Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    You do definitely inspire me and I wonder some day will I be posting on this forum offering advice from a very good place about the tough times I went through but overcame. I feel like the whole world is doing what it’s meant to be doing and moving forward and I feel stuck, as though my plan is only on hold, not cancelled.

    I’m glad to be back at work as I welcome the distraction and everyone is still in giddy post-Christmas mode so it’s not too stressful this week.

    Kkasxo and I actually have a pact to come online later this year, one year exactly from when I joined the forum to see how we’re both doing! Better I hope!

    Thank you x




    Dont you worry, I still have my handy reminder set on my phone to come back here in October 2019 and let you know exactly how I am doing.

    A year seems like such a long time, such a distant future but the way I am feeling and the way things are going I don’t actually know if I’ll believe I’ll be any better off..

    I can completely relate to the notion of being stuck on pause. I feel like I have been in this paused moment since late August, 4 months or so… a pause full of confusion, hurt and complete lack of direction. I literally have no clue which way I want to go. I realise this has a lot to do with the fact that I am unable to make a solid and clear decision because I am too afraid of facing the consequences, I’m too afraid I will make the wrong choice that I will never be able to go back from and as a result will have to live with the upset forever. But this lack of decision making is also keeping me in a place of pause and it is not somewhere that I want to be.

    For a while now I’ve been saying that i don’t know how I’m gonna get there or where I am even going but I want to be anywhere other than here – on pause, surviving, distracting. I’m so tired of this meaningless phase of life.

    Nonetheless, I know all this, but what am I really going to do about it? Probably nothing.




    Feel the fear and do it anyway. I as worried about contacting my ex again, it could have broke me, but the constant daily debating about doing it was driving me insane and I was drained, so I said…. ‘right, I’m doing it. Whatever the consequences I’ll survive’.

    Essentially that book on feeling the fear explains that we will survive – no matter what we do. I’m fairly sure when I meet my ex again, things won’t have changed too much. Yet I guess I need to do it. I seem to need to hear the rejection point blank or several times!

    I spoke to my therapist today and he said he’s not entirely convinced it was a bad idea to contact my ex, because it is giving me more of a sense of where things are at, in real terms, rather than months of fantasising and idealising my ex through no contact.

    You’re so funny ‘cos after that last message I posted, I literally thought to myself, I’m prob not gonna be much improved by next Oct!!! Great minds think alike ?

    I asked my therapist when will I cop on and listen to what everyone says, to the writing on the wall? He said when I’m tired enough of feeling unhappy & crap. He said I’m obviously still not at that point yet but I’ll probably get there.

    So despite all the best advice, perhaps you’re just not there yet, you’re not fed up enough to get yourself to a happier place. I know you’re tired and drained, but are you tired and drained enough? Maybe not yet!

    Do you think you and your guy can be happy and leave this all behind?




    I did say that to you… I think sometimes people, particularly people like us who seek understanding in all aspects, sometimes but themselves in uncomfortable positions to try to better understand and as a result be able to move forward. Hence the meet up with your ex, hence me holding on to mine. Perhaps it’s like a security blanket? For you it may be ‘oh well at least I have gone back there a few times just to be sure that nothings changed’ and for me it’s ‘oh well at least I tried! If things didn’t work out I know I can’t question myself for the rest of my life, I tried’.

    I think once you get to a point of there is literally nothing that you can do to change your circumstances with your ex involved, that’s when you will move on. That was the case for me. After we initially split I asked myself so many questions, came up with different scenarios of how I could possibly get things back on track, kept in light contact, tried to remind him what he’s loosing etc – but he was adamant, persistent even for a while. And that persistence is what made me wake up one morning and think ‘right okay, it is entirely out of my hands now so I don’t have any other choice but to stop moping about and get on with my life, there is and never will be an us ever again, I have no other choice but to accept that’ and I did. Don’t get me wrong it still hurt, but I was doing better, much better than I am now. Because I had no other choice.

    I think a lot of the stuff we are doing at the moment may not make any sense to us. Despite everyone advising you that contact let alone meeting up is a no go, you had to do it for yourself. This is YOUR journey. Perhaps one day when you have healed from this time in your life you will better understand why things had to happen the way they did.

    I do feel tired, shattered even, but like I say, at the moment nothing seems to be enough for me to make that ultimate choice – no more!

    I know it in my head, God it is clear as daylight but I just cannot make that bloody decision. I’m shitty with decision making all round in all aspects of my life, I question literally everything so being in this situation is exhausting.

    In regards to happiness, yes I genuinely started to think that perhaps we could be. We, just like yourself and your ex, very quickly bounce right back to the old us. Everything over the last month or so finally started falling into place a little bit. I felt maybe not happy but a bit more content? A bit more stable? It is just a real shame that the stuff from his past has crept up and brought us back to square one and now it feels like the beginning all over again. I’m tired, we’ve been here seems like so many times now that I’m starting to question whether I really have it in me to put up a fight and try once more.

