Better Living Through Chemistry? Your Brain May Actually Be Working Against You In Matters Of The Heart

There’s A Mad Chemist At Work

According to Helen Fisher PhD, the physical pain that people feel when they have been rejected is very real. Her research has shown that when emotional attachments and love addictions become entrenched, neurology within the brain changes.

Once this happens, having the source of the addition forcibly taken away and/or being rejected by that source of that love addiction sets up some nasty PHYSICAL yearnings and pain—comparable to kicking crack cocaine cold turkey.

Not only are there the emotional longings and those rivers of unending tears, but there is also a physical element that can be torturous.

A Very Real Chemical Addiction

Being in love strongly activates the same regions of the brain that get stimulated by morphine and cocaine. Furthermore, emotions of rejection light up the part of the brain associated with physical pain—and, the longer the relationship lasted—the worse the pain can be.

It takes time to release all the neural connections, but they do eventually fade—if not reactivated. Hence the value of No Contact.

Dancing In The Streets

I called Martha & The Vandellas to come and play while I did The Dance Of Joy when I found this out.  It was such a relief to finally know what I was dealing with! The thoughts that were swirling around my head and the emotions in my heart were so overwhelming. They didn’t make any sense to me.

My logical mind knew that someone who could callously ghost a loyal spouse after a long term marriage wasn’t worth one nanosecond of anyone’s time. Yet, the more he rejected me, the more I craved him and wanted him back—at any cost. It seemed like a paradox.

In additional to dealing with the psychological trauma from my childhood that his ghosting unmasked, I ended up waging a war against some very powerful chemicals in my brain as well.

Back Away From The Edge

So before you’re tempted to throw yourself off a bridge somewhere—take heart. Keep in mind that at least some part of what’s bringing you so much distress may simply be your own human biology. In other words—you’re attempting to kick your own form of crack cocaine—solo.

Next, consider how Your Dear Departed couldn’t function on his/her own for one second. No, he/she had to line up a new teat from which to nurse in order to bolster their fragile ego in order to dump you.

And you? You’re drinking from a firehose of emotion and facing all your ‘stuff’ alone.

So tell me, who’s the hero and who’s the clown?

Very Powerful Aversion Therapy

Trust me on this one—both the pain of kicking your love addiction and the unsavory memory of your emotional DT’s will soon become your new best friend. Soon, they will serve as powerful reminders, strengthening your resolve to never again romanticize your ex or dilute the truth about who Your Dear Departed really is.

In other words, when the old programming tries to mount the hard drive in your head—or whenever The Memory Channel tries to serve up a rerun of ‘the good old days’ from the highlight reel of your relationship—your response will be quick and  sharp. Reflexively, the words “Programming Canceled” will roll off your tongue like peas on cowhide.

The takeaway here is that no matter how much you love someone, there comes a time when they simply become more trouble than they’re worth. Period.


Hang in there because soon the memories of your ex and will elicit the same response as the thought of having your gums scraped by the dentist. Pavlov’s dog became conditioned to the sound of the bell, soon you’ll be conditioned to an entirely different reaction than the one you’re having now.

In other words, rather than experiencing a skipped heartbeat and breathing a yearning sigh when piece of mail arrives with his/her name on it—your automatic response will be more along the lines of concurrent eye rolling and gag reflex. As even more time goes by, you’ll find that you won’t react at all because you simply don’t care anymore.

When you realized how truly distasteful Sweet Cheeks has become to you, you’ll soon find yourself wishing him/her and their new love the very best in life—and really meaning it!

No Deposit. No Return.

At that point—if you’re like me—you wouldn’t take him/her back if your payoff was a cavalcade of Brink’s trucks and a solid gold Mercedes.

But in the meantime … breathe. Remember, much of what you’re going through is probably due to those darn chemicals!

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat
There’s no doubt, you’re in deep
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe
Another kiss is all you need
Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love

The Rejected Brain

Is Love An Addiction?

2 Comments on “Better Living Through Chemistry? Your Brain May Actually Be Working Against You In Matters Of The Heart

  1. It’s actually comforting to know that all of those times I felt a very physical pain from relationships gone wrong or awry, were legitimate feelings, and not just me imagining that kind of pain. Love is the worst kind of drug, it would seem.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: