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    @Genie thank you so much for taking the time to reply even in your busy schedule. I hope you and Jay can see each other soon! The reunion will be sooo worth it. I hope things are going well at your family’s place. They are lucky to have you!

    Your advice around not cutting all contact is solid; at the moment I feel the distance is beneficial but I would like to connect up with her again in a few weeks.

    I did get back in touch with her briefly earlier in the week  because a friend of mine, through a friend of hers, sent me some information about past behaviour of hers that really didn’t sit well with me. The friend of the friend somehow found out that we had been dating and thought it was important I know. I am not one to give too much weight to gossip but it was weighing on my mind so I asked her about it and we had a brief conversation. I am glad I raised it now because it was clouding my feelings somewhat and I wouldn’t have felt comfortable starting up contact with her again without her knowing that I know. she seems to own what she did and be making changes in her life as a result so I don’t think it will affect our chances of friendship.

    It’s been interesting observing my feelings. I was very sad the day and night of receiving her text, and I just let myself cry as much as I could. But since then I have not been nearly as sad, like I had a short, sharp burst of it and now it’s tapered off. I can feel myself learning to just let emotions pass through and know that I won’t feel this way forever; this is great progress for me as throughout my life I’ve been taught to put on a “brave face” and it has made things harder in the long run because I don’t give myself the time to process hard things properly. It has also been beneficial to be able to lean on friends- I have some amazing friends who are so supportive of me which always helps.

    You are right Genie, love and relationships certainly aren’t like Hollywood films! Lets hope there aren’t tooooo many more lessons eh! Thanks again for the ongoing cheerleading! Look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    I hope you are okay @michelle. I miss your posts; check in when you can. X


    oh the rollercoaster of dating!! Buckle up @genie and @michelle

    So we met up last night and things went well. After 8 weeks of not having face to face interaction with anyone but my two flatmates I was more than a bit shellshocked. But I warmed up soon enough and we had a nice dinner and then went back to my place to watch a movie as planned. It was a bit awkward at first, as these first times are, but soon enough we ended up holding hands and then cuddling and I felt so nice and warm and fuzzy. Then the movie ended and the credits rolled and she repositioned herself to kiss me and all my fantasies were becoming reality. Things carried on for quite awhile; we were clearly both into it, off came clothes and well, things got a bit more physical than I expected even. Then we just lay together for for awhile, in the glow, you know the one. And then she left because she had to drive home and while part of me wanted her to stay I reassured myself that there was plenty of time for that. She thanked me for a lovely night and said she’d had a good time; I agreed. She messaged me a funny picture, sort of an inside joke, when she got home and I responded about it in relation our next date and she agreed.  I fell asleep feeling great, excited to explore things more now we could meet regularly.

    this morning I woke up feeling very anxious as I usually do after dates, and especially this time as things had obviously escalated way beyond what they had before. I resisted texting her immediately and zoomed with an overseas friend. Then I found that she had left something behind so I took a photo and sent a jokey text. She responded straight away and we had a few texts back and forth, but she seemed less enthusiastic than me in tone which worried me. I wanted to seek reassurance that she’d found things ok and apologise for potentiality being a bit hesitant physically and explain there was a lot to process going from 8 weeks of no contact to a lot of physical contact. But I reminded myself that that strategy doesn’t work and to just try and sit with it and trust she meant what she said.

    Then I got a text a few hours later and I knew seeing the length in the preview that it was a rejection text. She basically said that while she’s so glad we got to meet and that I’m x y and z good quality being with me made her realise she’s not over her last relationship and didn’t want to string me along, but would love to be friends. Oh that familiar sting of rejection!!! I spent a few minutes thinking about a response and essentially thanked her for her honesty but also said that I had gotten my hopes up and wasn’t sure I was up for friendship before I worked through my feelings. I also asked if I could have done anything differently. We ended up having a really nice, but sad, “it’s not you it’s me” exchange. I told her that while it will hurt because she has become a comforting part of my life I needed to cut contact for awhile (learning!) and would be in touch in a few weeks to see where I was at in terms of being friends. She said she would miss my messages too but would be here when I was ready.