    I understand his point of the past is the past and it shouldn’t have ruined anything, but it did. It ruined everything.

    Sometimes it feels like I am avoiding the unavoidable.. maybe just trying to somehow enjoy any additional time I have with him before the real end comes.



    I understand exactly what you are saying. You have to exhaust all possibilities so that you could walk away having literally tried everything.

    I have read lots of stuff lately about rekindling a relationship and the general consensus is- the old relationship did not work. Therefore it had to be a new relationship. So while you and your ex easily fall back into the chemistry ye always had, similar to me and my ex, that’s the same as before. What’s new? What change has happened so that ye are approaching it differently this time to get a different outcome?

    Maybe you’ve changed and see a new way of dealing with relationship obstacles? Has he changed or grown?

    I guess I might get to the stage where is becomes beyond question to me that there is no hope for my ex and I. Apparent to plenty of people already I’m sure, but still a difficulty for me.

    My only concern is losing all my dignity. But then again, maybe that’s my journey- to hit rock bottom?! I don’t know. I know myself, I would never beg etc, my interactions with him are a mix of me being aloof and fun and then dropping in a sprinkle of the serious stuff without damaging my dignity too much, I hope!

    Sometimes, I’m just fed up. He’s an idiot. Spoke about it in therapy today. He’s costing himself his own potential happiness and mine, because he’s too afraid to try. If that’s the case.

    Everyone is trying to get me to look at opportunities with new men and I genuinely feel like throwing up at the thought of it. Zero interest and still in the zone of thinking no-one will ever compare to my ex.

    Heartbreak is exhausting.



    The pact sounds a fantastic idea – and I love that you’ll both be back here one day passing on your own experiences to try to help others too, won’t that be great when you get there.  Your therapist sounds great btw, glad you have someone like that to talk to.

    Honestly – the decision to choose to go forwards is the hardest step – everything else from there is hard but you are no longer in the constant whirl of what-if. Kkasxo, sounds like you started down the road and felt this but have looped back round for one more try. I think I was lucky (?!) in that my contact with my ex made it very clear to me very quickly that there was only one way forwards for me – and it was without him. I choose no further contact from that point simply because it was too painful for me and that was the only way I could deal with it once I’d come to that conclusion, however much I hated it.  As you’ve both mentioned, you do have to get to the point you literally can’t go any lower – as then the only way is to choose to crawl back up!  I don’t think it matters that you don’t know what’s next, I didn’t for sure. Realise it’s much scarier than the comforting but painful path of being in a relationship and way forwards that you know. Usually it’s easier to know what you do not want than what you do – so if you don’t want to be unhappy, confused, angry….stop choosing things that make you feel that way….

    Entertainingly, a lot of my friends/family were very keen on the helpfully finding other men for me too, I think they just want to see you stop hurting so much and don’t always understand it’s like a death, not a ‘simple’ break-up.  I actually remember bursting into tears the first time I eventually got round to just kissing someone else – the poor guy was most surprised 😉  See – it makes me laugh now and that’s something I never thought would happen!

    Hang in there, look forwards to hearing you guys get through this.





    I agree. Because I am rubbish at decision making all together I want to ensure that IF I make a decision, it is an educated one and the best one for me. I haven’t come to that conclusion yet, despite everything that has happened I have a glimmer of hope. And that tiny glimmer is what’s holding me back.

    I also agree that your ex is an idiot and he really doesn’t realise just what he has walked away from. It is only a matter of time before he wants ‘more’ and it’ll hit him right in the face then. That he actually had it all with you but chose to let you go.

    Michelle – going back to decision making. When me and my ex first split it was his decision and therefore made it a whole load easier for me to come to the conclusion that it is completely out of my hands. You cannot make someone love or want you, I knew that and therefore I also knew that the only way forward for me was away from him, there was no choice to make as there was only one choice. The dynamic changed when he came crawling back begging for another chance and pulling at my heart strings which were and are still very much all about him.

    My journey isn’t making much sense right now. The cycle of pain that I seem to keep putting myself through is not making any sense. What rational person would do this to themselves? I hope one day I am able to look back on this and laugh just as you are.




    You have had such a positive impact on me in your posts. It is heartening to see someone who knows exactly what this pain and hurt feels like, but genuinely has made it out the other end. Perhaps it will come to the stage where my ex says he wants no more contact and they, as you say, I will be forced to crawl back up again.

    Kkasxo, I think you’ve answered your own question! What rational person would do this? None! That’s the point, rationale is not in full flow yet, the heart is still in control and I guess it’ll be in control until it’s not.

