: 26 June 2012

How to Stop Medicating with Men

We all feel an impulse to medicate from time to time. The desire to escape is part of the human experience. We use different methods to escape. We use them to different degrees. But we all use them. So let’s just start by being real about that. Men, for many of us, are at the top of the escape-of-choice list. The pattern looks something like this:
It starts with a high. A trip with a man can feel like the most exhilarating ride that you have ever been on–your heart races, your stomach has butterflies, you’re giddy and smiley and all-around buzzed. The texts, the Facebook stalking, the dialing (drunk or not). Impulses to reach for the substance (aka him) and get that high. And damn does it feel good when you do! A crush. A guy who is paying extra-special attention to you. A man who has his eyes on YOU. Yes, these experiences can feel so good–definitely a high of the best kind.

Then comes the compulsion.
The high is so good, in fact, that you start to feel yourself wanting it more and more. An obsession of-sorts sets in. Grasping. Longing. Needing (cringe). You get that itch and you need your fix! You can’t help yourself. You’re antsy, clingy, and (gulp) desperate! You need him to make you feel a certain way! It’s a dependency that you don’t want, but somehow you have!

And of course, inevitably, comes the fall. As we all know, a man-hangover is of the very worst kind. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones felt when he doesn’t return your call. When he leaves and finds another woman. When the buzz has died-down and all your left with is confusion about what went wrong. Sometimes these falls are heart-wrenching–sobs and excruciating pain. And sometimes it’s a dull sense of emptiness that remains–the high has long worn-off and you wonder to yourself, “Is this it? Really?” Both positions are equally painful after such a blissful beginning. And in both cases, you are left feeling like you desperately need and want more.

So what is this ride and how can you get off?  I’m going to break it down for you.

This is the ride of your ego.  If you aren’t already acquainted with your ego, let me introduce you. Your ego is the voice inside of you that tells you that you aren’t good enough, that you don’t have enough, and that things are not what they should be. The ego is the voice of lack, of doubt, of emptiness, and of fear. When you operate from your ego you are living with these fears all the time–the felt sense that you are incomplete and lacking. For most of us, the only way we know how to make these feelings/fears go away is to reach for something outside of us to feel better. We reach for food. We reach for substances. And we most definitely reach for the best high of all, men.

When we live in our egos (and most of us do, nothing to feel ashamed about, it just is), we rely on things outside of us to feel good on the inside! So if medicating with men is one of your drugs-of-choice, then what is happening is you are actually using him to FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. He becomes the key to your happiness. When he’s there, the completion sets in–you feel great. And when he’s gone (and there will always be times when he is gone, whether he actually leaves or not) the withdrawal kicks in–it feels awful. A roller coaster indeed.

So what do we do? Are we doomed to this cycle of highs and lows, in and out of relationship? Or is there another way?

Of course there’s another way! The other way includes NOT relying on an OUTSIDE source to feel good on the INSIDE. You have to start a practice of cultivating your own happiness from within. You are your own key! You are! Not him. And not anyone or anything else either! Girl, I hope you are jumping for joy right now! Why? Because this means that you are in the driver’s seat! Your joy is in YOUR hands and no one else’s. You have complete control (and I know how stoked you are to be in control)!

I know that you have heard this before, and I know that you really don’t believe it. But I think that might be because you haven’t given it a fair chance to be true. Here’s the deal: there is a place inside of you, inside of me, inside all of us that knows we are 100% complete as we are. I call this place Soul. We spend such a small amount of time living in our Souls that we forget they actually exist. But your Soul does exist, in a BIG way. And all it needs is a little attention from you. Check in and see if you can find your Soul right now. It is the place in you that knows you are meant for greatness. It is the place in you that feels deeply connected to yourself, to others, and to the world. It is the place in you that wants to DO SOMETHING!–wants to make a difference, a real difference. It is the place in you that is dying to live a fuller life. Yes, that is your Soul calling out to you. It wants you to pay attention.

If you start listening to what your Soul is saying, and start dis-engaging from the ego’s messages of lack (which, by the way, just by listening to the Soul you start to dis-engage the ego), your grip on outside sources for happiness will loosen. You can still use them if you want–please, indulge away! But the dependency will lift. Practicing living Soul Fully does not mean giving up feeling giddy or joyful or excited or in LOVE with him or anything else. You still get those highs, in fact, you’re going to get more of them! What it does mean, though, is you will not feel dependent on him for happiness anymore. When he leaves you (literally or figuratively) you, if you are connected to your Soul, will remain in-tact. You aren’t going to completely fall apart. You aren’t going to loose you s#*t! If you practice living guided by your Soul, you are always going to know, on the deepest level, that you are more than ok. And the rest is just gravy.