    And then I reached out to the one friend who knew the most about it and cried and cried, reaches out to more friends, and cried some more! And here I am, lying in bed lamenting that we were here together just last night and cursing being in this situation again. Do I think she was someone I would have been with forever? No, but the loss of potential is sad all the same. We had started making plans; she had invited me to a birthday party she was planning to have in a month with close friends and family. I don’t doubt she had feelings for me, but I guess felt she couldn’t commit to it fully. The fact I couldn’t have done anything differently both heartens and saddens me, because it illustrates perfectly how things are often not in our control – timing, where other people are at, and so on, and that’s hard.

    So anyway, no doubt I’ll be sad for awhile. And who knows what our relationship will be in future, but I have learned that only time brings clarity and for now I have to just take care of myself. This whole experience did teach me that I for one am 100% over my ex which is great progress in itself, and I wish the same for her because it’s awful pining over something in the past while letting new possibilities I.e. a relationship with me pass you by. I do feel a whole lot stronger this time and I know I will be ok – obviously things didn’t progress to the same extent as they did last time, so it’s not heartbreak just bitter disappointment! I am proud that I put myself out there again and proud I have chosen a decisive course of action and set firm boundaries from the start. I have definitely learned a lot- just have to trust that one day the timing is right. But for tonight and maybe a few after that, I’ll let myself cry about it!!!

    Thanks for reading. Love to you both.


    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Adelaide1.

    Hey @genie and @michelle!

    Genie, so proud of you for how you reacted to your ex and how far you have come in recognising your worth! You are absolutely right that a stable, steady relationship is so much better than the on/off again. Sounds like you have made amazing progress in dealing with your anxiety, and you deserve every happiness that comes your way! I hope the move has gone well and you are settling in nicely.

    Excuse the shouting but LOCKDOWN IS LIFTED AND WE ARE GOING ON A REAL DATE TOMORROW! It has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions; we scheduled it at the beginning of the week BUT then my flatmate got sick with a cold and the threshold is very very low for testing here at this point so she had to get tested, which meant I couldn’t go out til she got negative results back. I could hardly concentrate today I was so angsty. Today marks 8 weeks of strict lockdown for me and I was mildly losing the plot at the thought of having to reschedule this date, especially because lots of my friends have been catching up with their families and friends the last couple of days. Luckily the test came back late this afternoon, so I am free to socialise! We are going to a local restaurant and she is clearly excited as well! It seems surreal that my first outing after two months will be to go on a date, lol! I am very proud of myself to have got to this point. Couldn’t have done it without the support of this forum. Let’s see what happens. 🙂

    Funnily enough my ex got in touch too after I posted about the testing drama and while I felt a spike of anxiety, the chemical pull mo linger has a grip! I am so glad I took the advice you first gave me Michelle which was, don’t try to keep in contact. It felt so awful at the time but you were so right – worth it in the long term.

    Hope you are both keeping safe over there – and staying alert – whatever that bloody means!! Will update you after the date. Wish me luck!!!


    Hey @michelle and @genie

    Good to hear from you both. I keep you in my thoughts daily looking at the news coming out of the UK. Absolutely dreadful! There is a great video circulating the internet comparing the UK and NZ government responses and it really highlights the starkness of it. I really hope you can see your families soon and you and everyone you know stay well. Look forward to sharing some great local tips when the time comes Michelle; hell, I’ll even pick up the tab if you come to my city! Good to hear you are treating yourself to some familiar cuisine. NZ food is very similar to the UK’s being a colony and all. I can’t believe people can still fly into the UK to be honest – I think our borders will be closed til at least next year… (speculating but wouldn’t be surprised). Lots of time to save up for a massive post pandemic travel splurge I guess!

    Genie, genuinely so lovely to read about your anxiety disappearing lately, and how very exciting that you have now met Jays parents – virtually at least! Huge progress that you should be very proud of! So glad you are only looking forward now and deservedly looking forward to the possibilities the future holds! I hope the others are doing well too.

    All good things to report on my front! The parcel she sent ended up being some treats from the local bakery, yum! I texted her to thank her and she joked about me bringing her breakfast in bed so I actually got food delivered to her house on a delivery app and she was so stoked; it was a really nice exchange.

    We have got into a pattern of being contact throughout parts of the day now; most of the conversation is light and flirty, but we have also both shown a more vulnerable side which is nice. During a deeper conversation I expressed that to be honest I was a bit worried about my lack of experience physically and not meeting her expectations. She responded so kindly and gently, I was touched. She also told me directly that she liked me a lot and is really looking forward to meeting up in person, and I made it clear I feel the same!