    I know what hope is like, if you have it, it’s hard to move on from anything. I experienced a very close bereavement years ago and people say to me, Shelby you handled that, this is not half as bad. But actually, with death, I felt it was somewhat easier to accept, in the sense that it’s final. There were no questions for me, the person was gone and could not come back. In relationships it’s different, if there is hope at all, however misguided, I cling to it.

    Why don’t you decide, from today, ok…..I know what i think i ‘should’ do, but instead of beating myself up about the fact that I’m not doing it and I want to give us another go, I’m just gonna accept that this is my choice for now and be happy with it. Throw yourself into it so that you can at least say you gave it your very best shot. If a time comes down the road when you want to change your mind, so be it. But that time is not now, so give it your best, with no chastising yourself for doing it? x




    That last bit really got to me. The idea of not beating myself up about not wanting to let go just yet despite the fact that I know I should do better. That is very wise and something I should probably be better at accepting, seeing as I cannot accept letting him go just yet. But I think the issue now is that I am embarrassed, I have gone through hell and back for this man and he knows that… I feel that with every chance he just thinks I’m always going to stick around. I say every chance, they’re not real ‘chances’ per say as the issues we are coming across now are those of the past – we both knew that we’d have to work through these if we wanted to make it work, I knew this. But because of the way these issues came up it feels a lot like f up’s in the here and now. Almost like we’re good, then something comes up and breaks us then we start again.. with time were good again and then another thing comes up and we are broken again and have to make the conscious choice to try yet again. Rather than just letting it all out at the beginning and starting on a clean slate to prevent all of this – and that was his choice. I am finding it hard to forgive him for that choice. Because he knows it would bite him in the ass sooner or later!

    I think I’m embarrassed and my dignity is fragile as a result of all the ups and downs. Like he’s pushed me to the edge and he knows deep down I’ll stick around… maybe he thinks he can get away with anything because I’ll never really leave? I don’t know. My mind is in overdrive.




    Do you both understand that issues have yet to be dealt with? If the issues were there in the past, even with the best will in the world, they will continue to arise in the future. I don’t think that even though there are f ups, that a relationship can’t work. If they are worked on.

    When I reunited with my ex the first time a couple of years ago, I set about the plan of just enjoying each other’s company, a clean slate and start fresh. But the issues emerged again. There was a reason we broke up the first time and it was more or less the reason we broke up the second time. I tried to be okay with what was on offer, at first and when I couldn’t contain my own needs to move forward, I changed my mindset to one where I thought he would change. Work was never done on his part, so it made sense that it didn’t work out again.

    You’re not ready to let go yet. You don’t want to. Even if you think it’s what’s best for you, you still don’t want to let go. So work with what you’ve got. I know it’s not a nice feeling to feel taken for granted, believe me I know, so I think maybe that requires a conversation. Are there other areas ye need to discuss also so that when ye actually do move forward, ye can do so a bit more progressively. Don’t worry about being embarrassed – I’m embarrassed too, but the heart doesn’t care about embarrassment, it just wants what it wants, at time whatever the cost. Worrying about the embarrassment will only add extra suffering you don’t need right now, so let that one go, shrug your shoulders and instead of berating yourself, say ‘it is what it is’, whenever you think it’s embarrassing.




    I do think there is a mutual understanding for the issues that need to be discussed, dealt with and moved forward from. The problem lies with the fact that he chose not to take the opportunity to come clean when we had that initial conversation right at the start, he chose to withhold information that he knew would make him look the bad guy there and then, but he also knew that they would eventually bite him. I’m upset that he’s allowed that to happen as I do think I’m quite an understanding person and I gave him the opportunity to start a fresh, clean slate. So now it is just disheartening as it feels as though whatever contentment and happiness we may have had in the last month or so was all built on a lie – but that could just be my perception of things.

    In regards to the embarrassment thing, I think where I truly believe I’ve been taken for granted multiple times now i suppose maybe my ego is getting in the way now? Or is it self-worth? I don’t know. It just feels awfully difficult to start over this time round after all the hiccups we’ve already had. It’s kinda like when does it end????!!! How many more times are we gonna start again?!! When will I finally bloody learn?!



    Hey both,

    Couple of last thoughts from me & then I’ll leave you in peace as aware I’m disturbing your conversation! But glad I’ve helped shed some light on the end of the tunnel for if or when you choose to take that path forwards.

    –  First, it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks – at the end of the day these are your lives, your choices and your consequences.  No need to feel embarrassed or anything else about them, just understand what impact the choices have.

    –  I really don’t think it is possible to change others, just yourself. Learnt the hard way 🙂 So if you guys want a different outcome in either your relationship or your life, you need to first look to yourself, I believe.

    Shelby, it sounds like your relationship broke up twice because your guy wasn’t ready for more – be it marriage, kids, admitting love? So your choice is kinda clear, you can either truly accept that is all he has to give – no secretly hoping for more in time ( been there too….! ) – and enjoy that relationship with this guy. Or choose to continue to want more as your heart tells you but accept this relationship is not going to give you that – and then start to heal yourself. Both choices are absolutely fine,  – what’s probably killing you is hoping for that magical third option…  I would say you never know ( despite how much you want to analyse it out ) what’s in store for the future. You changing and healing yourself may well end up being the catalyst he needs to change himself. It may not. Who knows – but one thing will be true – you won’t be stuck in your painful what if loop.

    Kkasxo – as said, no shame whatsoever in trying again whilst you still choose to want to do so. Yes, the consequences of returning to the relationship each time are that this guy has learnt that is what you will do. Again, if you want a different outcome – do different…you can either choose to accept this guy chooses not to be straight with you even when offered an open, clean slate & an understanding partner to do so and stay with him accepting you will not always know the truth, or you can change things choosing freedom from the loop. Your choice each time, always remember that – it’s so easy to think there are no choices but there always are – just not the ones we want usually.

    I really really hope it works out well for the both of you – take care.






    It must be incredibly difficult to move forward with someone when you thought it was one thing (a clean slate) and it ended up feeling like something else (a lie). It depends what your dealbreaker is?

    For me, dishonesty would be a dealbreaker. Just for me, I live my life as honestly as possible and I emphasise to those around me how important it is. That was one thing I never had to worry about with my ex, I don’t believe he ever lied to me or was dishonest. I trusted him implicitly. Was he to be trusted with not breaking my heart- clearly not!!! But in the general sense, you know what I mean.

    Do you want to take a break from your ex for a while and see does that drain you as much as being with him? Not an end, but space?


    Honestly I feel like you’re a person that would naturally attract good people in life, even though I don’t know you.

    Thank you so much for the advice, you have a way of making really good points and inspiring me without dictating what I should do.

    I want to explore what it would mean for me to get to know me and grow. Thank you for posting here.



    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Shelby & Michelle,</p>
    I think this evening was definitely the last straw for me. The dishonesty is too much. I have chosen to let go..

    I am broken beyond words.



    Hi Shelbyville and Kkasxo

    I have been following your conversations and it reminded me of how I was 2 years back. You both have mentioned about hoping to hear from people who have gone through this and i hope to share my experience and see if it resonates with you both in any way.

    (You can read the full story on my posts if you want to.. but id just give the gist of it here)

    I wrote in here 2 yrs ago.  Feeling lost after a recent break up. It was one of the most difficult things ive gone thru and one of the most difficult part of it was that we broke up due to circumstances and it was difficult accepting it cos i felt it was not as tho we didnt love each other anymore. And i always struggled with the what ifs…and if we wld get a second chance again.

    Similarly, in the first few mths.. and even for the first year.. i held on to every contact i had with him.. hoping to see any signs in those contact that circumstances have changed n tt he is now able to be with me again. But that wasnt the case and he was still stuck in the same situations.

    Altho a part of me was still waiting for him but i told myself i cant be passively waiting. So i told myself i need to grow thru this too.. so i went on solo trips, lost weight, did a 4 mths solo trip to another continent and rediscovered who i am on my own. And i told myself that this is what i will still hve regardless of whether he comes bck to me anot.

    Something that helped me get going was this phrase:

    “Let go of what was, accept what is and have faith in what will be”

    There were so many beautiful memories that i was reluctant to let go of.. and i badly wanted to have the memories again. Bt i realised i needed to let go of those because they belong in the past.


    And one part of me always fantasized about us getting back together again.. so the what is helped me get back to the present is to list down what is. For me then.. i listed that he is unable to be in a rs.. he is unable to give me wht i want.. and that helped to give me the reality check that it is not possible.

    And i remember reading through and there was this part you all were wondering about trusting the process.. and it can be difficult. Bt i told myself to have faith in what will be. N sometimes is just to accept that we do not have much control over what is happening.  If it is meant to happen, it will. And when you surrender n be open to things.. u will be surprised at hw mny beautiful things can happen. And the only thing i  can control at the moment is myself and how i choose to grow.

    2 yrs on.. it is nt as if i have completely forgotten abt him. I still think about him n how he is doing. N i do still wonder if we will get a second chance. Bt again tt is outside my control so i will surrender and have faith in the best outcome.

    And dont beat yourselves up for nt being able to let go of them yet. Sometimes i feel our body knows hw much we can handle at the moment. Maybe your body is nt yet ready to feel the whole impact of fully letting go. So when you are ready.. when tt moment is there.. it will come 🙂 it took me a while too and one day i just realised tt there is no pt in me hanging on anymore n tt is when i cld fully let go.

    If nt for the breakup.. i dont think i wld have grown as much as an individual. Wishing you both the best *hugs

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