Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    I am so sorry to hear you are going through heartbreak. Although I am in no way out of it, I can attest that the initial pain you feel will definitely ease. It must be even more difficult for you considering there doesn’t seem to be a major issue other than distance.

    The best thing to do is keep busy, throw yourself into work, binge watch a tv series, call all your support, do not try to do it alone it makes the pain so much more acute. You said you have done it before but every heartbreak is unique, grieve as you shared yourself with another person, you had hopes and dreams and now it feels it has been taken away. It is okay to be feeling all these emotions.

    Right now you are not ready to hear the reality. So what you need is lots of love and comfort. Life is not fair, but you can only control so much. Is there no way to keep in contact and see if in the future things may be better to reconvene because it sounds like there is a lot of love there but not the right timing?

    You can post here anytime, this thread has been my secret savior.


    @Lucie We have not spoken on this thread, but I have read your post I just want to say I’m so sorry for what you are suffering. I have never had PTSD or anxiety on regular basis. I suffered a bit of a panic when the initial separation happened from my break up but since then as you have probably read I tried to numb my feelings which is not good.

    I really wish I could offer some guidance 🙁 I will keep coming on daily and tagging for you @Kkasxo and @Shelbyville who have experienced this and can offer you any little help to make you feel better. I hope it works and they pick it up in their emails.

    Please please do not give up. If you want to create a thread and maybe someone else can also help in the meantime but if you are like me you probably like few familiar voices only. You are not alone do not give up the fight xxx


    @Tim I read your post …so much to discuss, will write up a reply but I will give the space so @Lucie post can be picked up, I feel so sad for her :*(




    Hi all,

    im sorry for absence, I just started my new job in a new city this week and to say I’m barely keeping my head above water is an understatement. I haven’t had two mins to read the posts since I was last online, but I’ll try to get to them tomorrow night.

    Lucie, hang in there. I’ll try & catch up with the thread as soon as I can. But remember one thing, @kkasxo and I are still standing. Even when both of us thought at different times that we wouldn’t survive……we have. Keep that tiny little bit of hope in your mind and I’ll be back as soon as I can


    @sammy Yes we have decided to keep in touch although he is more realistic than me at this point in the breakup. In my heart, I know the chances of reconciliation are low because we must be so far apart for so long. I am trying not to worry about the future. I understand the circumstance of this virus has led to the demise of my relationship. I do understand the reality, but emotionally I am in denial at times. However, that does not mean that I don’t understand and accept.

    The only chance to be reunited at this point as it seems is when he makes it to canada which might be 12 months or longer from now. We have already been forcefully separated by COVID for 8 months. I understand that the excitement that he had for our relationship has dwindled because of the time apart. If I am honest mine is weaker of course too.

    We were a new couple when this happened. We have been apart 70% longer than we have been together. He reached a phase where he accepted the situation before me. We both understood the reality of it as we talked about what would happen if this continued multiple times. We both anxiously hoped that travel would become possible for us, or that the global situation would improve. We both continued to hold on for quite some time. Is that what you meant when you said I was not ready for the truth?

    We have decided to talk as we have before but we are doing it so platonically.  Logically for me, I understand why the virus has town us apart and we can longer be together. I still hold onto some hope. He thinks that we should not because the chances are so low that we have not moved on by the time we can finally be reunited. However, he wants to leave the door open.

    We are talking to each other again perhaps too much. It is the same as before except knowing that we are broken up. We want to help each other through the COVID and we want to keep in touch. We talk to each other throughout the day every day. He texts me while I sleep and me while he sleeps. We chat in the evening, and in the morning. I stay up late so we talk for hours every night for almost 14 months now.  We never run out of things to say. I know him more in this short time than people I have spent years with. We have a strong mental bond we get along so well. Despite having the communication back I still find myself in an anxious state, not doing the things that I need to do for myself and feeling emotional. While he is there I also know that he is gone.


    @Tim I hope you don’t feel ignored, I just wanted @Lucie to get the attention. Hopefully, @Shelbyville can guide her whilst @Kkasxo returns.

