Dancing outside my comfort zone

Addicted to Drama and Going Downhill Fast

At some time in our lives most of us have been there. We’ve believed we needed drama in our lives to… I don’t know… make it interesting. Whether we created our own or simply joined the herd when someone else created some, it became an addiction in its own way. We had to have our drama fix.

While writing my morning pages today, one of the many thoughts spinning through my mind was how far I’ve progressed in the last decade or so with regard to succumbing to those destructive tendencies.

It occurred to me that the biggest thing I’ve been learning to leave behind is drama. First, I learned I didn’t need to create chaos for any reason. That part was reasonable enough. The hard part is and will always be learning not to react to someone else’s drama. Like patience, it’s a lifelong lesson.

It’s easy to look back at yet another time we react to someone else’s pot-stirring and beat ourselves up for getting sucked in again. But that’s just another way of adding drama to our own lives and it’s counterproductive.

A 12-Step Cure for Drama Addiction

no-drama
Maybe we need a 12-step program for drama addiction? Something like this, perhaps?

Step 1: Accept that you aren’t perfect.

Step 2: Forgive yourself for the past.

Step 3: Let the past go.

Step 4: Learn to recognize your drama triggers.

Step 5: Learn to recognize genuine emotion.

Step 6: Learn to tell the difference between your own drama and someone else’s.

Step 7: Recognize the people in your life who thrive on drama.

Step 8: Set boundaries for the drama perpetrators.

Step 9: Revisit your boundaries and make sure they’re honored.

Step 10: Recognize those who are unwilling or unable to honor your boundaries.

Step 11: Release those who don’t honor your drama-free boundaries.

Step 12: Repeat steps 1 through 11 as often as necessary.

Needless to say, I’ve found myself at step 12 countless times, and expect to see myself there again countless more times. That’s not to say I haven’t progressed. I’ve let go of quite a few relationships once I discovered, and more, admitted they were really only surviving because of a co-dependence on dysfunction.

Avoiding Those Who Thrive on Drama

I’ve learned there are people who not only thrive on drama, but require it to survive. I suppose they need the feeling of chaos to make themselves feel alive, and thankfully for them, there are plenty of others who are willing to play the drama game. But it’s unfortunate for someone like me who has to learn not to be sucked into the drama created by these people.

Time and time again I’ve found myself reacting and acting as a result of someone else’s chaotic creation only to wind up with egg on my face and apologies to make for my own bad behavior. Part of it, I’m sure, is the empathic sense that the person needs my help when nothing could be further from the truth.

What they crave is the attention. They’re like a planet who needs dozens of moons orbiting around it, yet no matter how many people they have in their orbit, they’re never satisfied. Why? I believe it’s because they seek validation from other people, and until they learn to seek it from themselves, it’s never enough. Others speculate that they are uncomfortable when it’s too quiet and they use chaos to replace structure in their lives.

Creating Our Own Drama-Free Zone

Whatever drives those people we call Drama Queens (or Kings for that matter) to create chaos around them in order to pull others into their orbit, it falls on those of us to whom drama is as overstimulating as the emotions in a subway at rush hour to insulate ourselves. We must become better able to not only recognize those waves of drama, but to step aside and let them pass us by. At least for me, the heightened emotions over something that isn’t even mine are disturbing at best and damaging at worst.

Something else I’ve learned as I continually modify the new and improved me is to realize that the people I now attract; the other works in progress who are further along some of the paths than me, are my best resource. They have already learned some of the lessons which continue to challenge me. They have insights into getting past them which can make my learning curve a little shorter.

Getting Past the Deeply Ingrained Trust Issues

The hard part remains opening up to them. My longest learning curve has always been knowing when I can allow myself to be vulnerable. Until recently, I just kept everything bottled up until it exploded, either by getting sucked into someone else’s drama or by manifesting as aches and pains in my physical self.

What has helped the most is finding friends who have made it through their own storms, yet have a combination of insight into skills I’m still learning and a need for insight I’ve gain from lessons they’re still learning. In short, friendships which create a synergy of strength and knowledge make us stronger and smarter! What a concept!

So maybe my 12-step program requires a step 13: Form friendships with a synergy which makes all parties stronger, smarter, and, most of all, drama-free.

Over to You

What have you done to insulate yourself from the drama of others? Does it continue to challenge you or have you created your own drama-free zone? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

As Always, Gratitude Helps
  1. I am grateful for my drama-free friends.
  2. I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning and even those with which I continue to struggle.
  3. I am grateful I’m learning to open up to people more and let them see that soft, mushy inside part I’d grown accustomed to guarding so closely.
  4. I am grateful for the new people who are coming into my life. They bring new insights, new lessons and best of all, new connections.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, lessons, life skills, joy, dancing, community, health, encouragement, happiness, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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