Self Care After Narcissistic Abuse

As I slowly recover from the wounds of the narcissistic abuse and domestic violence (and I mean SLOWLY), I’ve started to realize how important self care is. If you’re like me, you’re having a hard time jumping back into the life you can hardly remember before the narcissistic abuse or domestic violence took place.

Things, such as going to the gym on a daily basis, come hard for me these days. I used to go every day, sometimes even twice a day, before I suffered the trauma and abuse. But I’m SLOWLY easing back into it. And I’m not going to lie, it’s not making me feel better. Some days I leave the gym feeling worse (please note: the gym is a trigger for me, so that’s why. I’m not discouraging exercise by any means). I’ll be honest, I’ve been coping by drinking way too much alcohol and taking way too much Xanax (it’s prescribed). I’m determined to find at least one self care activity that’ll help with the healing process that can move me away from the alcohol and drug abuse.

Below is a list of self care activities I’ve tried since beginning my healing journey from narcissistic abuse and domestic violence:

  • Starting this blog
  • Journaling
  • Writing letters to my ex (that he’ll never see, but it helps me cope)
  • Slowly easing back into my exercise routine (exercise classes, lifting weights, running, and getting a personal trainer)
  • Drawing
  • Coloring

A lot of things I want to do for self care are triggers for me, such as getting a massage (the last massage I had was a couples massage with my ex while we were on vacation in the Caribbean), or taking a quick getaway trip (the last quick getaway I had was with him). Unfortunately it feels like everything is a trigger.

The Importance of Self Care After Narcissistic Abuse & Domestic Violence

I meet with my domestic violence social worker often to prepare for my ex’s upcoming trial. But we also talk about other things, such as the importance of self care. It’s so important during the healing process to take care of yourself. Most of us, if not all of us, lost our identities due to the narcissistic abuse we endured. We need to relearn how to love ourselves, take care of ourselves, and put ourselves first again. My social worker suggested a self care book, which I contemplated for weeks now, but finally gave in and bought one. I did a lot of research around which book to buy. I know it’s just a book, but I wanted to make sure I found the right one for my situation and personality. I just received it in the mail today and I can’t wait to get started. It’s actually a workbook called, “How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad),” by Lee Crutchley. I’ll keep you posted on how it works for me, but I flipped through it and it looks like this could be the right direction.

What are some of your self care tips after surviving narcissistic abuse and/or domestic violence? I’d love to hear them, as I need some ideas to add to my list. Let me know in the comments.

Originally published at on December 3, 2017.