Downward spiral and love

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This topic contains 86 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Grenada 1 month, 1 week ago.

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    Thankyou anita. The volcano analogy is very accurate. It feels so intense and so overwhelming and real, I do not know what to do until the feeling goes away on its own. It is like being taken over for a time. Brief periods of rest then feeling it all over again. I feel very weary. Since the time with the man we discussed, I have cried more than I have ever done in my life, so many days crying and curled up in a ball or desperate for sleep. My feelings feel scary and too big for me to handle.

    I feel at a loss to know how to move forward eg I do I begin to trust my feelings and trust myself and to make sense of how I feel and not be completely overwhelmed? How do I be active in life and actually IN life, rather than the cycle of numbness then feeling then numbness? Yoga is helpful and so is actively telling myself to notice the small things, but sometimes it feels the emotions are SO much I just want to curl up and cry until it is over. Do you have any advice or experience about dealing with intense emotions and trusting your emotions that you would be comfortable sharing please? If you do not feel comfortable sharing, that is okay with me.



    Dear Appletree123:

    “crying and curled up in a ball or desperate for sleep. My feelings feel scary and too big for me to handle”- is what you felt as a baby and young child, and ever since. The baby you were was crying and curled up and scared, feeling experienced as too big to handle, scary in themselves.

    “Do you have any advice or experience about dealing with intense emotions and trusting your emotions that you would be comfortable sharing please?”- yes:

    1. Listen to Mark Williams (or someone else) Mindful guided meditations.

    2. Slow pace yoga (tai chi as well)  practices are two ways to slow the brain and body and increase mindfulness.

    3. Exercise daily, a long walk per day will do, or a long swim per day will do.

    4. Notice a distressing emotion before it escalates, or at the beginning of its escalation and relax right there and then, do something to relax: take that walk, listen to a guided meditation, or to soft music and so on.

    5. Effective psychotherapy will help.

    – you can’t reverse your disassociation by making one decision to do so, such as: from now on I will not disassociate, or from now on I will trust my emotions or whatnot. You have to make multiple decisions every day so to reverse your disassociation after many months of every day decisions: every day of doing 1, 2, 3, 4 and/ or 5.




    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Thankyou anita. It is good to know I am on the right track with 5- therapy and I will add the following to my life. Yoga, guided meditations and long walks/runs are something I do but not consistently and not every day so hearing it from you reinforces the fact it is so important.</p>
    I find 4-noticing the distressing emotion before it escalates to the hardest thing. It feels more like “all or nothing” currently. This is something I know I have to work on.

    Thankyou for your insight and help. 🙂



    Dear Appletree123:

    You are welcome. Regarding noticing the distressing emotion before it escalates, when I return to the computer (in about 12 hurs from now) I will copy for you  from a form called Mood Log that my therapist gave me at the time to fill in whenever I feel a distressing emotion. I dont know how to do rows and columns here, so I will describe that form to you best I can. I hope it will be helpful to you.


    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  anita.


    Thankyou anita. I will look forward to receiving that. 🙂



    Dear Appletree123:

    I learned this morning that the Daily Mood Log is available online just as I know it, if you google “daily mood log, pdf” or “daily mood log, james stolz. I hope you print this form and copy so you have a dozen of those to start.

    In the form you describe first a “Situation of Event” that brought about some distress for you, some uncomfortable feelings/ emotions (I use the two words interchangeably). Next, you have lists  of Emotions, and you pick the groups of emotions that you felt as a result of the situation (that was difficult for me, for a long time, to identify my emotions, if this is true to you too, do your best, don’t have to be exact).

    Next, you identify the “Negative Thought” you had during that situation, the thought that brought about your unpleasant feelings. Next is the key aspect of the work here: you look at the negative thought and ask yourself if it is realistic; you look for “Distortions”.

    There is a list of distortions page 2 online. Take your time to study these and ask me if you want me to explain any of these further. Following this, you correct the negative thought and state “Positive Thought”.

    I would use “initial thought” instead of “negative thought” and “realistic thought” instead of “positive thought” because you may be in a situation that is really bad, or negative, so the “negative thought” may be realistic and contain no distortions, and your unpleasant feeling/ emotion therefore fit the reality of the situation, nothing to correct. But often one or more of the initial thoughts is distorted and after identifying the distortion, you can correct the thought.

    After correcting the thought, if it needs to be corrected so to fit reality, the person almost always feels better. In the form you estimate a percentage for how you felt before correcting the thought and after, and how much you believed the initial (Negative) thought before correction and after.

    Here is an example of a situation: you feel very sad because your mother looks so sad. One of the initial thoughts (Negative Thought) was: it is my fault that my mother is sad. Next, you think about it: did I cause her to be sad in this situation… no, she is sad because of this or that and I didn’t cause it.. and you think: what distortion is it?.. emotional reasoning, I feel guilty, therefore I think that I am guilty (when I am not), you get this aha feeling and notice that you are feeling differently about the same situation.