    I really appreciate the effort and time you put in to respond so I wanted to reply properly. I’ve taken a leaf out of your book put subheadings to break up each topic as I have so much to write!! Firstly thanks so much for the motivation.

    There’s nothing wrong with a man being knowledgable about romcoms, women definitely appreciate watching one with their man.

    This past week has been good, I’ve hit my stride with the walks and runs. It’s meant I’ve cut down to just wine in the evenings now. It’s progress! I think the more good your body feels t makes you less inclined to abuse it.

    It’s been a mixed affair, I reached out to some friends who had not been in touch because I think everyone deserves to tell their side of things. A few were apologetic and said they would come around so I thought I’d give them a chance but then they didn’t, which pissed me off as I feel like I should have just ghosted. I think you are right it is time for a spring clean of people who add nothing. I am learning to actually be more appreciative and give back to the good’uns like my best friend, the new colleague who is a sweetheart and has gone above and beyond when she’s known me for few months. I find it hard to grasp how a stranger i.e. yourself, @Shelbyville, the new colleague can show so much understanding and be so kind and generous with time and energy whilst the ones you have known for years disappoint you and realise they weren’t actually real or there for you during tough times. I have a new outlook which is pushing me to become better and surround myself with better. So thank you.

    I have to say your journey is inspiring, you really did turn your life around. Do you ever wonder where you’d be if you hadn’t? I like that you don’t hide your flaws and mistakes, you are honest it makes you so relatable. You have really learned alot.
    How did your interviews go? It’s a tough situation at the min. What do you need help with? I would be happy to help, sounds exciting! Your partner is lucky to have someone willing to change by himself.

    Your insight on men is so eye-opening, I’m definitely screenshotting all that as a reminder. Reading some of what you wrote was hard to swallow but it is true. I gave too much and I would have continued to do so, where was my self worth? If he didn’t call time, I would have continued as I was, surviving on his crumbs. This made me feel queasy to see how much I lost myself. I do hope you are right that he regrets what he lost but I don’t want to be feeling as I am when/if I learn he has committed to another woman. I think it will destroy me. So that in a weird way is pushing me to change, evolve, and try and move on myself.

    You have some very cool and insightful people around you so no excuses for not putting your best foot forward.
    I agree immature men find it much easier to walk away from a woman. GIG effect. Most women know what they want so if they leave a decent man then I’m afraid he doesn’t actually make her feel he is the one, Usually, when I’ve done it’s down to the sex, I just don’t love him or he is boring but very nice. Your friends are right we actually think about things for weeks and months before ending it. When we do we are already over it then just deal with feeling bad. So no we don’t have regrets like men often do. That’s why most men find break up so tough. After this heartbreak, I’ve vowed to never make someone feel the pain I did. I will if I ever feel ready to date be more aware.


    So I feel I’ve had a positive week even though I was hurt by my so-called friends, I feel I’m making baby steps. Therapy is good don’t get me wrong, but I just can’t sit in a room, 1-1 with a stranger and feel judged even though I know the therapist would never, but the smallest of expression change would make me feel small or agitated.




    It is a tough situation because you have no issues between yourselves, you have a deep bond, staying in contact allows that glimmer of hope but will it close you off from trying a new relationship? If it will not then keep the door open, you may beat the odds and reconcile if you have chosen to be platonic and date others. It would be silly to put all your eggs in one basket in that scenario.

    It is sad if COVID didn’t happen you would have gone down a different path with him. But it is best to accept the situation for what it is currently. Talk but keep some distance otherwise your attachment will naturally deepen and if the worst-case scenario happens down the line it will make the pain worse. Maybe ripping off the band-aid may be a better option now.

    It’s hard but choose whatever you feel is best, there is no right or wrong.

    I do believe if you actually want and love each other then you can make the best of a long-distance relationship. True love can survive distance, my grandparents spent 5 years apart but their love never waned. They had nothing but mail, now we have so much more access to one another, if you and your partner truly love each other then you will understand the amount of willingness and continuous commitment it requires to stay in a relationship with someone and not be moved. Long-distance has never been a barrier to having healthy relationships, it’s just harder and requires trust and commitment but is do able.