    So now it is just a matter of when… the government is making a decision to move down levels or not next Monday and so it is possible we could meet up later that week! But also depends on her sister as she is in a high risk category so may have to be careful. In the meantime, we have got into a nice pattern of isodate movie watching which I will happily keep up. But yeah it would be super nice to meet in person sooner rather than later, not gonna lie!

    A potential lockdown love story… I have to chuckle, so on brand for me in terms of the ridiculousness of it all! Til the next installment, take care and thanks as always for your great support! I owe you both a lot. 🙂


    Hey @genie and @michelle! Nice to hear from you both.

    Glad you are feeling better Genie and I know what you mean about preferring virtual methods; I’ve found the same in a lot of respects. So much less stressful. I also know what you mean about the anxiety spiking less – I guess it is all part of adjusting to our circumstances.

    I agree with your assessment of the UK response. So much needless death and hardship for people due to poor leadership! Really feel for your sister too – having to deal with CF would be hard at the best of times, nevermind at the moment. Really hope you can reunite with her soon!

    Stoked to hear that Jay is planning another date. How exciting! Let us know how it goes!

    Michelle, thanks for your wise words as usual – so right that it is just about building trust over time. I feel I am slowly doing that and not so insecure as a result. I really, really hope you get to visit NZ after all this is done! It is an absolutely stunning country and I would love to share some local tips with you! I was actually planning on visiting Europe, including the UK, later this year after a few years of saving up but ha… maybe in a few years eh!! Will make the most of NZ in the meantime.

    Things are positive at my end! We have kept talking daily, I have sent her another parcel to celebrate the start of a new job, and according to her I should be expecting another myself tomorrow! I have always loved sending people surprise gifts so this is ideal, and having the favour returned is a real bonus! We didn’t have an isodate this week – and I was feeling a bit bummed she didn’t raise it – til she texted me saying “I know we usually isodate on Wednesdays but can we rain check?” And I was like oooh, do we now… 🙂 Nice to know she was thinking about it after all and we already have a movie for one lined up next week.

    I still go through periods of feeling anxious, feeling like she may not like me as much as I do her but then contrary evidence presents itself – like tonight when she asked how I felt about navigating two steps at her house when I eventually come over for dinner, because she likes planning in advance and if she was going to cook at my place instead she’d change the menu. I felt so warm and fuzzy knowing she is planning for the future and thinking about what I need And working around potential barriers! So yes, slowly building up that trust as you describe Michelle, and with it excitement too! She only lives about 5km away, but we are still under strict instructions that we should not meet with anyone outside our household “bubble” so it will at least be a few more weeks before we have any chance of meeting in person probably. It is super nice to have that to look forward to though and unlike with my ex I feel a lot more confident in what I have to offer and the kind of relationship I want. Proud of that!

    Lockdown wise, as I say, pretty much still in lockdown except we can order takeaways now. My flatmates and I ordered Malaysian last night and it was sooo good after almost 6 weeks of having to cook every night. Over the weekend I am going to get my first “contactless” flat white – again, first bought coffee in almost 6 weeks. I’m very, very excited!

    So yes, all good news here! Have a great weekend and look forward to letting you know what treats I get delivered and how my next isodate goes. Take care. Xx


    Hey both

    Fabulous news about the isodate Genie! Very excited for you. I’m sorry to hear you continue to feel unwell; agree with Michelle that some fresh air and time outdoors would probably be good. I can understand why that may worry you though.

    I am based in New Zealand; you may have heard our PM’s response being praised. Very strict lockdown measures from very early on, prior to any deaths. Of course it helps that we are an island at the bottom of the world but the swift response seems to have done the trick and I feel very grateful indeed to be here. From next Tuesday we will move down a lockdown ‘level’ to being able to get takeaways delivered – but otherwise still at home – looking forward to not having to cook every night! After two weeks of that they will review the situation and hopefully from there restrictions can be gradual eased. Very grateful to have a timeframe – many other places are not so lucky because things have got out of control. And I am lucky to have very strong social networks so have been catching up with heaps of friends virtually, as well as my flatmates in person. Am thinking of you both and hope you and your families keep safe and well! And yes it is hard not to get into politics eh!!