    What this does, in this example, is that next time the person feels guilty he or she will think: I feel guilty but maybe I am not guilty. Just because I feel a certain way, doesn’t mean the feeling is reality.

    I hope you let me know how this form works for you.




    Thankyou very much anita. I will print it off and let you know how I get on in due course.



    You are welcome, Appletree123. Looking forward to your next post.




    Hello anita,

    I have printed off the mood log and keep sitting down to do it and stalling. I have been in a downward spiral again these last few days but I find it very hard to actually identify any particular thought- it feels like I have too many, whilst at the same time not being able to pick one out in particular. It all just feels bad, heavy, sad. I have been listening to the Mark Williams meditation and also other guided meditations online. I have been exercising and also doing long walks and journalling but on days like today nothing seems to work at all. I seem to be in a state of crying-numb-crying all day and struggle to focus on anything but the sadness.

    I have just come back from a long walk and am about to have a hot bath so I will look again at the mood log then to try and get something written down. I am very scared of my feelings and feel like they feel so bad now. Can I actually cope with facing them by writing about them or ‘sitting with them’. When I try and not distract myself and sit with my feelings I feel like I want to reach for my phone or distract myself with daydreams of a time I felt loved. I think basically I am just scared of actually feeling my feelings in case I don’t like what they say. They already feel bad enough. Do you have any thoughts on how to stay with feelings and not just end up crying and actually work through it somehow and come out the other side? So far I just feel so scared to even look at them.



    Hi Apple Tree,


    i have been dealing with a similar situation, but on the other side. I fell deeply in love with someone, i wasn’t looking, but we just had chemistry. They felt like home, long periods of staring in each other’s eyes. All the fairytale things you hear about on tv that I never knew to be possible. When I think of it it sometimes doesn’t make sense, given this society & all the things it teaches us psychologically about soulmates not existing or we have multiple (which is true). But my heart has been & will always be for this person, even when I finally move on. They are home. Even when they would push me away, I could look in their eyes & see myself. I have done similar things before so I can’t judge them.


    they are in a longtime relationship and I believe this person let’s call them L, is afraid to leave their partner because they’ve been together for so long, they don’t trust themselves, & they feel guilt & shame. They are also pretty avoidant and anxious. I also haven’t been the best, I’ve been emotional & judgmental. I was a rock in the beginning but after waiting so long & them not reaching out i became emotional. I was hurt. I too have had relationships before, but never felt chosen or never let anyone close.

    I took some time to reflect to figure out my true motives, heal my attachment style & work on my codependency. And I still felt like this person is right. Still do.

    yet I don’t feel like they are trying. So I get frustrated and it makes me move on. I don’t know what they are going through emotionally & why it’s so hard for them to open up. I’ve been through a lot myself & kind of had to tough it through so I guess I’m not as sensitive as I could be because I’m jaded about them not opening up .

    i love them deeply and just want to be there for them, love , comfort, hold , assure them. I want to build with them even if it means taking baby steps or starting from scratch. And I know it would be hard when they leave their partner if they do and they’d need space – but with communication I can be present and loving , I just need assurance to.

    and have I talked to other people? Yes, but no one is clicking like with this person. I know the chemistry -it won’t last forever if we don’t continue or try. But I have hope.

    I stay this to give you the other side the other perspective . If you lone this person & they feel like home that is no mistake . We don’t have control over who we love. And when we get older & grow things change & that’s okay. You gotta choose you. And things feel pressing because they are. Don’t let your desires go unattended. Reach out and atleast tell this person how you feel, your concerns , tell them the truth even if it’s vulnerable. And regardless to them wanting to be together or not you would have done a good thing. Spoken up for yourself , choosing yourself .

    You do more harm staying With your boyfriend than not because you no longer have feelings for him. Why try to build more and raise a family on unstable land . We need to stop staying with people out of guilt and choose ourselves. So when we do have kids and a family we raise them with true love, and we can stop raising kids in broken homes who need trauma therapy because the denial their parents live in.

    again even if it doesn’t work out or it’s too late with the guy you call home. Tell him truly how you feel. And it will let off a huge load.


    keep your head up ❤️



    Dear Appletree123:

    “I feel like I want to reach for my phone or distract myself with daydreams of  time I felt loved.. I am just scared of actually feeling my feelings”-

    -in my therapy, the process was a combination of feeling/ staying with my feelings and distracting. My therapist had a scientific approach to therapy, a practical approach. He talked a lot about skills, and having a toolbox with different set of tools (or skills) to use at different times. Sometimes you use one tool/ skill, at other times you use another.

    One group of skills he introduced to me was Distraction Skills. So distraction itself was part of my therapy. When you feel too much, too  intensely, you have to back off and distract. Key is to distract in ways that are not destructive.