    Think about that, are you both willing to fight for the love, if not then move on.

    I hope things get easier for you.


    @Shelbyville thanks so so much for replying, I hope you can help @Lucie.

    You sound like you have had a lot to adapt to with the change. Congrats on the job, how is it? How are things for you? Your dating, your neighbor situation?

    thinking of you xx



    We want to believe that he will make it to Canada sooner than later. I am confused are you suggesting that love requires a continuous commitment. Does that mean a commitment not as platonic friends for now?  Does that put us out of that category? I certainly do not plan to put my eggs in one basket as tempting as it might be.

    I am not in denial of my situation. I do plan to date when I feel ready to do so. Today is exceptionally hard for me. I feel sad, but thankful that he is still in my life at the same time.

    I am afraid that if I stop talking to him then I would be closing the door. I don’t want that. He has applied to Canada. But because of the virus, we don’t know how long the delay will be. We can only wait for them to get to his application. He is spending his time strengthening it by learning french and taking the fluency exam.  He thinks that if it takes a year we will move on.

    I fear that if i stop talking to him then I cut off something that could have been.  I realize that I am setting myself up for pain in the future. But I don’t know what will happen so should I not do that because I fear pain later on?  I do not believe that he wants to stop talking to me.  I had suggested that we stopped doing so a few days ago and he talked me out of it.

    I am torn. Talking to him makes me happy. At the same time, it makes me feel anxious sad, and angry because of our situation. I have never done this before. I always rip the bandaid off. But there were always problems in my past relationships and that is why they ended. I am happy he is with me still but I am also miserable.

    I am still not caring for myself the way I should every day. I don’t feel like I have any motivation and I don’t think that has anything to do with him. I just wish there was a way to carry on without so much pain.



    One thing I’ve learned from my relationship and @Tim insight is that it is easy to fall in or out of love. The long-lasting relationships are not based on the love you had in the beginning, that love itself is not enough. When two people genuinely care for one another they want to be there for the person regardless of what they might go through- through thick and thin. They are on the same page, they work through whatever comes their way. That working through is an action! That action is love. That type of love requires commitment. So real love is honoring that commitment to keep the love burning, trusting, and being loyal. You are choosing to stay in love no matter what.

    Some people have difficulty committing even when they love someone with all their heart. So without the commitment, I would not call it true love needed for a healthy long-lasting relationship. My ex loved me at one point in his own way but he never committed as I did hence we are not together. When you commit you are saying I’m willing to risk it, I’m willing to do anything to keep us together.

    Being platonic friends is not real love, because you are willing to date others and find love elsewhere, it is saying you are an option, I’m not 100% all-in. If you think you will regret closing the door then to make it work and keep it as an option, you will need a healthy boundary to put distance between you so not talking daily, not being each others main emotional support, etc.

    “Pseudo platonic friends” will get you into trouble, the chemistry will not change, you will talk daily, you will become more emotionally attached, your needs will then seep out. You may go on dates but one of you may hold yourself back but the other may find love. Are you prepared to do that to yourself after becoming more attached? Is this all worth the pain if you both are not on the same page, you both can’t commit to stay loyal and see this through to the end?

    I think Tim (where are you by the way???!!) would say where is your self worth? Why are you not believing in yourself? You deserve someone who is all in. So if he isn’t committing to keep you and fight to be together even with the distance then move on. Let go of the security blanket. You admitted you are not caring for yourself, lost motivation, a good relationship should not drain you. Love your self. I think Tim would say that.


    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Sammy.

    @Sammy thank you so very much for trying to help. Your love and support means a lot to me even if you haven’t experienced anxiety and PTSD. I think you come across as a good person, really try not to let the alcohol win. Alcohol ruins so many lives 🙁

    thanks to your thread it has provided me hope i never spoke but I have followed silently and lived through it as it helped me to detach for moments from my own problems and not feel alone. I am ashamed to admit i tried to grow through the advice and tips you and @Kkasxo got and therapy tips the best I could. Your progress is what encourages me to hold on. I’m sorry that my pain increasing lately means i forgot everyone still has their own things going on. I didn’t mean to put any pressure on anyone else. Sorry.

    thank you so much for the time and advice you give and the fact you want to help through becoming more informed. It helps me hold and fight so much knowing a stranger is willing to do so much for another stranger.

