Ditching Drama as a Lifestyle Choice

D o you know those people? The folks who seem like something is always happening to them? Flat tires, broken hearts, ecstatic love affairs (that then crash and burn into tragic moments)? It’s an endless parade of always being busy, always "The Angry Woman" for McCall's Magazinealls_1948_bygwen_fremlinrunning out the door, always having things be better (or worse) than they are for anyone else.

Their life is all about the drama, baby.

Everything is a Big Deal. There are challenges around children and pets and work and love and friendships…

I’m sure we all know those people.  To be honest, darling, some of those people stare right back at is in the mirror. Not naming any names, of course (cough,cough, Me, 5 years ago).

Drama becomes the lifeblood of everyday living.

It’s the adrenalin rush. It’s the way of believing that you will attract the attention and time of folks around you. It’s the interactions with the people in our lives who believe they are the victims of circumstance. Nothing is “their fault,” and they are constantly seeking – even begging – to be rescued.

For those people there’s an addiction to both the drama and the adrenaline rush that comes with it that they seem to thrive on disaster.

It makes them feel like they matter.

So, a little truth for you, buttercup:  I became a bit of a Drama Queen after my divorce.  I had spent so many years being numb that I saw drama as proof  that I was finally alive. I made friends with other Drama Queens (& Kings).

I had this girlfriend whose life was totally upside down. There was drama with her daughter, her job, and her love life. Things were a downright tragedy, baby.

Of course, I didn’t see her situation as drama (cause I was right there with her in the Drama Trenches).She was a Spiritual Gal. She read the right books and did yoga and meditated. She ate a super clean diet.

When she had a bit of a breakdown / breakthrough, I wanted to coddle and protect her. I welcomed her into my home when she reached her rock bottom and she spent more than half of her days at my house in my spare bedroom, despite the fact that she had her own place.

It made the drama queen in me feel needed and worthy.

In August of 2010, my world shifted. I had planned to help JB move into this house over a long weekend and, instead, stayed three weeks.

Those three weeks were like a Drama Detox.

I woke up each morning feeling loved and cherished. When I went into the kitchen to make coffee, there wasn’t a teary-eyed girlfriend bemoaning lost love, there was a serene kitchen and quiet laughter. When JB headed off to work, I was given the gift of several hours of solitude. I went for long walks, meditated, wrote, and coached.

I learned to nourish my mind and my soul with the simple art of living.

I learned that I didn’t need problems and tragedy to make me feel alive. I felt more alive when I went about the day noticing the way the sunlight came into the living room.

Despite the fact that I’m an extrovert, and my energy is fed by interacting with other people, not interacting with drama actually added to my energy levels instead of draining them.

When JB came home from work each evening, I found grace in the simple sharing of a meal. I slept soundly each night, instead of struggling with sleep because of the litany of crazy mind chatter.

Don’t get me wrong, the sudden switch to a peaceful existence was scary as hell.

Some days, I wanted to run away. I learned the art of active meditation with running and chopping. The sudden change from living a fast-paced life forced me to grieve the death of my mother.

There was no racing heartbeat in the daily act of living that only came during moments of passion. I stopped existing and learned to fully live.

I began living when I chose to ditch drama as a lifestyle.

I learned that I could, instead, choose a more gentle approach. That I could create a daily life that felt nourishing and supportive through a peaceful treatment of myself and my soul.

I learned that life can feel loving by simply choosing to keep things simple. There doesn’t have to be distraction and things don’t have to be complicated. I also discovered that life didn’t have to be perfect.

In fact, perfectionism caused drama.

When I returned to my old world at the end of my Drama Detox, I had a culture shock.

I had been living this serene and fulfilling life and was thrust back into Drama Central. I spent the next four months traveling between the extremes: Serenity and Drama.

I began cultivating a life that nourished me on a bigger level.

During a four month time period, I took a hard look at what I was carrying with me. I looked at my stuff, my relationships, and the way I lived daily.

I began culling what didn’t fit me anymore: clothes, relationships, and furniture.

As I would pack my bags for another trip back to Ohio, I’d bring with me only what mattered: favorite shoes, books, my golf clubs. And I was leaving behind the need for drama.

Yes, like the excess clutter that fills out closets, moving away from drama is about creating space in our emotional lives. This space allows us to dream and think and more easily choose love over fear.

As you may have guessed, I’m no longer friends with this particular gal. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love her. It doesn’t mean that I don’t hope she has found peace and love. I just realized that I didn’t want to live that way.

And when we spend our time with Drama Queens and Kings, the lifestyle is going to rub off on us.

When we choose Drama as a Lifestyle, we are distracting ourselves from Creating the Life of our Dreams.  I know the rush makes you feel like you’re living, but trust me, darling. Drama cripples you.

How do we ditch drama as a choice?

Make molehills out of mountains. Choose to not have the last word and realize that you don’t have to one-up others. Go to gratitude. You stop going to the negative. You don’t make up larger than life stories in your head.

This doesn’t mean that I buy into a Pollyanna belief that life will be sunshine and roses. Life is beautifully imperfect and messy. We face challenges and tragedy.

The mere act of living means that some drama will be inevitable. There will be deaths of loved ones. There will be job stresses. There will be downright crappy days where everything seems to be upside down. There will be people who want to drag us into their issues.

But let me tell you the real deal, kitten: having a challenge or a problem doesn’t equal choosing to attach yourself to drama. Choosing to ditch drama as a lifestyle shows in how we navigate these moments.

And baby, it’s a choice to not live a daily drama lifestyle.

If you want to ditch drama as a lifestyle, then consciously make that choice.

Not sure where to begin? Get some help, darling.

Create a vision. Hire a coach. Take a class. Clear excess clutter. Walk away from relationships that drag you down (and drag you in). Decide how you want to feel. Create routines that keep you focused. Go to the sacred.

If this reformed Drama Queen can do it, then, darling, I have faith that you, too, can create a life you love. Drama Free.

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By Debra Smouse: Writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle, Debra helps people fall in love with their life. An expert de-tangler, she believes in busting clutter as a path to greater clarity and that within every woman is vibrant, passionate, and sexy being just itching to make their inner sex kitten roar. A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams.

2 Responses to “Ditching Drama as a Lifestyle Choice” Subscribe

  1. Maria Chambers November 18, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    What a great post!! And I love your writing style. Warm, funny and down to earth.

    Yes, life without drama at first can be unsettling. Boring, feeling a little lost, how do we now identify ourselves. And, yes, part of the drama especially for women is the care-taking roles. And, who are we without being that care-giver?

    I’m learning to be that care-giver for myself. So I can still use the gifts of compassion, just focus them on my own joy and well-being instead of others.

    Then we become the living examples of sovereign, self-loving beings that others can also choose for themselves.

    I also discovered that drama can take different forms: it can come in as a personal health issue, or just fears and anxieties without anyone else being involved. Yes, we can feel alive without drama, but most folks don’t allow themselves to feel.

    Thank you for a great post.

    Maria

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