    Why not then play some romantic music and daydream about love? That will calm you, a good thing.





    Dear Grenada and Anita,


    Thankyou for your replies.

    Grenada- I can understand your emotions and I admire how you took time to focus on yourself and see if it is him you truely want and also your compassionate understanding of him and his anxiety and guilt. The lines you wrote: ‘They felt like home, long periods of staring in each other’s eyes. All the fairytale things you hear about on tv that I never knew to be possible’ absolutely hit the nail on the head. I didn’t believe in all that stuff really so finding someone where we could stare into each others eyes and 3 hours could feel like 5 minutes in their company was like another world.

    I appreciate your advice about saying how I feel to him. He knows how I feel and has always done. He is married with children now and so I am not going to speak to or contact him again. He has moved on and loves his wife and child and I am trying my best to as well.

    I believe you are right when you say about choosing yourself. I can see that how other people choose themselves and it ends well for them. I do not feel I can do this in my life or how I would go about doing it. In many ways I have chosen myself eg changing jobs, volunteering, but none of it feels like I actually know myself any better on a deeper, more real level. Not sure that makes sense but I am struggling to put that in words what I mean.

    anita- Thankyou for writing back. I understand about the distraction. I feel like I use it too much. Eg anytime things get too heavy or emotional I want to run away and distract myself. I feel I do not do enough sitting and being with my feelings but I don’t really know the process for sitting and being still with my emotions. They seem like a wave and consume everything. This morning I feel distant, like the very real emotions I felt yesterday are a distance away, but at the same time scared as I know they are inside me. It feels odd and scary living like this – living thinking one thing one day and one thing the next and not able to have a consistent viewpoint or emotional and rational position. I have been told many times I am “too emotional” and I believe that to be true.



    Grenada- sorry I meant to write this but overlooked it in my last post. Maybe you could show the person you love my post and just ask them to consider again and try to confront the guilt and anxiety rather than being too scared. I think in my case I tried to do what I felt was the right thing for everyone but I knew at the time, and have felt since, that also came at a cost to myself. A cost I am still paying. Whilst he is happily moved on. However I can understand how fear is so hard to deal with and when I feel fear, I literally can’t think straight. Everything feels fuzzy and i can’t actually consider rationally anything apart from what is in front of my own nose. The future seems scary and I feel at a loss and overwhelmed. So maybe that is how the person you love feels. Wanting something with one hand but also too scared to let go of the hand they are holding already. I do regret being scared and not just being able to follow my feelings as I did love him, but at the same time there felt like there was more to it than feelings eg loyalties, history, pressure from family, fear, worry, etc not to say that these things are more important than personal happiness but they could also be clouding Thier judgement or making it hard for them to make a decision. The person I loved trusted himself well and knew if he went after what made him happy he would be happy. A “grab the bull by the horns” type person. I admired that. But I was not like that. It was simple and straightforward to him in some ways, but for me, less so. I felt alot of weight about what I “should do” on my shoulders and despite my love and depth of feelings, I could not commit. People have said to me since if you loved him truely you would of done anything. Maybe that is true. I don’t know. I did truely love him in my experience of love and still do in ways now- hence this post about moving on and struggling. He said to me he would have no regrets as he really tried everything he could for us to be together but I do not have the same comfort. The fact he had tried everything allowed him to move on but I think why I struggle is that I still have the what if. ‘if’ I had left, we could of been happy and soulmates and together now. But I didn’t and so that is that. That makes it very hard for me.



    Thanks Apple Tree,

    i wish I had the courage to show them this post. They haven’t been very honest about what’s happening in their personal life, so part of me just. Idk I fear they’d think I was too clingy. Or that they aren’t really interested. I admit I fought too hard, and didn’t stick to my boundaries & feel like I’ve lost some self respect by constantly being present & communicative with them while they were so closed off. The only form of contact I have with them now is social media, and based on how and what they posts. Doesn’t seem they are thinking of me at all. I feel bad about locking my page. But my heart is broken too. I love them. I’m just hurt. But maybe in future I’ll show them this post if it’s still there.



    Hi Grenada,

    That must be really hard for you, being there when they are closed off and not opening up to you. Is the move away from closeness on their part a recent thing? How did you last leave it with them? Did they say it was over and that is why you have blocked your page and other forms of communication like texting? I can really see both sides. It must be hard for both of you. For them living with the guilt and being torn and for you meeting someone you get in with so well but they don’t quite trust it or aren’t ready to change.

    Good for you thinking about your self respect. I lost all my self respect with him and even my thinking now has him on a pedestal and not be able to move on properly. I read somewhere that if you love someone and miss them, you need to try and love them enough so you just want them to b e happy. I am trying to do this but it feels alien. Mostly I feel jealous. But hopefully that is where I will get to in the end. How are you coping day to day with not hearing from them? Hope you are okay X

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