    I’m trying , I really trying to push on but I’m tired, it hurts and its hard. The break up broke me enough but on top of that the sleep paralysis where if i fall asleep I wake up petrified unable to move, panic attacks are just increasing with more triggers and now living nightmare of experiencing vivid flashbscks during the day. I just want to push off it wouldn’t matter to anyone any way then i see people helping and kindness in this thread. I feel ashamed. I’m so tired.



    I apologise for the delay in my response. Please do not think I felt ignored, I came on this forum to ask for advice and was warmed and humbled by the community. The lows I experienced were horrific, I never want anyone to feel isolated and alone whilst going on their journey, I too want to help/give back. I very much enjoy offering my assistance based on my experience, reading on other threads I have posted on that my advice has prevented or encouraged someone in their journey is rewarding. Every little helps. I will try and get back to you as soon as possible and explain. Meanwhile, the advice you gave @Michelle made me smile, check you out! Now that is growth, you are doing great, do not give up. I’ll be back to discuss all including the subheadings. Keep posting and encouraging one another!

    @ Lucie

    Doll, I sense a lot of pain through your words, I am reluctant to give out generalised advice to you because I do not have much background information therefore I do not want to cause any harm with ill-judged advice. I have a session at the end of the month and will definitely enquire about PTSD and any other aid available. Where are you based? If you do not wish to reveal instead I shall look at accessible resources for you online. I want you to keep repeating two words “I MATTER” simple reaffirmations can create new neural pathways and with repetition cause change in behaviour. The off switch is the easy option, you are stronger than you think after all you have survived on your own thus far so keep that tiny flame burning, there is HOPE. No matter how hopeless the situation appears whilst there is life it is solvable. You used this thread as a way to implement changes so focus on that, you want a better life, I believe it will come. Do not kick yourself further whilst down, the people on this thread @Shelbyville @Kkasxo @Sammy myself are just 4 people alone who believe you matter, we care. Keep pushing through and it is never too late to ask for help, let that pride or shame or feeling that holds you back go. I was in a very shameful place, addicted to alcohol, gambling away money online and casinos, I had a mental breakdown and I pulled myself back from the brink with support and love. You can do this. Do not give up!


    I see you are just bobbing above water yourself with new changes, but having read some chunks of this thread it is a fair observation to say like myself you got that fightback in you, so keep up the good fight doll and posting because I’m sure the others would love the encouragement and in return can offer encouragement to help you too.


    Hope you are ok doll, there some ladies who clearly miss your words of wisdom!

    Ladies, I’ll be back 😉


    Hi all,

    It’s almost 2am and it feels like the only time I can get the opportunity to post.

    Lucie, there is a lot going on for you. I don’t know if I can help at all But memories have the potential to be as severe as the event/trauma itself because they reinforce the pathways in the mind that initially experienced the trauma, so one little thing I used to do was imagine the person/traumatic experience in your mind, then grey it out so the colour disappears, then move it far far away from you in your mind, until it’s barely a teeny tiny dot in the distance. I found this helped at times to take the ‘energetic charge’ out of the memory.

    the panic attacks for me are usually a type of flooding. Basically I’m about to get overwhelmed with emotion I can’t handle so my body finds a way to cope- in the form of panic. I still find them hard but I keep saying ‘you’re okay, you’re okay, this will pass. It always does” and I eventually feel my heart rate slowing down and my breathing a little better.

    as for the anxiety- well anyone who knows how to kick its ass, please let me know. Goes right to my tummy & is hitting high ratings lately. I confess I’m not journaling or meditating or getting out in nature at all lately, so I’m not exactly helping myself!

    The medication I took for a period didn’t have any side effects for me, I didn’t feel numb & the only bit I felt was on weaning off, I just got more anxious but when I did it slowly in small decreases, I managed the little spikes in anxiety & it levelled out again.

