August 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm #306341
1st, I love this forum that Tiny Buddha has to offer. It brings my heart so much happiness to see the responses to questions of those who are struggling which are filled with love, compassion, and which are free of judgement. It’s wonderful to know there is a space to unpack free of judgement, and it’s what I’ve been hoping for for a long while.
I’m a 25 year young woman who, in 2 weeks, has to move away with my dog, away from everyone that we love, in order to get my masters degree. I feel as though things, career wise, are on track, and I’m grateful for that. But I’m scared. And I’m sad. I have a boyfriend of 2 years who I live with, but who cannot move with me, as he has his job and his life where we are now and he doesn’t have the means to move away With me. I feel secure in my relationship, though I fear being 3 hours away from him will make me feel sad every day until I’m back home to him. I’m afraid that my sadness will make my dog sad, as she loves my boyfriend just as much as I do. I fear she will be sad away from him, and that I won’t be enough for her. I’m so scared that our new home won’t feel like home. Though I know there’s phone calls and FaceTime and weekend trips, I fear that sadness that will come along with being away from him, for both me and Abby (my dog) for the entire year and a half we will be away. I’m really an introvert. I find myself awkward and I find it really hard to make new friends. Being 3 hours from my boyfriend, 2 hours from my sister, and 4 hours from my mom, I’m away from all the people that love me unconditionally. And I’m scared.
I know that sometimes what I need is a look at a situation from another set of unbiased eyes, so I guess that’s what I’m looking for now.
With love and appreciation,
EmiAugust 2, 2019 at 9:07 pm #306347KParticipant
Hi Emi, thank you for sharing your post. I think it will be nice when the two of you could meet up halfway 1.5 hours each way to spend some quality face to face time together. Also, facetime/skype is good too, it re-kindles feelings of warmth and love actually seeing their face as they talk instead of just the 2-D version of talking on the phone.
I remember last year, I made the decision to move 2,500 miles away from my wonderful family, and my boyfriend (temporarily) to pursue a dream job and apartment I secured all over the phone in advance of the move. I was crushed when I found out that my boyfriend would not be making the trip out with me for a time, due to unforeseen circumstances. I felt horrible and I missed him every day. We skyped and called each other every night, despite the time difference. He drove out a few months later. I’m not sure if this tidbit is helpful, but relationships can and do stand the test of distance and time apart. And as you said, there are weekends and facetime to look forward to, and that will be nice. If anything, the time my now fiance and I spent physically apart re-shaped certain dynamics of our relationship and with the physical distance it allowed us to discard components of the relationship that were stale and petty, and not serving our relationship well. It also allowed me to open up differently towards him, that even though we knew each other for over 3 years at the time, the not seeing him every day rekindled something with me, that when we were on skype it felt more like a new version of him and I, that I was more flirtatious with him and inquisitive about his life and every day happenings. I will refrain from going on a rant. 🙂 But just know that your relationship will be fine so long as the two of you keep that warm spark between you alive and lit, and to look forward to the times you both see each others smiling faces, to hear each others laughter, and to feel how nice it is to interlock fingers in a warm hand hold and embrace. Best of luck to you, you will do great, and I am here if you would like to chat more! This TB site truly is a wonderful platform that hosts lots of warm support, love, and uplifting words. It is helpful and truly a loving place.. there are many people hurting in so many ways, so many of which are relatable and able to be spoken about by kind strangers that don’t quite feel like strangers.. more like friends we wish we had met a long time ago. Take care Emi!August 3, 2019 at 6:19 am #306357InkyParticipant
When you are in a Masters program, you will be too busy to miss/lament/feel bad for long.
My mom always said, “A busy woman is a happy woman”. And she’s right!
When you do see your boyfriend, it will be a happy event. And the highlight of your month/weekend. Find great places halfway between and see each other there!
My daughter and my sister both have long distance relationships, they see their boyfriends often, and all is well.
InkyAugust 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm #306553MarkParticipant
It sounds like you have fear on what *can* happen in the future. You are afraid of your feelings after you move away. This is future thinking. You are already convinced that you will be sad, miserable, lonely before you even move. You *may* be all that and more AND you will also be embarking on a great new experience. I believe we either come from a place of fear or from love when we meet life. I invite you to focus on love, on gratitude, on appreciation, on excitement, on opportunity for this adventure. If you focus on what is behind you rather than what is in front of you then you will not fully appreciate and benefit from your life.
MarkAugust 5, 2019 at 12:36 am #306595PeggyParticipant
This is a big, brave step that you are taking. When you applied to be on the Masters Course, you knew that it would mean leaving people behind that you loved yet you decided that the end goal would be worth that sacrifice. Now it’s only two weeks away, all those fears are surfacing. You will miss the people you love – accept that. Your dog will adapt to being with you and, yes, you will be enough for him – he loves you unconditionally, he’ll comfort you when you are sad, and he won’t mind a bit that you are introverted. He will be your best friend.
18 months isn’t really very long and 3 hours isn’t really very far. You can split the time up into smaller segments so that you can have family reunions during holidays etc. and, as others have pointed out, you can meet your partner half way sometimes.
Once you are there, your main focus will be on obtaining your Masters and this should keep you busy leaving you less time to dwell on ‘home’. You will be sharing this Course with others which means you already have a common interest and I am sure that once you are there, there will be at least one person with whom you will strike up a friendship.
Good Luck for the future.
PeggyAugust 7, 2019 at 6:06 am #306981
Thank you for all of your kind responses. I’m sorry for the late reply. I have read all of your words as they came in, but wanted to think long and hard on them.
