Ditching Drama

A new concept in self-care: the drama detox

The various #fibrotools that support your health include some that are physical, such as improving your diet and sleep, and some that are psychological.  One important psychological tool is the drama detox.

Many people with fibromyalgia are chronically exhausted.  They’ve typically been high achievers who have expended themselves in demanding jobs, have cared for others, and been the “go to” person in most dimensions of their lives.

As a “go to” person, they tend to attract more that their share of people looking for emotional support.  These situations are frequently dramatic, sometimes unnecessarily so.  People with fibromyalgia can experience judgment from others when they no longer have the energy to take on solving the problems of other folks, or even just listening to the endless complaining.  It drains too much energy and diminishes our capacities for self-care at a time when that truly must be a priority.

This is where a drama detox can be beneficial.

What is a drama detox?

It can begin subtly, with the minimization of your exposure to negativity coming from news and other commentaries on radio, TV, print and online media, and social media.  If something especially important happens that you need to be aware of, your family and friends will make sure you know.

You can extend the effects of the detox by promising yourself that you won’t feed fires.  Just as you would not feed trolls online, you can deal with the kings and queens of drama in your life by limiting the time you spend sympathizing with them when they are not willing to either take the action needed to improve their circumstances, or provide reciprocal support to you.

If it seems a bit mercenary to focus on the transactional nature of relationships, bear in mind that relationships form from the understanding there will be mutual satisfaction of needs.  As a hairstylist, you accept payment in exchange for your services.  Your client’s need for skilled grooming is met, as is your need for financial compensation.  Personal relationships likewise are based on (unstated) transactional agreements to help each other satisfy needs.  When reciprocity does not exist as an ongoing feature of the relationship, you are essentially experiencing abuse.

Reciprocity: beyond balance

Reciprocity is a dynamic concept that recognizes the ebb and flow within relationships.  There might be some periods within very close healthy relationships where the flow becomes unidirectional, but this is typically time-limited.  It’s up to you to decide where the point of balance lies.

If you decide to be supportive during someone’s overblown drama, set a time limit for how long you’ll listen and stick to it.  Create calm for them and yourself through slow controlled breathing.  Recognize that “drama” can be a cry for attention.  If you’re open and straightforward about communicating how much you care, these calls for attention may diminish.

If you are the one being dramatic, look at whether the source of this is a frustrated expectation that you had.  Did the other person know about your expectation?  Was what you expected from them or the situation reasonable?  How much does it matter?

Sometimes we create unnecessary drama because we want attention but don’t feel we can ask for it.  Or because we are bored and want some excitement or need to feel needed or important.  Look deeply at your own needs to see why the drama is arising.

For people who are energy-challenged, going through a drama detox may create energy reserves that can be redeployed on things that add value to life instead of draining vitality.