    Isodate went well! Movie we watched was average but we messaged throughout so didn’t really matter, then FaceTimed for a bit after. She said she enjoyed my company and thanked me for a great time and yet my anxiety was gnawing at me again all night, about how the conversation went and what I did or didn’t say, whether she enjoyed it really or was just saying that. Same old! My instinct is always to reach out and seek reassurance but I learned with my ex that when I’m in this space no amount of reassurance works. So instead I just sat with it and as suspected felt better throughout the day. She messaged me to check in late afternoon and we texted on and off all evening – playfully and quite often flirtatiously. I really enjoy her company even at a distance and she obviously enjoys mind also! As I think I said my ex never really texted just to make conversation and it made me feel very insecure so I am still getting used to the difference in communication style but it’s definitely positive and I’m glad I didn’t let my anxiety drive my reaction. Seems like we are on track for another isodate at some point and  hopefully one in person soon enough!

    Thanks for your kind words about relearning things. This sort of thing is a lifetime of work but given my progress in the last six months I am excited about further positive changes. Just gotta keep working at it eh.

    Take care both. Make sure you tell us about your impending isodate Genie! I’m in my cheerleading T-shirt for you. 🙂



    Hey both

    @genie I hope you are feeling better! Anxiety can have such strong manifestations physically. I’ve been having dance parties where I can, putting on uplifting music and just going for it! I find it helps shake me out of the worst of it.

    I really feel for you both in the UK in terms of the ongoing uncertainty about when lockdown will be lifted. Where I live things are much more contained. Hope you are able to connect with your family as much as you can; sending love! Love that the older generation is embracing the video tech too @michelle and that you got to connect with your parents. I am not an overly physically affectionate person but physical contact is definitely something I miss too – even just the little everyday incidental contact; the things we take for granted!

    Thanks Genie for your reassurance about being here to support. You’re right, repressing grief only leads to more pain in the long run. I wish my parents had taught me this growing up as it’s only after seeking therapy that I am learning how much not labeling and processing my feelings has affected me and held me back but everyone has their own coping mechanisms I guess. At least I can change it for myself now.

    Ice cream iso-date tonight! I love the feeling of excitement you get before a date, especially a second one because you know the first one went well enough that you both want to do it again. Should be fun! She got the flower cookies a couple of days ago and loved the idea. 🙂 We will realistically not be able to meet in person for another 3 weeks, maybe more, so will have to keep being creative. We have kept up daily contact and I am slowly getting over my communication anxieties I feel… every time either I or her react differently to what I’ve experienced before I get a little more confident. You’re right I think Michelle, just a general lack of confidence in this area I think. Good to know that I can build it slowly but surely!

    Was talking to a friend yesterday who is going through that painful phase post breakup where they are realising keeping up contact is ultimately hindering them. I was saying to them that even though cutting contact feels absolutely awful short term it is essential to healing long term. I would never have believed that when I first joined here but looking back and looking where I am now it is so true, so thank you for your kind but firm advice in that aspect.

    Take care both! I’ll let you know how the second date goes!



    Hey both!

    @genie Thanks for your nice feedback on my writing. I’m glad you find it helpful! Thanks so much for the cheerleading and support! Re “cutting the cord”, the latest interactions I’ve had with both my ex and flirty acquaintance has been on Twitter which is public anyway. I’ve committed to myself that I’ll only interact with them on public platforms now, if at all, as they’ll be able to see what I say regardless – but you’re right there’s always a risk of temptation. I think now that I see how unfulfilling the relationship with my ex was, from an objective perspective, it’s unlikely. Like you say, progress! 🙂

    I think Michelle has excellent advice re Jay coming to stay with you. Let us know what you decide! I am very happy to hear that you too have moved on and recognised you deserve a life-giving relationship! I do think you guys should consider a series of iso-dates if you don’t end up together in quarantine; amazing how creative one can get!


    @Michelle, your celebrations sound lovely! And reading about you planning your next adventures made me smile. Must be extra sweet to do so knowing you have the all clear health wise!

    It’s reassuring that you can relate to the ‘rules’ thing as I do feel a bit ridiculous! And I think you’re right about it being a need to get things ‘right’. What I am learning too is that different people of course react differently – so reminding myself that just because my ex did or didn’t do something doesn’t mean this person will do the same makes me less afraid to try things out.

