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Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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This topic contains 650 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  Shelbyville 13 minutes ago.

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  • #229133

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi there,

    My ex (feels weird to even say that), and I broke up 15 days ago. My heart is broken. The loss at times seems too much to bear. I did not want the relationship to end, but I understand why it came to an end. In a way. Rationally we had reached a point where I wanted to move forward (after 3.5 years) and the idea of that was too much for him. I can honestly say he’s the most genuine, kind and caring man I have ever met. However, I never fully got 100 per cent of him, because he couldn’t give 100 per cent. He has his own block which caused him to fear the responsibility of it all. We separated a few years ago for a few months and at that time I experienced severe anxiety and depression, I was unable to function for a number of weeks. I began taking medication and speaking to a psychologist and with the help of my family, I got back on track. To an extent. Because I did eventually seek to get back together with him and I was successful. I understood more and more each month that passed what his issues were, through the insight of therapy, and I genuinely thought I could help him work it out and have our happy ending. We tried. It was really hard at times, but I felt it was worth it because I love him with all my heart and while he couldn’t say those words to me, I realised he loved me too and sometimes, actions speak louder than words, or so my therapist explained. The breakup was excruciating, he was devastated as was I. On a rational note, I understood that my own emotions had let me go as far as I could, as disappointment and resentment were unintentionally making him and I feel worse. But it still hurts. I don’t want to be with anyone else. I can’t imagine how we are supposed to go on leading separate lives. I want to be part of his life and he to be part of mine. So I’m battling at the moment. As a result of the break-up, which wasn’t too bad for the first five days, anxiety now has a steely grip on me. It consumes me, I’m petrified to be alone. Impending weekends fill me with dread. I have managed to work since the break-up because I was so fearful of falling into a similar circumstance as before, I forced myself to go, in order to have a reason I have to get up in the morning. The mornings are the worst, when I open my eyes super early to start my shift, it hits me like a brick. Despair you might call it. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel so very very alone. The first few hours of work are a struggle just to keep existing. When I don’t think about it as much, the pain is not as crippling, but it’s not really sustainable. We have maintained no contact since the break-up, similar to our previous break. But I worry that the only reason I got out of the woods during my previous breakup was because we ended up back together or I knew I wanted to at least try. I fear I will be sad for a very long time and that I will always be broken-hearted for this man, who had his flaws, but is also the best man I have ever met in my life. I have just signed up to tiny buddha and this is my first post so please forgive my lengthy explanation. My therapist, my family and friends all believe that there is literally nothing more I could have done, I tried my utmost to have patience etc for almost 4 years, working around him every which way possible, but at this moment, that’s no consolation to me. I’m about to turn 36, he’s about to turn 37, but in truth we were each other’s only relationship of this nature ever. I can’t see how I’m going to get over this and combat that anxiety and the frightening fear of being left alone in a room at any time, I can’t handcuff myself to my sister’s wrist. I understand the circumstances will differ in all relationships, but would anyone have made it out of this type of situation to the other side? Because I’m having difficulty understanding how that could be possible. x

    #229271

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shelbyville:

    The anxiety you described, the anxiety you experience again following this second breakup with him, that, I believe, happens because the breakup with him triggers the very scary early childhood experience of being alone. We don’t remember how we felt as babies, or toddlers, very young children. But this feeling you describe, this “frightening fear of being left alone in a room at any time”, the desire to “handcuff yourself to (your) sister’s wrist”, this is an early, early fear of being left alone, abandoned.

    Any such thing discussed in your therapy/ any knowledge of such early experience in your young life?

    anita

    #229297

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Thanks for the reply. Therapist has asked similar vague questions but not to my knowledge. I grew up with loving parents, no abandonment. My family would have always said ‘I’m the sensitive or soft one’. I guess I’m a highly sensitive person. I just like company. If I’m ill or hurting, I feel I need physical affection or presence. That’s why I’m struggling with the breakup, it was one of the most comforting things about my ex. The withdrawal is acute.</p>

    #229377

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Hi Shelbyville,

    I just wanted to say I too am struggling post break up. He was and still is someone I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I’m struggling to focus on anything else but wanting him back. It’s been about two months now although we have been in contact since.. It’s my birthday today and would’ve been our anniversary in the next couple of days so it’s a particularly hard time for me and I can’t seem to get myself together!

    Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! I really do hope that it gets better for us both..

    #229399

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shelbyville:

    When therapists asked you “similar vague questions”, how did you feel, when asked?

    I can ask you more concrete questions perhaps, would that be okay with you?

    anita

    #229403

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Anita,

    The questions were fine, I didn’t feel any particular way in relation to them.

     

    S

    #229405

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi Kkasxo,

    Its a truly devastating experience. We have not had any contact since the day he ended it and people have said that is the reason I’m even half coping. The general advice is that contact will slowly kill you, not literally, but emotional torture. But to be honest, while I’m trying to maintain my distance, it is almost physical and mental torture. The only thing preventing me contacting is the fear that it will set me back 16days and that 16 days has been hell on Earth and I don’t think I could do it over. Actually a second niggling point is that if he wanted to be with me, he would CONTACT me. He hasn’t. So I can contact him, but it doesn’t seem as though he wishes to be in contact with me, so apart from the quick hit I’d get from inserting myself into his existence again for a brief moment, where will it get me. He hasn’t changed his mind or he would have contacted me. I realise as I type these words, I’m trying to convince myself.