  1. jamiev42 on June 27, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Great post Shelly, I agree wholeheartedly

  2. HealThy Self on June 27, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Nicely stated Shelly. Here is a question though too… if it’s true that what we seek for in others is what we feel that we lack in ourselves, then doesn’t that mean that if we are fully in our own “soul”, that we would just live celibate lives and not need/want anything from someone else? Or, what is “love” with another being supposed to be like when you reach that point of being at ease with your own self? Perhaps these are points you can address in another post. Keep them coming 🙂
    -Rachael 🙂

    • Shelly Bullard on June 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Good questions Rachael. Here’s my short answer. No way. We are relational beings and if we are here to do anything, it is to be in relationship (I would take it a step further and say we are actually here to love–but I won’t veer off on the tangent now). Most people would agree with that. If we weren’t constantly in relationship the human race wouldn’t have made it this far. So, given this truth then question is not whether to be in relationship or not (celibacy really isn’t an option), but is more about the quality of relationship to be in. And here we have two options–to be connected to other’s from our egos (the lacking, fearful state) or to be connected to others from our Souls (a loving state).

      The natural state of Soul is to be connected–not only to partners but to people and places and the world in general. Soul is love, and love is felt in relationship to what is all around us. It is the most dynamic energy there is. It is creative, abundant and ever-evolving. When you spend more time in you Soul, you are living in a deeply-loving state (for yourself and others). It is far from disconnected and celibate–the opposite actually.

      Living more in your Soul is a practice. You said “when you reach that place within yourself” and it’s more like it’s a place for us to continue to reach for over and over again. The ego is always comes up with messages of lack and judgment (either of ourselves or others) and it is when this occurs, we are being called to engage our Soul. The more we practice this, the more it becomes our default. The world becomes less harsh, less judgmental (because we are becoming less harsh and less judgmental) and filled with much more love and abundance (because we are). Relationships become less about needing, and more about co-creating an experience together.

      I hope this answered your questions. Let’s talk more about it. XO

      • Tricia on April 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm

        Hello, tnks for the article! It was very inspiring!! But I want to ask a question, wich I have no answer to… How do I get to leave more from my soul, i want to reach this place inside me that you talk about, but sadly I don´t seem to know how to get there! Do you have ideas for me! Thank you! Tricia

        • Shelly Bullard on April 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm

          Living in your Soul is all about being as authentic as you can be. So the first part of the process is finding our who you really are. We do this by asking ourselves big questions: Who am I? What do I really want in life? What is my purpose? And then we listen for the answer (meditation helps here). And then we follow our truth. I hope this helps. 🙂

  3. HM on September 1, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Shelly, this is amazing, beautiful advice .. and right when I truly needed it. In fact, I found your blog right when I needed it and have been thoroughly enjoying everything you write!! Please keep up your beautiful work, Hannah X

  4. Sarah on March 9, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Thank you for this article. I’ve been experiencing this over the last 6 months in an intense long distance relationship; feeling addicted to the highs I get from it. But it’s just a temporary feeling, and is often replaced by crushing lows if I don’t hear from him or if the conversation isn’t fulfilling that “need”. For the last few years I’ve been going through a time of internal awakening, feeling called to find my life’s purpose and figure out what really makes me happy, and it’s been extremely challenging and scary. I wonder if this “addiction” is a way for my ego to distract me from the pain and discomfort of that journey?

    • Shelly Bullard on March 10, 2014 at 4:14 am

      I find us that the addiction indicates where we need to grow. Good luck on your journey! xo

Before you dive any deeper...

Hi, I’m Shelly!

I’m a relationship coach, licensed marriage & family therapist, wife, girl mom, world traveler and… a damn good manifesting teacher.

On any random Saturday, you could find me hiking in the Redwoods with my family during the day AND relaxing to all songs on 🎶the foggy jazz🎶 station on Spotify in the evening with my man…

I’ve helped 125,000+ expansive, beautiful humans manifest their desires through my YouTube channel.

Over the last decade, I transformed my love life… I went from feeling terrified that I may never find love or have a family of my own to manifesting marriage, my baby, our dream home, and so much more. Now, I want to help you do the same.

Hey love! Let’s manifest love, relationships & wealth together.

You with me?

Tired of the same old inbox experience? Think of me as your manifestation big sister, here to guide and inspire you in relentlessly claiming your beautiful desires. I’m here to deliver a blend of affirmations, meditations, visualizations, real-life love stories and practical manifestation tools right into your inbox.






The 3 Most Important Steps to Manifest Your Specific Person



4 Steps to Manifest the Greatest Love of Your Life



7 Easy & Unexpected Ways to Manifest Money



3 Self Love Journal Prompts That Will Change Your Life