    Our next iso-date we are thinking we will eat ice cream in our pajamas and watch something together again. What makes it quite cute is that she got ice cream delivered to my house (I knew she was getting something delivered but wasn’t sure what), so we will be eating matching ice cream! I also ordered her some flower shaped cookies because it’s the closest thing I can find to flowers at the moment. I don’t think she’s got them yet though.Who says romance isn’t possible long distance… 🙂

    Re resilience and humour, yep humour is my go-to, too! I haven’t seen my therapist in awhile but when I am talking about my anxieties, or a particular thought pattern of mine, she has said to me a few times “you’re laughing about this?” And I say “yes because it is so typical of me!” so yep it does really help to have a laugh at our own expense. I have the resilient feeling you describe  in other areas of my life but it’s fair to say that because I am so inexperienced with romantic relationships, I have a lot of work to do to build it in this aspect. However as you say, the more I do or don’t do things the more confident I feel so I guess I just have to keep at it.

    Thanks both for your kind words about my friend’s/Flatmate’s suicide. I feel like therapy has helped me in terms of just being ok with sitting in the sadness of it all whenever I need to. And being ok with the fact that even if other people in my life don’t acknowledge the impact of it on me (e.g my parents, whose way of dealing with hard things is to minimise them), I can acknowledge it myself.

    Sheesh, I do feel I have put a lot of work into some heavy stuff the last six months or so. Nice to reap some benefits from it. Thanks for always being a great sounding board! Take care! X


    Hey again!

    @michelle, hope you had an awesome celebration! Good food and drink can go a long way even if you can’t go out for it!

    Thanks for being agreeable about being my cheerleader hah! Don’t worry I am definitely not the frilly skirt type either but we can definitely get tshirts! You are so right about the thinking-action balance which I am very much still trying to get right. But trying is the key word.

    I feel I have let my anxiety get the best of me the last couple of days, but in other ways I am proud of myself. I have found myself overthinking things quite a lot in terms of our communication after the date. It’s so interesting because I recognise much of it feels the same when I was having communication anxieties when I was with my ex. I just get so anxious about communicating too much or too little, the tone of it, how the other person responds to what I say, who messages who first, how the conversation ends. And then in order to try and reduce this anxiety I create all these different ‘rules’ for myself in my mind about how I will communicate, and as predicted it just leads to more anxiety and less control! So I have been trying to instead take a step back and reconsider how I react when I feel like this, but it is so tempting to fall into the same patterns. I read somewhere that the brain loves the familiar, so it seeks that out even if the familiar is unpleasant.

    Anyway the short of it is that, despite all my overthinking, we have been in touch and she has made some hints at what we could do on our next date. So there really is nothing to be concerned about; it’s just my lack of self esteem making me think that it’s not going to go anywhere, or that she will choose someone else because why would she choose me. Honestly, I feel like I did when I was a kid in these moments; scared and timid. I can travel back in my minds eye to memories that evoke exactly the same feelings from when I was very small to when I was a teenager. I just need to be able to reassure the scared and timid kid that things will be ok whatever happens and that there is no need to try and rush things or people please.

    I also have been dealing with some big feelings. Today is the anniversary of a former Flatmate’s suicide and of course that always brings up all sorts of feelings. What I am proud of is that, I posted about it on social media and my ex replied saying she was sending love and thinking of me (I talked to her about it quite a lot). And though I thought about it I resisted replying or using it as an excuse to reach out to her, whereas even a couple of months ago I would have almost certainly done so and caused myself a lot of pain.  Likewise, funnily enough the “flirtatious acquaintance” I have talked about got in touch with me after about a month of no contact (about something else) and we had a brief conversation on social media but again I didn’t use it as an excuse to message her. So… some progress to celebrate!

    I’ll keep trying, s’all we can do. No doubt these feelings will come up again and again, but just have to change the way I react a little  each time and soon enough feeling overwhelmed by then will happen less. I hope???!

    Thanks again for your support both. Have a good weekend. Xx



    Hey @genie and @michelle!

    Michelle, what wonderful news! I am so happy for you. A huge relief indeed. Well done on taking your own advice – no doubt it was good!