    It’s nice to know someone else on this earth knows the pain at this current moment and I don’t feel so alone. Have you been able to function otherwise?

    #229409

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shelbyville:

    I changed my mind regarding asking you questions, I don’t think this is the time.

    Clearly you were and are emotionally attached to him. It is painful to separate from the object of our attachment. There is a feeling of safety in attachment and a feeling of danger when separated.

    Breakups happen as you know every day and people survive it. It only feels dangerous, but it is not dangerous. Like millions of other people this very day, you too will survive a breakup, you too will be okay.

    Be good to yourself, kind and gentle with yourself as you proceed, as you move forward through this difficult time. Things like walks in nature can help, hot baths, hot tea, exercise, a good movie, music, these things and more healthy distractions and relaxations can help a whole lot.

    Post again anytime you’d  like.

    anita

    #229413

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Thank you Anita,

    I have been following every single piece of advice I can in dealing with a break up. I have just returned from a walk in nature, I try to exercise a little too, I’m meditating regularly and have support of family and friends. Music is a no-go area for me at the moment, but I watched a movie with my sister last night.

    One might think these are indications that I’m coping, but I feel I’m not. The loss almost seems to much to bear especially in the context of the long term. It is widely acknowledged that there is no ‘one’ person for everyone in life, that many different people can bring you happiness at different times in your life. This is the case for millions of people who have had breakups. My difficulty has always been that I can’t get that to resonate with me. I did and still do feel that this man was my shot, my chance at happiness. That if it works- great and if it’s doesnt- too bad, at least you had your try. x

    #229417

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shelbyville:

    “I did and still feel that this man was my shot..” reads like you are not okay with your one shot being gone, aka the breakup (consistent with previous share). But when you wrote “it works- great and if it doesn’t- too bad, at least you had your try”- that reads like you are okay with the breakup..?

    * I will be gone for a walk in nature myself and be back in more than an hour from now.

    anita

    #229423

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Anita,</p>
    You are correct, I’m not okay with the breakup. The second reference to having my shot was speaking in the voice of the powers that be, or whoever. I figure that’s what they must be saying.

    #229425

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shelbyville:

    I will be away from the computer and back in about sixteen hours from now. Any time you’d like to add a post, as many as you’d like, please do. I will read and reply when I am back.

    anita

    #229431

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Thanks Anita, you sound like you have a background in psychology. It’s a comfort to be on this forum as I see others are experiencing tough times too- we are not alone.

    If anyone else made it through a relationship breakup where they thought they would never recover- could you please post how you are now or any advice?

    Many thanks

    #229445

    Tom
    Participant

    Shelbyville, I am a 36 year old male and it has been 3 months since my relationship ended with my 32 year old girlfriend.  Our ages are similar to yours and your ex’s.  It has been the hardest process for me to handle.  The pain is there all the time.  Even trying to do activities alone that we used to do together makes me almost break down.  I have read that it takes half the length of your relationship to recover.  I do not know if this is true.  I still have trouble sleeping.  I wake up 3 or 4 times a night thinking of her.  We have not contacted one another since it ended.  I have not “made it through” the breakup and I don’t want my story to cause you sadness.  I just want you to remember in the difficult times that your relationship was not moving forward…it is the reason it ended.  You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who is willing to move forward with you.  We all deserve that.  I am the same as you and I thought the same thing, that my ex was the “one” for me.  It makes things too heavy and painful to think like that now.  Now the focus needs to be on you taking each day at a time.  You will get through this.

    #229451

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Shelbyville,

    If I’m honest, on a daily basis I’m not coping at all. Although it’s been about 2 months since our official ‘breakup’ we have been in touch with one another and perhaps this is one of the reasons why I have reached a standstill in the moving on process. I’ve realised that ‘keeping in touch’ has somewhat fuelled the hope of a what if.. what if there is a future for us somewhere down the line?.. i’d like to believe that! Nonetheless that isn’t the case and I have to eventually accept it. Although it doesn’t make it any easier to completely cut off contact and go our separate ways. Personally, I think you guys cutting off all contact from the start is the best thing for the both of you. I wish we had done the same! Because now it’s almost like another hit if one of us decides to officially change our numbers or block the other.. the same heartbreak all over again.

    Today was my first birthday without him. And it has hit me terribly hard.. Although I am proud of myself that even after a few drinks I’ve managed to refrain from making any contact with him! I suppose that is a little accomplishment in itself!

    Although it feels like he really was the one for me and this pain will never end, I can only hope for my rational mind to take charge and outweigh my heart and for the better days to come.

    I’d think you’re absolutely right in saying that although it sounds shitty it is comforting to know that I am not the only one on this earth who is experiencing this excruciating pain right now, I would love to hear from you about your progress!

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