Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    Your therapist could be right. Everyone always talks about these waves and stages of heartbreak. The denial, the hurt, the withdrawal, the acceptance etc.. You’ve mentioned that perhaps the fact that you are feeling emotionally detached and thinking of yourself more independently the last few days or so could be the beginning of your journey to acceptance.. it makes sense that your heart has moved on from despair, desperation (what my ex is doing right now) to just letting it break. He’s right, you get loads of rest and get through this! Believe me, you’re not sad at all, I’m about to run myself a bath and bed too! Energy levels are 0 at the moment.

    My ex is definitely panicking now and rightly so because amongst all of our previous up and downs and I have never not responded to his communications. I ALWAYS responded. Throughout our relationship and once we split he always got almost an instant response from me, even if it was brief. So the fact that I have gone 5 days with absolute nothing despite his many efforts I can imagine him thinking ‘Sh*t!!! Is she really done?! I need to do everything in my power right now to show her I’m fighting’.

    In any case, I don’t have energy to think about him or his needs/feelings right now.



    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Kkasxo,</p>
    That in itself is you growing? You would always have tried to look after him, essentially putting him first- the same as me. I always put my ex before myself. But now, you’re showing up for yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a better person.

    You’re moving along this process whether you realise it or not. Enjoy just resting up this evening and not having to drain what little energy you have.

    Im still using the account he set up for me on his Netflix (eek), to watch some light hearted comedy tonight. Sleep soon though hopefully!




    Yes I would have always put his needs before mine, as I do with anyone else who I love in my life and it is proving extremely difficult today to go against that natural instinct. 6 days later and I now really badly want to reach out to him, to just forget about the distance and the pain and make this all okay. My rational mind realised that this isn’t going to change anything, the past still is what it is and it hurts the way it hurts. Maybe it feels that with this distance and time apart it hurts a little less.. or maybe those feelings just aren’t prominent right now but will surely resurface at some point today. I don’t know.

    I am trying my upmost best to stay away. It is a constant battle this morning because I just want to forget about all this and run back to him to be happy.. I guess in the back of my mind I’m probably thinking that there is only so much that he can try before he gets the hint, maybe soon enough he’ll just leave me to it and accept that we are done. Will that break me?

    I have managed to squeeze in almost 12 hours of sleep last night though! My body needed it!

    i hope you’re enjoying your 5K and that you feel better for it! How are you feeling today?



    Hi Kkasxo,

    I’m still exhausted today and in a lot of pain with my back (chronic pain). I did the 5k this morning and have been on the go since doing bits and pieces but am finally sitting down. I’m so tired!

    I feel more like contacting my ex today than previous days but still not enough to actually do it. The overbearing need is fading. So if you want to use me as a barometer- it does seem to ease with time, whatever chemical or emotional changes go on, it’s not like it was the first couple of months.

    Part of the process is understanding what you need. What do you need now? And remember when you answer, to answer realistically. I used to think I needed my ex to hug me and cuddle me and make me feel better. But actually that’s not really what would happen. He might hug me and i’d feel better for two mins but everything that we have been through, everything that separated us still remains there, it exists too and didn’t disappear so it wouldn’t just be my fantasised Utopia of being with him. Happy ever after. If I were to meet him now, it would be the same as before- real life- nothing magicked it away. So I absolutely empathise- I know you want him with you now. Understandable. But actually he seems in rather a shaky place himself at the moment and honestly I don’t think you have any extra energy. You need to process what you need to process I think. That’s not to say if you do contact him it’s a bad thing, I’m not saying it’s either good or bad! Nor should anyone else – even Martha!

    But you seem in our communication to have less mental anguish this past week not having to deal with the stuff with him too on top of everything else?



    Hi Kkasxo,

    I’m really sorry for your pain and struggling – I understand how you’re feeling. I recently broke up with my partner of 5 years, and although it was my decision I am sometimes filled with regret and unsure if it was the right choice. I feel the same as you – worried about meeting anyone else that I will have that same connection and bond with. It’s my first real heart break and it is awful. I cry myself to sleep every night, I feel like I’m missing part of myself. I go to work and act happy and normal etc but it’s just a front. My friends who have been through break ups tell me it does get easier and I guess we have to believe them.


    Hope we can get through this.




    I just read your post and I’m so sorry you’re sad and in pain. It is so difficult. So all I can say is this- you broke up for some reason. Something inside you made you do it. You were not being fulfilled in some way and that’s what caused the action I think. However, you were together 5 years- it was never not gonna hurt.

    You miss being with him every day, seeing him, talking to him, cuddling him. You miss being in that relationship, having him as your person. This is all normal and natural. Trust me. Normal. The pain- I’m afraid that’s normal too. If you felt no pain, the last 5 years wouldn’t have meant much to you. You feel pain because you feel/felt love.

    If this breakup has shown you the light and you realise it was a mistake because you were BLISSFILLy happy and if you get back together you will be fulfilled and beyond happy again, then great. It has taught you something. However, do you think deep deep down, there would still be something amiss? Something just not making you the level of happy you thought you could be? Of course you’d be back together and doing all the fun things again, but would it eventually end up back here? Because some things didn’t change?

    I have no clue what the answers might be, I’m just trying to help you as best I can. It’s 4 months since my ex split with me due to what I think is his reason- push came to shove and he couldn’t meet my needs. But it’s still hard. I miss him everyday. It hurts. But it honestly is less acute than the first two months, I promise.

    I wish you all the warmth and support in the world right now.



    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi all,</p>
    Well I got through the anniversary service okay and it wasn’t unpleasant as I had expected it to be. It’s been a busy day of being on the go andIm tired now and just letting it all sink in.

    I had the tiniest thought this morning wondering would there be a remote chance my ex would attend, but it wouldn’t be possible. He wouldn’t have known about it. I just felt a bit alone as all my family attended with their partners.

    I realise now something I didn’t see months ago. I CAN survive without him. I’m going about my business and managing fine. My problem is I don’t believe I can be happy without him, so obviously not just there yet. If ever.

    I hope everyone managed to have an okay weekend.




    I’m glad to hear that you managed to get through today and that it wasn’t as bad as you had prepared yourself for. I can imagine you must be exhausted both physically and emotionally so take it easy this evening! You deserve it.

    Also, a big big big round of applause for you for that last paragraph. Wow. You and you alone have come to the realisation that you are indeed capable of surviving without him, and you are doing just that. Do I hear some acceptance kicking in?! The same acceptance you never thought would come! Look at that for progress! Honestly, I am so happy for you.

    So far everything that others who have come out of heartbreak have advised has turned out to be true, in your case, and that is wonderful news and should give you hope that the happiness part will come too, in time.

    You are definitely doing much better compared to when we intially started our communication. I would even go as far as saying that perhaps you are no longer ‘surviving’ your days. You are actually beginning to pick and choose activities which are good for your well being, allowing yourself to be surrounded by friends and family, engaging in exercise! Wonderful! I don’t think you realise just how far you have come, definitely give yourself a big pat on the back!

    Honestly, I can’t wait to hear from you in October 2019 because I KNOW you will be in a much better place. I’m sure of it.

    Me on the other hand is a different story! I suppose in a sense I am dealing with more than just heartbreak as it is closely linked to my trauma so it is more complex but the complexity of it all and the inability to let go is beyond me and extremely soul destroying! I’ve explored the idea of trauma bonding with my therapist and it is a very real thing. She too seems to believe that the role my ex partner plays in my life is not yet over, due to the need for him to be around on trigger dates as well as to catch me when I fall in my ‘dark moments’ which are now few and far between (thankfully!) but nonetheless still happen and could happen at any time.

    I managed to remain no contact throughout the week and failed myself last night after a few too many drinks. He picked me up and I stayed the night but I’m quite glad that I literally climbed into bed in my clothes and all and went straight to sleep. We had a brief conversation this morning in which he apologies yet again for ‘pestering me’. He explained that he wants to continue giving me the time and space that I need but he never wants me to think that I am not on his mind, that he has given up, or that he is going on about his life without me. He wants me to know that he’s fighting – hence the texts, flowers etc. I am too run down and at an absolute 0 energy levels so I didn’t entertain too much I just briefly explained that I am now in a place where all of our previous minor problems have now all added up to be major issues. I told him our relationship wasn’t going anywhere anyway, we didn’t have any real set future plans per say, we weren’t building a life together and really when I come to think of it the relationship as a whole is no longer functioning. It was okay in our early days when we first got together but now it simply is not enough. I am not happy. I told him honestly that really thinking into it, the ONLY reason why I held on for so long is because I love him. Not because we had an amazing relationship, because that is no longer true. Not because I trusted him unconditionally, because that is no longer true. Not because we had all these amazing future plans together, again not true. Only because I loved him. But I realise that love isn’t enough and I left it at that. He simply noted that I sound like I am giving up..

    He has however agreed that we should be together on the 1st of February, I was relieved to hear this as it worried me that no longer would be an option so I am pleased. I did kindly reiterate that it doesn’t mean anything, it is just OUR trauma and we need get through the first hurdle together. It is not to say I would like to spend the rest of my 1st of February’s with him. He accepted.

    In any case, hiccup or no hiccup (even though I am disappointed in myself and Martha is really kicking my butt) I plan to (fingers crossed) continue no contact until it feels right to either go left or right with him, essentially until I really think into it, pro’s and con’s and all, and make a decision based on me myself & I and what I want/need from my life.

    Thats about all from my car crash of a life!




    Thanks for saying that. I understand that I am no longer suffering debilitating anxiety and pain so I accept, I have improved in that sense and for that I am grateful. However, I did think I was accepting, until I really thought about it and realised I’m not taking any action now…..because I think my subconscious or heart believes HE will!!!! I know right……..I’m certifiable! But it’s how I feel and I’m done listening to Martha. If it’s how I feel now, it’s how I feel. It may change, we shall see.

    I miss him greatly tonight. I miss what we were. I miss him reaching for my hand at every opportunity. So we’ll see. I still don’t feel like the situation is done in the sense that I’ll not speak to him ever again. But I’m going more day by day  these days.

    There is nothing wrong with contacting your ex. Did it make you ten times worse? I don’t get the feeling it did. Like the fable from my therapist….’Good or bad….who’s to say?’….it’s part of your process. It’s getting you where you need to be next.

    Thats so so interesting that you have revealed that about your relationship. Three months ago, that relationship was like a Hollywood movie in your eyes, with some slight lack of future planning on his part, but now, it’s like you really see it, really understand it. You love him, but problems exist and sometimes love isn’t enough. Holy smokes, I think that’s a bit of a massive leap in your growth. A therapist might give you a gold star!

    The contact also confirmed something which would have caused you anxiety- the date- but now he’s confirmed he’ll be there. So again, not such a bad outcome from communication.

    Your life is not a car crash. Truly. It’s complicated because ya humans are complex. We’re not black and white and when we open our hearts to love and growth, there are risks which can emerge. But we’re all just trying to be happy. X




    Theres absolutely nothing wrong with thinking that he might take some action. I think where you have reached out and made contact a few times and he hasn’t as such it’s only natural that perhaps you’ve ‘gotten the message’. So now the tables have turned and you are waiting on him to make a move. That’s okay because the idea is that by the time he does/or doesn’t you’ll be in a better place to be able to accept whatever happens without it crushing you.

    Yes to my surprise I don’t feel the contact has set me back which I am grateful for. He actually reached out this evening as he has had to leave his car on my road earlier today to go to a football game so when he collected his car he wanted to see me seeing as he was already practically outside my house – I declined. Don’t get me wrong, I have thought a million times in the last week ‘Why are you doing this to yourself?!’ Because every moment away from him I feel is time wasted. But I know that I need to look at the bigger picture here. As much as yes go with what makes you happy, it just isn’t that simple anymore. All of the ups and downs have made this all more complicated and hurtful in the process. I can’t bring myself to make decisions as such, perhaps due to fear, but I am making small short-term promises to myself to keep me going in the meantime. I.e don’t contact him for a week.. then at the end of the week set a new goal according to what you feel is best for you at the time!

    I think that’s what it’s all about, taking it all one step at a time..



    Hello Kkasxo and Shelbyville,

    I have been absent from this forum for around a month, I apologise for this. On one hand this forum was helping but reading relate-able posts at times made me feel the emotions even worse. Now I thought I would give you all an update.

    I went back to my ex’s over Christmas and to try to work things out. The first few days was amazing I initiated sex and was invested. The second week was dedicated to seeing others and we had a lot of nights where we ended in a routine and didn’t have sex. The third week we worked on one of my projects together and we didn’t do anything, because of stress and like he said it was rather business like.

    Now I told myself before I went back that we would be okay if my anxiety wasn’t that bad. Again, I was fine when I got back and then as the weeks went on it deteriorated.

    So it was obvious he wanted to be intimate in the last few days I was there and I was avoiding it, I blurted out to him “I dont want sex with you”, harsh and blunt I am aware. It came out it the worst way I could possibly imagine. It was rather awkward. So I left to get some space because I was so angry and embarrassed at myself. Whilst I was out I venting to a mutual friend. The friend I was a wolf in lambs clothing and instantly told my boyfriend everything I had said to her, which I was angry about because her version was a pent up ramble in a Supermarket, therefore I did not stand by a lot of what I said to her, the conversation was a lot of sound bites put together.

    So that night I told him to go on the night out with the mutual friend, I didnt want anymore awkwardness than there already was and I knew that I had hurt him and I wasn’t in the right headspace to have a proper conversation.

    Now I should add that he told me we would have a proper sit down chat about our relationship and we both kept avoiding it, hence why I kind of exploded.

    So it came to the last day, we had that chat. It is rather frustrating that my communication with him has become so broken, I used to be able to say whatever I wanted without the fear of judgement.

    Anyhow, I expressed to him that I don’t want to continue to try and work things out because even though I love him deeply my anxiety has not gone away and nor has my insecurity.

    Whilst I was there he was constantly on whatsapp and everytime his phone pinged my brain just told me “omg he’s cheating on me right in front of me!”, he was keeping his options open as it were in front of me. Now I did try to combat this with rational thinking but it was a feeling that was still there.

    So it has been a week and what a week it has been. A blur of stress and preparation because I got the news that I have a placement interview on Monday (tomorrow).

    I have done so much preparation for this but as I spoke to our mutual friend (another one) last night about him and the fact that he has ignored my texts and email he is on my mind.

    I have been watching tarot card readings for my star sign and they have really helped but I just wish he would reach out. But he hasn’t done.

    He did the other week because he wanted to know how one of my exams had gone although we ended up having a phone call about it.

    I know that he most likely gaming or been out with friends to keep himself preoccupied and I am happy he hasnt messaged me because I want both of us to be strong. But it is rather strange going from texting a lot to not at all.

    You see I hope this placement interview is a success because it isn’t just a job it is freedom. The opportunity to stand on my own two feet. I guess I have been busy since I got back and this is the first night I have started processing things.

    On top of this I saw my mum and due to her ability to trick me into thinking she is my ally I confessed about the other guy I had seen and the glee in her voice was sickening.

    So I am currently keeping my distance as she has started to be rather controlling and she has just been awful towards me.

    Then on top of this I have had my housemate picking at little things which caused me to feel on edge until she left the house. Very similar behaviour to how my mum acts and makes me feel.

    I was wound up by this and made an accident on an application to the BBC, then I had to email them and I am praying they are nice about it and let me redo that part of the application.

    Right now, I just feel like I am so close to success I cannot allow any distractions, especially emotional ones as they go around in my head. For example, I have spent a lot of this evening thinking he is ignoring me, is he okay etc.

    I am happy this forum exists because even though I could write this in my diary there is no reply or feedback.

    I believe that I do not have anything more to add aside from the fact that even though I am on a high atm in terms of motivation I am waiting for the fall as it were so I will be seeking counselling this coming week and I am going to go and meet new people.

    I know that this will pass, I must admit the ability that I am in control of my destiny does not scare me like it did before, instead I feel excited.

    Thank you for reading this and I will be on here a little bit more,  to be blurting all my feelings out on an online forum is a bit foreign, I have shyed away from it at times even though it does help.

    I shall go back a few pages…I think about 10 haha..and catch up on what has been happening in your lives.

    – V



    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Kkasxo,</p>
    Taking it one day at a time, is a good approach and seems to give you more resolve. Your ex is still in withdrawal stage in a way, desperately trying to regain what has been lost, but now is his time to try and work on himself too. Each time he wants to reach out to you, he could use it as an opportunity to flip it on himself and work on himself. But that’s not within your control.

    What is within your control is how you respond. You have been looking out for you which is a good thing. Remember to ask your therapist for some tools to deal with the significant date.



    Welcome back! It has been a rollercoaster for you the past while. Well done on seeking therapy, I think it will help more than you know.

    It would seem you have stuff you might need to work through perhaps on your own. It’s understandable to want to know what your ex is up to and why he’s not contacted you, but perhaps it’s because ye have been here before and this time, he wants to protect himself? Everyone deals with things differently. Maybe try to respect his need for space for a bit and focus on yourself and your career and the great motivation you have built up?



    Victoria – welcome back hun! Wow it does sound like you’ve had one hell of a rise these last few weeks! It seems to me that despite everything, despite the many attempts, you did still try with your ex once more. It appears though that whatever issues you two may be going through you need to get through alone for the time being due to your anxiety flaring up and you essentially withdrawing from him. I can imagine this is quite confusing for both yourself and him. Perhaps some time apart will do the trick – believe me I know this is easier said than done!

    Shelby – he is indeed still in withdrawal however I have a very strong gut feeling that he will soon enough stop the contact all together and just accept that we are on time out or to put it bluntly, over. He is a very rational person and will have no issue in explaining to himself that it is okay we are over, these things happen, you get through it. He did exactly that directly after our split, rationally explained and accepted that this is simply a fact of life and you have no choice but to get through it. This obviously saddens me and instils feelings of fear however maybe subconsciously I am pushing him as far as I possibly can because I know that it’ll be easier to move away from him if HE walks away rather than the other way round? This is just a thought. Honestly, I hate every moment away from him. I hate that it has come to this. All I want is to retrieve back to us being happy and content and I am so sad that it just isn’t that right now – such a shame!

    In regards to the trigger date, my therapist has set me an exercise for the week to try to explore the trauma from different angles. She has asked to my write all of my feelings and thoughts around the trauma from three different areas; the heart, the head and the circumstances at the time. As I go through this it is interesting to see that my guilt and grief is somewhat shifting because I see that it was somewhat out of my hands.. Great exercise!




    That’s such a useful task, well done. I’m sure it’ll open different perspectives to you and that’s what therapy is about, what growth is about – new insight and looking at things differently.

    I know it can be worrying that your ex will soon refrain from contact, but that is something that is outside your control. I suppose you have to make the decisions that are right for you, whatever the consequences. Besides, just because someone thinks rationally understands a situation and tries to move past it, by no means that feelings follow suit. They do their own thing. Plus if it’s meant to be…..and all that jazz! So don’t worry about that. You need to work on you and he needs to work on him. To move forward, I think they trauma has to be dealt with for sure. Perhaps you both can withstand this storm and actually work out, but I think the elephant in the room would have to be resolved.

    In the back of my mind Im still thinking of contacting my ex. I mean the last thing he heard from me was when we spoke on the phone on NYE and I said we’d speak in the next few days to meet for a chat. I haven’t contacted him since, but neither did he. I got the feeling he didn’t really want to anyway. So I suppose I’m giving him space at the moment. If i don’t think too deeply into it, I’m ok, but some moments when I consider the loss, I feel so sad and broken hearted. It’s just the way it is.

    I have a facial after work as my friend gave me a voucher for my birthday more than a year ago, which I never got around to using, so I called the salon and they said they would accept it if I get it done this week!

    Oh I’ve been staying away from booze since break up too – I never really drank much – but I find that I’m so on the edge of nearly contacting him at all times, that I feel I would give myself complete free rein if I was merry to contact him and completely blubber!!! So I feel Im gonna keep going as I am and see how I fare. Another hurdle managed yesterday so next is what would have been our anniversary




    I guess you’re right, it is out of my control it the time away and space too makes him realise that this relationship is no longer functioning. I must stop thinking too much into everything and just let things flow.

    I’ve kept myself occupied by purchasing a few bits to honour the memorable date, was emotional to say the least but also a slight relief knowing that I am trying my best to make the day as comfortable for myself as possible.

    There could be two sides to the contact with your ex. Either he was just being polite and agreed to meet up or he’s sitting there wandering why you haven’t reached out to arrange it.. I guess you won’t know. I know exactly what you mean when you say that you get on okay for most part, it’s only when you really think about the situation when the pain arises again. And I suppose that’s normal. You didn’t want things to end, you love him, it’s only natural to hurt.

    Well done on not drinking since the breakup! I think that’s a big one for me, I do enjoy a drink and I suppose it’s a way for me to relax too when in social situations which I seem to hate at the moment. But it definitely play a major part in me caving in on Saturday. After all, who doesn’t want to be cared for and looked after after a few drinks?!

    I’m glad you’ve got the evening planned and are treating yourself! I just got home myself and climbed straight into bed. I have no plans whatsoever for the rest of the day so without a doubt I’ll be wandering in my own thoughts soon enough.

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