    Genie, sounds like that pesky inner critic is holding you back a bit, but it’s great you recognise that. I have been learning that trying to control things is all a ruse anyway. It helps anxiety in the short term but doesn’t actually relieve anything at the end of the day; it’s all a perception of control more than anything. I’m sure you know this already! As you say he has stuck by you this far. And you gave me some great advice about just enjoying the moment, without expectation, so why don’t you just try do more of that? I often find myself getting stuck in patterns of “I don’t want to seem too X so I will or won’t do Y”, but I’m learning that that isn’t necessarily helpful and the best interactions are when I just let myself go and enjoy them for what they are without thinking too much. Hope you are able to see each other in person soon enough!

    Update on the isodate (not sure if I made that up or saw it somewhere but I do love it too). Thanks for your support and good wishes! We did it tonight and it was really fun. I was a bit nervous but was just myself and I feel we connected well. We FaceTimed and then watched a stream of a theatre show and messaged a bit, then FaceTimed again. The conversation felt like it flowed easily and was a bit flirty here and there. At the end she said that she really enjoyed it and that she would talk to me again soon. I said that we’d have to do this again another time and she agreed and blew me a kiss through the screen which I guess is as good as it gets in lockdown! So I have that nice post-date buzz. The challenge is now for me to sit with the anxiety trying to break through – this is common for me. Something will go well and feel natural and then the anxious, critical thoughts start. The ‘what ifs’ about her not contacting me again or it not going as well as I thought. The nice thing is that I feel I am more able to just let these thoughts be here without reading too much into them. And given last time this happened, I had not had a ‘proper’ relationship, there were a lot more unknowns which are not as scary anymore because I have been here before and know it’s possible. And happily I did not think of or pine for my ex, except that the more time passes the more I realise that she really wasn’t what I was looking for in many ways but I am still very grateful I had the experience and wish her well.

    So… there we go! Seems like there will be more to report in future hopefully!! I couldn’t wait to tell you guys – you’ve become my relationship cheerleading squad of sorts. Thank you so much for your support! Hope lockdown life continues to go ok. Chat soon. Xo


    Hey @genie and @michelle

    Thanks for checking in! I followed the other thread for a bit and then the replies got a bit overwhelming so I didn’t check back for a bit. Keen to connect with you all though.

    Quite enjoying life in lockdown all things considered. I think my brain likes the certainty of knowing how the days are going to go and not having the stress of commuting to work or the reactions or strangers going about my day. Unlike a lot of countries we have a clear lockdown system and clear rules, and a timeframe for reviewing those rules. So a lot of my anticipatory anxiety is gone. It seems a bit… off… to be making the most of this lowering in anxiety given the wider context but it is what it is. I am actually more worried about re-aclimatising after this is all over but we’ll deal with that when I get there.

    In an unexpected twist of events, I also have an ‘iso-date’ lined up. Been talking to a person I met online  pretty solidly for a week now, and she suggested it. She seems lovely, and we have enjoyable conversations. She  found out that I use a wheelchair without me telling her because we have some mutual friends on Twitter and I really could not have hoped for a better response, which is always such a relief for me. We have agreed to keep being open with one another and once lockdown lifts, go on a date to see how we get along in person. I am trying really hard to not get ahead of myself and fantasise too much. And also recognise familiar patterns and take a step back to analyse my instincts and reactions more objectively before taking action. It’s not easy at all, but I do think I am learning! Whatever happens, I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there and I think I will make a new friend out of it at the least. Stay tuned, I guess!!

    How are you and Jay going Genie?

    Glad you are well and making the most of the sun and outdoor space, Michelle. It’s the same around here – so many more people out and about!

    Take care both. Happy Easter!



    Doseofreality, again appreciate your intention but don’t feel your blanket approach recognises the nuances of people’s experiences and circumstances. For example, as someone who fits the category of potentially being ‘not worth saving’ should the health system be overwhelmed with cases, due to assumptions about my quality of life and the value that people like me bring the world, I am rightly most focused on simply surviving- literally. I can still practise gratitude for what I have, try to focus on positive thoughts etc but the reality is life is more complex than that for many people, especially at the moment. Sure, some people may be able to see this situation as the “reset” you describe but that’s a privilege in itself.


    Hi all

    @genie Thanks so much for your continued support! You always make me feel good, even when I don’t particularly feel like I’m making progress. Download an app called Netflix Party on your PC and you can tune in to Netflix at the same time and chat, though my sister and I have been doing it over video call the last few nights which works as well. Happy romcom watching!


