Many victims of narcissistic abuse become dumbfounded after leaving a relationship with a narcissist. They feel lost and have absolutely no clue what to do with themselves. This is because they are so used to “being a robot” and doing everything that the narcissist tells them to do. From what type of clothes they should wear in the morning to what they should be doing in their free time (if any), a narcissist completely controls every aspect of the relationship and the victim.
After dealing with a narcissist for so long it is hard to figure out exactly what steps to take when it comes to getting YOURSELF and YOUR LIFE back.
After coming out of an abusive and controlling narcissistic marriage myself, I know the feeling. That feeling of being lost day after day and not knowing what to do with yourself or even who you are anymore. The feeling of not remembering how to think for yourself or even make basic decisions day-to-day. That’s why I’ve come up with this quick “bucket list” for victims who want to begin their own self-healing (besides the therapy).
This is not anything recommended from a doctor or “expertise” in narcissistic abuse or domestic violence. These are things I’ve done myself that has helped me to rediscover who I am and begin to enjoy my life again. And I have learned that doing certain things to help spark that fire again is one of the most important steps to rediscovering me.
__ SLEEP / REST
This is probably the MOST important thing you need to do first. Being with a narcissist/abuser LITERALLY drains you of your energy: physically, emotionally, and mentally. Because of this you will almost always feel tired in the beginning. So before you can begin anywhere on your self-healing journey you need to catch up on those Zz’s.
Don’t be surprised if you tend to sleep 10 hours a day for the first week. Especially if you have a job and still need to maintain paying the bills and household duties, etc. Just don’t let it linger on for months at a time. If this does happen your most likely going through some type of depression and you need to see a professional as soon as possible to help address this.
Getting on a daily schedule is very beneficial for you. And one of the things I did to help maintain my energy throughout the day was to take a multi-vitamin. I know I probably sound like your mother but these things were a LIFESAVER for me. I was able to get some energy out of it to wake me up in the morning and begin my day.
Try the One A Day Women’s Multivitamin, 250 count. It’s affordable and has really helped me with my energy. Not to mention you take it once a day and there’s 250 tablets inside so it’ll last for a while!
__GET SOME EXERCISE (and make it DAILY exercise)
Trust me. I understand exactly how your feeling when it comes to getting out of this specific type of relationship. Your tired, sad, confused and drained of energy. But as a surviving narcissistic/abused victim I also know there is a part of you that is very ANGRY. You are angry for what he did to you and for allowing it to happen. Especially when in the back of your mind you knew it was all fake, wrong, and anything but normal in a relationship.
All I can tell you is besides the therapy (which you absolutely need) you need to relieve some of that anger and stress. And a great positive way to do that, while also getting yourself back in shape, is to exercise. Yes, exercise.
Busy Mommy/Body –
Now first off I’m a mom of 5 and I work 50 hours a week so I pretty much have NO TIME to myself. Which means if I decide to exercise it needs to be short and sweet. For busy mommies (or busy bodies) I recommend HIIT workouts. They are known as High Intensity Interval Training workouts and they do MIRACLES on your body. The best part is you can do it at home and they usually last anywhere from 25 – 35 minutes including stretching before and cooling down after. I specifically did the Jillian Michael’s 30-day Shred which has three levels that you are supposed to do for one month each. The next level up gets more intense but she also has a diet plan that goes along with it if you are looking to lose weight as well. I started this program 1 month after I gave birth to my second daughter and lost 35 pounds in three months. Not to mention I felt great, healthy, and strong.
The Basics Workout –
The next recommendation is for you lucky people who actually have time. Doing basic gym days – I recommend 20-30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes to 1 hour of resistance training every day. At the MINIMUM do this three days a week and at the max five days a week. Remember this is not for weight loss purposes this is for you to get yourself physically healthy again. And if your body is feeling great your mind will also follow and vice versa. This is another step to HEALING YOURSELF!
Andrenaline Junky –
This last recommendation is for you folks out there who rather not go to a gym or sweat at home but prefer more adventurous physical activity. Anything outdoors is great! From hiking, biking, going to the beach/pool, joining a jujitsu class, or even yoga. These activities are great for everyone! It will also definitely help in the healing of your social life which I’m sure your abusive relationship killed. Getting out there, working on your physical health in a fun way, and meeting new people are three great goals you can accomplish when choosing this recommendation. Or if you want just mix all three up. Hey why not, live a little.
