ago about the effects on the brain due to breaking up with a loved one. Clifton Mark talked with Dr. Mike Dow on the subject. Part of his explanation was this:
Dow’s lens for understanding human psychology is the brain. He thinks that subjective experiences, like having your heart ripped out and thrown in a melting snowdrift, can be understood in terms of the neurochemical sloshings inside your skull. Dow explained that romantic love releases a flood of feel-good brain chemicals. Relationships boost our levels of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”, which helps us form bonds with others. The two other chemicals that he associates with relationships are dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, and serotonin, which helps to regulate our mood and is associated with happiness. Love (oxytocin) + pleasure (dopamine) + happiness (serotonin) = a heady neurological cocktail!
When we break up, our brains lose their regular supply of these neurotransmitters, and we go into neurological withdrawal. This is how broken hearts break brains. Subjectively, the deficit in these chemicals can make us feel anxious, depressed, and isolated.
I read that, and I’m considering some of what I have dealt with in my life and circumstances. Yes, my break up was due to the death of my husband which is a totally different type of separation, there in I am thinking that there are more things going on along with the above statement.
I’m now closing in on the four year anniversary of my husband’s passing. I want to believe that at least some of that grief has settled into a tranquil state, only to be raised into a storm when aroused by a disturbance of some sort. What I face now, is the emotions that come with being a single, sixty-three year old lady that is somewhat isolated due to the circumstances of the year we are dealing with.
So, I walk a lot, I talk to myself a lot, and I do research on how to handle the emotions that seek to suck the sunlight out of my life.
I found an article on neurocorecounseling.com. The title is How Does Loneliness Affect Us? I couldn’t find the author’s name. In this article it describes the differences between being alone and being lonely. It calls to attention how to recognize what you are feeling and how to face those feelings and move beyond them.
Reading that, showed me that I have been honest with myself and my feelings. I do recognize them, and I have taken and am taking the proper steps toward correcting and moving beyond. I think though, that in all that we face, there are set backs. We fall off the wagon, we fall off a diet, we fall off a scheduled exercise routine, we fall out of contact with friends. The main thing though, the important thing, is that we don’t stay down. We get up, dust ourselves off, understand that we are human with human frailties and we start again. I know too, that short, cold days do not help, but I’ll save that discussion for another day. For today, I’ll pour another cup of coffee, I’ll check the weather and maybe even call up a friend. Who knows, someone may even want to go hike that mountain with me. I’m sure they would be a much better conversationalist.