    @michelle Solid advice as usual, thanks. Yes time is often the enemy of my anxious brain, but I know that distraction is only a band aid really so being forced to sit with these thoughts and work through them isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just feels uncomfortable. A few months ago I would have tried to deal with it by seeking a response from my ex but as I’ve learned that just drives further anxiety. And I now value myself enough not to put myself through that. Glad to hear that you are back in the UK and finding things okay!


    @Shelbyville Waiting for a test result must be really anxiety-inducing! Glad to know I’m not the only one having an annoying amount of thoughts about my ex at this time. You’re right not to berate yourself over it and be gentle with yourself. Love the image of the inflatable raft you are trying to build in your mind. I agree, just have to focus on getting through day by day and exercising gratitude where we can while taking care not to get sucked into the hysteria of the news.

    @Kkkasxo nice to hear from you! Glad you are surviving despite all the challenges of quarantine. You’re right, freedom and being reunited with our loved ones will feel so sweet when this is all over.

    @Doseofreality I know what you’re trying to do and appreciate the intention but personally your approach has little effect on me. I’m self aware to know that it’s because a lot of my thoughts and ways I react to things are driven by a sense of shame, so someone else shaming me doesn’t have the motivational effect you’re hoping it does. Personally I am my own biggest critic so there’s nothing anyone else could say that I haven’t told myself. Not being self pitying, just honest. Clearly helpful for some people though, as Sammy has articulated above. Like Michelle says it’s all a balance.

    Not really much to report from me. Just trying to navigate this strange reality we are in. I lived through some significant earthquakes 9-10 years ago and it feels somewhat easier than that in at least having power and water in the proceeding and not having to worry about further damage caused by  aftershocks, but on the other hand the global nature and ultimate invisibility of it all makes it hard I think. Interestingly my anxiety levels are lower than they are when everything in my life is actually fine which if I think about it is messed up, but on another level makes sense. I felt a lot more anxious when I first got into a relationship, for example, even when it was bringing a lot of joy and excitement  and I know it’s because I’m afraid of being abandoned/alone more than anything else. Anyway, like others have said, just recognising that everyone has different responses and ways of dealing with the stress of this time and supporting each other will get us through! Take care all. x


    Hey all

    Nice to see this thread so active and people supporting each other. Wish there weren’t new people joining going through the pain of heartbreak but you’re in good company! There is such a wealth of great advice in this thread that has helped me through my lowest points. I’ve been reading but too tired to write something; just the general vibe of the world at the moment I guess.

    @shelbyville, @michelle, @genie – many thanks for your kind responses about how well I’m doing. I still often don’t feel it so it’s nice to get objective feedback!

    @genie, thanks for checking in – I miss you ladies as well! I am generally in good spirits, just settling in to lockdown life I suppose. It’s strange in many ways but not bad. I’m generally keeping occupied and connected  with workmates and friends.  Been thinking about my ex a bit and saw some photos of hers pop up on Instagram tonight which never helps… I tend to get a bit stuck in obsessing over the good memories we had and also daydreaming of what could have been. All fantasy though. I read awhile ago that this is common with people who are codependent; some kind of protective mechanism. Like Shelby said with her ex I know she will not reach out or be thinking of me at all… so I find it uber frustrating when I get into these cycles. But I know from experience frustration doesn’t help, only letting it pass naturally does. I can say with confidence that I don’t wish we were together because I know she ultimately wouldn’t make me happy, but I guess I’m just projecting my loneliness onto past experiences. Only solution is to keep putting energy into building relationships with a range of other people, I guess. Like you say Genie I don’t want heartbreak to close me off – not that it’s a particularly ideal time to meet new people! As for my brother, like Shelby says families are tricky and it’s best just to focus on my sister for now. Had a nice time with her watching Netflix together (by distance) tonight and luckily her and my parents are both still well.

    Very glad to hear you were able to talk through your anxieties with Jay. It makes me happy that you feel so loved in such an authentic way – you deserve it, as we all do! Can’t wait til you get to kiss him again! I remember that giddy feeling so well… I can almost feel of just thinking about it. There is not much better!

    Don’t feel I have been particularly coherent in this post but going to leave if there for now and rest. Hope you and your families are all well; this is certainly a hard time, heartbreak or not, anxiety or not so take care of yourselves and just take things day by day. I read something today that reassured me that it’s extremely understandable we are all tired given the scale of change in the world and that we are doing great just getting through however we can. Hope you can find some comfort in that idea too. Thanks for your support as always!


