You need to learn how to recover when you lose yourself in a relationship. Why? Because the only way to be happy and healthy is to know what you think and feel. Without this connection with yourself, you can’t find peace or joy.
Recently I’ve been getting lots of comments from readers who feel like they’ve lost themselves in their relationships. Some readers are so out of touch with themselves that they can’t focus on their children, jobs, or even their health. Others are stuck in unhappy, unhealthy relationships because they’re scared to leave.
These tips on how to recover after you lose yourself is inspired by a reader who has all the tools she needs to leave a bad relationship, but she’s scared and stuck. “I am in a very emotionally draining relationship,” says Tammy on How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With. “He was physically abusive in the beginning and then recently went to emotional…I have friends who have given me all the tools I need to leave but for some ungodly reason I am scared to leave…please help with me some advice!!”
A woman’s reasons for not leaving a bad or unhealthy relationship are complex and varied, and I don’t know why Tammy is scared to walk away. I can’t offer specific advice or counseling, but I can share what’s on my mind. Today, I’m focused on the disastrous results of what happens when we lose ourselves in things that aren’t good for us.
These tips on how to recover after losing yourself in a relationship aren’t just for leaving unhealthy situations. They’re for women in all stages of life – because we all need reminders about how to find ourselves – and stay in touch with who we are created to be – whether or not we’re lost in love.
How to Recover After You Lose Yourself
Right now I’m struggling with my ego. I’ve lost myself in a relationship not with a man, but in an unhealthy, consuming obsession with what people think of me. Specifically, I’ve let my identity become dependent on how well I play the flute in front of an audience.
I’ve lost myself in my relationship with myself. I’ve been consumed with what people think, and I’m obsessed with impressing people. And, I am wicked tired of being so self-centered and selfish! Thankfully, I’m finding my way out.
And that’s what I want to share with you. If you learn how I’m recovering after losing myself, you will see how you can recover after losing yourself in a relationship. I’ll use my situation of losing myself in my ego and my readers’ situations of losing themselves in their relationships with men.
Dig up the root of your loss
A couple days ago, I played my flute in a duet with an organist in front of a crowd. I was confident and smug before the concert. And then it happened: I choked. I was blindsided by an unexpected, powerful wave of stage fright that was so bad I couldn’t breath or think. This is bad for any musician, but it’s especially bad for one who plays a wind instrument!
It’s taken me a couple days to realize that the root of my problem was my ego. I cared so much about what people think of me, I couldn’t even lose myself in my music or set aside my stage fright to perform even the easiest pieces. I want to impress people, not express myself. I lost myself in my ego, in my selfish petty ambition. That’s what happened to me. I will play my flute in a concert again in less than two weeks – and maybe I’ll be blindsided again.
But maybe not. Maybe my realization of how badly I lost myself will help. Maybe my work of finding myself will help me create a musical experience for people to enjoy.
Your first step towards recovering after you lose yourself in a relationship is to take time to figure out what happened. If you’re like Tammy and you’ve lost yourself in a relationship, you need to start digging. You need to making finding yourself after getting lost in a relationship one of your main priorities right now.
Where and how did you lose yourself?
I know where and how I lost myself in the concert because I’ve done lots of work before now. I’ve had counseling. I write in my journal almost every day. I think and reflect. I pray, and listen to lots of Christian sermons on podcasts so I can get closer to God. I love Jesus, and I want my life to reflect His peace, grace, love, and joy.
What about you – are you aware of what was happening before you lost yourself? Who are you, what is your life about, and where are you going?
This isn’t the easiest tip on how to recover after you lose yourself in a relationship, but it is the most powerful: you have to take time to dig around your soul. There are no simple tips or quick steps for finding yourself. You need to take time to answer difficult questions.
Questions for you to think and write about:
- How did you find this article on recovering after you lost yourself? What led you here, why were you compelled to click the title?
- What have you lost yourself in? Is it a relationship with a man? Describe how it feels. Write everything you know and feel about this relationship.
- Why did you give yourself over to this relationship?
- Who can help you recover yourself? Which of your friends or family members know what it’s like to lose yourself?
- What would it be like to not feel confused or lost?
- What is holding you back from getting counseling or a professional perspective on how to find yourself?
Write your answers to these questions in your private journal. You’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below, but I think you’ll find it more effective and powerful to write in your private space.
Remember that finding yourself is a process. It won’t happen overnight! You won’t immediately have all the answers, and you won’t suddenly know why you’re scared to leave a bad relationship or sign the divorce papers.
Just start. Today.
Have compassion for yourself
Here’s a comment from a reader, to help you see how easy it is to lose yourself…
“He started bashing me for being outgoing and too loud and too social,” says Girl Interrupted on How to Start Over After a Bad Relationship. “I muted myself to make him happy. Stopped seeing friends and rushed home from work to make sure the house was in order before he got there. My boss even commented that I wasn’t plugged in at my job anymore because I was so focused on was him. I was embarrassed because it was true. He began bashing my children, saying they were disrespectful and purposeless. After months of the same I broke up with him a second time and again he talked his way back in.”
If you’re like me, you’ll beat yourself up for losing yourself or making mistakes or ignoring your gut feelings.
Instead of being hard on yourself, take a deep breath and forgive yourself. I am forgiving myself – it’s a process – for being so wrapped up in my ego that I ruined what could have been a beautiful experience of music for others. I am forgiving myself for caring so much about impressing others (and feeling superior to them) that I can’t put myself in their shoes for three short songs.
Make it between you and God
How will I overcome my ego when I perform in concert in two weeks? I will focus on expressing my music and trusting God to carry me through. Playing my flute isn’t about trying to impress others; it’s about sharing the beautiful tunes Vivaldi wrote hundreds of years ago. Performing in front of an audience is about trusting God to work through me – to use me – to bring light, life, and joy to others…it’s not about me at all.
Can you find yourself in God? Think about who He created you to be, and what He dreams for your life. Lose yourself in Him. Allow Him to lead you to somewhere healthier, happier, and better. Give Him your life. Trust that He will keep you safe as you walk through the driest valleys and the most dangerous battlefields.
Take time to listen to the still small voice inside of you – because you are wiser and more courageous than you think.
What do you think of these tips on how to recover after you lose yourself in a relationship? I can’t offer advice, but I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of losing who you are. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!