    It’s quite common and normal to still want someone. Lots of men and women feel the same. My ex broke my heart three times, caused me the most severe pain of my life & still all I wanted was him back!! Until you don’t. And I don’t know exactly when that happens, but it takes work to reframe how you view them, just adjusting that view consistently until the mind & heart start to believe it.

    please use whatever support you can, even you best friend might have a lot going on but she may have other ideas of ways to help or supports you can get.

    Nothing lasts forever. Remember that in those moments of anguish. X


    – are you there? Things have been tumultuous to say the least lately.
    my new job is tough, I feel ill equipped for it and it has completely taken away my life balance. The hours are insane (which I didn’t sign up for) and it’s leaving me with no free time to even get in a walk. I feel lost in the job, resentful of the hours and lonely in the city, when I just want to be back home.
    my appointment to this company was quite high profile so there is no option to retreat, literally it would look terrible, reflect poorly on me for future opportunities etc, so I feel trapped.

    My anxiety is kicking my ass too. I’m seeing one of the two guys I had been dating and as time goes on my feelings for him are growing. However, he has pulled back a bit from the initial period. The move to a new city has definitely made him think and made it harder for us. I was the one initially telling him to take it slow because he was so forward and expressive and funny! But now I have caught feelings and he is more vague and less keen (it would seem to me). And once again I feel like a guy loves to chase me but once he gets me, realises….’oh she wasn’t that great to begin with’. Hello self critic!!!
    I’ve tried talking to him about it but I know he’s not as deep as me and he just gets bogged down in all the ‘serious talk’ and says I may have a tendency to over complicate things. I’m so frustrated that I’m getting so anxious about losing him now when I was so cool and chilled at the start. I thought I had done so much work on myself over the years and yet when it comes down to it, here I am, still praying a guy will make me feel better and safe and loved. And if he doesn’t I get needy and anxious. I don’t know what to do. I’m trying not to be this way, but then am I just not being my real self. And if I’m my real neurotic self, will that ever be loveable to any man?! Am I too deep and head wrecking for any relationship? I feel like I’m drowning at the moment.

    michelle, it’s so so frustrating and heartbreaking that Covid has changed your life plan. But it has. It changed my life plan with regard to career and I’m still pissed off about that but I can’t control or change it.
    from a very outsider point of view, which of course you can ignore, I think it is better now to cut contact. Otherwise both of you will get hurt. It will create pain. If you are meant to be together one day (which may very well be the case) then your lives will touch again, no contact will not harm what is meant to work out eventually. I could only start to heal when I ended all contact and hope with my ex.

    Sammy and tim- I hope you are doing well. Sorry I don’t get to reply to every post, time is at a premium in my life at the mo- and not in any kind of good way. Sammy keep up the exercise and the daily goals – set in stone that are no. Negotiable and see if that helps x


    @Tim you’ll be missed, hoping everything is good with you. Speak sooner rather than later I hope!

    I’ve appreciated your advice so thanks I’m sticking to the runs/daily walks and it is helping tremendously my consumption has dwindled significantly.

    hasn’t been on for a while 🙁 I can offer some thoughts which may help in the meantime, you’ve helped me loads and everyone says I offer good advice to others just not myself. Go figure!

    This company hired you and I’m sure it was a rigorous assessment. They assessed your skills and potential, I think you are just being harsh on yourself and your own abilities. Just need to believe in yourself however the work life balance thing is something I understand, if a job was making me that unhappy no matter what the consequences I live by the rule change something or quit. I’d vocalise my concerns about the hours ask for adjustments, life is too short to be in a job which makes you feel miserable especially when the majority of the week is spent at work. I love my job it is the only thing which is keeping me sane through this all. You don’t want a job to add to your issues!

    How long have you been seeing this new guy? Are you exclusive or casually dating two people? If it is casual then serious talk is a big no-no. If you are exclusive I’d say maybe pull back a little too, try to keep it light and not apply pressure and take it day to day and let it be. Not worry so far ahead, maybe you are over analysing and self sabotaging by allowing your doubts to control the situation. You said it seems to you he is vague, in what way? An objective view may help reframe the situation.