    Hey all

    I have been thinking of you all as we navigate these unprecedented times. I’m glad to see you check in @genie and @shelbyville and wish we could meet under better circumstances @sammy! You poor thing. Shelby and Genie have given great advice. And yes the people here are incredibly helpful and lovely. I hope you find some comfort in being able to share your struggles here and that things start feeling a little less intense soon.

    @shelbyville what strange circumstances to be meeting with your ex eh. It’s no wonder your feelings are all over the place, especially in the scheme of everything else happening. Be kind to yourself; everything happening at the moment IS a lot! A lot is a huge understatement to be honest, given the situation with your family members too. And you are coping really well, even if it feels like you’re not. It’s totally understandable you feel hurt by your interaction and the thought that you are not in the same place as him yet-  for what it’s worth, I have felt the same way with mine. Still don’t think you give yourself enough credit- it’s clear to me that you have learned plenty of lessons and that you have grown a lot. Your advice to Sammy and Genie shows that, as does the way you dealt with the interaction with your ex!  Feeling you on the collective anxiety and lack of control front- it’s exhausting! But sounds like you are putting great strategies in place- again, evidence of growth! Hoping you and your family stay safe and well. They are lucky to have you!

    I am ok! bewildered… if I look back on the last few days, I just have to laugh because the amount going on feels surreal. The Prime Minister here escalated things at the start of the week and has placed the country into a complete lockdown for 4 weeks; no going out except for essential services. We are officially on day 2. It was announced that there would be 48 hours for people to get ready, make last minute travel plans etc.

    I got a call from my parents on Monday night that my brother decided my sister, who was supposed to move in with him, couldn’t anymore because she worked in a supermarket and his girlfriend was worried about the risk of infection. Long story short I had to take control of the situation and book her a last minute flight home before the borders shut completely, which cost almost $1000. I was extremely taken aback by my brother’s response- while him and I and him and my sister are not close, I actually cannot believe he let his girlfriend talk him into hanging his younger sister out to dry in the midst of a global pandemic. I was so upset about it, for her and my family dynamics. He got word that I booked her a flight and messaged me basically justifying his decision- no appreciation of the fact that he has put our immunocompromised parents at risk now. I just have no time for his selfishness and will not be taking any steps to repair our relationship; any reparations have to come from him. Stark reminder of what ‘love’ can do to people’s brains…. In more positive news she is back and in quarantine in my parents’ house now. Who knows when I will see them but I am so glad she is back!

    So there was that… and then the sister of my housemate, who I am isolating with, got tested for Covid and she was over here the other day, and my housemate herself fell ill. So we have had to take extra measures to ensure she can strictly self-isolate while waiting for her sister’s test results. They came back negative at least! Still some residual anxiety though as they are not testing people here who have not been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case, so my housemate won’t get tested. Rationally, it does seem like she just had a cold… so hope she continues to get better, and we continue to keep well. There is literally a house across my street with a piece of paper in the window asking people to keep their distance because there is someone in the house with it. Extremely weird times…

    On top of that, have been pulled into various pandemic responses for my work – from home obviously. As Shelby says, everything is a lot at the moment!

    As for my ex… have been so distracted by everything else it seems like small fry to be honest. We have had a few messages back and forth, the last of which was after the lockdown announcement telling each other to stay safe. I assume she took the opportunity to travel to her parents, but feel there’s no point in asking or checking in with her again really. I have taken the attitude that those who want me in their lives will check in with me during this period of time and will make the effort to do so. As I said to a friend, if people are not able to demonstrate their care for you to the same extent as you are them during the most significant crisis of our time, friend or otherwise, there is no way in hell that you can have a healthy relationship in normal times. While in an alternative reality my ex and I would be in love and lockdown together and I yearn for the fantasy of that somewhat,  I recognise it as just that: an alternative reality. I am just so done with even seeking a response from both her and my flirty acquaintance, I just have no energy for it. I wish them both well, but want to put my energy into connections that are fulfilling and will be strengthened during this time, not connections that cause anxiety. Nothing like a global pandemic to clarify one’s priorities eh.

    Anyway, have rambled more than I intended as usual. Thanks for checking in with me! Hoping we all remain safe and well; like Genie said hearing from everyone is really reassuring – so hope you are both ok Michelle and Kkasxo. xx

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Adelaide1.
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