K- thank you so much for your words. I really appreciate you sharing your experience with long distance, as it opened my eyes to something that I didn’t realize before. Yes, I will miss him, but your exactly right in saying that, so long as we keep our relationship as a top priority, the distance will allow us to discard the parts of our relationship that are stale and petty. I see that already, when I go away for even a long weekend. A phone call after not seeing him for a couple of days always seems to leave me feeling more connected to him then usual. The idea that this can and will help us grow in our relationship, as long as we stay dedicated to each other, will keep me going.
Inky- you are so right. I will be so busy with school that the days will fly by, bringing me closer to coming back home to him.
Mark- thank you for saying that. I was and am living in the state of future thinking. And if convinced that I will be sad, and if living from a place of fear, I probably will be. But if I focus on gratitude and live from a place of love, then I will feel just that. To be truthful, I think this is the biggest difficulty I face in life in general. Thank you for helping me recognize that, because now that I identified that, I can make a change.
Peggy- you said something that I have never even thought of before. You said ‘When you applied to be on the Masters Course, you knew that it would mean leaving people behind that you loved yet you decided that the end goal would be worth that sacrifice. Now it’s only two weeks away, all those fears are surfacing.’ This could be said for a lot of areas in my life, actually. You’re absolutely right. I know that the positives of temporarily leaving those I love would immensely outweigh the negatives. When I applied, I was living from a place of furthering myself without thinking of my fears, as it was so long ago. But now, as it gets closer, all of my fears are coming to the surface. Thank you for helping me recognize that.
Overall, I know I will be okay. Logically, I know the end goal is worth the temporary distance, and anything else that I fear in the process. From this point on, I will continue to remind myself to focus on the moment in front of me. To live from a place of love and gratitude. Thank you all for your kind words. You helped me more than you know.
EmiAugust 7, 2019 at 9:20 am #307009
You are 25 and in two weeks you will be moving 2 hours away from your sister, 3 hours away from your boyfriend and 4 hours away from your mother. You will live with your dog and pursue a master’s degree, visiting with your boyfriend and family on some weekends, if not every weekend.
I think that you will be fine. It will be an opportunity for you to practice courage as you tackle “the biggest difficulty (you) face in life in general”, which is, as you put it, “living from a place of fear”.
We are all afraid, all of us, people. We all need to find better ways to live with fear. It takes managing fear in mindful ways. When you feel the fear, see it coming, increasing, go for a walk or make yourself a cup of hot tea or listen to some music, or play with your dog, or listen to a guided meditation and so forth- do something so that energy of fear has someplace to go to instead of staying and increasing inside you.
When you communicate with your boyfriend, tell him that you miss him, if you do, but don’t burden him with your fear by maybe going on and on about how much you miss him, how sad you are alone and so on. Control how much you share with him and in doing so you will be practicing self control. Practicing reasonable self control over your behavior (including controlling what you say) decreases fear.
I hope you post again, after you move, if not before. I would like to read more from you.
August 7, 2019 at 1:16 pm #307071
- This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Anita- Thank you for your response.
Managing fear in a mindful way will be helpful to me. When life is going great, it’s easy for me to be mindful. When it is likely most important to be mindful, when I’m anxious or sad or frustrated, I panic or cry or yell. It will be hard for me to practice mindfulness when experiencing a ‘negative’ emotion, but it will be helpful. And I will practice.
I’m also glad you mentioned controlling how much I share and not burdening him with my fear. That is so like me. When anxious, I often vent and vent and vent and expect someone else to fix me, when the only way to be ‘fixed’ is to work from the inside. Something I know logically, but has been a real struggle.
I have a lot to work on, but am trying my best to be active in doing so. Some days are harder than others, but overall I am grateful for the path I have been given.
EmiAugust 8, 2019 at 9:35 am #307173
You are welcome.
“when I’m anxious or sad or frustrated, I panic or cry or yell”- part of mindfulness will be about you noticing the beginning of feeling “anxious or sad or frustrated”, before these emotions escalate and become to much to tolerate, leading you to “cry or yell”.
“When anxious, I often vent and vent and vent and expect someone else to fix me”- same thing, notice the beginning of you feeling anxious and do something to calm yourself, before the anxiety escalates, leading you to “vent and vent and vent”. This will help you feel better and will not harm your relationship. No one feels good when another vents and vents and vents, it is draining and the person on the other end of the venting becomes resentful at one point.
August 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm #307205
- This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Identifying the beginning of anxiety is always hard for me. Sometimes, it’s like I’m having an off day and I know that. Maybe I’m feeling just a little tired and drained after a work day. But not so much so that I’m falling into anxiety or spiraling out of control. But then it’s like, something sets me off and suddenly I’m fully spiraling and it almost feels too late, and I don’t even know where it went wrong or what exactly set me off.
Also, If I get anxious in the comfort of my own space, I can get through it pretty quickly. It’s when others are around that I spiral so badly, i think because I feel worried about what that other person might think of me. I feel the need to apologize and make sure that they don’t resent me. Which, I know could probably lead to more resentment.August 8, 2019 at 4:36 pm #307213
In my therapy years ago, my therapist gave me “Mood Logs”, many copies of a form that I was to fill in whenever I felt distress, an “off day” moment. The idea is to fill in that form when you have an off moment instead of ignoring it and ending up with a whole off day. Repeating this exercise can help you notice off moments before you spiral, or lose control. Would you like me to find the form and type in the outline for you?
anitaAugust 8, 2019 at 4:54 pm #307221
That sounds like a great idea.
I would appreciate that! However if it’s a hassle, I’m sure I could throw something together, following that concept. 🙂August 8, 2019 at 5:43 pm #307231
It is not a hassle, I will look for that form, maybe more than that one form when I return to the computer in about 12 hours from now.
anitaAugust 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm #307233
* didn’t reflect under TopicsAugust 9, 2019 at 6:36 am #307277
I just checked and 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.