    What makes you feel needy or insecure?

    I don’t think you should ever try to be someone different, what would be the point, our true selves are revealed sooner or later our partners see our warts and you want to be accepted for them, not living in fear of being dumped when they see something real. I was always me with my ex, for a long time I thought that I wasn’t enough but lately I’m reframing it, he was not right for me because he didn’t accept all of me. Do you think as Tim did initially once out on the dating scene (wheres a man when you need him) you may be chasing validation from the wrong people, that is where you are going wrong?

    I think you are going back down the road of questioning your worth and letting Martha? win, stand up to your inner critic. You are not neurotic. You are lovable, Many months ago remember you were in your owns words totally being yourself and someone new (even if it didn’t work with him you’re still friends) you still found it incredible that someone appreciated your warts and all and he made you feel golden. So you are loveable.

    Trying talking about it on here or to a friend it may just be your mind trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Breathe and believe in yourself x



    How are you doing Sammy, has the pain eased somewhat from the initial period. I definitely think having routine can help a lot and depending on that walk or run every day instead of a drink or a bottle will really make the healing process easier on you.

    I don’t know where my head is at. I suppose looking at it from a birds eye view I feel I am literally in the exact same cycle I was with with my ex. I am needy and insecure and get extremely scared when I feel a man is pulling away. I constantly seek reassurance and when I don’t get it, I got to DEFCON1.

    The two guys I was dating became one guy in the end. One of the guys decided it wasn’t the best time for me with so much going on (he was super understanding and kind) – he was the one I was going to stop seeing anyway, but he beat me to the punch and said it first. And yet, the evening he texted me to end it, I bawled crying, I was so upset and felt so lost. It was so strange for someone I was not over the moon obsessed with as it was.

    However the next day I settled down a bit and actually wasn’t as upset at all and haven’t really thought of him since. So he obvious hit a trigger of some sort when he ended it. The second guy I really enjoyed spending time with, he makes me laugh so so much and was not at all who I saw myself ending up with longterm, but I was enjoying the journey and the fun times. Initially he seemed to be someone who expressed himself a lot and wanted to get into a relationship straight away – he seems to be a serial monogamist, but I asked that we take things slow. I was getting a little scared and freaked out. Anyway as time went on I started to like him more and more and started opening up more and being vulnerable because that’s basically what he wanted and I felt happy to be taking a chance again.

    Then I got the job in another city and while I was wary, he said he saw the bigger picture and it didn’t bother him. So I thought, great, happy days and at least I’ll see him on weekends. He said once I get settled in a new rental place (im currently crashing with extended family) that he would even be able to come see me once a week if he has annual leave to take a day here and there.

    However since I started the new job (which so far I really really don’t like), I feel he is not as upfront and keen as he was initally and it’s hitting triggers again I guess. I have this running pattern where I feel guys pursue me initially as a high value woman and then when I give in a little – they realise I’m not what they thought or expected. Last night had a torturous conversation with the guy on the phone – he’s not a great communicator – he doesn’t seem to go in to deep stuff too often – but he was really headwrecked by me and couldn’t understand what I was talking about. Inevitably I wanted him to give me a whole heap of reassurance and it didn’t come.

    He texted me this morning and said he had had a rubbish night’s sleep after that (As did I) and that even though I had asked him to come visit me when I get back to my home house on Friday night, he said he would feel more comfortable coming on Sat morning instead. Completely legitimate on his part, I live with my Dad (who doesn’t even know about him) and it would be his first time coming to my house and he felt he didn’t jusy want to rock up late on Fri night and be staying over!

    All completely makes sense but my anxious mind has warped it in to “he doesn’t want to be with me” and “he’s gone off me” and he did admit that eth distance thing has made him very confused and basically I’m sad and hurt and he did nothing wrong but I don’t know how I have literally just transferred all the hurt and upset of my ex (who I think about rarely now) to the new guy.

    Work is really bothering me too, I’m very unhappy and have no quality of life and it’s not even been two weeks 🙁

    Sorry for the rant, ya see…….I still don’t have my sh1t toegther!

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