Relationship Blues?

Tomorrow I’m leaving for a very short camping vacation with my husband, Annika and Lukas (and Bella, of course.) I’m so excited because I’ve never been there before. It’s place called Orange Beach, Alabama right on what we call “The Redneck Riviera.” That’s where all the pasty, beer-bellied, mullet sporting southerners go for a spot to hunker down on a beach next to their beer cooler. I love it because it makes me feel like I look pretty good in my bathing suit, 60 year-old body notwithstanding. (I never use that word. Cool.) To divide the trip up a little bit, we’re stopping over in New Orleans, which is about seven hours away. The campsite is within walking distance from the French Quarter, but the crime outside the perimeter is so bad that they recommend taking a cab. So, we’ll crawl the Quarter from bar to bar, listening to New Orleans jazz, down a couple of Hurricanes and slither back to the RV. In the morning before we leave for Orange Beach, we’ll have beignets and café-au-lait at the historic breakfast place, Café du Monde. Near Orange Beach, there’s this place right on the Florida/Alabama border called Florabama. I don’t know much more about it other than it’s a venue for bands and is sort of a local icon. I’ll try to vlog everything, and my plan is to continue to post daily. Here are some photos:

Orange Beach

Orange Beach

Flora-bama

Flora-bama

Café du Monde

Café du Monde

The French Quarter

The French Quarter

The French Quarter

The French Quarter

Okay, Erik. I’ll shut up now. Your turn.

Me: What about people who have problems bouncing back from lost relationships? Now we’ve talked about bouncing back from a death, but a lot of people lose relationships or whoever: boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, friend, and family.

Erik: Divorce.

Me: What do you do when you lose a relationship and you just can’t bounce back? At least tell me in general what that’s all about.

Erik: Mom, the way you’re wording it, that has to be an individual conversation for every single person who’s lost a relationship. I can’t give the answers for how to bounce back from that. You just have to go back to asking how you’re feeling and acknowledge what that’s like. You have to acknowledge all of the emotions that are in there because you might not just be sad. You might have a part of you that’s totally relieved that you’re divorced because maybe you were mistakenly showing love by being loyal to a commitment that didn’t allow you to be happy. Now it’s broken and all of a sudden you can see—

Jamie (laughing): He rolls his eyes.

Erik: “Holy cow! I was being loyal to someone who wasn’t allowing me to be happy!” And now you have the chance to be happy. You might all of a sudden be feeling scared because you’re by yourself, but it wouldn’t necessarily be sad. So just sitting down and being able to analyze how you’re feeling it and when you’re feeling it and for what reason can help you bounce back from anything. Now if you’re feeling like you’re bouncing back and then bouncing back in, up and down and then kind of going all over the place and you’re not ending up on a path that lets you move forward in a way that you’d like, then that’s when you lean on someone who’s a therapist, who’s a life coach—someone who fits you. I will say—

Jamie (laughing): It’s like he’s preaching now.

Erik (in the tone of a preacher): I will say—

Me: Can I hear an amen?

Jamie laughs.

Erik: I like mindfulness therapy.

Me: What is that?

Erik: And life coach therapy. It gets you out of saying, “My needs and my thoughts stem from a reality that is my truth.” Mindfulness therapy gives you the opportunity to say, “You know what? The thoughts I perceive might be coming from another source. It might not even be coming from me. They probably aren’t real for me either,” when your thoughts are saying, “You should be over this relationship. You should be happy. You shouldn’t be feeling like shit.” And you’re starting to live that feeling like shit. So when you go to a therapist, you need one who understands, “What are your thoughts doing for your emotional status?” And again, this is for the people who are bouncing all over the place and not feeling like they’re guiding themselves emotionally in the way that they want to. They have to have a therapist who understands them enough to say, “Hey, those thoughts that you’re having? They actually don’t hold any truth whatsoever; so let’s get them out of your line of sight. You can hold onto them. You can put them over to the side or in your pocket or in your lap, but no longer keep them right in front of your eyes. If you keep them here (Erik holds both palms in front to his face) then everywhere you look is, “Stop feeling like shit. Stop feeling like shit.” And it’s all you can think about—how you feel like shit. So it’s helpful, if you’re bouncing all over the place, to lean on a therapist that understands how you work. You gotta research them, people! You can’t just go (twirling his finger aver the table): I’m just going to pick one out of a hat. Voila!”

Me: So how do you get one? How do you find the right one? I always use the Yellow Pages and that doesn’t work.

Jamie laughs.

Me: Just kidding.

Erik (Palms in front of the computer): Angie’s List!

Me (Laughing): There we go! Look for a mindfulness coach.

Erik: Well I’m kind of serious because three’s an medical Angie’s List, and people throw down on how people are in their therapy sessions to help people find great therapists, but there are accredited locations that really have great referrals. If you can’t find a friend who’s had an experience with a therapist or life coach—“Coached Anonymous”—no, that’s not what it is. CTI or CIT.com—

Make up your mind!

Erik: [Certified] International Training.com. Get online. You can find these places that are state by state and give really good referrals. But I’m not kidding. Angie’s List has that medical line where you can get other people’s opinions if you don’t want to ask your friends because for some reason you want to keep that shit a secret.

Me: Oh, yeah. Now is there really something called “Mindfulness Therapy?” I mean, are there therapists who do the whole mindfulness thing?

Erik: Yes. Yes.

Me: Now in some relationships, I feel like there’s some sort of spiritual contract like you’ve gotten what you need, spiritually, you know, spiritual lessons from that person and it’s time to move on, and sometimes you have to move on because you need to find self-empowerment, you know, because all of a sudden the spouse was taking care of the whole money thing, and they’re gone. What do you do? You have to get a job for the first time. Anyway, tell me about those contracts and self-empowerment or other contracts that may go along with those lost relationships that you’re not bouncing back from.

Erik: Loss of relationships. We can take that as death, separation or divorce.

Me: Mm hm.

Erik: Okay?

Me: Yeah.

Erik: Like you were mentioning, financial security-that’s sometimes a contract. Or maybe they’re in a relationship where a person takes care of everything. Everything. And you don’t do any of it. All of a sudden they’re gone. That’s giving you the opportunity to discover who you are and how you would behave in challenging moments. Maybe in that relationship you weren’t offered challenging moments. You were just given the world. These are good duality moments where you can learn the other side of yourself.

Me: Well that’s like if you divorce your husband, all of a sudden, you’re going to be the one who changes the oils and squishes the cockroaches. That’s gross.

Jamie laughs.

Me: That would keep me in a relationship for sure!

Jamie keeps laughing, but harder.

Me: All right. Go on.

Erik: There are relationships that end so that you can be a better parent. There are relationships that end so that you can learn to discuss your emotions. That’s a big one.

Me: We’re talking about spiritual contracts, right?

Erik: Yes.

Me: Okay.

Erik: [Another one is] to learn how to speak about your emotions. There are spiritual contracts in sharing. A lot of times when relationships end, like in a divorce and separation, you have to learn equality, fairness, sharing and integrity. Those are great opportunities to do that if you have kids and family.

The telephone rings.

Me: Telephone, Oh well. This is real life, guys.

Erik (in a high, squeaky voice): Who is it?

We both chuckle.

Me: It’s a solicitation.

That’s all we get on our landline.

Me: Hopefully it’s not the IRS!

The telephone continues to ring.

Erik: We should pick it up and start interviewing them.

Me: Yeah! That’s a good idea. “Hello, you’re talking to a dead spirit.” Well, I guess all spirits are dead, but… Go on; go on. I interrupted.

Erik: No, those are the main ones if we’re looking in general for the separation of relationships or the end of a relationship.

Have a great Thursday, peeps. Be sure to try out the new chat box!

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Elisa Medhus


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