It dawned on me the other day that I have made a ton of progress since I moved out of the house and walked away from the Narcissist for good. It has just been about 3 months, and I can finally see the results of the baby steps I have been making over the past 90 days. It really does get better!! Everyone was right!! 🙂
Here are some of the things I am noticing:
- My sleep is normal – Throughout my marriage and especially towards the end, my sleep was a mess. The Narcissist was a night owl and since he didn’t work, he would stay up all night and sleep late into the day. This meant most weeknights I would be getting to sleep around 1:00 am, and on weekends I totally reverted to the night-owl shift so I could spend time with him. When I did sleep it would be interrupted, I would wake multiple times, I would hit snooze on my alarm clock 10 times before being able to get up. I was exhausted all of the time, and would usually come home from work and fall asleep on the couch because I had no energy for anything. I would often wake up at 3:00am or 4:00am having a panic attack. I literally thought that I had sleeping problems, that I was an insomniac, that I had issues. But now, I am asleep by 11:00 most nights, I sleep straight through the night, and I often get up before my alarm clock even sounds. I feel well rested and I have energy throughout the day… I very rarely even feel the need to nap anymore.
- My eating is normal – The Narcissist had many many things that he was OCD about, but fitness and eating were at the top of the list. He prized his physical appearance above all else. He had us both on a meal plan that consisted of intermittent fasting, no gluten, no dairy, and low carbs. We followed mostly a Paleo style diet, and all of our calories and macros were planned and tracked throughout the day. While the Narcissist continued to lose weight, get leaner, and have a more prominent 6 pack… it seemed that with every single change we made to our diet, I gained more weight. Whenever I would suggest a change to the plan or a way to modify the diet that might work better for me, the Narcissist would show me how well it was working for him and insist that the problem was my lack of working out. I actually think that all of the diets and plans that he had us on all of their benefits and can all be very good for people. The problem was that I was in such a stressed and fragile state, screwing with my food this much added to the stress and I think my body just started packing on the pounds. I felt consumed by thinking about food, it took up so much of my daily energy. I often felt starving, ravished, HANGRY. I craved “bad” food all of the time. I felt guilty for eating almost anything that wasn’t meat or vegetables. Due to the Narcissist’s crazy schedules we usually ate dinner late at night, and then we would binge on candy or dessert. It was just not working for me. Today I am eating balanced, I am not tracking anything, and I am eating so much less sugar and sweets. When I don’t feel deprived throughout the day I no longer feel the need to indulge in desert. I haven’t weighed myself in a long time and I honestly don’t care to. What I do know is that I am feeling good about seeing myself naked, or in a Bikini, and I don’t feel like someone who is obsessed with food and planning all day long. It feels amazing.
- My Sex Drive is Through the Roof – I am a very sexual person, and always thought I had a healthy sex drive. However through the abuse and the depression I really lost all positive feelings, and especially those below the belt. Towards the end we were maybe having sex once or twice a month and it was lackluster at best. Again, I thought I had some sort of problem… I thought something was wrong with me or with my hormone levels. I let the Narcissist feed me vitamins, powders, natural remedies all geared towards improving female sex drive. I let him make me feel guilty about not feeling turned on, I let him convince me that there was something else to add to the list of things wrong with me. Today, I feel like a hormone raged teenage girl. I am not taking any supplements, I am not doing any sex therapy. I have just stopped feeling like crap on a daily basis and what do you know… I feel hornier than ever.
- My Anger is Subsiding – One of the biggest cards the Narcissist would play with me is that I was angry and I had a problem with managing anger and forgiving. He talked about me like I was a raging whacko who erupted over the slightest things. What I have realized is that the Narcissist was the epicenter of all my anger. My anger was my body and brain and my heart screaming to get my attention. It was saying “this isn’t healthy!” “this isn’t love!” ” this isn’t normal!” and I just wasn’t listening. Yes, the few times I have broken the no contact rule and had any interaction with the Narcissist I have been angry… but as for the other 99% of my life – I can’t remember even the slightest thing to irritate me. I am happy. I am laughing. I am smiling. I am finding joy in things again.
- My Self Confidence Is Returning – When i first got out, even the smallest decisions felt overwhelming. I didn’t know how to even think about what I wanted or what I thought was right. I had been brainwashed to always go to “WWTND” (What Would The Narcissist Do?), so I felt completely overwhelmed with being able to decide things for myself. I was often unsure of myself, I often second guessed myself, I often asked others for input and reassurance. This has been getting better slowly. I am feeling strong, I am feeling powerful, I am feeling tuned into my intuition… and it feels good!
When you first leave it feels scary, it feels unknown, it feels overwhelming. You might not be able to even imagine ever feeling happy or good again. But it sneaks up slowly. The bad fades away and the happiness fills in the cracks and before you even realize it you have been on your own for 90 days! For all of those who are out there and pondering taking that first leap or making those first baby steps – do it. Don’t wait any longer, don’t waste another second. It gets so much better, and you deserve it!!! ❤