Take Care of Yourself
If your someone who is VERY ACTIVE or maybe VERY BUSY like me taking a B-Vitamin Complex helps with that extra boost when you feel yourself going down. I would usually take this about 30 minutes before my daily exercise session because it would give me that extra endurance I needed to get through it. Sometimes I would just take it during the day to keep my energy up when I started crashing in the middle of the afternoon.
The one I take is called Nature Made Super B Complex + Vitamin C Tablets, 60 count. Again it’s extra cheap and should last you for a few months.
__ MIND MEDITATION
After being with a narcissist for so long you learn to shut your mind off to certain things and when it comes to healing you need to learn to open it up again. Although when you open it up again you can become overwhelmed with actually how many thoughts and ideas were hidden in that noggin of yours. So to relax your mind and yourself you need to find some type of mental meditation that will calm you.
Now when I say meditation I don’t only mean the people you typically see sitting on the ground with their eyes close, legs folded, and fingers pinched together. I mean SELF MEDITATION that you know will help YOU escape YOUR mind for a bit. For me, I’ll get myself into a really good book or I like to go on Netflix and watch a really good movie. It’s the best way for me to leave my own thoughts and relax at the same time.
Other good options could be going to the beach, doing actual meditation, taking a walk around a beautiful park and enjoying the scenery, going to the movies, getting a massage and maybe even doing a mani/pedi with it.
Anything that you know will relax you for a few hours will help you EXTREMELY!
Take Away the Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are two of the main things that come extreme after leaving and dealing with a narcissist.
One of the natural herbs I take to help reduce my stress levels is called NOW Rhodiola 500mg with 60 capsules. Rhodiola is a natural plant supplement from the arctic regions of Asia and Europe that’s been around for years. It helps specifically in improving your mood, enhancing energy, and reducing stress. This is exactly what you need to help you get through your day.
I also take Nature’s Way Valerian Root 530mg with 100 capsules. This natural plant supplement is also native to Europe and Asia. It helps me with my anxiety and nervousness. I don’t need to take it every day anymore but when I do it helps a lot! Valerian Root is also very good for getting quality sleep so it would be best for you to take it before you sleep at night.
__FIND YOUR HOBBY
One of my good friends went through a nasty break up and discovered how much she loved to cook. She is now in a cooking class that she goes to three times a week and says how happy it makes her and how much she loves the experience. She even won an award for making the best dish in her class.
Find the hobby that will make you happy. Everyone has something they like to do and discovering what that is will help you discover yourself even more, not to mention bring a smile on your face. Remember this is about your own self-healing, besides all the therapy, so find things that will bring you joy. In the beginning it sounds terrifying but that is only because you are so used to doing what you are told. You forgot how to make your own decisions and live a little. Don’t let this fear and anxiety stop you. Go for it!
Enjoy Your Life
Maybe you’re a musician and you love playing the drums or guitar. Join a band or go to classes to help up your talent. Maybe you’re an artist that loves to draw or paint. Some people are gymnasts or gym-aholics and love working out. Do something that you love doing and can excel in. Maybe you don’t really know what your good at yet or what hobby makes you happy. Well that’s the best bet! Go explore and try different things! Sign yourself up for pottery classes or take one of your friends with you to a dance class. By doing these things you will help to rev up your self-confidence and spend your spare time in a positive way.
__MEND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
One thing that a narcissist makes sure of is that he depleted you of every single close relationship you had with someone. Why? Because he wants you for himself. It is his only way to have COMPLETE control. Only if everyone else is gone. Constantly feeding you lies and does NOT want the truth being told. Because of this you have lost the closeness you once had with people you love and care about.
One way to help self-heal yourself is to mend the relationships you once had. Call up your loved ones. Ask them to grab a drink with you or bring them over for dinner. Go to the park and have a long conversation. One important thing you don’t want to do is continue to isolate yourself from everyone. Sure it’s okay to be alone some days but not all day every day. You need to mend these once-important relationships you used to have and make them a priority again.
Live A Little
Talking to them about the things you went through in your past narcissistic relationship may help to open their eyes a little bit more on why you went M.I.A or why you stopped talking to them. They may have thought that they did something wrong when in actuality it was never their fault. Help open up their eyes to this so that you can heal that needed relationship and make it fun and brand new again.
After dealing with a narcissist for so long, you lose yourself, period. With therapy and this quick “bucket list of healing” you can begin to discover exactly who you are again. This will not happen overnight or maybe not even in a few months. The healing process after this type of abusive relationship could actually take a few years depending on how long and how severe it was. So be patient with yourself and realize that you do NOT need to be miserable any more! It’s your time to shine so discover who you are and let those wings fly!
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